Downloading sample expense reports need not be a difficult task, there are many sample excel spreadsheets out there for download and then to modify into a typical expense report for customized use. The problem usually lies in how to make use of and to modify them.

Even Microsoft provides an excel sample expenses report for downloading, but it is really very barebones and might even be outdated as it seems to be from 6 years ago. Like any other items you may download from the internet it can always serve as a good start or a comparison and example.

To use those downloaded expense reports into a form that is useful, over here at infobarrel, this page shows you how to create a sample expense report in very easy step by step methods that is software independent. You could either use it on your office computer with Microsoft Excel or you could hammer it out from a starbucks with a netbook using Google Documents which is free. Either way, in a short 7 steps you would be able to start creating a sample expense report from scratch to a final version that is tailored just right for you. It is filled with screenshots to ensure you are on the right track all the way through. Understanding this and relooking at the downloaded reports, you would start to see a difference.

This is very helpful if you have been downloading pdfs from all the free expense report samples sites out there when you do not have a file that can effectively edit pdf documents for your own needs. While they are helpful in showing you the right paths, as well as giving you good xamples and ideas like whether you should allow reimbursement for morning coffee and donuts, and helpful reminders that while air tickets are booked for perhaps you might want to impose a preference for budget airlines where possible. There are also ways in which you can convert the data into a nice pie chart to determine what takes up the bulk of the expenses, or have a bar chart.

The key limitations of downloading sample expense reports instead of making one of your own or buying a proper expense reporting software, would be that often those downloaded documents will not be customized to your needs but are instead templates used by other people and made for the purposes of those people. A generic template would have limited usage and customization might be very important for the firm whose expense reports you are in charge of. If you need nothing beyond a very simple travel expense report however, then there is no issue in just downloading a document off the internet and presenting it to a superior.

If you do use one however, try to download a sample expense report in excel spreadsheet format so that it makes it easier to edit it using the techniques illustrated in the how-to that was mentioned above. That would probably make your life a whole lot easier!