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Old 10-18-2010, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This has been a huge PITA since dh started working with this company in 2006 and I need some advice on how to deal with it.

Dh's company requires him to purchase some things up front on a personal credit card. They do not and will not provide a company card.

Currently, dh's system of putting in expense reports looks something like this: store all the receipts in a little cubby in his car and once a month pull them all out and file them.

The biggest flaw in this system is that stuff gets bumped, moved around and ultimately receipts get lost. We currently are carrying about $2K in company debt (maybe more) from months and months worth of lost receipts or stuff dh forgot about (like when he used to travel a lot he'd forget to file his airline ticket $$$$ ).

Anyway, dh recently went on an Army mission (he's a reservist) and made $1600. We had a lot of that money earmarked for stuff. I pulled $400 out and put it in savings for Christmas. Another $700 was to go toward our new A/C. But, looking back over the account, dh paid $1200 out of our pocket (so the rest of the money he made, essentially) to his work Amex and "doesn't know when his next expense check is coming."

Can you tell my head is about to explode? I have no idea how to deal with this! I did the bills for years and years and he offered to do them a few months ago. He undid all of the automatic payments I had set up, paid bills twice, then decided I was better at it. Which is fine, but he got into the acct and paid this Amex bill w/o my knowledge. I would've stopped him if I'd have known.

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Old 10-18-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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As someone who has check and approve expense reports, my advice is to get an envelope and put everything in there. And turn it in as soon as possible, like once a month or whatever. I can't reimburse anything without a receipt so it's pretty important to make sure you keep track of them.

Here, I try to pay expense checks as soon as I can, but if they're confusing or missing info, it takes me alot longer, so you might find out their policy on reimbursing.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the recent problems we've hit with actually getting his expense checks is that they aren't coming back as quickly as they used to. His boss let his assistant go (cut backs due to the recession) and now his expense reports either get misplaced or it takes for.ever for the checks to make it back to us (and they used to consistently come X number of days from the time dh filed, but now it is totally random as to when we'll get one).

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Old 10-18-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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I keep an large sized envelope in my car and a small letter envelope in my car. I file them weekly. At the end of the week, I review my credit card for any missed expenses. Filing weekly helps a lot. It is the last thing I do before I start my weekend. When I was really strapped, I put a reminder on my calendar to make sure I got my reimbursement because if there was a problem, I could hurry up the solution.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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Expense reports are a HUGE PITA - but he's got to make it a priority.

1) The car needs an envelope to put the receipts in. A sturdy one - like a brown 5 x 7 envelope with a pen attached. Get a supply of them. The kind that you can open and close with a little clip. attach a pen.
2) Can he print out a unfilled out expense report and HAND WRITE the items as they are expensed? Then at least you'll know what receipts he is missing.
3) Write the expense on the sturdy envelope - again, so you know what receipts you should have.
4) Does he have an I-phone or other PDA? Can he get some kind of program to help with keeping track of expenses.

Once you get a rhythm all of the expenses will go out and receipts come back and it shouldn't be so bad. To movitivate DH to make it a priority to do the expense reports, show him the interest that you'll need to pay for the last few months.

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Old 10-18-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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I used to be an assistant to a team of people that traveled extensively and PITA expense reports. I set the up with a travel packet. This packet was a plastic clear envelope (you can get them at any office store) and had a small note pad for notes related to expenses, a pen for writing everything down, instructions printed. These plastic envelopes were also expandable and had multiple pockets kind of like an thin accordian plastic file. You could do different types of receipts in each pocket if he travels or different weeks receipts in a different pocket. The bonus of it being plastic is that it is water proof and they can wipe it off if it gets sticky from the car and it doesn't crumple.

We had to tape all receipts to white printer paper and circle dates and times and label each receipt on the paper. If it is taking a long time to process and he is handing in a wad of receipts with his expense report, it may help if he or you, prepared them by putting them in order, taping them down and turning them in with the expense report. They may be working the expense reports that are easy to process before his which will push your dates back.

When I travel now for Work, I used the advise I just gave so I don't lose receipts like cab receipts (they are annoying). Also each night at the hotel, I label everything and file it away. Can't tell you before I started following my own advice how many receipts went through the flipping washer and dryer.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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Can you turn in the AmEx statement as replacement receipts? I've done that before. I was an infrequent traveller and forgot to get reciepts sometimes. I would turn in the recipts for 95% of stuff, plus the card statement for the other 5%. It showed that I purchased coffee in Sacremento while on a business trip. Pretty sure that's part of my reinbursement.

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Old 10-19-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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When I travelled for work I'd keep an envelope for receipts in my purse because you're right, they end up getting lost. DH doesn't have a purse so he keeps them in his wallet. It's best to transfer the receipts at the end of each day (this was part of my evening routine while staying at hotels) so they don't get misplaced or at the very least as soon as he gets home.

Filing receipts weekly is something that work required us to do and I think that's MUCH better than leaving it all month. Less likely for stuff to get lost and you'll have money coming back more frequently rather than having to wait for one big cheque. I would see about having receipts reprinted or printing e-receipts yourself (for airline tickets), and for smaller stuff see if they will let you use the credit card receipt. That won't work all the time but if it's only for a few things they should understand.

Re: boss losing expense reports, I would keep a copy of what he filed (something that shows the total) until he gets reimbursed. Sounds like you need to keep track of it cause they're not! Are there any rules about how much time they have to pay you back? It's unreasonable for them to expect an interest-free loan from the employees while the credit card company still needs to get paid on time!
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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I know you're mostly asking a logistical question but I think I would put it to him like this:

You need to spend about an hour a week (some time as you go, some at the end at the end):
- putting receipts in a plastic envelope and noting them on an accompanying pad of paper or whatever
- starting/finishing your expense report for that week
- making a photocopy before it goes to your boss
- ticking off when you get that cheque from work and pursuing any that have not shown up.

$2000 in credit card debt before interest at 52 hours/year = he would be paying himself $38/hr for doing this work. And really I don't think it would take an hour in the end.

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Old 10-19-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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If it's a big strain on your budget, I'd ask dh to talk to hr privately about a stipend to cover these expense. i know this is done at our work (which has the same policies as your husbands) in special circumstances. barring that, designate one card as your dh's work card *only* and make sure that all purchases on that card a reimbursed.

i am horrible about expense reports-- but it took my hubby pointing out that those coveted calphalon pots could have been bought with the money that I had not filled out the reports for.

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Old 10-19-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Can he pay everything on a credit card and submit the bill as the receipt (with irrelevant items blacked out)? I've done this in a pinch. I also download all my transactions into Mint.com so that I can tag which ones have and haven't been reimbursed.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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Or get a whole new credit card and *JUST* use it for work related expenes?? And then just give them the whole bill??
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liberal_chick View Post
One of the recent problems we've hit with actually getting his expense checks is that they aren't coming back as quickly as they used to. His boss let his assistant go (cut backs due to the recession) and now his expense reports either get misplaced or it takes for.ever for the checks to make it back to us (and they used to consistently come X number of days from the time dh filed, but now it is totally random as to when we'll get one).
I think that he should be submitting them the very day after he incurs the expenses. That's what I do, when I'm serious about getting paid. He needs an envelope (as someone suggested) to put everything into for each "trip" or day of expenses. Then he needs to keep his own copy of the expense report and the receipts and keep a ledger of when he gets paid for what report. This might be time consuming, but it's better than not getting paid.

Also, I agree that having a dedicated card for work expenses is best.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The Amex is a work only card, so we've got that covered. The sole reason he got an Amex (as opposed to another Visa or something like that) is that they require balance payoff every month so he'd be forced to do an expense report. A year ago, he was only filing reports like every 2-3 months. It hasn't helped though, obviously, b/c he tied so much of OUR money up in the card this month. I mean, it'll all come back to us through the expense check, but considering we're still waiting on September's check...

Anyway, thank you for all the tips and suggestions! I'm going to get dh all set up with a manilla envelope so he quits sticking the receipts in the car cubby at the very least.

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Old 10-21-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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For travelling expenses I keep the receipt in a specific pocket of my wallet until I get in to work and I have a folder there where I keep it until I submit. If it is a small receipt, I will photocopy it and staple it to the copy, so it is harder to lose. I try to submit quarterly but if there is alot, I will do monthly.

I have a company credit card for purchases and those receipts are kept in a large envelope. I sometimes write on the outside to remind myself of details.

Keeping track on my outlook calendar helps too because then I can go back to see where/what I was doing to refresh my memory. I try to keep that up-to-date.

Once you get a system in place it gets easier . I rarely lose any receipts now. And we "can" submit without receipts but are not supposed to. Thankfully it does not delay the payment but if they noticed that it was a constant thing, then probably they might refuse/delay.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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If he's only turning in an expense report every few months with thousands of dollars on it, it's probably delayed because of the time it takes to go through it and make sure everything's right.

I got one the other day that had 3 years on it. Any idea how long it took me to get through that? And while I do get them processed as fast as possible, it always annoys me that people will wait months or years and then want their check the next day.

I'd have him see if he can just turn in the credit card statement and then figure out a receipt system.
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