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If you’re starting a business or getting to grips with bookkeeping for the first time, you’ll need to understand the different types of business expenses.
In this handy guide, we’ll cover all the essentials you need to know about sundry expenses. This includes exactly what is a sundry expense (and what isn’t) and the importance of registering these costs properly in your ledger account.
We'll also talk about Wise Business multi-currency account and how it can help you manage your business expenses across multiple currencies.
So, let’s get started.
|📝 Table of contents:|
Businesses have lots of different types of expenses, and all need to be categorised properly. Some expenses are regular, reoccuring outgoings, while others are one-off payments.
Sundry expenses are one-off payments. Also known as miscellaneous expenses, these are items that occur rarely, and are small in amount.
It’s useful to have a ledger account for sundry expenses so that accounting staff don’t need to waste time trying to identify each payment and allocate it to another specific account. All these small, miscellaneous expenses can simply be grouped together.
An important thing to note about sundry expenses is that once a payment starts occurring regularly, it’ll no longer fit into this category.
To help you get a better understanding of what can be included in this category, let’s look at a few sundry expenses examples.
Remember, we’re focusing here on expenses that are rare or unusual, have irregular timing, and are only a small amount.
|💡 Examples of sundry expenses include:|
There are lots of things that can be classed as miscellaneous expenses. For example, if you open a Wise Business multi-currency account, there’s just a small, one-time fee of £45 to pay. This is a classic example of a sundry expense, as it’s a small sum that won’t be paid regularly.
It’s easy to mix up sundry expenses with general expenses, another category of business outgoings.
But there are important differences between the two. General expenses usually involve larger sums, and have regular, predictable timing. They tend to include things like salaries, travel costs, marketing expenses and purchases of raw materials.
Let’s run through a few examples of each:
|Sundry expenses example||General expenses example|
|The purchase of a card and flowers for an employee’s retirement party||Weekly fuel costs for company vehicles|
|A bank service charge for a single overseas money transfer||Staff salaries|
|A box of extra shipping labels to replace a damaged set||Monthly order of stationery supplies|
|A charity donation (i.e. to a colleague’s charity walk or fundraising challenge)||Paying marketing/advertising invoices|
Sundry expenses may only be for small sums, and occur only occasionally, but they still need to be registered correctly on your ledger account. They need to be recorded on your company’s income statement, and are taxable just like other kinds of expenses¹.
So, even if you’re just making a one-off charity donation or buying decorations for a staff Christmas party, you still need to make sure you’re tracking all expenses.
There are a couple of different ways yo
u can record your company’s sundry expenses, meaning you can choose the right option for your business.
Smaller businesses can choose to list them in a single line item under expenses in their ledger account. However, larger firms may want to create a separate sundry account in the ledger - or a designated section if you’re using accounting or expense management software.
Costs can also be broken down into the different types of sundry expenses. This can be helpful for identifying patterns in spending. If a sundry expense becomes a regular outgoing, it’ll need to be moved to the general expenses ledger or section instead.
Sundry doesn’t just refer to expenses either. It’s also possible to have a sundry income, referring to a small, irregularly timed amount of income outside your company’s usual income streams². For example, a late fee for a delayed invoice payment by a client, or a gain on a foreign exchange transaction.
Now that you’re clued up on sundry expenses, it’s a good time to think about how best to pay and manage these occasional, miscellaneous costs.
The Wise Business account offers an easy, cost-effective way to manage expenses, especially in multiple currencies. You can settle international invoices, and pay suppliers, contractors and staff worldwide - all at the mid-market exchange rate.
And for a simple, clean way to sort daily employee expenses, you can order a Wise expense card for every staff member who needs one. You’re in full control, with the ability to pre-set spending limits and track cashflow with integrated accounting tools.
This means less time worrying about expenses and bookkeeping, and more time to focus on growing your business.
After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of what counts as a sundry expense and how to record these costs in your accounts.
These small, occasional payments may not seem important, but remember that it’s still important to record and categorise them properly.
Sources used for this article:
Sources checked on 05-09-2022.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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