Business expenses: How to manage your business receipts effectively

Effectively handling business receipts is critical for every type of business in correctly tracking spending and optimising financial administration. You risk losing or misplacing paper or electronic receipts if you don't handle them properly, making it difficult to do accurate cash flow forecasting, build effective corporate budgets, and monitor employee costs.

HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) has a number of restrictions about what you can claim as a sole trader or limited company business expense, how to claim it, and how to keep track of your records once you've claimed.

Before we discuss the complexities of managing various business receipts, it's important to understand how business expenses affect cash flow, how to pay the correct amount of tax, and which expenses you can claim and how to claim them. You can get further information from a Persona Finance accountant now by visiting us at

Why you should manage your business expenses:
Managing business receipts successfully allows you to keep track of your cash flow and organise your records more efficiently. It also aids in proving that the payments you claim to have paid when filing your tax returns were made. 

Here are some of the ways that effectively controlling your business expenses can benefit you:
  • Prepared for tax audits
You must produce all necessary receipts as proof of your business's spending when claiming business expenses.
  • Monitor employee expenses
Employee expenses may be difficult to track without business receipts, and your company may face the danger of staff overspending.
  • Better budget planning
You may find it much easier to build realistic budgets for the coming month, quarter, or year if you have access to recent and historical receipts. It might be difficult to budget without evidence of your company's day-to-day operating costs.

What are the most effective methods of storing business receipts?
As your company grows, so will the quantity of expenses you and your staff incur on a regular basis. Digitally documenting all of your business receipts is a realistic alternative to paper (not to mention more ecologically friendly) because 5 years or more of business receipt records is a significant quantity of material to preserve.
HMRC has also reiterated this point,

“HMRC recommend you keep all the original documents you receive. This does not mean you need to keep them on paper. Most records can be scanned and kept electronically on a computer or a storage device such as a CD or memory stick.

We'll continue to highlight the most efficient methods of documenting and preserving your business receipts in the following list:
  • Google Drive
The built-in scanning feature can be used to convert paper documents into PDF scans. They'll all be automatically saved and backed up on the drive. 
  • Dropbox
Every time you snap a picture using your phone, it will be saved in the cloud for safekeeping.
  • Dext
Formerly known as ‘Receipt Bank’, Dext is a cloud accounting platform aimed at business owners who want to access, record, and store their business expenses. 

Dext extracts the relevant data from your papers and returns it to you in a readable format or feeds it directly into your accounting software using clever technology. Keep in mind that their services come at a price.

How long should I keep these records of business expenses?
Keep in mind that various rules apply to different types of businesses. You must keep your business receipts for 6 years if you operate a Limited Company. Business receipts must be preserved for at least 5 years following the 31st of January submission date for the relevant tax year if you are a Sole Trader.

While HMRC has established this guidance, they do have the authority to scrutinise any company's finances for up to two decades if they suspect tax evasion. As a result, many businesses store their records for longer than the allowed periods of time.

For many businesses, managing business spending is a challenging and time-consuming task. As a result, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the task's process and no longer be able to manage your organisation successfully. With this in mind, we at Persona Finance are committed to providing even more value to all of our current and new clients. We provide a range of key accounting services remotely, from bookkeeping to verifying your annual accounts. 

Please contact Persona Finance at [] for more information on how we may assist you in achieving your business objectives.