Expenses entry - what date should I use?

We’ve 4 dates:

1- The date at which the expense was incurred (Billing Period / Period of Service / etc…)
2- The date at which the invoice was received (Receipt Date)
3- The date at which the amount was due (Due Date)
4- The date at which the amount was paid (Payment Date)

In QuickFile, when we create a new purchase, expenses are recorded in the ledger under the receipt date, which may or may not be as same as the incur date.

For the matching principle to be fulfilled, expenses are to be recorded under the incur date, not receipt date.

What’s the typical work-flow to be followed in entering such expenses in QuickFile, I am sorry I am new and always been using manual recording (excel, etc…)


Hi @aranarth

The purchase invoice date should reflect the tax point date, which if it isn’t specified on the invoice itself, is usually the “issue date”. The issue date is the date used to calculate the profit and loss, balance sheet, and other reports (including VAT returns).

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for your answer, very much appreciated. The date of " time of supply / billing period / etc… " and the issue date are both written on the invoice.

Then in such case and for tax point to be correct for proper calculation of P/L, the time of supply date (at which the expense is incurred) will be entered in “receipt date” box upon creating new purchase invoice.

Correct. The purchases and invoices in QuickFile are what drives the VAT return process, so if you’re VAT registered you must use the invoice date from your supplier as the purchase date in QuickFile (as you can’t reclaim the VAT until you have a valid VAT invoice from the supplier).

If you want to apportion one purchase across more than one accounting period (like rent paid for a quarter that crosses your year end date) then you need to do that separately with accrual/prepayment journals, outside of the “purchases” system. If you change the purchase date you risk claiming back VAT before you’re entitled to do so.

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Thank you very much for your clear demonstration. The issue date of supplier doesn’t reflect the correct tax point since it was issued later after service was delivered. However the time of supply (billing period, time of service) is also indicated on the invoice so I think this is the correct date to be entered in QuickFile

I’m not sure that’s relevant. The tax point is the date on which the supplier has to account for the VAT that they pay HMRC, but as the purchaser you still shouldn’t reclaim VAT until they’ve issued you with a valid VAT invoice.

If the amounts in question are large enough to make a substantial difference to your cashflow then it might be worth talking to your accountant (I’m not one) about whether you would be allowed to make the claim sooner, but any VAT reclaim that isn’t backed up by a VAT invoice is likely to be flagged if you were ever to be inspected.

I got your point after looking at:

It seems the 15 days rule is in place to make sure that expenses are recorded properly for P/L purposes.

According to the rules stated there, a service supplied say at 31 Jan, and invoiced at 1 Feb, its tax point will be at 1 Feb (cuz invoice is issued within 15 days of supply time) and it will be expensed on the purchaser’s side on 1 Feb not at Jan.

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