ABILITY to permanently DELETE an expense

bsk713bsk713 Expensify Customer Posts: 11 Expensify Admirer

Currently, there is no way to permanently delete an expense. I import from my credit cards, and about half of the expenses are personal and I don't want them in my expensify account. I delete them, but they stay in the file as Deleted Expenses. I literally have hundreds and hundreds of expenses that have no business being in Expensify.

IF Expensify could set it up where I could permanently delete an expense it would clean up so much. I asked and they said for data integrity purposes they can't. I have a hard time accepting this. Microsoft has the recycle bin. Many software packages have a warning when you are permanently deleting something, but at least they LET YOU delete YOUR OWN stuff.

I say, if they want to protect the user against themselves, then have a recycle bin of some sort with the ability to empty it, and/or have a warning that the user is permanently deleting their stuff.

Does anyone agree?

25 votes

Not Developing · Last Updated

This Idea does not fit with the long-term Expensify roadmap



  • Matt MooreMatt Moore Expensify Customer, Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 109 Expensify Team

    Hi bsk713, and welcome to the Expensify Community!

    That's right, we don't currently support a way to clear the deleted expenses in your account.

    The only time you should see expenses permanently removed, is if your account were deleted or if you were to disconnect a card importing expenses and the expenses imported were not in a submitted state.

    If you're looking for a way to differentiate between personal and business expenses when importing transactions please note that, at the moment, our system has no way of determining which purchase was company related or not if you are using a direct bank connection.

    You can easily keep them separated once they are imported, however! Check out this discussion explaining how you can tag expenses and keep business and personal separated.

  • newtoexpensifynewtoexpensify Expensify Customer Posts: 2
    edited October 2019

    Is it still the case that I cannot permanently delete the expenses which I deleted? They are remaining in the system as deleted but I want to get rid of them permanently so there is no record of them in the system. Is this possible? I see this discussion happened in March 2019. Maybe something has changed? Thanks

  • Nicole TrepanierNicole Trepanier Expensify Team Posts: 497 Expensify Team

    Hi @newtoexpensify. We still don't have the option to permanently delete expenses. Can you tell us a bit more about your use case and why you want these permanently deleted? Deleted expenses are not visible to anyone but yourself and anyone you grant copilot access to.

  • newtoexpensifynewtoexpensify Expensify Customer Posts: 2

    Thanks! I got taken care of what I needed to. Appreciate your response!

  • bsk713bsk713 Expensify Customer Posts: 11 Expensify Admirer

    PLEASE get this to the appropriate decision makers to make this happen. To have a system that keeps personal expenses (even in deleted status) without the ability to permanently delete, is not very comforting.

    Make a recycle bin that users can use and then empty.

  • MartinMartin Expensify Customer Posts: 2 Expensify Newcomer

    Please note that across the whole of the European Economic Area it is a legal requirement to be able to permanently delete data. Since May 2018 the GDPR has stipulated that data subjects have a right to request deletion of data, All organisations should also have a data deletion policy - this is a requirement of ISO 27001.

  • Rachael HopkinsRachael Hopkins Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 780 Expensify Team

    Hi @Martin thanks for adding your thoughts over here!

    Just to clarify, you can delete data for ex-users very easily, it's just existing, ongoing users that you can't right now. Given that you need to keep financial records for 7 years, and your company (appears to) has been using Expensify for 8 years, do you have any users who have been using Expensify this entire time, and are still using it?

    If so, can you send an email to [email protected] with the user email addresses and a link to this post?

    This could be a really good case for me to take this to engineering asap!

  • BobHBobH Expensify Customer Posts: 2 Expensify Newcomer

    Seems like permanent deletion is a trivially simple problem to solve -- there are lots of examples: just look at the trash can on your PC or Mac. I have the ability to empty the trash and it warns me that it is permanent and cannot be undone.

    The only reason to resist permanent deletion is if Expensify is using my expense information for data mining purposes and wants all my data (regardless if I want them to have it or not). In this day and age, I don't trust anyone.

    Expensify, step up to the plate and delete data the users are asking to delete. Unless you are mining the data (which I don't authorize), it is just taking unnecessary space on your servers.

  • EllenBEllenB Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    Agreed, please add functionality to permanently delete! Ridiculous that I have to keep these items clogging up my account.

  • Zany RenneyZany Renney Expensify Customer, Expensify Team Posts: 110 Expensify Team

    Hi @EllenB

    Thanks for letting us know. Please lend your support to the original post by upvoting it so we can continue to gather use cases.


  • EllenBEllenB Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    @Zany Renney thank you, I thought I did, must have missed the click. Done!

  • EllenBEllenB Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    @Zany Renney thank you, I thought I did, must have missed the click. Done!

  • DaVinciDaVinci Expensify Customer Posts: 4

    Cancelling my subscription if they don't fix this very soon

  • Michelle NiemiMichelle Niemi Expensify Team Posts: 93 Expensify Team

    @DaVinci As noted, this feature is not available. Expenses are permanently removed if your account were deleted or if you were to disconnect a card importing expenses and the expenses imported were not in a submitted state. We are adding use cases above if you are interested in doing that.

  • furiousatthisscamfuriousatthisscam Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer
    edited May 2020

    It is so incredibly infuriating that you do not have the ability to delete your own PERSONAL expenses from a PERSONAL account! The best option is to delete your account which will only delete "unreported" items. What kind of scam is Expensify running here?!? At no point was it ever disclosed that I would not be able to delete my personal items from MY ACCOUNT! THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED ASAP!

  • Rachael HopkinsRachael Hopkins Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 780 Expensify Team

    Hi @furiousatthisscam Welcome to the Expensify Community!

    Expensify is financial record-keeping software and most financial records must be kept for 7 years, so while you can 'delete' expenses and filter them out, they are not permanently deleted for this reason.

    The only person who can see Deleted expenses, is the owner of that Expensify account, i.e. the user themselves.

    The sole exception to this is imported corporate credit card expenses, which can only be accessed by a domain admin via the Company Card Reconciliation Dashboard.

    And you are correct, that expenses which have been processed on reports cannot be deleted at all, unless the reports are reopened. Even if you delete your account, those processed records will be visible to your company or people to whom you submitted them. If you submitted them to yourself, only you can see them.

    Are you able to elaborate a little more on why you need to permanently delete processed expense reports if they are only visible from your personal Expensify account? That helps me build a use-case scenario.

  • bsk713bsk713 Expensify Customer Posts: 11 Expensify Admirer

    "why you need to permanently delete processed expense reports" ... to help build a use-case scenario.

    IT ISN'T 'PROCESSED EXPENSE REPORTS" that we want to delete. It's the expenses that get added BY MISTAKE. Most people don't have separate credit cards for personal and business and when they DOWNLOAD their credit card data, there are PERSONAL expenses that have nothing to do with their business expense reports, and therefore they want them PERMANENTLY DELETED.

    Also, once someone adds a manual expense, it's there forever, even if it was ADDED by MISTAKE.

    USERS should be able to permanently DELETE any expense that hasn't been processed and submitted for reimbursement. WHO OWNS THIS DATA, you or the user? It is understandable, that if a user submits an expense report, those expenses can be kept for financial records for 7 years. What is the logic of EXPENSIFY's decision makers to KEEP MISTAKES for 7 years. Mistakes that get deleted immediately because they were added by mistake?

    Is this decision based on a misunderstanding? Rachel's comments suggest the policy is to keep SUBMITTED expense reports, and that is understandable. However, there is no logic in keeping expenses that were NEVER SUBMITTED, ADDED BY MISTAKE, or DOWNLOADED from a CREDIT CARD that are PERSONAL CHARGES.

    Seriously, folks, I don't think anyone can give a reasonable argument to keep MISTAKES NEVER SUBMITTED for 7 years.

    Here's 'more on why' people 'need to permanently delete'

  • OdebekOdebek Expensify Customer Posts: 1

    I too am frustrated at having uploaded personal expenses by accident and it appearing in my account, even though it was never used on an expense report. I now have zero trust that you can and will permanently delete my data when I delete my account, or that rules will change and my company can somehow access my data.

    Also, I would like to use the copilot feature, but can't now because those users would have access to my personal data.

    Even if there is a best practice for businesses to keep records for 7 years doesn't mean that everything that touches this system has a legal obligation to be retained. The owner of the data gets to choose where and how they keep those records and it makes me mad that you are using that as a way of justifying not implementing this feature.

  • LukaLuka Expensify Customer Posts: 1
    edited July 2020

    It is just frustrating!!! PLEASE ENABLE A DELETE BUTTON!

    Especially if you are in Switzerland and not obliged to follow US law.

    Especially if you are doing your expenses for your private bookkeeping.

    Very rigid and stubborn!


    -Just make it DEFAULT NOT to show the "deleted" items.

    A lot of other apps have this feature I dont understand why you do not?

  • Leslie RodriguezLeslie Rodriguez Expensify Customer, Expensify Team Posts: 48 Expensify Team
    edited July 2020

    Hi Team! What I am gathering from the pervious posts is that there is a concern revolving an employee submitting both company expenses and personal expenses from their personal credit card into Expensify. And while the delete button removes the expense, you can filter for deleted expenses and they will appear.

    The best workaround that I have found for this is to have the employee upload a CSV from their credit card that has been cleaned up to only show their company expenses. This way, the employee does not have to worry about co-mingling personal and work charges and will not need to delete transactions after the fact. Does this sound like a solution that can work?

  • bsk713bsk713 Expensify Customer Posts: 11 Expensify Admirer

    Hello Leslie Rodriguez. Welcome to the topic. You'll see there is a LOT of frustration in the community regarding this simple topic. You'll also see that this topic has been around for OVER a YEAR!

    Read back from the beginning, and please get to the powers that be, to change this ridiculous policy of having to keep NON-SUBMITTED expenses that SHOULD NOT BE in YOUR SYSTEM.

    Your suggestion of a workaround is appreciated, yet NOT the answer. It is EXTRA WORK for your users and according to the last time I tried, the CSV upload doesn't upload all pertinent information for each expense.

    The bottom line? Your software should give provisions for deleting expenses that were ADDED BY MISTAKE, either manually or uploaded from a credit card connection. You GIVE the ability to the user to completely change each expense, so the user could effectively change each mistake expense- dollar amount to $0.00, Vendor to XYZCompany, and date to 01/01/1900, and just load up ALL MISTAKES there. So, what logic would have it for EXPENSIFY to save that data for 7 years? Potentially thousands and thousands of records of BAD DATA gumming up the works.

    Workarounds should be TEMPORARY, not policy. Ask the President of your company if it makes sense to store personal data and/or BAD DATA for 7 years? (All the while angering your customers.) It's not the law to store BAD DATA for 7 years. It's NOT FINANCIAL DATA if it's purposely made to NULL values.

    Someone who's reasonable and has authority to make this change needs to get involved. Please consider this and move it up the ladder.

    WE ALL WOULD APPRECIATE IT and benefit from logical attention to this matter.

    Thank you.

  • JuliaJulia Expensify Customer Posts: 154 Expensify Pro

    Hey everyone

    For those of you who are as frustrated by this issue as I am, I wanted to share a simple workaround I have found in the last year.

    If you go to the Expenses menu, and select the checkboxes for two open/unreported expenses, it gives you the option to 'merge' them on the top right.

    It's manual, it's tedious, and you can only do two at a time. But it's cleaned up my view considerably and I figured it was at least worth sharing.

    @bsk713 @EllenB @furiousatthisscam @Luka @DaVinci

  • bsk713bsk713 Expensify Customer Posts: 11 Expensify Admirer

    Julia's suggestion is appreciated, but as I said, a Workaround is not a permanent fix. It's a temporary band aid. This needs to be looked at by someone at the top that might actually understand the customer's wants and needs, instead of a cookie cutter response pretending to cite some IRS ruling.

    It's now at the silly point.

  • MSbelgioMSbelgio Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    Really need this feature in order to want to continue to use expensify.

    If I'm not reporting on an expense, why on god's green earth can i not delete it? Why do you NEED my receipt for chapstick instead of the one I actually meant? And while some workarounds are nice, these don't exactly work for my purposes. This should be simple. Oh my god. LOL

  • Rachael HopkinsRachael Hopkins Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 780 Expensify Team

    Hi @MSbelgio while I appreciate your comments here, the most useful thing is an outline of the issues caused by not being able to permanently delete expenses (as opposed to just having them go into a deleted filter which is disabled from view by default).

    Given that you are the only person that can see these expenses (and only if you enable them), can you elaborate on your use case which necessitates deleting the expense further?

  • MSbelgioMSbelgio Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer
    edited September 2020

    @Rachael Hopkins The reason is that I want to and since I am a personal account reporting nothing to any sort of organization for any official purposes, I frankly do not understand why a simple feature is confusing to y'all.

    Furthermore, I do not give a hoot about your filters or views that are there by default. That continues to put your users in a box as to how they should or should not use your platform.

    Here's an idea: If someone deletes something they were supposed to keep for 7 years, and didn't, that's on them. Then no one else has to be inconvenienced by a stupid idea put there as a safety rail for the lowest common denominator.

  • R4y_D0gR4y_D0g Expensify Customer Posts: 2

    I am a new user to Expensify in the last few days and already I see that this is an enormous problem that someone at E has decided to not respond to, ignoring the wishes of their customers. Why, I simply cannot understand. When finally every single one of your customers requests this, the will you consider implementing it??? A major issue is the repeated failure of the auto scan application, which once it fails, leaves you few options of correcting that bad input. Even retaking or replacing the image fails to activate a re-scan, so you are left with an orphaned bad input. It seems so obvious that some sort of clean up tool is called for. I give the application big markdowns for this obvious flaw: D-

  • Matt ColeMatt Cole Expensify Customer, Expensify Team Posts: 37 Expensify Team

    Hey @R4y_D0g,

    Happy to help clarify where we can potentially help with better using the app. It sounds like SmartScan may be failing for you. One tip to remember is that in order for a scan to successfully create an expense, the merchant, date, and amount need to be legible. However, I wanted to clarify, are you saying that the receipt disappears and you are unable to manually input the fields?

  • R4y_D0gR4y_D0g Expensify Customer Posts: 2

    @ Matt,

    Completely understandable that the merch, date and time are required, but if the image is blurry or such (which can happen with a phone), retaking the image as allowed for in the app does not re-launch the SmartScan as one would think it would. The only option when this happens is to manually input the data at that point. Additionally, if you access through the web interface, replacing the image does not allow for re-scanning the original item, but rather opens up a new copy of the original input rather than correcting it. Because of the way this works, one is left with all sorts of orphaned items that live in the Deleted category because they cannot be corrected or deleted. Extremely frustrating...

    The merging workaround as suggested by @Julia does not work to eliminate accumulating bad input either, as the merging method also creates a copy of one of the merged items along the way. This copy creation issue cannot be described as anything but a bug where I come from.

  • Christina DobryzynskiChristina Dobryzynski Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 220 Expensify Team

    Thanks for the additional insight @R4y_D0g! It sounds like other options to resolve the issue you're seeing is,

    • Allow the option of replacing a blurry receipt image on an already created expense

    • Prohibit blurry images from being SmartScanned

    Is that correct?

This discussion has been closed.