Archives For January 2012

Yes it’s Saturday, a time when most companies don’t publish anything on the *official* company blog. Well we’re no *typical* company, and some things just can’t wait for Monday! What’s so pressing?  We’re super excited about the great feedback we’ve been getting to our previous blog post – Calling All GL Coders – and in addition, we wanted to follow-up by providing our users with something they can refer to when setting up their company with GL codes. So without further ado…

Step 1: Account Set-up

After you’ve signed-up for a free Expensify account, visit to upgrade to the Corporate plan and add GL Code functionality.

Add GL code functionality by upgrading to Expensify's corporate plan

Step 2: Create an expense policy

The Corporate plan also allows you to create an expense policy, or the umbrella under which all employees can create and submit expense reports.  To create an expense policy, visit the Expensify Dashboard and click on the button to “Set up a policy” (or if you have already created an Expensify account, you can go to Settings>Policies).

Set up an expense policy to begin importing GL codes

Step 3: Enable GL codes and add/import into your expense policy

In the basic section of the expense policy setup dialogue, you will see a checkbox to use GL codes.

Enable GL code functionality in the basics section of your expense policy

Enabling GL codes will reveal a new column in Expensify Categories.

You can add GL codes manually to test out our functionality, or you can import a CSV file that contains your account names and the corresponding GL Codes

You will also see a GL column for Expensify Tags.

Like Expensify Categories, with Expensify Tags you can input some GL Codes to test out our functionality, or you can import a CSV file that contains your customers/projects/etc. names and GL codes

Finally, you can associate a GL code with each of your employees.

If your employees are setup as vendors or cost centers, you can associate a GL code with them as well

Step 4: Customize your CSV export file (based on the format accepted by your accounting package)

After you set up GL codes for Expensify Categories and Tags, you can create the customized CSV format that is accepted by your accounting package.  To do so, click on the “create policy CSV export” button that appears below the People section in the expense policy setup process.  Clicking this button will take you to the following screen.

Expensify allows you to stipulate the order as well as the information contained in column of your CSV file

Expensify also has a formula helper on the righthand side of the screen.  Click on a name, and Expensify will reveal a formula that you can copy and paste for your CSV export file.  For instance, say you want to add a column that includes the email of the report submitter.  To do so, use the formula helper to go to Report>Submit>From.

Expensify's formula helper allows you to copy and paste the formulas for information you'd like to include in your CSV file

Step 5: Export expense information into your expense policy CSV file and then upload to your accounting package

Once your GL codes are mapped to Expensify and your expense policy CSV export format is set up, you can choose to “export to…Policy CSV Export” for any approved reports.  Your exported CSV file will look something like below.

An example of a customized CSV export

Now you just need to import your CSV file into your accounting package!  All done in five steps!

Hello, I hope you’re recovering nicely from your New Year’s festivities and are ready to take this year by storm. I just wanted to take a moment to clarify a couple of things to help make sure 2012 goes smooth:

1) That cool scanning system we introduced in May? It’s now officially cool enough to warrant its own name: SmartScan. Just like before it automatically extracts the merchant, amount, and date from uploaded receipt images. But now it has a fancy name and a much more detailed help page, including tips on how to capture images that produce the best results:

2) Like before you get 10 for free, but now your free quota refills every month! So if you run out and don’t feel like buying more (at the same price, $0.20 each), just wait until next month and you’ll get 10 more for free.

3) We’ve switched from a “prepaid” model (eg, buy scans before you use them) to a “post-pay” model: just upgrade your account to Professional, provide a credit card when prompted, and we’ll bill you for any SmartScans above 10 at the end of the month.

4) Finally, for all this hoopla about SmartScans, I want to remind you: eReceipts are even better. Imported directly from your bank account so no typing *or* scanning required. More information here:

I’m slowly churning through the final hundred or so responses to the last newsletter, but I’m always extremely eager for more. Please let me know if I can clarify anything about the above, or help in any way. Thanks for using Expensify, and I look forward to talking with you soon!

Founder and CEO of Expensify
Follow us on Twitter at


The easiest way (second to SmartScans of course!) to add expenses to Expensify is to import your bank/credit card. Linking your bank/credit card is the best way to capture expenditures made on these accounts, and will let you see all of your spending in one spot! We’ll even update your transactions as soon as new purchases become available. Most transactions under $75 are also eligible for automatically generated eReceipts.

Before we get into any detail on how to get this set up, the first thing you want to do is to make sure that you can log in to your bank’s website. If you can’t, Expensify will not be able to communicate with them.

Link your account by clicking the Import credit card/bank account icon on your Dashboard and follow along with the step by step instructions.

Additional cards and accounts can be added by going to Settings -> Credit Cards and clicking on the “Import card/bank” button.

Step 1
Pick your bank from the list of most frequently added banks or type in its name to bring it up in a search

Step 2
Connect with your account by using the same Username and Password you use for online banking

Step 3
We’ll pull in all of the accounts tied to your username; just pick and choose the ones you want to import. If you are importing a corporate credit card, or any other account that you don’t pay directly, make sure to un-check the box for “the expenses on these cards are reimbursable” when importing the card.

You can learn about this and more by visiting our help section at or email!

You’ve finished implementing Expensify across your entire company when your boss walks in and tells you that you will need to have more control with the users under your company’s Expensify account… You might be thinking to yourself at this point, “How am I going to do that?!?” Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!

We have this amazing feature called Domain Control to help make everyone on your team happy (including your boss!).  Domain Control enables you to manage user accounts that are part of your company’s divisions. With a domain under your control, you’re able to:

  • require strict enforcement of rules,
  • disable select features
  • delete user accounts

Disclaimer: These abilities are powerful, use them wisely!

Before you get started, make sure that you are on the Corporate Plan.  If you’re not, then just click here and upgrade.  Next, head over to your Settings page, and click the Domain Control tab to the left. This is where you will add your domain.

You will then need to verify ownership of this domain before continuing. You may need to consult your organization’s IT department to complete the verification process… so make sure you get them a cup of coffee before you ask.

You have two very simple methods to verify your domain: Host a File or Add a DNS record.

Once your domain is verified you will now be in control!

With Domain Control, you will have the ability to create and monitor what we call Permission Groups.  Permission Groups are an easy way to group your employees, and let you monitor what they are able to do or not do within Expensify. You can give the Permission Groups you have created any combination of the enforcements/restrictions we have made:

Once you have created all the Permission Groups needed for your company, you can begin to Add Domain Members (read as: this is where you add your employees).

You will use their email address to identify who each of your co-workers are. Once they are added, you will be able to declare what Permission Group they belong to, as well as who is an Administrator.

Don’t worry, you will be able to go back and edit these fields whenever you would like to, provided you are still the admin!

You can learn about this and more by visiting our help section at or email!

Calling All GL Coders

Jason Mills —  January 12, 2012 — 3 Comments

Yes, accounting and finance departments, we’re talking to you!

With 2012 in full swing, everyone at Expensify is excited by the opportunity to make this year even better. Don’t get us wrong, 2011 was awesome! But we’re a startup, and re-thinking the old to build something new is an oft-repeated mantra. As larger and larger companies increasingly drink the Expensify kool-aid – or our own Expensify beer thanks to a resident brewmaster – our sights are squarely aimed at the scary-sounding world of “enterprise accounting.”

As you may recall, in late-2011 Expensify unveiled functionality that allows anyone to create and edit a very flexible CSV export file. This functionality enables our system’s Categories and Tags to speak the parlance of enterprise accounting and CRM packages. It’s called GL Mapping, and we’re super excited about the potential of this functionality, especially in the context of our self-service, bottom-up adoption model. With that said, we are still in the exploration stage when it comes to enterprise accounting and ERP systems, and for some reason, it conjures images of scary pumpkins. So we thought we should take up some white space to learn what’s out there. Thus far, we’ve talked to customers that use Sage, SAP, Oracle, Netsuite, Intacct, and many others.

But more than names, we’re interested to learn about the types of accounting configurations that we need to support. Past conversations have worked out how to export Expensify’s data into a MySQL database before eventually feeding this information into an accounting package. This was luckily solved by a bit of accounting triage; in other words, correctly mapping the columns in the company’s database. We’ve also seen customers that must track a variety of inter-related GL Codes, both at the expense-level and at the report-level, and this has required a good deal of problem solving for all involved.

This brings us to the interactive part! We’d love to hear from you about your GL setup.  Specifically:

  • Do you have any pain points with Expensify’s existing GL functionality? What are they?
  • Do you feel like Expensify doesn’t support your accounting package or setup? Why?
  • Is accounting integration the most important factor in your purchase decision, or does other functionality like automation matter more?

Please join this conversation in the comments or feel free to email  Thanks!

This place is awesome, our product kicks ass and our team is a mesh of rockstars who are passionate about what they do. We’re looking for all sorts of people — always engineers and sales, definitely a designer, but right now we have a desperate need for QA.

No Bugs Allowed

No Bugs Allowed

Now, we’re mostly a bunch of programmers, and to be completely honest, we haven’t had great experience with dedicated QA teams in the past. They generally fit very large, very slow organizations where it takes a dozen people to do anything. But we’re super small, very fast moving, so we need someone who can hang with that.

What exactly that is we’re not sure — after all, we’re looking for someone with QA expertise to tell us what to do. But as best as we can tell, we need someone who is comfortable with PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, HTML, CSS, and ideally a smidge of C++. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to know all of them. Unless you are a mega rockstar. But a regular rockstar would be lovely too.

Are you still interested? Sweet! Next steps are as follows:
Check out, read more about us, the team, and get a feel for our environment. Are you as into us as we are into you?
Email us your resume and the answers to the questions below with “Sweet QA Analyst” as the subject line (

  1. What is the difference between QA and programming, and why do you prefer to do QA instead of becoming a programmer?
  2. What do you want to do with the rest of your life, and how is Expensify a step toward your long-term goals?
  3. Please forward this application to three people you think we should hire, cc’ing (Don’t worry, we’re eager to hire you and them. Indeed, good people have good friends: solid referrals here increase the odds we’ll hire you.)
  4. How did you hear about us? A job posting? Chalk on a sidewalk? From a friend? Let us know where you saw this opening.

We look forward to hearing form you!

Looking back on the year, one of our major accomplishments in 2011 was releasing SmartScanning – the option to have our system pick out the details of an expense from the image of its receipt. Many of you jumped right on board and started feeding our app with your receipts, sharing the goodness with your friends. Towards the end of the year, we reached a critical mass and made SmartScanning completely free until 2012 to really put our system to the test.

Expensify's Mobile and Web based receipt scanning

Now, after processing hundreds of thousands of SmartScanned images, we have learned a lot and fixed mistakes that couldn’t have otherwise been predicted.  As we continue to learn and find ways to improve, changes like increasing accuracy, and decreasing scanning time will make their way in to the system.  Some of the planned changes though are forward facing and more immediate:

  • More free! Many of you have just a few receipts to deal with every month and there’s no good reason for us to hobble you just to eek out a few extra pennies. Instead of giving each account 10 free SmartScans, we now replenish them and give each account 10 free SmartScans each and every month!
  • End of month billing. Just like your utilities, your phone and most any other usage based service, it makes sense to receive a total for all of your activity at the end of the month. Any receipts which are SmartScanned above the free monthly quota will now be billed to you at the end of the month.

With these changes on the horizon, the high level pitch and functionality remain the same: SmartScanning will take any uploaded receipt and pick out the date, merchant and purchase amount from the image.  The SmartScanned information is used to create a line item expense entry for that receipt, or to attach it to a matching credit card purchase.  Any SmartScans used above the free monthly quota will be billed at only 20¢ each at the end of the month.  Learn more about SmartScans.

Happy Scanning in 2012!