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Deep Dive: What are Smart Limits?

Conor Pendergrast
Conor Pendergrast Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 175 Expensify Team
edited September 2022 in Deep Dive Docs

Using the Expensify card, you can use Smart Limits to control how much unaccounted spend a cardholder can incur at a time.

Please note that Smart Limits also work in tandem with your Company Limit (i.e. even if the full limit is available, the cardholder will not be able to make a purchase if the Company Limit is at $0).

Setting a $1,000 Smart Limit will mean that a card can have up to $1,000 of unreported, Open or Processing expenses at a time. Setting a $0 Smart Limit on a card will mean that the card can’t be used.

A Smart Limit applies to an individual, who can have both a Digital and Physical card. Updating one will update the other.


Controlling Expensify Card spending limits

Unlike traditional, static spend limits, you can use Smart Limit to allow flexible limits.

When you set, for example, a Smart Limit of $1,000 for a cardholder, that will allow them to have up to $1,000 of unapproved (unsubmitted or Processing) card expenses at a time. If they try to spend more than this limit, their Expensify card will decline the transaction.

You can also make sure that the cardholder can continue to spend by approving their Unapproved expenses on the Reconcilation tab! This will free up more of their limit, and they will be able to continue to use their card.



You can also increase a cardholder's Smart Limit by clicking the Edit Limit button.



Recommended Group Policy Settings

Smart Limits are best used alongside Scheduled Submit at the Group Policy level. Scheduled Submit automatically adds expenses to a report and submits those reports periodically. This will ensure Expensify Card expenses are added to a report and submitted for approval.

Also setting your approval workflow with a high manual threshold for Concierge Report Approval will allow you to focus on expenses with broken rules.


Example of Smart Limit approval

A new employee starts with Expensify, and their default Smart Limit is set through their Domain Group at $10,000.

As part of their first few weeks at Expensify, they are visiting our offices in San Francisco and Portland. They buy their flights, book their hotel, and buy thier laptop. In total, they spend $8,500.

Those $8,500 expenses are each checked against their Smart Limit of $10,000, and authorised.

That means their remaining Smart Limit is $1,500 at this point ($10,000 - $8,500). 

An expense is automatically created for each purchase and also added to an Open report. At the end of that week, all of those expenses are submitted for approval (based on our Scheduled Submit settings). The report state is changed from Open to Processing. Their Smart Limit remains at $1,500.

This new employee then tries to book a flights for $1,800 to our London office. However, that transaction is declined because it would exceed their remaining Smart Limit of $1,500.

The next day, their approver reviews their Processing reports, and final approves them. Those $8,500 expenses are all now on an Approved report, and no longer count against the Smart Limit.

That means that this employee can now spend up to $10,000 again! 

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