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Aprio Cloud Blog

May 3, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Why and how do we use Expensify?

Written by
Matt Nyman
Matt Nyman |
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Xero and Other Cloud Apps, Outsourced Accounting

Like many cloud accounting advisors, we at HPC love using Expensify to streamline client accounting. Expensify has multiple features and subscription plans, as well as a seamless sync with Xero. However, like most accounting add-ons, in order to work correctly and best for your particular needs, it is important that you get it setup appropriately so that you can manage a new automated process, so that it’s not just another tool or set of to-do’s.


Here are some important things to think about while considering Expensify:

What will you or could you use it for?

  • Expense Reporting - Collect receipts and create segmented real time expense reports
  • Reimbursing Expenses - Reimburse staff and contractors with formalized approval processes and at the click of a button
  • Project Tracking - Collect pro-active details about expenses to properly track project expenses, and avoid chasing people down for these types of details.
  • Billable Expense Tracking - Easily tag, invoice, and report on billable expenses.
  • Sync with Xero - With a 2 way sync your suppliers, customers, accounts, and tracking codes should always stay in sync, and all the above transactions can be synced to Xero and other tools to keep your accounting up-to-date.
  • Multiple Credit Cards or Sub-Card Accounts - Auto credit card feeds for each sub-card to keep all cardholder spending separate to make sure you capture ALL of their expenses and know who spent what at any time.

Expensify can help automate all of the above, but it will require some participation from your team. There are other options for collecting receipts, but if you also need some of the other features chances are Expensify is the best solution for you.

What subscription type will you need?

  • Team (Standard) - This will allow you to do most of the above for just a few dollars per month per a user.
  • Corporate (More Advanced) - This is just a few extra dollars per month per a user, but with multiple users it can make a difference. Here are some reasons why you might need a Corporate Expensify policy:
    • Assigning sub-cards and individual credit card feeds to credit card holders
    • Advanced approvals
    • More automation in terms of the overall workflow

What involvement will your staff have?

  • Expense Entries - Expensify users will all have ability to upload receipts via an email address or smart phone. There are plenty of ways to ensure that you can easily communicate expense reports to get everyone to participate, and set standard policies to ensure everyone participates correctly so the system remains effective.
  • Approvals - Someone will be the dedicated approver. This is typically the person that will issue reimbursements, communicate with users to finalize reports and transaction information, and should have a fairly good understanding of the Expensify system.
  • Reimbursements - This could be the approver or another designated user. Expensify will be hooked up to the company bank and any users bank accounts who need to be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. Completed and approved expense reports can be reimbursed with a few clicks of a button. Billable expenses can also be invoiced to clients via a similar process.
  • Reconciling Expenses - This will mean different things depending on how you are using Expensify. However, someone will ultimately have to get the transactions or reports from Expensify synced over to an accounting system like Xero to ensure they are reconciled to the credit card statements and booked to the appropriate accounting categories.

How Can HPC Help? Here’s an example situation:

  • Problems
    • Business Owner needs to reimburse employees and track expenses to be billed to their customers
    • Business Owner has a credit card account with 3 card holders
    • Business Owner hates chasing down the sales staff and business partner for expense input and it makes the accountant’s job trying to provide accounting reports difficult
    • Business Owner knows personal expenses are not being recorded and that they aren’t storing receipts or good records
  • Problems solved
    • Setup Corporate Expensify Policy with 4 users, customize settings and workflow, and provide necessary training
    • Integrate with Xero so all suppliers, customers, accounts and project codes sync into Expensify
    • Business partner and sales staff upload expenses real time, can tag personal expenses for reimbursement, and can be sent a simple report for only the expenses that still require their input or receipts
    • Business Owner and users will manage the expenses, reports, approvals and reimbursements with the support of a dedicated accountant
    • Outsourced dedicated accountant will keep all approved reports and transactions synced and reconciled in Xero

Need help setting up or managing Expensify?


Matt Nyman

About Matt Nyman

As Aprio Cloud's Director of Global Growth, Matt helps connect our clients and prospects with the right tools, processes, team members, and overall solutions offered by Aprio Cloud. He speaks with hundreds of business owners a year to help determine their needs and how Aprio Cloud and/or their partners can help.