Common errors in managing expense claims

Expend Team

11 January 2022

When it comes to expense management, there are lots of opportunities for things to go wrong or mistakes to happen, which can cause no end of problems for the accounts department and management alike.

In this article, we highlight a few of the most common issues associated with employee expenses claims.

Losing receipts

Arguably, this is the biggest difficulty with paper-based systems.

Losing receipts can cause all manner of complications. Not only can it jeopardise the claim of an employee, but it can also present issues for the business.

Without a valid receipt the company is unable to claim the VAT back from HMRC on the expenditure.

Data entry

Another big concern with manual expenses systems is data entry.

With so many numbers being crunched, it’s easy for mistakes to occur. Keying in the wrong data can lead to lots of lost hours as accounts staff retrace the numbers in order to balance the books.

A digital expense management platform prevents errors because the system will identify any discrepancies at the point employees enter their expenses details.

These are then automatically logged on the system so everything corresponds.

Lost data

Not backing up data regularly can cause all sorts of accounting headaches. Whether it's due to a blip in the system, a power cut or the server ‘falling over’, the end result could be that your accounting data isn't saved, so there's a gap in the records.

Not having this data is detrimental to your balance sheet which causes problems for your accountant when reconciling the overall company accounts. 

Automated expense management software is continually backed up so there's no loss of data at any point along the chain.

You're safe in the knowledge that as transactions are being put into the system, the information is being fed directly into your company accounting software.

Delayed visibility

A downfall of paper-based expense management is the lack of real-time visibility. With manual systems, the inputting and processing of expenses takes time.

This means you’re always looking at outgoings retrospectively.

In comparison, receipts for any expenditure are uploaded to a digital expense management platform, like Expend, at the point of payment.

Consequently, you always know what's going out of the business as soon as a transaction on behalf of the company takes place.


Perhaps the biggest issue with a manual expense process is the time it takes for accounts staff to administer it.

Many companies carry out their reconciliation process at a set time each month, meaning staff are deskbound for as long as the process takes. 

Depending on the size of your business, this could be anything from a couple of hours to a couple of days, perhaps even longer if you're a sizable organisation.

Clearly, this has implications for staff assigned to carry out the process, as it distracts them from other duties they’re required to perform within their role.

Because digital expense management software is automated, the process of entering and reconciling claims on the system happens as each expense is logged.

The result is that compliance is taken care of and accounts staff are freed up to concentrate on other tasks that matter to your business.

Disclaimer: This is not legal, accounting, or tax advice - it's simply a guide. If you need help, check with your accountant or contact HMRC directly

Expend Team

Taking over the world, one expense at a time

Powering businesses around the world with the ultimate expense management software and sharing our top tips and lessons through these blogs.

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