Deep Dive: Policy submission rules, violations, and best practices for setup

Rachael Hopkins
Rachael Hopkins Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 904 Expensify Team
edited April 2022 in Deep Dive Docs

When you set up Automation in Expensify you will also want to set up Violations, so that you’re not just giving carte blanche to all users to submit whatever they want. I recently had a case where a company had Scheduled Submit, Concierge Report Approvals and Automatic Reimbursement but no Violations in place to control the expenses and it was, frankly, a disaster!

So let’s discuss automated features and what controls should be in place...

Automated Features

Scheduled Submit - This feature will add expenses to reports and automate the submission of those reports. Expenses with Violations will not be submitted without being fixed or submitted manually.

Concierge Report Approval - When “Should expenses that pass both levels of review also require manual approval?” Is set to No, any reports without any Violations will be automatically approved and final-approved.

Auto-Sync - When your accounting integration is set to AutoSync, this means the reports will be exported as soon as they are final-approved (this is on the Advanced tab of all integrations except for QBD).

Manual Reimbursement Threshold - Any reports under this threshold will be automatically approved.

All of this stuff is great and lessens the workload for Admins, but I think we can all agree that without controls in place, this could go pear-shaped very quickly!!!


Violations - Enabling Violations will mean that anything ‘against the rules’ is flagged for review and will not be submitted automatically. However, users can still submit manually (see Domain Groups below for how to prevent submission).

  • Max Expense Age (Days) - This is how old an expense can be
  • Max Expense Amount - This is how large a single expense can be
  • Receipt Required Amount - This is the maximum size of an expense, before it needs a receipt

Categories Required - This means all expenses must be coded with a Category

Category Rules - This is where you can set a special limit for a certain category. e.g. Your default expense limit is $2500 but Entertainment has a limit of $150 per person, per day. You can also require or not require receipts, which is great for allowing things like Mileage or Per Diems to have no receipt.

Tags Required - This means all expenses must be coded with a Tag

NB: Description - When a user adds a note to the Description field, this will allow Scheduled Submit to submit the expense in some cases, even if there is a Violation. This is designed so that when a Manager gives the rubber-stamp to a violation, the user can 'get around' it.

Domain Control - Group settings

This is where we pull out the heavy artillery. In all the Controls above, users can still manually override the requirement for coding, receipts etc. If you set “Strictly enforce expense policy rules” on the Domain Group, the users cannot submit expenses unless they are perfect. Even if they add a note. 

For many companies, the controls above are fine on their own, but if you have a big team, strictly enforcing the rules will put the onus back on users to do things by the book and give you peace of mind that you’re not missing anything!

Have a question or want to know more? Start a discussion here!