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How to track business expenses in 8 simple steps

June 13, 2023 8:00 PM

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As a small business owner, you wear multiple hats and face numerous demands, from overseeing a growing team to expanding your book of business. With so much already on your plate, managing your business expenses can quickly turn into a daunting task, especially if you’re relying on manual processes and complicated spreadsheets.

If you constantly find yourself chasing down receipts, manually reconciling transactions, and dealing with paper expense reports, it’s time to reconsider your approach to expense management.

Let's go over eight tips to help you effectively track and manage expenses across your business.

1. Separate business and personal expenses.

Establishing a clear line between your personal and business finances is a fundamental step to ensure your company's financial health. 

Setting up a separate bank account and using a dedicated business credit card is paramount. It sets the stage for a seamless payment experience by simplifying expense tracking, facilitating tax deductions, and optimizing cash flow. Moreover, it builds your credit score and history and ultimately grants you more control of your business funds. 

2. Create a budget.

A well-structured budget is critical for keeping track of business expenses. Organizing your monthly and yearly expenses into categories allows you to track projected payments, compare them against actual ones, and derive valuable insights to make informed financial decisions. 

Implementing a budget for your business offers several benefits: 

  • It helps you establish precise expense and revenue goals.
  • It enables you to outline necessary and recurring expenses to better allocate resources. 
  • It highlights areas of improvement or potential overspending. 

While many small businesses might rely on spreadsheets for their budgeting needs, this manual approach gets complex as you grow and is prone to error. Therefore, consider using a spend management platform to simplify the process and manage multiple budgets simultaneously.

A platform like Extend enables you to control and track spending by creating budgets. The budget feature in Extend gives your team the power to send virtual cards for different expense needs across projects, clients, or departments. It also helps you delegate payment capabilities to others in your organization, freeing up your time while ensuring you keep complete control and oversight. Adopting such software in your business will help you organize your finances, reduce budget overruns, and simplify workflows and approval processes. 

3. Use virtual credit cards. 

As any business owner knows, keeping tabs on transactions, staying within budget, and reducing unauthorized charges is easier said than done if you rely on a single or even a handful of credit cards. That’s because traditional credit cards don’t offer a centralized view of payments nor promote accountability among users. 

However, virtual cards provide a wider range of features and benefits that instantly simplify expenses. With virtual cards, you can:

  • Leverage dynamic spend controls, like spending limits and expiration dates;
  • Enhance security measures and mitigate the risk of fraud and misuse;
  • Easily track, monitor, and reconcile payments in real-time; 
  • Centralize your spending and gain immense visibility into your expenses; and
  • Deploy your cash more effectively across various business initiatives. 

You can create virtual cards from your existing corporate credit card to pay vendors and cover employee expenses. They allow you to take a more proactive approach to payments and significantly reduce the volume of manual expense reports each month.

4. Choose an accounting platform.

With the advent of new technology, like accounting software, you can make piles of paperwork and overwhelming spreadsheets a thing of the past or, at the very least, significantly reduce your dependence on these manual processes. 

Accounting software consolidates expense data into a centralized platform and eliminates the need for labor-intensive work and cumbersome templates. Moreover, it equips you with a wealth of financial data. You can generate comprehensive reports – such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements – facilitating even more informed decision-making. 

And since you can easily integrate accounting software, like Quickbooks, into a platform like Extend, you can optimize accounting operations by leveraging categorization, reference tags, and enhanced data reporting. You’ll get an interconnected environment where financial information flows seamlessly between systems.

5. Monitor your spending.

After implementing virtual cards, a budget, and an accounting platform, you’ll need to leverage these tools for ongoing monitoring and tracking. While unexpected expenses might appear insignificant at first, they can quickly add up and strain your budget. Moreover, potential misuse can always emerge. By regularly monitoring your business expenses, you can promptly identify any issues and uncover opportunities for improvement. 

A spend management platform like Extend can help you track both virtual card transactions and out-of-pocket expenses. You can digitize expense reports and allow your finance team to easily capture, review, track, and approve reimbursable employee expenses in one place. 

6. Manage your receipts.

Next, make sure you keep track of business receipts. Doing so will enforce receipt compliance and ensure you can claim deductions when tax season rolls around.

However, managing receipts can be a hassle, especially if you keep them in an old shoe box or have them scattered across various drawers in your office. Not to mention, you also depend on your employees to keep their receipts and submit them on time.

That’s why it's best to digitize your receipts. 

Various mobile apps offer this service, but you should consider a platform that provides receipt management alongside other key payment features. This consolidates the number of applications you must rely on to run your business.

For instance, with Extend’s receipt management features, users can:

  • Attach receipts and notes to transactions; 
  • Set specific receipt rules based on transaction amounts and card types; 
  • Identify transactions with missing receipts and send reminders via email and within the app; and
  • Export transactions to enhance receipt matching.

By consolidating receipts in one place, you'll achieve greater visibility and better compliance, making tax season a breeze.   

7. Monitor cash flow.

The next thing you need to do is keep track of your cash flow: the lifeblood of your business. By understanding the timing and magnitude of cash inflows and outflows, you can forecast your financial needs and allocate resources accordingly. 

This proactive approach helps you prevent cash shortages and ensures you have sufficient funds to cover recurring and unexpected expenses. Moreover, it allows you to identify patterns and trends, enabling strategic timing for major purchases or investments and mitigating unnecessary debt. 

Gaining a clear understanding of your cash position not only empowers you to make more informed financial decisions but fosters a stable financial environment in your organization.

8. Regularly review expenses. 

Regularly reviewing and understanding your expenses is essential for the survival and growth of your small business. It enables you to grasp your organization's current and near-term financial health, facilitating better long-term decision-making that benefits not only your company but your employees and customers. 

Therefore, keep a close eye on your expenses, examine the reports, and analyze the numbers. This process not only reveals your business's financial status but also equips you with the necessary information to ensure the sustainability of your business.

You can use a virtual card app to monitor transactions on your business credit line and equip you with real-time visibility, so you always know when and where your funds are being spent.

Take control of your business expenses with Extend.

Extend makes it simple to manage business expenses across your entire company. Take a tour of the platform to test it for yourself, or if you’re ready to go virtual, get started here. 

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How to track business expenses in 8 simple steps

Virtual Card Spend
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As a small business owner, you wear multiple hats and face numerous demands, from overseeing a growing team to expanding your book of business. With so much already on your plate, managing your business expenses can quickly turn into a daunting task, especially if you’re relying on manual processes and complicated spreadsheets.

If you constantly find yourself chasing down receipts, manually reconciling transactions, and dealing with paper expense reports, it’s time to reconsider your approach to expense management.

Let's go over eight tips to help you effectively track and manage expenses across your business.

1. Separate business and personal expenses.

Establishing a clear line between your personal and business finances is a fundamental step to ensure your company's financial health. 

Setting up a separate bank account and using a dedicated business credit card is paramount. It sets the stage for a seamless payment experience by simplifying expense tracking, facilitating tax deductions, and optimizing cash flow. Moreover, it builds your credit score and history and ultimately grants you more control of your business funds. 

2. Create a budget.

A well-structured budget is critical for keeping track of business expenses. Organizing your monthly and yearly expenses into categories allows you to track projected payments, compare them against actual ones, and derive valuable insights to make informed financial decisions. 

Implementing a budget for your business offers several benefits: 

  • It helps you establish precise expense and revenue goals.
  • It enables you to outline necessary and recurring expenses to better allocate resources. 
  • It highlights areas of improvement or potential overspending. 

While many small businesses might rely on spreadsheets for their budgeting needs, this manual approach gets complex as you grow and is prone to error. Therefore, consider using a spend management platform to simplify the process and manage multiple budgets simultaneously.

A platform like Extend enables you to control and track spending by creating budgets. The budget feature in Extend gives your team the power to send virtual cards for different expense needs across projects, clients, or departments. It also helps you delegate payment capabilities to others in your organization, freeing up your time while ensuring you keep complete control and oversight. Adopting such software in your business will help you organize your finances, reduce budget overruns, and simplify workflows and approval processes. 

3. Use virtual credit cards. 

As any business owner knows, keeping tabs on transactions, staying within budget, and reducing unauthorized charges is easier said than done if you rely on a single or even a handful of credit cards. That’s because traditional credit cards don’t offer a centralized view of payments nor promote accountability among users. 

However, virtual cards provide a wider range of features and benefits that instantly simplify expenses. With virtual cards, you can:

  • Leverage dynamic spend controls, like spending limits and expiration dates;
  • Enhance security measures and mitigate the risk of fraud and misuse;
  • Easily track, monitor, and reconcile payments in real-time; 
  • Centralize your spending and gain immense visibility into your expenses; and
  • Deploy your cash more effectively across various business initiatives. 

You can create virtual cards from your existing corporate credit card to pay vendors and cover employee expenses. They allow you to take a more proactive approach to payments and significantly reduce the volume of manual expense reports each month.

4. Choose an accounting platform.

With the advent of new technology, like accounting software, you can make piles of paperwork and overwhelming spreadsheets a thing of the past or, at the very least, significantly reduce your dependence on these manual processes. 

Accounting software consolidates expense data into a centralized platform and eliminates the need for labor-intensive work and cumbersome templates. Moreover, it equips you with a wealth of financial data. You can generate comprehensive reports – such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements – facilitating even more informed decision-making. 

And since you can easily integrate accounting software, like Quickbooks, into a platform like Extend, you can optimize accounting operations by leveraging categorization, reference tags, and enhanced data reporting. You’ll get an interconnected environment where financial information flows seamlessly between systems.

5. Monitor your spending.

After implementing virtual cards, a budget, and an accounting platform, you’ll need to leverage these tools for ongoing monitoring and tracking. While unexpected expenses might appear insignificant at first, they can quickly add up and strain your budget. Moreover, potential misuse can always emerge. By regularly monitoring your business expenses, you can promptly identify any issues and uncover opportunities for improvement. 

A spend management platform like Extend can help you track both virtual card transactions and out-of-pocket expenses. You can digitize expense reports and allow your finance team to easily capture, review, track, and approve reimbursable employee expenses in one place. 

6. Manage your receipts.

Next, make sure you keep track of business receipts. Doing so will enforce receipt compliance and ensure you can claim deductions when tax season rolls around.

However, managing receipts can be a hassle, especially if you keep them in an old shoe box or have them scattered across various drawers in your office. Not to mention, you also depend on your employees to keep their receipts and submit them on time.

That’s why it's best to digitize your receipts. 

Various mobile apps offer this service, but you should consider a platform that provides receipt management alongside other key payment features. This consolidates the number of applications you must rely on to run your business.

For instance, with Extend’s receipt management features, users can:

  • Attach receipts and notes to transactions; 
  • Set specific receipt rules based on transaction amounts and card types; 
  • Identify transactions with missing receipts and send reminders via email and within the app; and
  • Export transactions to enhance receipt matching.

By consolidating receipts in one place, you'll achieve greater visibility and better compliance, making tax season a breeze.   

7. Monitor cash flow.

The next thing you need to do is keep track of your cash flow: the lifeblood of your business. By understanding the timing and magnitude of cash inflows and outflows, you can forecast your financial needs and allocate resources accordingly. 

This proactive approach helps you prevent cash shortages and ensures you have sufficient funds to cover recurring and unexpected expenses. Moreover, it allows you to identify patterns and trends, enabling strategic timing for major purchases or investments and mitigating unnecessary debt. 

Gaining a clear understanding of your cash position not only empowers you to make more informed financial decisions but fosters a stable financial environment in your organization.

8. Regularly review expenses. 

Regularly reviewing and understanding your expenses is essential for the survival and growth of your small business. It enables you to grasp your organization's current and near-term financial health, facilitating better long-term decision-making that benefits not only your company but your employees and customers. 

Therefore, keep a close eye on your expenses, examine the reports, and analyze the numbers. This process not only reveals your business's financial status but also equips you with the necessary information to ensure the sustainability of your business.

You can use a virtual card app to monitor transactions on your business credit line and equip you with real-time visibility, so you always know when and where your funds are being spent.

Take control of your business expenses with Extend.

Extend makes it simple to manage business expenses across your entire company. Take a tour of the platform to test it for yourself, or if you’re ready to go virtual, get started here. 

Blog

How to track business expenses in 8 simple steps

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Virtual Card Spend
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As a small business owner, you wear multiple hats and face numerous demands, from overseeing a growing team to expanding your book of business. With so much already on your plate, managing your business expenses can quickly turn into a daunting task, especially if you’re relying on manual processes and complicated spreadsheets.

If you constantly find yourself chasing down receipts, manually reconciling transactions, and dealing with paper expense reports, it’s time to reconsider your approach to expense management.

Let's go over eight tips to help you effectively track and manage expenses across your business.

1. Separate business and personal expenses.

Establishing a clear line between your personal and business finances is a fundamental step to ensure your company's financial health. 

Setting up a separate bank account and using a dedicated business credit card is paramount. It sets the stage for a seamless payment experience by simplifying expense tracking, facilitating tax deductions, and optimizing cash flow. Moreover, it builds your credit score and history and ultimately grants you more control of your business funds. 

2. Create a budget.

A well-structured budget is critical for keeping track of business expenses. Organizing your monthly and yearly expenses into categories allows you to track projected payments, compare them against actual ones, and derive valuable insights to make informed financial decisions. 

Implementing a budget for your business offers several benefits: 

  • It helps you establish precise expense and revenue goals.
  • It enables you to outline necessary and recurring expenses to better allocate resources. 
  • It highlights areas of improvement or potential overspending. 

While many small businesses might rely on spreadsheets for their budgeting needs, this manual approach gets complex as you grow and is prone to error. Therefore, consider using a spend management platform to simplify the process and manage multiple budgets simultaneously.

A platform like Extend enables you to control and track spending by creating budgets. The budget feature in Extend gives your team the power to send virtual cards for different expense needs across projects, clients, or departments. It also helps you delegate payment capabilities to others in your organization, freeing up your time while ensuring you keep complete control and oversight. Adopting such software in your business will help you organize your finances, reduce budget overruns, and simplify workflows and approval processes. 

3. Use virtual credit cards. 

As any business owner knows, keeping tabs on transactions, staying within budget, and reducing unauthorized charges is easier said than done if you rely on a single or even a handful of credit cards. That’s because traditional credit cards don’t offer a centralized view of payments nor promote accountability among users. 

However, virtual cards provide a wider range of features and benefits that instantly simplify expenses. With virtual cards, you can:

  • Leverage dynamic spend controls, like spending limits and expiration dates;
  • Enhance security measures and mitigate the risk of fraud and misuse;
  • Easily track, monitor, and reconcile payments in real-time; 
  • Centralize your spending and gain immense visibility into your expenses; and
  • Deploy your cash more effectively across various business initiatives. 

You can create virtual cards from your existing corporate credit card to pay vendors and cover employee expenses. They allow you to take a more proactive approach to payments and significantly reduce the volume of manual expense reports each month.

4. Choose an accounting platform.

With the advent of new technology, like accounting software, you can make piles of paperwork and overwhelming spreadsheets a thing of the past or, at the very least, significantly reduce your dependence on these manual processes. 

Accounting software consolidates expense data into a centralized platform and eliminates the need for labor-intensive work and cumbersome templates. Moreover, it equips you with a wealth of financial data. You can generate comprehensive reports – such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements – facilitating even more informed decision-making. 

And since you can easily integrate accounting software, like Quickbooks, into a platform like Extend, you can optimize accounting operations by leveraging categorization, reference tags, and enhanced data reporting. You’ll get an interconnected environment where financial information flows seamlessly between systems.

5. Monitor your spending.

After implementing virtual cards, a budget, and an accounting platform, you’ll need to leverage these tools for ongoing monitoring and tracking. While unexpected expenses might appear insignificant at first, they can quickly add up and strain your budget. Moreover, potential misuse can always emerge. By regularly monitoring your business expenses, you can promptly identify any issues and uncover opportunities for improvement. 

A spend management platform like Extend can help you track both virtual card transactions and out-of-pocket expenses. You can digitize expense reports and allow your finance team to easily capture, review, track, and approve reimbursable employee expenses in one place. 

6. Manage your receipts.

Next, make sure you keep track of business receipts. Doing so will enforce receipt compliance and ensure you can claim deductions when tax season rolls around.

However, managing receipts can be a hassle, especially if you keep them in an old shoe box or have them scattered across various drawers in your office. Not to mention, you also depend on your employees to keep their receipts and submit them on time.

That’s why it's best to digitize your receipts. 

Various mobile apps offer this service, but you should consider a platform that provides receipt management alongside other key payment features. This consolidates the number of applications you must rely on to run your business.

For instance, with Extend’s receipt management features, users can:

  • Attach receipts and notes to transactions; 
  • Set specific receipt rules based on transaction amounts and card types; 
  • Identify transactions with missing receipts and send reminders via email and within the app; and
  • Export transactions to enhance receipt matching.

By consolidating receipts in one place, you'll achieve greater visibility and better compliance, making tax season a breeze.   

7. Monitor cash flow.

The next thing you need to do is keep track of your cash flow: the lifeblood of your business. By understanding the timing and magnitude of cash inflows and outflows, you can forecast your financial needs and allocate resources accordingly. 

This proactive approach helps you prevent cash shortages and ensures you have sufficient funds to cover recurring and unexpected expenses. Moreover, it allows you to identify patterns and trends, enabling strategic timing for major purchases or investments and mitigating unnecessary debt. 

Gaining a clear understanding of your cash position not only empowers you to make more informed financial decisions but fosters a stable financial environment in your organization.

8. Regularly review expenses. 

Regularly reviewing and understanding your expenses is essential for the survival and growth of your small business. It enables you to grasp your organization's current and near-term financial health, facilitating better long-term decision-making that benefits not only your company but your employees and customers. 

Therefore, keep a close eye on your expenses, examine the reports, and analyze the numbers. This process not only reveals your business's financial status but also equips you with the necessary information to ensure the sustainability of your business.

You can use a virtual card app to monitor transactions on your business credit line and equip you with real-time visibility, so you always know when and where your funds are being spent.

Take control of your business expenses with Extend.

Extend makes it simple to manage business expenses across your entire company. Take a tour of the platform to test it for yourself, or if you’re ready to go virtual, get started here. 

No items found.
Blog

How to track business expenses in 8 simple steps

Presented by
No items found.

As a small business owner, you wear multiple hats and face numerous demands, from overseeing a growing team to expanding your book of business. With so much already on your plate, managing your business expenses can quickly turn into a daunting task, especially if you’re relying on manual processes and complicated spreadsheets.

If you constantly find yourself chasing down receipts, manually reconciling transactions, and dealing with paper expense reports, it’s time to reconsider your approach to expense management.

Let's go over eight tips to help you effectively track and manage expenses across your business.

1. Separate business and personal expenses.

Establishing a clear line between your personal and business finances is a fundamental step to ensure your company's financial health. 

Setting up a separate bank account and using a dedicated business credit card is paramount. It sets the stage for a seamless payment experience by simplifying expense tracking, facilitating tax deductions, and optimizing cash flow. Moreover, it builds your credit score and history and ultimately grants you more control of your business funds. 

2. Create a budget.

A well-structured budget is critical for keeping track of business expenses. Organizing your monthly and yearly expenses into categories allows you to track projected payments, compare them against actual ones, and derive valuable insights to make informed financial decisions. 

Implementing a budget for your business offers several benefits: 

  • It helps you establish precise expense and revenue goals.
  • It enables you to outline necessary and recurring expenses to better allocate resources. 
  • It highlights areas of improvement or potential overspending. 

While many small businesses might rely on spreadsheets for their budgeting needs, this manual approach gets complex as you grow and is prone to error. Therefore, consider using a spend management platform to simplify the process and manage multiple budgets simultaneously.

A platform like Extend enables you to control and track spending by creating budgets. The budget feature in Extend gives your team the power to send virtual cards for different expense needs across projects, clients, or departments. It also helps you delegate payment capabilities to others in your organization, freeing up your time while ensuring you keep complete control and oversight. Adopting such software in your business will help you organize your finances, reduce budget overruns, and simplify workflows and approval processes. 

3. Use virtual credit cards. 

As any business owner knows, keeping tabs on transactions, staying within budget, and reducing unauthorized charges is easier said than done if you rely on a single or even a handful of credit cards. That’s because traditional credit cards don’t offer a centralized view of payments nor promote accountability among users. 

However, virtual cards provide a wider range of features and benefits that instantly simplify expenses. With virtual cards, you can:

  • Leverage dynamic spend controls, like spending limits and expiration dates;
  • Enhance security measures and mitigate the risk of fraud and misuse;
  • Easily track, monitor, and reconcile payments in real-time; 
  • Centralize your spending and gain immense visibility into your expenses; and
  • Deploy your cash more effectively across various business initiatives. 

You can create virtual cards from your existing corporate credit card to pay vendors and cover employee expenses. They allow you to take a more proactive approach to payments and significantly reduce the volume of manual expense reports each month.

4. Choose an accounting platform.

With the advent of new technology, like accounting software, you can make piles of paperwork and overwhelming spreadsheets a thing of the past or, at the very least, significantly reduce your dependence on these manual processes. 

Accounting software consolidates expense data into a centralized platform and eliminates the need for labor-intensive work and cumbersome templates. Moreover, it equips you with a wealth of financial data. You can generate comprehensive reports – such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements – facilitating even more informed decision-making. 

And since you can easily integrate accounting software, like Quickbooks, into a platform like Extend, you can optimize accounting operations by leveraging categorization, reference tags, and enhanced data reporting. You’ll get an interconnected environment where financial information flows seamlessly between systems.

5. Monitor your spending.

After implementing virtual cards, a budget, and an accounting platform, you’ll need to leverage these tools for ongoing monitoring and tracking. While unexpected expenses might appear insignificant at first, they can quickly add up and strain your budget. Moreover, potential misuse can always emerge. By regularly monitoring your business expenses, you can promptly identify any issues and uncover opportunities for improvement. 

A spend management platform like Extend can help you track both virtual card transactions and out-of-pocket expenses. You can digitize expense reports and allow your finance team to easily capture, review, track, and approve reimbursable employee expenses in one place. 

6. Manage your receipts.

Next, make sure you keep track of business receipts. Doing so will enforce receipt compliance and ensure you can claim deductions when tax season rolls around.

However, managing receipts can be a hassle, especially if you keep them in an old shoe box or have them scattered across various drawers in your office. Not to mention, you also depend on your employees to keep their receipts and submit them on time.

That’s why it's best to digitize your receipts. 

Various mobile apps offer this service, but you should consider a platform that provides receipt management alongside other key payment features. This consolidates the number of applications you must rely on to run your business.

For instance, with Extend’s receipt management features, users can:

  • Attach receipts and notes to transactions; 
  • Set specific receipt rules based on transaction amounts and card types; 
  • Identify transactions with missing receipts and send reminders via email and within the app; and
  • Export transactions to enhance receipt matching.

By consolidating receipts in one place, you'll achieve greater visibility and better compliance, making tax season a breeze.   

7. Monitor cash flow.

The next thing you need to do is keep track of your cash flow: the lifeblood of your business. By understanding the timing and magnitude of cash inflows and outflows, you can forecast your financial needs and allocate resources accordingly. 

This proactive approach helps you prevent cash shortages and ensures you have sufficient funds to cover recurring and unexpected expenses. Moreover, it allows you to identify patterns and trends, enabling strategic timing for major purchases or investments and mitigating unnecessary debt. 

Gaining a clear understanding of your cash position not only empowers you to make more informed financial decisions but fosters a stable financial environment in your organization.

8. Regularly review expenses. 

Regularly reviewing and understanding your expenses is essential for the survival and growth of your small business. It enables you to grasp your organization's current and near-term financial health, facilitating better long-term decision-making that benefits not only your company but your employees and customers. 

Therefore, keep a close eye on your expenses, examine the reports, and analyze the numbers. This process not only reveals your business's financial status but also equips you with the necessary information to ensure the sustainability of your business.

You can use a virtual card app to monitor transactions on your business credit line and equip you with real-time visibility, so you always know when and where your funds are being spent.

Take control of your business expenses with Extend.

Extend makes it simple to manage business expenses across your entire company. Take a tour of the platform to test it for yourself, or if you’re ready to go virtual, get started here. 

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