Deep Dive: Where to start when setting up a paid Policy

Rachael Hopkins
Rachael Hopkins Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 904 Expensify Team
edited May 2020 in Getting Started

Just like in The Sound of Music, let’s start at the very beginning. When you create a Policy, you can access it by clicking the Admin page on the left-hand menu.

All the really crunchy stuff is best done on the full web version of Expensify. The mobile app may be fine for your users creating and submitting expenses, but as the Policy Admin you want as many features as possible, and you’ll find everything in the web app.

Let’s work through the Policy menu from top to bottom and look at the things that might not be self-explanatory… (If you have two monitors, put this window on one and Expensify on the other.)

OR Create an Expensify account from our Pricing page.

Create a Policy from your inbox (click Control to create a Control Policy).


  • Give your Policy a descriptive name
  • The billing owner pays for the Policy subscription
  • You can also upgrade/downgrade the Policy Type here


  • Violations are things that flag an expense for extra review
  • Reimbursable = an out of pocket expense you need to pay the user for
  • Non-reimbursable = a company card expense that doesn’t need reimbursing
  • Re-bill expenses = in addition to the above, you will also charge the client e.g. parking when running an errand on their behalf
  • eReceipts
  • You can also set a mileage rate and hourly rate on this page


  • Currency – this is the currency you will reimburse in, and all expenses will convert to this when added to a report tied to your policy
  • Scheduled Submit – this creates reports, adds the expenses, and submits for your users. This can take some getting used to, so you may want to set to Manual during your trial
  • Default title is a little more advanced, so leave it as-is for now. See more here
  • Report fields are extra fields at the Report level, don’t worry right now. Again see more


  • This is where you link Expensify to other software such as accounting or HR systems
  • It’s REALLY important to get this right, so when you are ready, put your phone on DND, close your emails, make a coffee and settle in
  • You’ll find detailed instructions in our help docs (search for your accounting software)
  • Read through the relevant section thoroughly before connecting
  • Technical contact = the person who gets an email if the connection/export fails. Don’t put your IT consultant here, put yourself as it’s usually basic enough for the Policy Admin to handle


  • If you use an accounting integration, this is your Chart of Accounts from the General Ledger and pulls in automatically
  • If not, this is how you categorise your expenses
  • You can add a maximum amount for each expense using the category, whether a receipt and comments are mandatory and even a hint for what goes in the comment e.g. Business Purpose (that’s a common one)
  • Default categories = use your credit card auto-coding (done by the bank) and match a category


  • These are a bit like categories but for another specific level of detail e.g. Customer or Job
  • These also import from your accounting software (check out the Coding tab on the connection)
  • You can also import them if not importing from accounting software
  • Advanced: Multi-level tagging e.g. Bikes/Bike Tyres; Bikes/Handlebars; Bikes/Bells


  • You can set up different types of tax depending on what you need
  • These can also be imported from your accounting software
  • Set the default for the Policy here e.g. GST, VAT


  • This is also super important – it’s your users!
  • Invite whoever is helping you with this project
  • You can invite your users later when everything is ready
  • Share the link so they can join
  • Sync users from G Suite if you use it (G is for Google)
  • Invite users one by one or import with a spreadsheet
  • Assign their role. An Approver says ‘Yes’. A Policy Admin edits the Policy. See more about User Roles here
  • Approval Mode – again this is really important, so read this full guide
  • Expense approvals – if you set this to ‘No’, anything without violations will be approved by Concierge automatically
  • Workflow Enforcement – if you decide to use Advanced Approval, this stops people from Final Approving at the wrong stage or manually submitting to someone else


  • If you are in the US you can use ACH reimbursement or if you’re in Aussie you can use ABA batch payments. In short, we connect directly to your bank, and to do so we need to get some security stuff sorted, so read this
  • If you’re elsewhere, you can use this page to capture all the employee bank details to make online banking payments easier

Travel, Per Diem, Export Formats and Invoicing are all a bit more advanced for now. Click the links to read about them, otherwise worry about it later.

Expensify Card

Don't forget that you can save 50% of your Expensify bill by adopting the Expensify Card, so it's a good idea to get the ball rolling on this asap!

If you have worked your way through all those things, you are set up to really try out your Trial. You can use Expensify for a couple of weeks, refine settings and invite users. If you are happy with your setup, just add a Payment Card to the Policy Owner’s account and your Policy will continue.

This discussion has been closed.