Archives For Best Practices

I know I’m not alone when I say taxes can be confusing. So confusing that the annual changes to the laws and rates has given birth to a 7.7 BILLION dollar tax preparation industry. Whether you have someone do your taxes, or you do them yourself, here’s a couple tips for using Expensify in 2014.

1. The IRS mileage rate is lower this year.

The IRS lowered the mileage rate to 56 cents/mile. That’s .5 cents lower than 2013. (Last year it was 56.5 per mile) If you are using Expensify to track your mileage, make sure you log in to the Expensify website and change the rate. All new Expensify accounts created after the mileage rate change takes effect will already be updated with the new rate. More details at IRS.gov.

NOTE: We don’t automatically change the rate for existing users because many companies use a custom rate.

2. If you don’t like that rate, you can track your actual vehicle expenses and deduct that

You don’t HAVE to use the IRS mileage rate. If you think it actually costs you more to maintain your vehicle than 56 cents/mile then you can track your actual expenses and use that as your deduction. (This is where Expensify comes in handy) Be sure to record all gas, oil, repairs, tires, insurance, registration fees, licenses, and depreciation (or lease payments) attributable to the portion of the total miles driven that are business miles.

Other car expenses for parking fees and tolls attributable to business use are separately deductible, whether you use the standard mileage rate or actual expenses.

3. Record your receipts at the time of purchase, don’t wait until the end of the month to scan them all.

Hoarding a pile of receipts until the end of the month is so 2013. To get the full benefit of Expensify, take a picture of your receipts right when you get it and liberate yourself from the pocket full of receipts. You’re more likely to lose receipts if you have a bunch floating about your person all month. Just get a picture of it ASAP and be done with it. (Luckily you have a great App to do that.)

4. Linking your card to Expensify can save you if you lose a receipt

Let’s say you ignore #2 and decide to store your receipts in your coat pocket and end up losing one. No problem, as long as you’ve linked your card to Expensify, you’re still ok. Expensify creates IRS compliant eReceipts for all purchases under $75. You read that right – if your card or bank is linked to Expensify, we will import your transactions into Expensify and on top of that, automatically create a receipt for you! This is a lifesaver for those of you who habitually lose receipts.

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We’re extremely excited for 2014. Our revamped new site just went live last week and there’s plenty of new and exciting things planned for the future. We look forward to making your life easier in 2014 and in the years to come!

Last week David announced some changes to our pricing. This week we would like to introduce an option that many of you have been requesting for a long time that will actually help offset that change to our price. We are happy to announce that you can now Prepay for Expensify!

Prepay for Expensify and get TWO MONTHS for free!

This has typically only been requested by enterprise companies, but we wanted businesses of any size to be able to get the same benefit our largest customers receive. If you prepay for 10 months, we will match you for 2 additional months! It works out to a 17% savings! Essentially, we’re applying a very large credit to your account that you are able to purchase at a steep discount.

Here’s the math:

  • Last month your company had 102 submitters on the Corporate Plan. This works out to $1,100 paid last month. (Remember, because we love our users, your company gets 2 free submitters per month)
  • You are an incredible employee and an all around go-getter. You decide your company should save money and prepay.
  • $1,100 x 10 = $11,000. You pay $11,000 to prepay for 10 months.
  • $1,100 x 2 =  $2,200.  We add  a $2,200 credit to your account on top of the $11,000 you prepaid.  You just purchased a $13,200 credit for $11,000!

End Result: You just saved your company $2,200 or 17% on what you would have spent for the year! Alternatively put, instead of paying $11/month per submitter, you are paying $9.20/month per submitter! 

Bonus Result: You get a promotion for being a great employee. (Hooray! You deserve it!)

To get started, head on over to expensify.com/prepay and play with the Savings Slider Bar to see how much money your company will save.  Question: what are you going to do with all that money you budgeted for, but no longer need to pay?

Don’t forget, we launched Invoices and Bill Processing last month so check it out here. And as always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us at help@expensify.com. Happy Expensing!

Expensify has a lot of users, a lot of different users.  We know that our users come have varying use cases when when it comes to credit cards. We’ve got you covered no matter your situation or credit card.

Safety First:

We use bank-level security to keep your sensitive financial data safe. We’re tested regularly to ensure our security measures are up to date, and even subscribe to daily probing by McAfee to make sure that we can defend against the latest hacker tactics.

We take your security seriously and comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This comprehensive analysis that spans many aspects of how systems interact is the gold standard of security measures for anyone taking credit card information online. The same rigorous standard is used by PayPal, Visa and YOUR bank. For more information on its requirements, check out the PCI-DSS website.

The Basics:

Import your card(s) automatically by logging into Expensify > going to Settings > Credit Cards > Import Card/Bank. You will then just need to find your bank and input your online banking username and password.

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You will then want to select what accounts you do want to pull into Expensify and whether or not these accounts should default as being marked as reimbursable expenses or non-reimbursable expenses.

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Having issues?

We work hard so that our users have as few issues as possible when it comes to importing your credit cards, but every now and again you may find that your card is not updating automatically. If you do find yourself in this situation here are some helpful tips:

  1. Manually update your card:  You can do this by going to Settings > Credit Cards and selecting the ‘Update’ button to update your card. If you see a ‘Fix’ indicator, go to tip #2
  2. ‘Fix’ your card: We would first recommend that you can log into your online banking portal using the same  username and password you’re using to import your card into Expensify. When you have confirmed this, please select the ‘Fix’ button and input your username and password. If this does not work, go to tip #3
  3. Write help@expensify.com: As noted earlier, Expensify and the banks we import from have a very high level of security. As a result, sometimes we do need to change/update our connections which could disable the connection for a bit. User’s usually do not notice the changes but if your cards will not fix, do write help@expensify.com so we can be sure to let you know what might be going on.

Commercial Cards/Centrally Administered Cards:

If your company does have a commercial card or wants to centrally administer your corporate cards, we still have you covered. If you are interested learning more please do check out this page.

As always, if you have any questions please write us at help@expensify.com and we will be happy to assist.

Each year, the IRS updates the reimbursable mileage rate for business travel to reflect the costs for operating a vehicle. With (still) prices going up, you are now able to claim $0.565 per mile travelled in 2013. Check out the full details on the rate change at IRS.gov.

All new Expensify accounts created after the mileage rate change takes effect will already be updated with the new rate.

For personal users, change your rate by going to Settings > Preferences and clicking the ‘change’ button to the right your miles unit.

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For policy managers, please go to Settings > Policies > (choose your policy) > Basics and change the ‘Mileage Rate’ of your policies if you are using the IRS rate.

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Disclaimer: We do not update everyone’s mileage rate because a vast many of our users utilize company rates as opposed to the IRS rate.

So you’ve made the decision to ease the expense reporting burden of your colleagues and began using Expensify! Our hats are off to you. You won’t regret it. Now let’s get your employees up to speed.

We maintain various tools to assist with onboading of your employees. We recommend you share a combination of these to enhance learning and get your company more acquainted with Expensify. If you’d like to work with us to put your onboarding plan together, contact us at help@expensify.com and we’ll get help sort it out.

1. Communicate Company Expense Policy
Provide your team with guidelines and rules for the expense reporting process. These details can be shared via internal email, and we also recommend summarizing these on invite (through our customizable welcome message). Details include but are not limited to:

  • Expense categorization directions
  • Company expense rules (max expense age, max expense amount, receipt required amount, etc.)
  • Personal and company credit card policies
  • Report naming policies
  • Reimbursement processes and timing
  • Approval workflows

Best for: Ensuring a smooth roll-out.


2. The Getting Started Page
This is a broad overview of using Expensify for employees, in a step-by-step guide.

Getting Started

Best for: Users that prefer step-by-step written directions. The initial view is very simple, with links to detailed feature and terminology definitions.


3. Expensify Workshops (Live and Pre-Recorded)
We host live and pre-recorded workshops to train employees on the basic functions of Expensify. These functions include:

  1. Creating/importing expenses
  2. Creating reports and adding expenses
  3. Submitting reports for approval
  4. Adding an ACH reimbursement account

Best for: Users who prefer to learn with audio direction and visual demonstration. The learning is very straightforward. We recommend that all Workshop attendees also use our Getting Started page and Help site as research companions.


4. ExpensifyHelp
Your employees can find detailed descriptions of every facet and feature in Expensify on our Help Site. It serves as a great tool in learning about Expensify, becoming familiar with terminology, and setting up features for your company or employee accounts.

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Best for: Referencing specific features or processes in Expensify. This is by far the most in-depth of all tools. Feel free to skim, but we find that ExpensifyHelp is most efficient by searching for specific information.


5. Contact our Support Team
You put that IKEA table together without any help, Expensify should be a walk in the park… Just kidding.

If your employees still can’t find the answers they’re looking for, our support team will be more than happy to answer any questions and provide advice.

Help@Expensify.com

Best for: Getting answers to company specific questions, once you’ve exhausted all of our other documentation.


6. The Expensify Blog
Obviously, you’re familiar with our blog since you are here. This serves as a reminder to share the blog with any interested employees. We post pro-tips, best practices, and advice for specific use cases on our here every week.

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Best for: Keeping up with new features, use cases and expense report best practices.

As we announced a few weeks ago, Expensify now supports multiple tags per expense. Hooray! Companies on the corporate plan can now capture up to 6 pieces of information for each expense (1 category + 5 tags). This makes it official: Expensify now supports any and every accounting package. To help your company roll out this awesome new feature, we recommend the following:

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1. Ensure that your company is upgraded to our Corporate plan and created a policy.

2. Decide what type of Multi-Tagging you’d like to implement:

  • Independent or Dependent – Would you like your second tag, say ‘Project’, to populate options based on the selection for the first tag, say ‘Department’? If yes, then choose Dependent Tags. Alternatively, if you’d like the same options in your tags no matter the selection of other tags, then choose Independent Tags.
  • GL Codes or No GL Codes – Would you like to capture GL codes associated with your tags, for export to your accounting software? If yes, then choose GL Codes. If not, then choose No GL Codes.

3. Populate one of the below CSV files with your accounting tag information and send them to help@expensify.com, including the name of the policy you’d like them added to.

And you’re on your way to your very own multi-tagging Expensify policy!

We’ve put a ton of effort into making multi-tagging as easy and automated as possible, but with that said, it’s also important consider whether multi-tagging is the optimal accounting setup for your organization and your expense report submitters. If you have any questions about multi-tagging setup or Expensify in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us at help@expensify.com

QuickBooks is by far the most popular small business accounting software out there and is used by quite a few Expensify users. We wanted to take a moment to outline some best practices for the large constituency of QuickBooks accountants using Expensify.

Best practice #1: Export reports after reimbursing

If your company does reimbursement through Expensify, we recommend exporting reports after they have been reimbursed. This way the information that is reflected is most up-to-date and accurate. Otherwise, you will end up with a bunch of payables in QuickBooks that you will need to go in and manually reconcile.

Best practice #2: Remove any remnants of the Intuit App Center

Expensify used to offer the option to integrate with QuickBooks through the Intuit App Center. We recently discontinued this integration, so it is important to remove any remnants of this from your Expensify account. This includes deleting any secondary logins associated with the app center.

Best practice #3: Deleting and re-adding your connection

Whenever having problems with your QuickBooks connection in Expensify, the first thing to try is always to delete and re-add the connection. Sometimes the Intuit auth-token can timeout, causing the connection to break. In this scenario, simply deleting and re-adding the connection will fix the problem.

Additionally, in the case that there is a real problem, this allows us to identify and remedy any possible issues more quickly. When diagnosing issues in the integration, we need to start with a clean slate provided by readding the connection.

Best practice #4: Use customers/jobs for tags with billable expenses

If your company has billable expenses, you will want to use customers/jobs as tags. Expensify won’t be able to export billable expenses to QuickBooks unless there is a customer/job associated with each expense, so we recommend enabling customers/jobs as tags.

That’s it for today! As always, if you have any questions about anything QuickBooks related, please do shoot us an email at help@expensify.com.

As some of you may know, we here at Expensify go on an offshore trip every year. This trip is a very valuable time for us to re-gel as a team and focus on our plans for world domination the coming 12 months. This time around we’ve decided we’re headed to Thailand. For a closer look at our M.O. on offshores and past trips, check out our Offshore Trips page.

What does this mean for our users?

First (and only), we will not be hosting our live workshops for this month as the time change would make this outrageously inconvenient. We will still be available anytime by email to help with anything and everything Expensify. Please feel free to contact us at help@expensify.com if you have any clarifying questions about our support.

To atone for our lack of workshops, we’ve put together this post denoting how to learn about and use Expensify.

For Individual Users and Employees

  1. Watch a pre-recorded version of our Using Expensify workshop. This demonstrates the basics of adding your expenses, creating reports, and submitting them for approval/reimbursement.
  2. We’ve also put together an overview of what you need to get started with Expensify. You’ll find it here.
  3. Search our robust, detailed Help site for information any outstanding and immediate queries you have about our features.
  4. Didn’t find the answer to your question? Ask us. Email help@expensify.com and we’ll happily clear anything up for you.

For Company Inquiries and Setup

  1. Consult our Upgrade page to choose the plan that is right for you.
  2. Follow our step-by-step Company Setup guide on creating your company expense policy and inviting your users.
  3. Along with our Company Setup help page you’ll find documentation on all of our company features in our Help section.
  4. Curious about trialling Expensify for your company? Check our our How Do You (Trial) Expensify blog post.
  5. For any further questions or clarification, email us at help@expensify.com.

Being the expense-report-savvy individuals that we are, many of our users ask us about the best ways to use Expensify. In response, we’ve decided to post some of our best practices for certain use cases and facets of Expensify.

For business travelers, the general gist is simple: use our mobile apps to complete the vast majority of your expense report while you travel and, if need be, tie up the loose ends at http://www.expensify.com when you get access to a full browser. To illustrate further, here is a walk through of a basic business trip from an expense report viewpoint:

1. Once you receive your flight confirmation email, forward it to receipts@expensify.com.

  • Our Trips feature will automatically recognize your itinerary and load it to your mobile app, reminding you of your flight and also reminding you to begin tracking your expenses.

2. Create a report to organize your expenses:

  • Create your report on the fly once you add an expense by choosing ‘create a new report’ in the expense details screen.
  • Go to the reports page in the app and tap the ‘new’ button to create a new report.

3. For all the expenses you incur along the way:

  • Snap a photo of the receipt with your mobile app and SmartScan it to have Expensify automatically attach the receipt to an expense imported from your connected credit card or bank account.
  • For any driving you do, use the mileage function. Keep track by manually entering mileage or use GPS tracking to make it even simpler.
  • If your company requires it, track time using the ‘time’ button in the app.

(Optional) If your approver is a stickler for perfection, login to www.expensify.com to resolve any outstanding report violations and ensure your report is up to snuff.

3. Finish up your report and submit it on the go:

  • Once all the expenses have been added and you’re satisfied with your report, tap the submit button in the mobile app and you’ve done your part.

Of course, these are just suggestions from the pros; everyone has their own best practices to fit their own process. Email us at help@expensify.com and we’ll be happy to advise you on best practices that fit your particular travel type, reporting rules, or expensing style.

Now go take care of (expense reporting) business like the best of em!