How to Justify Expenses

by Rachel Levy Sarfin; Updated September 26, 2017

You probably have no trouble imagining this scenario: You receive an invitation to a prestigious conference at which you would have plenty of opportunities to network and expand your company’s business. However, you now face the hurdle of persuading your boss to allow you to attend. Justifying expenses may induce groans of gloom, but organization and preparation will help you obtain your goal.

Step 1

Draft a compelling argument that convinces your superiors of the necessity of the expense in question. Persuade your bosses that you need to spend this money on this particular object or service. Prove that this expense will lead to a high return on investment. Present as much supporting documentation as possible to get your point across.

Step 2

Calculate the exact cost of this expense, and present the sum to your bosses. Your computations will set their minds at ease, demonstrating that you have considered this fully and do not plan to waste money. Presenting the anticipated cost of the expense may also alleviate fears that the planned outlay will be outrageous. If you can also determine the expense of not spending the money on the item or service, produce these figures as well to drive home your point.

Step 3

Fill out all expense forms per instructions. Most organizations have a formal system for submitting expense justifications. The accounting department will probably require you to complete a form that justifies the cost of the purchase. Remember not to neglect any fields on the document, as forgetting to include a detail may cause problems for you later.

Step 4

Submit documentation of everything related to the expense. Managers want to see exactly where the money goes; by providing a paper trail, you will help them understand why you needed to buy this particular item or service. Include every single receipt or document relevant to the expense so that no one can accuse you of misappropriation.

About the Author

Rachel Levy Sarfin has been writing professionally since 1998. She has written for the "Yardley News" and the Healthwise Lifewise blog, and served as the Jerusalem correspondent for the Omanoot website. Sarfin completed her Master of Arts in Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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