Goodbye statement reporting, hello realtime reconciliation!

Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,657 admin
edited June 26 in Product Updates

Most companies need to manage company cards, and that process isn't always pretty. Admins shoulder the majority of the responsibility when it comes to managing company spend, and sometimes they’re left scrambling to get employee reports submitted at month end.

Today, we couldn’t be more excited to announce the future of company card management in Expensify. Gone are the days of waiting a full month to get company card expenses approved! Now, using a combination of our new company card Reconciliation Dashboard and Scheduled Submit, you can ensure that expenses are accounted for at statement close. Think, realtime company card expenses!

How the magic happens

We recommend utilizing a combination of Scheduled Submit set to a weekly frequency and the Reconciliation Dashboard. The Reconciliation Dashboard allows you to view all imported and submitted expenses in your statement period; quickly highlighting which employees have expenses that still need to be approved.

If you’re using a direct connection, like QuickBooks Online or Xero, a weekly frequency will ensure all expenses are grouped, submitted and exported regularly, keeping your accounting system as up-to-date as possible. On the other hand, if you’re using an indirect accounting package, nothing changes, you won’t need to adjust how often you export your information.

Check out the thorough best practice guide to help you understand how to adopt this new setup and attend one of our live Company Card Administration webinars so that you can see a deep-dive and ask any questions!

What does this mean for you?

This means that Statement Reporting is no longer the best way to manage credit card expenses. We’ve disabled it for new users and will be deprecating it by the end of 2018 for those who are already using it.

In addition to the best practice guide, we’ve updated our Help Center with detailed articles to help admins and employees manage company cards in Expensify. Here’s everything you need to know!

For admins:
Best Practice Guide
Exporting Company Card Expenses
Reconciling Company Card Expenses

For employees:
Company Cards: Cardholder 101

If you have any questions or feedback about the new process, please reply to this thread or reach out to [email protected] and our team will be happy to help you!

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Comments

  • DaveweezDaveweez Posts: 160 ✭✭✭

    Eh - I like statement reporting. Specifically for the office card. We like that it matches the statement. Makes it easy to reconcile...

  • IsabelaStisserIsabelaStisser Posts: 62 mod

    Hey @Daveweez, we appreciate your feedback!

    Just a reminder that you can actually accomplish the same results using our Reconciliation Dashboard. There you can quickly select your statement period and get a bird's eye view of the expenses across all cardholders, as well as check if there are any expenses still waiting to be approved.

    Have you tried the Dashboard yet? Give it a try and let us know if that works for you!

  • KatieFKatieF Posts: 5

    I agree with @Daveweez , we actually NEED the statements for our staff credit cards. @Isa the reconciliation dashboard would be great for us if there was a way to print it to a report, with the tags, categories, and receipts. Is that feature going to be implemented? Because if not we may have to reevaluate using this system.

  • IsabelaStisserIsabelaStisser Posts: 62 mod
    edited June 26

    Hi @KatieF, can you please provide more details here? I would love to understand why do you need to print the reports and how they are used in the context of reconciling expenses!

  • KatieFKatieF Posts: 5
    edited June 26

    @Isa at our company we use Expensify for our staff to submit their receipts and tags/categories for their expenses. The report total is reconciled to our corporate card statement for each staff member. We then print the statements to PDF, upload the PDFs into our paperless system, and route the reports to the VPs for them to sign off on the charges to their divisions. We keep each staff statement report in our paperless system for our yearly audit as well. Therefore, if we cannot print a report with all the charges and the receipts, the system is of no use to us.

  • VeratVerat Posts: 1

    Did anyone at Expensify ask the accounting department? We need the report to match the credit card statement. You are making a change that will cause the accounting departments more work, something none of us need.

    Drowning in reconciliations!

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,657 admin

    @katief, typically customers route expense approval through Expensify and then store the data in Expensify for future audit purposes.

    Can you tell me more about the decision to remove approval and data storage from Expensify? I'd love to help show you how we can meet all your needs and help you streamline your company card management process.

  • KatieFKatieF Posts: 5

    @Sheena Trepanier thank you but we are not interested. Our current process works best for us, having approvals in Expensify by multiple people would make our process LESS streamlined.

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,657 admin
    edited June 27

    @Verat, using the Reconciliation dashboard, you're able to quickly match totals in Expensify to the totals on your corporate card statement.

    Let's look at an example below. In our test environment we have corporate cards assigned to cardholders through Domain Control > Company Cards. In this case, I use the reconciliation dashboard to enter my statement period and see the totals of expenses imported and approved within that period in Expensify. (below)

    With just a few clicks, I'm able to compare totals and see which employees have any outstanding expenses. Then, once I've isolated which employees still need to submit expenses, I can click the blue totals for each cardholder to view the expense and even report them on the employee's behalf if they need a little extra help.

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,657 admin

    Hi @KatieF - It sounds like your reports are going through a single level of approval outside Expensify. If that is the case, it would be very easy to set up a workflow in Expensify so that reports flow from the employee to the VP of their division for a final check and approval. This could be automated such that when the employee clicks submit, the email of the VP is already added and a PDF copy of the report can be sent at the same time.

    In the future, if you're ever interested in exploring some different workflow options within the system, we have a few examples in our Help Center here. Another great resource that you might want to share with other admins is our Admin Training Webinar. It's the perfect opportunity for new admins as they come on board, or any admin who wants a refresher on the role and a chance to ask questions live

    If you're simply looking to be able to print your reports for your paperless system, you will be able to do that moving forward as these changes will not take away that ability. Simply continue to print your reports as needed and use the reconciliation dashboard to quickly match totals and ensure your company card expenses are submitted and approved.

  • bbowiebbowie Posts: 2

    I'm curious to see how this works as well. We use NetSuite and the way I'm reading this it sounds like we will now have multiple exports for each card, correct? So now when I am going through to assign prepaid schedules, accrue for sales tax, or update departments for these cards in NetSuite I am now going to have to click on multiple different reports for each card, instead of the one report for each card we have now. This seems to be adding a lot more work to me as an admin than what we currently have. I am definitely setting up a call with our account manager to get more details.

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,657 admin

    Hi @bbowie! Thanks for taking the time to join the discussion, it's great having you here. While we recommend a weekly submission frequency for Scheduled Submit as a best practice, it is not a requirement that weekly is used.

    In your case, we'd recommend using Scheduled Submit with a Manual frequency selected. This allows employees to take advantage of the time-saving benefits Scheduled Submit provides, like automatically adding expenses to reports after SmartScan, but limits the number of reports that the employee submits.

    This means that employees would still have their company card expenses added to a report for them, with the difference being that at the end of the statement period they submit the report themselves so that the first expense of the new period creates a brand new report. If employees need to move expenses between reports, they'll still be able to.

    On your end, you'll only have to take actions on one report per card in NetSuite, and the reconciliation dashboard will help you quickly match statement totals and see outstanding expenses that need to be submitted.

  • LexiPLexiP Posts: 17

    Is this feature all ready to go? I can't seem to find it on my dashboard. I am super excited about this!

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,657 admin

    Hi @LexiP - are you're referring to the Reconciliation Dashboard? If so, this feature is only available for companies using Domain Control and importing company cards.

    I took a look at your account and it doesn't seem like your company is importing card in Domain Control. Is this something you're team is thinking of implementing?

  • Brian_ISC2Brian_ISC2 Posts: 8

    We have users that are in multiple policies do to different currencies. Currently our PCARD is set to use our USD policy as the preferred policy under statement reporting. How will I be able to control what policy Pcard transactions open a new report using Schedule and submit?

  • RachCHopkinsRachCHopkins Posts: 762 admin

    Hi @Brian_ISC2 you should still be able to set the Policy under the Domain Group settings for the domain the cards are assigned under.

  • SAOSBRSAOSBR Posts: 11

    @Sheena Trepanier - on the post you did on 6/27/18 to @bbowie - you start to mention that turning it to manual so they can submit just one report...but here is the issue i'm running into. The employee doesn't submit for X period of time...and then suddenly all of the charges for a very long time are all on the same report and so when they submit they are submitting for 3 months possibly at once. I know this is an internal timing issue but, it didn't used to be a problem when i had one report for each month instead of a ongoing running report until they submit it. I could turn on monthly submission or more frequent however, then i would deal with possibly teh person not being fully done with the coding perfectly and choosing submit it.

    If we do the manual - how do people move the charges or smart scan receipts between reports if i turned on corporate liability and they cannot delete charges? I liked statement reporting for the MONTH and now we are being forced to do something that is not yet perfect. Please advise.

  • BrianFilerBrianFiler Posts: 5

    Same concerns as @SAOSBR, Statement Reporting is absolutely necessary because in the accounting system, matching monthly card payments to report is vastly easier when reports are contained within a statement period. When we start talking about a report just sitting and growing for months, then we start talking about partially applying payments to reports once imported into our ERP. We already have to nag our users to submit reports because they ignore the statement reporting emails, and are generally bad users, but it's gonna be worse when the longer they take to submit, the more expenses appear on that report.

  • SAOSBRSAOSBR Posts: 11

    Can someone from Expensify address @BrianFiler and I's concerns? I have spoken with support people various times about concerns but I'm not sure anyone is going to address the issue that various people have with things changing later this year. If the new system can address these concerns then I'm happy to move to the new ways but it doesn't seem they are addressing it easily. It is a FORCED way to address it by turning on monthly submission even if they aren't ready for it to be submitted or then manually forcing the next month's charges that start to go on the unsubmitted report onto a new report. We need another solution.

  • BrianFilerBrianFiler Posts: 5

    @Sheena Trepanier @SAOSBR Agreed, not only is it a forced change, but our managers will just be dealing with reports that have probably over 75% violation rate, and that will just take longer and create more animosity towards Expensify within our company. No one likes doing expense reports, but the product should match the behavior of the users, not force users to conform arbitrarily.

  • RachCHopkinsRachCHopkins Posts: 762 admin

    Hi @SAOSBR and @BrianFiler , what we were finding, going by direct feedback and related support requests, was that the ASR approach was simply not working for most companies where the expense reporting and card rec are being done by different people. Managers were forever chasing up one or two expenses which had not posted early enough, and users were also encountering issues due to the inflexibility.

    So the approach we have taken is to completely separate the credit card statement rec from expense reporting. No matter how your users report their expenses, the admin can simply plug in the statement dates into the Credit Card Reconciliation Dashboard and reconcile the statement, they can see instantly if anything is unreported and they can even report/submit those on behalf of the user.

    It also has the added benefit that reporting can be on a different frequency to the statement. If anything, I personally think it should be more frequent - i.e. fortnightly or weekly. With users scanning or forwarding their receipts as they get them and coding them immediately. The Expensify model is based around little and often, not the age-old 'hold on to your receipts until finance threatens you with deducting your salary' approach (yes, a former employer of mine used to do this because I was so awful). And it may be an education issue to get them used to the 'new' way of expense reporting. It is far less painful for them to stay on top of their expenses, than save them up for three months.

    If the user themselves does want to check all their expenses for a statement period, they can do the same thing from their expenses page, again regardless of the reports submitted.

    You are most welcome to send your users along for a 'refresher' at one of our webinars where we will show them the best approach. The webinar assumes you are using Scheduled Submit in conjunction with Violations.

    The aim is to make expense reporting less painful for everyone involved, by having the users take ownership of their own expenses, submit regularly, and also giving the admin a 'back door' to do the statement rec and deal with unreported transactions without having to harass the users.

    Feel free to come back to me if you have any further queries about this approach.

  • StephanieL789StephanieL789 Posts: 33
    edited August 2

    You say above " the admin can simply plug in the statement dates into the Credit Card Reconciliation Dashboard and reconcile the statement, they can see instantly if anything is unreported and they can even report/submit those on behalf of the user."

    How exactly can I do that. I have had several conversations with customer support (via email) and been told it must be done by the user. This month we did pretty good, out of ~1000 trx, there are only 4 unreported. I am going nuts trying to get those 4 trx reported as I can only explain to the user how to add and she says I don't understand how to do it.

    Also, PLEASE don't take away the existing reconciliation report from Loading Dock. I appreciate that I can get all the data in 2 reports (one for each domain) and very easily refresh it as errors are fixed, changes are made. If I have to instead get the data from Company Cards > Reconciliation report, I then have to deal with 4 reports (one for each feed from each domain). and much more buttons to click to get the output needed. Not everyone has integration with their accounting system and the reconciliation report works very well for manual Journal Entry to my unsupported Accounting System.

  • RachCHopkinsRachCHopkins Posts: 762 admin

    Hi @StephanieL789 this is exactly what the new Credit Card Reconciliation Dashboard does.

    Have you attended our Company Cards webinar? You are most welcome to.

    The Credit Card Reconciliation Dashboard is a tool which is exclusively accessed by Domain Admins. The guide is also very useful.

    You should be able to plug the dates into the Credit Card Reconciliation Dashboard, and click through to the unapproved expenses for that user. Then you can simply check the box next to the Unreported expenses and create and submit the report.

    Any export/output for an accounting system should be done from the Admin's Expenses or Reports page, not from Domain Control. Do you have a custom export formats set up for your accounting system?

  • BrianFilerBrianFiler Posts: 5

    @RachCHopkins Thanks for the response. Lots of info there, I'll go down the list and address my concerns.

    ASR approach was simply not working for most companies where the expense reporting and card rec are being done by different people. Managers were forever chasing up one or two expenses which had not posted early enough, and users were also encountering issues due to the inflexibility.

    I agree that inflexibility was a slight concern, but in our case, we actually disliked the inflexibility because if the card feed failed, oftentimes expenses could be brought in on the next month's report incorrectly.

    Under the new method, managers are STILL going to be chasing up one or two expenses forever, this aspect of expense reporting is frankly inevitable. When I reconcile the cards after the statement closes, I'm still going to have to send a nag email to managers/users who haven't submitted certain expenses. And then when they submit, that report will inevitably have multiple expenses on it, unless I instruct them to move expenses to another report, which is more work for them and they are unlikely to do so.

    To explain how difficult this is on the backend, let me offer you an example. I have 3 employees, A, B, C who have credit cards and submit reports. AMEX treats this as a single statement with 3 cards, and automatically drafts our account each month for the payment. To reconcile previously, we take the statement, go down user by user, and verify that the total of all reports matches the statement (the reconciliation dashboard would make this slightly faster). Once that is done, we export the reports to csv, and import into our accounting system. In our accounting system, we import these reports as AMEX payables, which increases our accounts payable balance appropriately. To relieve these payables, and remove them from the AP Aging reports, we apply the payment that was automatically drafted. The payment is applied to all reports for the cycle, and everything lines up 100%.

    Under the new method, we will have reports that will have payments partially applied to them. So for each individual report we import into our system, we then need to know exactly how much of the payment to apply. This is a lot of extra work, and will involve looking at every single AMEX expense on every report for a given month to add up what amount of the payment should be applied. Then, we have to apply the payment and manually change the amount. This introduces extra level of human errors, along with random partial reports outstanding on the AP Aging schedule (this isn't necessarily bad, as we do owe AMEX that money, but we usually just accrue an entire statement at month end).

    That's a lot more work and possibility for error for essentially the same outcome: chasing expenses for weeks that users just won't submit.

    So the approach we have taken is to completely separate the credit card statement rec from expense reporting.

    That's all well and good, but for finance, we can't separate statement rec from expense reporting. They work in conjunction for us.

    No matter how your users report their expenses, the admin can simply plug in the statement dates into the Credit Card Reconciliation Dashboard and reconcile the statement, they can see instantly if anything is unreported and they can even report/submit those on behalf of the user.

    I love the idea of the reconciliation dashboard itself, it's a fantastic addition. I do believe it should be used in conjunction with statement reporting, for the reasons described above.

    I don't actually want an admin to report/submit on behalf of a user (excluding scenarios where they were terminated/quit). Often, if those expenses are unreported or unsubmitted, that means that the user hasn't coded them or attached receipts. Submitting on behalf of the user will just lead to violations and managers rejecting reports for inadequate information, and we're back where we started. It's infinitely easier to tell a user, "Hey, we need you to submit this one single report that contains all the charges we're missing" than it is to say, "Hey, we need you to submit this report with 15 charges, but we only need the one."

    It also has the added benefit that reporting can be on a different frequency to the statement. If anything, I personally think it should be more frequent - i.e. fortnightly or weekly.

    In theory, I agree, but didn't statement reporting already have this? Our IT department submitted weekly reports for their card using statement reporting, and it just generated another card.

    With users scanning or forwarding their receipts as they get them and coding them immediately. The Expensify model is based around little and often, not the age-old 'hold on to your receipts until finance threatens you with deducting your salary' approach (yes, a former employer of mine used to do this because I was so awful). And it may be an education issue to get them used to the 'new' way of expense reporting. It is far less painful for them to stay on top of their expenses, than save them up for three months.

    I completely agree with the theory behind this. It makes so much more sense for a user to code their receipt immediately. However, this does not reflect the reality of the situation. I've had one on one sessions with our problem users to train them in "best practices" for using this tool, but it doesn't matter. They do what they want. Giving them a deadline that corresponds with the statement end date is what we've found to work the best. What I fear here is that eliminating statement reporting will result in me having to cancel cards, because users fail to comply with submission requirements. Currently, I can put the blame back on them, the statement end date is in the default title of their generated report, why didn't they look at it? With that turned off, it's immediately harder for employees to see what they need to submit without taking additional actions that they previously did not have to do.

    If the user themselves does want to check all their expenses for a statement period, they can do the same thing from their expenses page, again regardless of the reports submitted.

    This is adding a step that the problem users simply will not do. I love the idea of this tool in theory, and some of our users will as well, but our problem folks are problems for a reason, and things need to be kept as simple as possible for them.

    The aim is to make expense reporting less painful for everyone involved, by having the users take ownership of their own expenses, submit regularly, and also giving the admin a 'back door' to do the statement rec and deal with unreported transactions without having to harass the users.

    I'd love users to take ownership of their own expenses, and most do. It's always the exceptions that are trouble.

    Harassing the user is inevitable. I can submit an expense all day long, but if the vendor says "Amazon" and a receipt is not attached, I can't code it, which doesn't help us.

  • StephanieL789StephanieL789 Posts: 33

    @RachCHopkins .it is a nice theory, but the existing report works great. I need to know that the total entry matches the bill. I agree with everything @BrianFiler had to say. Expensify is taking functionality away. The reconciliation report from loading dock runs so much faster, has a rerun button and only needs one per domain. The reconciliation report from the dashboard must be run one copy for each VCF feed, is not near instant and does not show the history of downloads with rerun or redownload options.

    As to exporting from expenses that does not work because if I set my date range and export, then someone adds something in for the dates I have already exported, I will miss it. If I do it from the reconciliation page, I have them all, whether unreported, deleted, in process, it doesn't matter.

  • RachCHopkinsRachCHopkins Posts: 762 admin

    Hi @BrianFiler @StephanieL789 - thank you so much for taking the time to write out all this feedback. You guys are a real asset. I'll make sure this feedback goes to the right place - we're collecting it all up in a ticket.

  • DaveweezDaveweez Posts: 160 ✭✭✭

    Wow @BrianFiler read my mind with his comments. Thank you for the thoughtful write up.

  • SAOSBRSAOSBR Posts: 11

    @BrianFiler - thank you for taking the lead on the response step by step the way you did. You hit on so many of my points that I have been telling various different support people from Expensify.

    @RachCHopkins - Is there a chance that this ticket will get addressed for all of us that still need some fucntionality that the statement reporting provided? I am actually using the statement reporting (month end date) function on many client's (we are an acct firm) and ALSO using your new reconciliation dashboard. So I do love it. However, it doesn't eliminate the issues that arise on the reporting and user front for accounting/finance purposes.

    Brian hit on most of them but some big ticket items that came to light even more today as I set up a new client was the following:
    1. Schedule Submit can really be dangerous because what if things are getting auto coded or the employee codes it quickly upon doing it but then needs to edit it before submitting?
    2. So because of #1 above - We can turn the scheduled submit to MANUALLY however then that brings up the issue that reports will just keep having charges added until they submit which is a BIG ISSUE for most employees of companies because they don't keep up with it (even if we all want them to so badly as it's the future like you mentioned Rachel). Unfortunately not everyone is there yet.
    3. So then like Brian mentions now we have an issue with each person's report having a total mix of time frame on one report and trying to match that report up with the payments being made in the accounting system...so you then have to literally know which amounts on each report should be partially paid off.

    At the end of the day, it seems odd to me that Expensify just is so set on removing the functionality of statement reporting for historical users already using it and liking it. The added features are just that - added benefits.

    One idea would be to just still allow scheduled submit for your companies who can get people on board with keeping up with their reports. But, allow people to have reports auto created for the periods they needs (whether it is X date to X date) or just a given month like we do. Basically instead of having a report just keep adding expenses to it...can you give us the option for the auto reporting feature to let you pick what the reporting periods are for a given client/card?

    Is there a chance this ticket with Expensify will get some attention and give us all another option?

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,657 admin

    @SAOSBR, thanks for circling back. Our team is evaluating the feedback we've received here which has frankly been invaluable and exactly what we hope for when we share a product change.

    Our goal is to have a customer-driven product and it's strong voices like yours, @Daveweez, and @BrianFiler that really give us the opportunity to stand by our commitment.

    I can't tell you how your feedback with influence the functionality quite yet because we're still determining the best course forward to achieve a customer-driven product that still follows the plan we have for the future of Expensify. But, please know we rely heavily on customer feedback and appreciate it greatly.

    We'll be sharing updates here as soon as we have more news to share.

    Cheers!

  • BrianFilerBrianFiler Posts: 5

    Some companies I know run credit card charges through a sweep account and then do an annual reconcile on that account as opposed to entering payables/payments. I'm not a fan of that method, because it involves a massive annual reconcile that might result in issues spanning a 12 month time frame. Statement reporting has been invaluable for us to avoid doing an annual reconcile that's probably a 20-40 hour job depending on number of transactions.

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