Today, many businesses and state agencies have replaced the expense account with reimbursement plans. This reimbursement plan prevents employees from using corporate or state expense accounts for other reasons than approved expenditures. However, you may find it difficult to keep track of the items on the receipts; at times personal expenses become mixed with business expenses and you are responsible for reporting the problem and only accepting the reimbursement that you are owed for official business. When this happens, you will be asked to write a letter to explain the receipts and to clarify which expenses need to be reimbursed.
Begin the letter by typing the date. Skip a line and type the contact person's name and title, the company name, and the company address on separate lines. Skip another line space and type "Dear Ms./Mr. (Last name)" followed by a colon.
Identify yourself and explain the purpose for your letter immediately. For example, "My name is Jill Harrison from the Accounting Department, and I am writing to explain my receipts from my recent business-related trip to Akron to clarify which items I should be reimbursed for and which are my personal expenses that do not require reimbursement."
Detail the expenses that should be reimbursed in a numbered list, and refer to the appropriate receipt and the date of the receipt to assist the person processing the reimbursement. If your organization works on a per diem basis, on which you are allotted only a specific dollar amount for food, lodging or other items per day, break down the expenses per day so the processor can see if you stayed under the per diem amount.
List expenses that appeared on the receipts that are your personal expenses. You do not need to explain what these are, just state that it is your personal charge. Give a total of these expenses as well. Your business or organization may also ask you to remove the relevant tax charges related to these personal items from the reimbursement amount.
Provide the totals at the end of what you should be reimbursed for, along with the total of what you are refusing reimbursement for. These two numbers should add up to the total dollar amount on the receipts. Give the dollar amount you are requesting reimbursement for and the dollar amount you are refusing reimbursement for; often organizations require you to put these statements in clear language for legal reasons.
Thank the processor for his or her time and apologize for the inconvenience of having to sort through the receipts. Provide your work telephone number and email address in case he or she has any questions about the charges on the receipts.
Close the letter by typing "Sincerely," and skip three line spaces. Type your full name and title. Print the letter on company letterhead and sign your name above the typed name. Make a copy of both the letter and the receipts and retain them for your records. Mail the letter to the contact person who will process the reimbursement.
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.