Efficient financial management is a cornerstone of successful business operations. As businesses grow, tracking expenses becomes more complex, necessitating tools to streamline the process.

Business expense tracker templates are one method companies and small business owners can use to track business expenses and simplify expense tracking.

These templates, often found in the form of spreadsheets, enable users to input various expenses, automatically totaling costs, and can usually be customized to fit the specific needs of any business.

We've gathered our favorite free spreadsheets for tracking business expenses and one excellent alternative you won't want to miss!

Top 5 free business expense tracker templates + 1 bonus

The utility of a business expense tracker template resides in its ability to provide real-time financial insights. They come equipped with categories and formulas that calculate totals, which assists in maintaining a clear view of where a company's money is going.

Additionally, these templates help businesses prepare for tax season by totaling expense categories for the year, ensuring that no deductible expense is overlooked.

By implementing a basic business expenses spreadsheet, businesses can mitigate errors, save time on manual calculations, and potentially uncover areas for cost-saving.

Here are some of the best free expense spreadsheet templates:

1. Smartsheet's free small business expense report template

Smartsheet offers a printable template ideal for small business owners to monitor monthly expenses easily. With customizable category names and automated total calculations, it simplifies the expense tracking process.

Smartsheet's free small business expense report template

This monthly business expense spreadsheet is available for Microsoft excel and a Google Sheet spreadsheet.

👉 Download page for Google Sheet version

👉 Download page for Microsoft Excel version

2. Spreadsheet Point’s expense tracker for Google Sheets

This expense tracker from Spreadsheet Point is a comprehensive tool for quickly recording and monitoring business expenditures.

Spreadsheet Point’s expense tracker for Google Sheets

Designed to clearly show expenses against one's budget and income in the same spreadsheet, this expense sheet helps aid in better financial decision-making. Users can categorize expenses, attach receipts, and visualize data with embedded charts on the overview page.

Make a copy of the expense tracker using the following link:

👉 Download link

3. Gusto's small business expense tracker

Gusto designed a template for Google Sheets, which aids small business owners in managing finances with features for creating an operating budget, tracking sales, and recording expenses all year round.

Gusto's small business expense tracker

Categories and sections include Sales Budget, Costs of Goods Sold, Expenses, Unexpected Expenses, and a Budget Summary section showing revenue, costs, expenses, unexpected expenses, and net income.

👉 Download page

4. Vertex 42’s income and expense tracking worksheet

If you're looking for a monthly business expense spreadsheet that will also let you track income in the same view, then Vertex 42's worksheet might be a good fit for your needs.

vertex42 income-and-expense-worksheet

You can track expenses as well as income as single line items, all inside of the same spreadsheet. To use the template, go here and then click on the "Use Template" button.

👉 Direct download link

5. Simple expense report template by Smartsheet

This monthly expense report template is perfect for individuals or small businesses looking for a straightforward method to track expenses. It includes fields for date, description, category, and amount.

Expense Report Templaet by smartsheet

To use this expense report example by Smartsheet, go to "File > Make a Copy."

👉 Direct spreadsheet link

6. Bonus: Shoeboxed, a better way to do expense tracking

Small business owners and independent contractors who want the simplest way to organize receipts and expenses for tax purposes may want to consider Shoeboxed.

Shoeboxed has been voted as the best receipt scanner app for tax season by Hubspot and given the Trusted Vendor and Quality Choice awards by Crozdesk.

Shoeboxed's official homepage

Shoeboxed's receipt scanner app extracts key information from scanned receipts. The extracted data is then verified by Shoeboxed data verification team, then categorized, tagged, and stored securely in the cloud.

Shoeboxed also offers a receipt scanning service that allows business owners to outsource data entry of paper receipts.

Starting from $18 per month, individuals receive a postage-prepaid Magic Envelope that you stuff receipts into.

Use Shoeboxed’s Magic Envelope to mail your receipts in to be processed

At the end of the month, simply send the Magic Envelope in, and the Shoeboxed team will scan all your data and categorize it into 15 common tax categories. Easy peasy.

Once your expenses are scanned into your Shoeboxed account and organized into digital records, you can create and export a CSV file and open it in Excel. 

Your previous expenses will be automatically included in your spreadsheet and categorized into columns for the receipt date, store, notes, currency, totals, payment type, and more. 

Links to images of your receipts are also included in the spreadsheet for easy access should you ever be audited.

How to scan receipts with a receipt scanning service

Shoeboxed is the only receipt scanner app that will handle both your paper receipts and your digital receipts—saving customers up to 9.2 hours per week from manual data entry!

Break free from manual data entry ✨

Use Shoeboxed’s Magic Envelope to ship off your receipts and get them back as scanned data in a private, secure cloud-based account. 📁 30-day full money-back guarantee!

Get Started Today

What else can Shoeboxed do?

A quick overview of Shoeboxed's award-winning features:

a. Mobile app and web dashboard

Shoeboxed’s mobile app lets you snap photos of paper receipts and upload them to your account right from your phone.

Shoeboxed also has a user-friendly web dashboard to upload receipts, warranties, contracts, invoices, and other documents from your desktop.

Demo account web dashboard.

b. Gmail receipt sync feature for capturing e-receipts

Importing e-receipts to your Shoeboxed account is as easy as syncing your Gmail with Shoeboxed, using Shoeboxed's special Gmail Receipt Sync feature.

Shoeboxed’s Gmail Receipt Sync grabs all receipt emails and sends them to your account for automatic processing! These receipts are then labeled as Sent to Shoeboxed in your Gmail inbox.

In short, Shoeboxed pulls the receipt data from your email, including the vendor, purchase date, currency, total, and payment type, and organizes it in your account.

Your purchases will even come with images of the receipts attached!

c. Expense reports

You can create comprehensive expense reports with just a few clicks.

Expense reports let you view all of your expenses in one cohesive document. They also make it simple to share your purchases with your accountant.

You can also choose certain types of receipts to include in your expense report. Just select the receipts you want to export and click “export selected.”

d. Search and filter

Scan your receipts with Shoeboxed

Call up any receipt in seconds with advanced search features.

Filter receipts based on vendors, date, price, currency, categories, payment type, and more.

e. Accounting software integrations

Export expenses to your accounting software in just a click.

Shoeboxed integrates with 12+ apps to automate the tedious tasks of life, including QuickBooks, Xero, and Wave Accounting.

f. Unlimited number of free sub-users

Add an unlimited number of free sub-users to your account, such as family members, employees, accountants, and tax professionals.

g. Mileage tracker for logging business miles

After you sign up for Shoeboxed, you can start tracking miles in seconds:

  • Open the Shoeboxed app.

  • Tap the “Mileage” icon.

  • Click the “Start Mileage Tracking” button.

  • And drive!

Whenever you start a trip, Shoeboxed tracks your location and miles and saves your route as you drive.

Shoeboxed's mileage tracker

As you make stops at stores and customer locations, you can drop pins to make tracking more precise.

At the end of a drive, you’ll click the “End Mileage Tracking” button to create a summary of your trip. Each summary will include the date, editable mileage and trip name, and your tax deductible and rate info.

Click “Done” to generate a receipt for your drive and get a photo of your route on the map. Shoeboxed will automatically categorize your trip under the mileage category in your account.

h. The Magic Envelope

The Magic Envelope - Shoeboxed

Outsource your receipt scanning with the Magic Envelope!

The Magic Envelope service is one of Shoeboxed's most popular features, particularly for businesses, as it lets users outsource their receipt management.

When you sign up for a plan that includes the Magic Envelope, Shoeboxed will mail you a pre-paid envelope for you to send your receipts in.

Once your receipts reach the Shoeboxed facility, they’ll be digitized, human-verified, and tax-categorized in your account.

Have your own filing system?

Shoeboxed will even put your receipts under custom categories. Just separate your receipts with a paper clip and a note explaining how you want them organized!

Turn receipts into data for tax time ✨

Try Shoeboxed’s systematic award-winning approach to receipt tracking for tax season. 30-day full money-back guarantee!

Get Started Today

How to create an expense tracker for your business

Here's a quick overview of how to go about setting up the template, integrating data, and ensuring users receive the necessary training and support.

1. Setup your template

To begin using a business expense tracker, select a suitable template. You can start by making a copy of one of the templates listed in this article.

The individual should customize the template to align with their financial categories and company procedures. Customizing your categories helps you tailor your spreadsheet to your specific industry. For example, you can create a spreadsheet tailored to the real estate industry, a trucking business, an Airbnb rental, a lawn care business, a farming business, etc.

Make sure to create columns that will help you capture expense details, such as categories and supporting documents, and verify that the template includes automatic calculations for total expenses.

2. Data entry and integration

Once the template is configured, the next step is to begin inputting your financial data, i.e., business expenses.

Additionally, if you're using Google Sheets, businesses can integrate their spreadsheet with their accounting software.

Alternatively, if you're looking for an alternative to manual data entry, consider Shoeboxed's Magic Envelope service.

The Magic Envelope service is the most popular Shoeboxed feature, particularly for businesses, and lets users outsource their receipt management.

When you sign up for a plan that includes the Magic Envelope, Shoeboxed will mail you a pre-paid envelope for you to send your receipts in.

The Magic Envelope is unique only to Shoeboxed.

Once your receipts reach the Shoeboxed facility, they’ll be digitized, human-verified, and tax-categorized in your account.

Shoeboxed will even put your receipts under custom categories. Just separate your receipts with a paper clip and a note explaining how you want them organized!

Turn receipts into data for tax time ✨

Try Shoeboxed’s systematic award-winning approach to receipt tracking for tax season. 30-day full money-back guarantee!

Get Started Today

3. Get everyone on the same page

Whether you choose business expense tracking spreadsheets or expense management software, everyone should be on the same page regarding how to turn in expense reports and track business expenses.

In other words, organizations must provide thorough training for the individuals responsible for tracking expenses.

This should include guidance on accurate data entry, understanding the template's structure, and interpreting the tracked information.

Best practices for expense management

Effective expense management is achieved through meticulous tracking, strategic policy enforcement, and vigilant fraud prevention measures.

Below are key practices that organizations should employ to optimize their expense management.

1. Regular review and reconciliation

Regularly reviewing and reconciling expense reports is critical to maintaining an accurate financial record. Organizations should schedule weekly or monthly reviews of expense submissions to ensure timely transaction recording.

2. Enflorce a clear reimbursement policy

A clear and enforced expense policy is crucial for smooth operations. Companies should communicate policies clearly to all employees, detailing what constitutes an allowable expense, and implement approval workflows to systematize the process of expense verification and approval.

3. Take fraud prevention measures

Organizations can establish internal controls that include receipt validation and irregularity checks to mitigate the risk of fraudulent activities. Adopt expense-tracking software with security features to protect against unauthorized claims.

4. Analyze expense data

After using a business expense tracker to record financial transactions, the next vital step involves analyzing the expense data to gain insights into spending patterns and identify areas for cost reduction.

Businesses can use templates to generate detailed reports that provide a monthly overview of all expenses.

These reports typically include categories like utilities, rent, and office supplies, and display the total amount spent in each category.

Also, consider aggregating data for an annual summary of expenses. This summary helps companies compare their costs year over year, offering valuable insights into their financial trends and helping to plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

5. Identify cost-saving opportunities

By categorizing expenses, businesses can pinpoint areas of excessive spending. Once identified, companies can investigate the underlying reasons and implement measures to reduce costs in those areas.

Data analysis can also reveal which vendors constitute the most significant expenditures. Businesses might find opportunities to renegotiate contracts or seek alternative suppliers that offer more competitive pricing.

Frequently asked questions

What is a business expense tracker template?

A business expense tracker template is a pre-formatted document. It helps individuals or businesses organize and monitor their financial expenditures. By using a template, one can consistently record expenses across various categories.

How does one customize an expense tracker in Google Sheets?

Customizing an expense tracker involves creating categories that match one's business needs. It may also include setting up formulas to calculate totals automatically. Users can create their own custom categories and record expenses accordingly.

Are there any free templates available online?

Yes, there are free templates available online for business expense tracking. These can range from simple spreadsheets to more complex systems with various features.

Can expense trackers generate overview charts?

Many expense tracker templates can generate overview charts. These charts provide a visual representation of spending patterns over time. This feature helps businesses analyze their expenses more effectively.

Is it possible to automate the expense tracking process?

Automation is possible with services like Shoeboxed, which will take data entry off your hands and automate expense categorization, verification, and more.

In closing

A business expense tracker template is a helpful tool for small businesses. When used consistently, it can help ensure accurate financial records.

Organizations can also explore spreadsheet alternatives, such as Shoeboxed, which offers a digital means to manage expenses without manual spreadsheets.

About Shoeboxed!

Shoeboxed is a receipt scanning service with receipt management software that supports multiple methods for receipt capture: send, scan, upload, forward, and more!

You can stuff your receipts into one of our Magic Envelopes (prepaid postage within the US). Use our receipt tracker + receipt scanner app (iPhone, iPad and Android) to snap a picture while on the go. Auto-import receipts from Gmail. Or forward a receipt to your designated Shoeboxed email address.

Turn your receipts into data and deductibles with our expense reports that include IRS-accepted receipt images.

Join over 1 million businesses scanning & organizing receipts, creating expense reports and more—with Shoeboxed.

Try Shoeboxed today!