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Series 1 – Blog #6 – What Is Included in a PI’s Expense Report

What Is Included in a PI’s Expense Report

A private investigator’s expense report is an itemized list of all expenses charged to a client. While it can simply be a collection of receipts, it’s best to enter all expenses into an excel chart or something similar for easier handling. This should then to be attached as an appendix to your invoice.

Expense reports lists the type of item, the date of purchase, and the cost. In cases where reoccurring expenses, such as travel costs, units should be tallied for each day. Thus, travel costs on an expense report should look like the following:

  • May 13th – 20 miles at $.50 a mile = $10.00

A similar format should be used for other items bought in bulk and spread out amongst several investigative jobs. These can include high quality photo paper for at home evidence printing or the subtraction of a toll from a highway pass’s preloaded amount.

Expense reports should be tallied throughout a job. This helps to ensure accurate reporting for the investigator and save time in the long run. Clients like to check investigator expense reports, to ensure that they are not paying private investigators more than they believe they should. Don’t be surprised if clients ask about items on your expense report. They’ve indirectly bought everything on the list and will be curious about your purchases.

Together, a sum of hours worked at the agreed rate in a contract and an expense report make up the invoice of a Wisconsin private investigator. This is then presented to the client for payment after the completion of the job.


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