Getting employees to submit timely expenses and receipts

Lizhong Expensify Customer Posts: 7 Expensify Newcomer

Hi everyone! So we've been using Expensify for a couple of weeks now and I have definitely been enjoying the faster workflow from the tool. However, we are still experiencing some hiccups but it relates to our humans. :tired_face:

Right now, our system is that 95% of expenses would go on a corporate card and everyone has until 20th of the following month to complete their monthly expenses (fix violations, upload receipts, and etc...).

There are multiple employees that just struggle with keeping receipts (I've told them about the snap and burn you can do to receipts with Expensify) and submitting on time (numerous followup through Slack, though some way to send regular reminders through Expensify would be really nice).

I would love to know how Expensify and everyone else in the community manage this. We want to implement a policy that doesn't require everyone hating me but also perform timely and compliant month ends.

@tylerzoll and @Julia , and @Sheena Trepanier, it'd be great to hear from you guys!

Best Answers

  • tylerzoll
    tylerzoll Approved! Accountant Posts: 430 Expensify Champion
    Answer ✓

    @Lizhong, One of the things that I reccomend is to be added as a copilot on all of your users if that is possible. While it may not be feasable for everyone to do this, I take a look through the expense accounts and delete any extra automatically created reports and fix a few tags here and there. It just kindof helps get things going in the right direction.

    We've turned on e-receipts for all expenses under $75.00 on the corporate card. this strongly encourages folks to use the corporate card since that means that many of them never have to scan a receipt. We also deny expenses that are not on the company card without a receipt. Fortunatly for me, my predisessor really cracked down on receipts, so the folks I work with really try to comply with the higher law.

    There will be some folks that just never get it, but most of the time for me it's the people who don't have many expenses (less than 5 per month).

    Another thing that I do is I create rules for folks that continuously have the same problem. It takes a bit of time to set up a rule, but if someone has an expense that should be categorized and tagged a certain way on a monthly basis, I create a rule for them.

    The biggest struggle that I have is that people fall back into the monthly expense report mindset. I always tell them they could submit a report daily if they would like.

  • Zil
    Zil Expensify Customer Posts: 18 Expensify Admirer
    Answer ✓

    This is something I had to work out with our employees as well. Copiliot did not work for use because employees just used it as an excuse that "oh someone else with take care of it" With the new admin features it isn't necessary at all. The biggest thing that made a difference was weekly reconciliations and reminders. You can now look at all the open and unreported expenses for other submitters if you are an admin. Id recommend pulling this up every couple of days and sending your employees an email. Once they are in the habit this becomes less time intensive. Also we had to institute a rule for one person that if you do not submit your receipts your company credit card is taken away and you can only submit for reimbursement. It wasn't ideal but it got them to submit.

  • Julia
    Julia Expensify Customer Posts: 164 Expensify Pro
    Answer ✓

    Liz I feel your pain! Systems are controllable, people are not.
    Unfortunately, this is more of a people issue than a systems issue.
    This needs to really be a top down focus. Do you have any allies on a leadership level that you could get on board with helping to get a solution to your problem? I find that once I can get a few people in my corner, it really helps to have that peer accountability to help nudge things along.
    Also, a lot of times, people just don't understand the business impact. Don't be afraid to tell them how it impacts you and the big picture. Help them understand that it makes your job harder. No one wants to make someone else's job harder, sometimes they just don't realize that they are.


  • Lizhong
    Lizhong Expensify Customer Posts: 7 Expensify Newcomer

    Yeah, I have definitely been trying to push for our users especially the problem users to make me a copilot. It is quite a process since even though I wrote a quick tutorial, I would still have to run it through with each person individually. With the new change to Expensify where we can change a lot of the fields in reports without switching to copilot has done wonders for me. But there is only so much I can do to make them submit those big receipts.

    About the daily reporting, do you not feel that too many reports end up being created? We tried doing weekly and many of our employees complained that it was too often so we reverted back to monthly.

    It is a shame that our predecessor and even us right now don't have a strong policy, however, I am working hard to change it now! It is especially hard in a tech startup environment where everyone has been accustomed to bad habits.

  • tylerzoll
    tylerzoll Approved! Accountant Posts: 430 Expensify Champion

    We do monthly reporting, but we let folks know that they can do an expense report whenever they would like. We reimburse really quick, so I think that helps for the reimbursable expenses.

    I think at first, people don't really trust the system, but they will start to trust it eventually.

  • tylerzoll
    tylerzoll Approved! Accountant Posts: 430 Expensify Champion

    @Zil, We didn't have to go to the extreme of taking someones card away, but that option was on the table if things didn't work out. We have very adjustable controls on our cards, so it would be really easy to just shut one off until they clean up their reports.

  • Brigid  Bello
    Brigid Bello Expensify Team Posts: 77 Expensify Team
    edited March 2020

    Hi all, I wanted to chime in here with a few more suggestions, as this discussion took place before Expensify rolled out its Reconciliation Dashboard.

    With Domain Control and the Reconciliation Dashboard, you are no longer reliant on reports to match traditional paper credit card statements exactly (which always creates big headaches for both users and admins alike!).

    No matter what frequency your team submits under, or how many reports they submit per month, as long as their expenses are up to date, you can reconcile back to the card statement date using the Reconciliation Dashboard!

    Simply go to Settings > Domain Control > [Domain Name] > Company Cards, and enter your statement dates. As long as the balance in the first column matches the statement, and the balance in the second Unapproved column is $0, your statement is reconciled! You can click through the blue total link to view the transactions one-by-one.

    If the balance in the second column is not $0, you can click through to approve the Unapproved transactions, or even add any Unreported transactions to a report on the user's default policy.

    If you would like to continue to use Scheduled Submit to submit monthly reports, simply set the submission date to a few days after the statement end date. This will ensure when you go to reconcile your statement later in the month, all of the previous month's transactions will have been submitted!

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

  • Sjobeck
    Sjobeck Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    Can Expensify not bug the user for us?

    Configure & deploy scheduled "nags"?

    ie: hey, you will not be reimbursed if this does not go through before month-end.

    ie: this is your third reminder and your supervisor has been CC'd on this email. (what Oracle Expense Reporting does)