General Question

carla6411's avatar

What is the best system to keep track of all department expenses for the fiscal year?

Asked by carla6411 (15points) July 11th, 2008

Each department at my job is now responsible of keeping track of all the expenses (training, meals, travel, etc).

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10 Answers

mrjadkins's avatar

How big is your department? A simple solution may be Google documents. I found that in the Spreadsheets section, you can now create online forms and then those connect to a spreadsheet. If you made an online form to share, then your department could input their data automatically into the form/spreadsheet much easier.

Plus, its free.

I would not recommend it for its security but surely it could be used for something like this.

Go to and click on Watch Video or Take the Tour to see more information. I use Google Docs now for several administrative tasks.

carla6411's avatar

It is about 10 people in the department.


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ccatron's avatar

Or you could create a spreadsheet that each person has a copy of on their computer. Each person fills it out for themselves and the end of the month you all email your spreadsheets to accounting (or whomever). The spreadsheet would total the columns for you and you could combine the totals if you needed to have a department total. this way each person is responsible for their expenses and it’s portable.

We have a spreadsheet like this and it seems to work pretty well. if you are interested in getting a copy of our spreadsheet, send me a PM with your email address.

mrjadkins's avatar

@ccatron – you should look at Google docs as well (the video at least). Then, there’s no need for the step to email and merge all spreadsheets into one. It gets rid of multiple copies.

Very cool trick.

ccatron's avatar

@mrjadkins – actually, we have other systems for that—Sharepoint, shared folders on servers, etc…and we don’t do departmental expenses, each person is responsible for their own. I’d personally rather have my own sheet so that I don’t have to worry about other people seeing what I’m spending or where I’m going. not that I have anything to hide, but it’s just how most businesses do things. plus there’s no danger in other people editing what I put on my spreadsheet.

if you have access to a Sharepoint server, there is a template for expenses called “Expense Reimbursement and Approval” that is pretty nice. only problem is you would need to have VPN access if you plan to access this sheet on Sharepoint from home or on the road. so, if you don’t have that, I would suggest the separate spreadsheet method. we do have VPN and sharepoint at our disposal, but the spreadsheet method seems to work well for everybody right now.

mrjadkins's avatar

@ccatron – got it. Sharepoint is a great server if you can afford it. Google is free.

I work in education and always go to the free first if I can. We don’t have Sharepoint in the places we need it just yet.

I use Google docs and then give the right person access to view the backend spreadsheet. Everyone else just sees the front end form where they input their data. They can’t see the backend unless their rights are established by whomever made the form.

Sounds like the two of us are talking about the same thing. Just different ways of doing it.

ccatron's avatar

@mrjadkins – actually Windows SharePoint Services is free IF you have Windows 2003 server. You only have to pay for MOSS 2007.

mrjadkins's avatar

@ccatron – ah, so all I have to do is purchase Microsoft Office 2007. Is Office 2007 flying off the shelf yet? I believe we are licensed for it but not ready for 1 person to train 1100 how to do it just yet. ;)

ccatron's avatar

@mrj – you don’t need Office 2007 to use Windows Sharepoint Services. It will work with Office 2003 and sortof with office xp, but you definitely don’t need Office 2007 for WSS or even MOSS. Now, you do have to have Sharepoint Designer 2007 for some site editing and workflows, but it is not necessary.

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