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Allow Admins to Access Accounts without Having Employees Add as Co-Pilot

jphillips Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

It would be helpful to allow Administrators to access and change all accounts without having the employees add them as a 'co-pilot'. There are times when I need to simple change a date or add a penny to the amount and we have to go through the whole process before I can get it to do that and then I have to re-submit it with that one change to have the department heads approve it yet again for one minor mistake. If the admin or another type status was an option to allow a single user full access to all accounts to act as a 'co-pilot' status for all, then these minor changes could be dealt with BEFORE the department heads receive it. Getting 42 employees to add us as co-pilot is difficult.

Thanks for any consideration!

12 votes

Gathering use cases · Last Updated


  • Nicole Trepanier
    Nicole Trepanier Expensify Team Posts: 500 Expensify Team

    @jphillips Thanks for creating an idea post. The reason we don't give admins this option is because many users use Expensify for both personal and business expenses or they have a personal credit card importing and not all of the transactions are business transactions. Policy Admins are not granted access to these expenses unless a user grants them co-pilot access.

  • jphillips
    jphillips Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    Sure. But, do they not have to disburse personal and business to two different policies? So, could the policy that the business 'owns' have that access while any expenses they put under their other (or personal) policy for themselves, the business policy admin wouldn't see? You are, in essence, not allow the business to control their own expenses at this point. If the account is set up as a business account, then the company should be able to control this first and then maybe provide an "opt out" option for those that need it. Just an idea!

  • Nicole Trepanier
    Nicole Trepanier Expensify Team Posts: 500 Expensify Team

    @jphillips When a new expense is added to Expensify it is not technically on a policy until it is put on a report. Any reports including open reports can be viewed by any admins on the policy. The only thing you can't do is edit the expense until it's been submitted.

  • kdearixon
    kdearixon Expensify Customer Posts: 6 Expensify Newcomer

    I understand you're trying to balance what will work for both the personal and company policies. However, this is the biggest frustration for our company too, and probably admins worldwide. Especially because we are paying for this service for our business expenses, and we are limited on what we can do because Expensify insists on offering a personal policy under the same umbrella. I feel like my hands are tied most of the time. Below are some suggestions that might help admins a little, which shouldn't affect the personal policy.

    1. Let admins edit open reports that are under the policies that we own. If we need to push open reports through for our employees at month end, we cant even move items (Ex. receipts not linked to credit card yet) off of the report prior to submitting it. We have to push it through wrong, and then reject those receipts back to them. Just causes unnecessary rejection emails to our employees that we could have discreetly fixed prior to pushing the report through.
    2. If we have a company credit card feed tied to our domain, those credit card charges should NOT be available to put on a PERSONAL policy that we cant even see. Shouldn't even be possible. This has happened at least 3 times in the last 3 months and we don't catch it until reconciling to our general ledger because those expenses are nowhere to be found. According to Expensify reconciliation dashboard, those expenses were submitted on a report so we wrongly assumed they were in our general ledger. To fix, we have to wait for the employee to go in and pull their personal report back and change the policy to a company policy and resubmit, because we can't even see the personal report to fix it. We have put some safeguards in place to try to minimize this happening in the future, but Expensify should make it impossible to submit corporate credit card charges on a personal policy. Our employees didn't even know that they did it because somehow they switched their default policy to their personal. They have even asked if they can inactivate the personal policy, and I wish we could.
    3. When employees are uploading receipts, allow them to select which policy that receipt should be tied to. This will prevent personal receipts from being loaded into their company policy if their company policy is the "default," and vice versa.

    Any consideration to these suggestions would be appreciated!

  • Jacob_Vogel123
    Jacob_Vogel123 Expensify Customer Posts: 5 Expensify Newcomer

    Jphillips, I am right there with you. I just had to vent a bit about how ridiculous the co-pilot feature is in Expensify. I am just starting to use the system, and ran into an issue where old transactions were accidentally imported from our Amex bank feed. In order for me to remove these transactions (that should have never been there to begin with), I have to reach out to each individual user and request co-pilot access. As an admin for a company account, I should have no restrictions whatsoever. This feature alone is causing me to look at other receipt tracking systems; one's that actually give admins admin privileges

  • nliso
    nliso Expensify Customer Posts: 19 Expensify Admirer
    Yes! The co-pilot function and also not being able to report out on who is a co-pilot is very frustrating for us as well. Admin should be able to set Co-Pilot Submit only access. 
  • ALC
    ALC Expensify Customer Posts: 1

    Lack of this function just cost Expensify our business (after being a happy customer for the last 3 years) ... I've been frustrated by this too many times and I'm off to find a better solution.

  • jscarpa_90703
    jscarpa_90703 Expensify Customer Posts: 28 Expensify Newcomer

    Yes, if you are a business, then you expect to be able to have certain "admins" in your business, for example your Director of Finance or Director of IT, that you trust to have full access to the employee accounts that they are expected to administrate. Expensify lacking this wisdom in developing their product needs to change or it is going to cost them a lot of corporate customers and opportunities.

  • Cheryl Walsh
    Cheryl Walsh Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 89 Expensify Team

    @jscarpa_90703 thanks for reaching out. The Director of Finance or Director of IT etc does have access to all the employee expenses that are submitted on the company Group Policies. They just don't have access to expenses that are submitted to a Personal/individual policy or are unreported. We find the co-pilot feature solves for the majority of cases where managers/admins have to manage their coworker/employee's accounts.

  • Maura_O
    Maura_O Expensify Customer Posts: 2 Expensify Newcomer

    So I ask each new employee to add me as co-pilot (as admin) and their direct reviewer. A bit of a hassle, but it avoids last minute crunches. The company is paying for this account. In no way should they link a personal card to their work email, is my view. I agree admin should be able to assign co-pilots to anyone's account. I had someone leave unexpectedly at reviewer level and staff level, so we have to reassign each employee they reviewed. Unfortunately, I don't see where reports already started can easily be reassigned to new reviewer. If I am able to give new reviewer co-pilot access to employee who left, they could complete the report. Very limiting. If Expensify if paid for by the company, the personal policy should not be an option and the only CC feeds should be corporate.

  • jscarpa_90703
    jscarpa_90703 Expensify Customer Posts: 28 Expensify Newcomer

    Yeah, this is definitely a less than ideal solution, though I do appreciate the comment. The problem is that businesses move fast and if Expensify is not able to meet business needs by allowing basic administrative support within our own Expensify user base, then we have to consider other solutions when asked by my boss, our CFO if I think we should continue to use Expensify or find a better solution.

  • krobinson
    krobinson Expensify Customer Posts: 7

    It is very frustrating how limited the "admin" role in Expensify is. A full-access admin should automatically be co-pilot for every employee, for all the reasons previously discussed. Of all the systems I am an admin over, Expensify provides the least amount of actual control. Very disappointing. Number 1 reason why I would not recommend Expensify to anyone

  • jscarpa_90703
    jscarpa_90703 Expensify Customer Posts: 28 Expensify Newcomer

    Hello Expensify, any update on fixing this problem and giving our company owners a bit more control and ability to support our customer base? Thank you,

  • Rachael Hopkins
    Rachael Hopkins Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 849 Expensify Team

    Hi @jscarpa_90703 it's still on the radar, but will depend on other functionality being completed first! I have not lost sight of it, it's just about timing! I can't give you a timeline, but I can say 'not in the next 3 months' at least!

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