Announcing new and improved Per Diem tracking

Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 362 Expensify Team
edited March 6 in Product Updates

Per Diem tracking in Expensify has just gotten an amazing facelift! 📆

You can now track and submit Per Diem claims by departure, return date, and time, and view only the subset of rates you need depending on where your trip takes you and Expensify will then calculate your trip’s Per Diem total for you - no extra work required!

Your new Per Diem expenses will be easily digestible for approvers, with a quick receipt breakdown showing the rates you've claimed that make up the total.

All new policies will now have the updated version of Per Diem enabled by default (when you toggle it ON from the policy settings). Anybody currently using Per Diem has been contacted and instructions have been added here to help with the migration (which needs to be completed by the end of April 2020).

Check out the How-To's below for more on creating new Per Diem expenses, setting it up as an admin and migrating over.

Got an idea of what could still be improved?

Fantastic, we've got a few ideas, and it'd be great to get your feedback too. We’re particularly interested in ideas explored in our Deep Dive around balancing the global requirements for Per Diem with any individual country’s specific needs.

In the short term, we're looking to improve things like the export of your Per Diem data for your jurisdiction’s tax authorities and maybe even improve the export of new Per Diem dates/times to accounting integrations to help with that too.

If you're keen for these or any others, discuss them below and maybe even kick it off as an idea yourself! Thanks for reading, and enjoy our shiny new Per Diem feature!

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  • JFDITJFDIT Expensify Customer Posts: 1

    Having been using Per Diem as a method of recording "time" spend on clients sites the new process is somewhat more complicated to administer

    I have differing rates dependant on the work completed (and indeed the clients) and the per diem was an easy way to record this

    it now does not appear to default to the category its set up to and the date of posting to the report is fixed and you have to select start and finish dates

    what was a simple process for me is now much more laborious

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 362 Expensify Team
    edited March 16

    Hi @JFDIT, thanks for the response! It sounds like you weren't actually using "Per Diems", which are rates usually set by a government but instead were using the previous, poorer support for these as a workaround for time-based expenses per clients?

    We're working on fixing the category default now, so that all Per Diem's still have that default applied.

    It sounds like what you'd really benefit from would be the ability to configure multiple time-based expenses, like we have for Distance right now in every policy.

    I see how this workaround is a pain for your specific use-case right now though. I'd encourage you to create an Idea in this community to see if others would benefit from multiple time-expenses like they have from multiple-mileage expenses as well.

    If you were looking to co-opt another feature though, it's possible you could use the Distance expenses option as you had been using Per Diem previously. The differences here are small and amount to:

    • Distance expenses are editable (where Per Diems are not)
    • Distance expenses can only have one currency, the policy default (where Per Diems can have any)
    • Distance expenses can incur a specific taxable portion

  • Path1123Path1123 Expensify Customer Posts: 2 Expensify Newcomer

    What if we do not want to change but like how we have our per diem set up for our organization. We have employees who travel all over the US and we have all the rates set up so they choose the rate based on the city they will be traveling to for a conference or training. We do not have a set list of cities because it is fluid.

    I think if people used the same travel plans over and over, your new system would be great but we have not idea where the conferences or trainings will be held each year and it is just easier for us to have all the rates available and they choose the one based on the city they travel to each time.

    Please advise if not changing is going to be an option. If we are being forced to change, this will not work for us and will become too labor intensive to have to set these up every time someone wants to travel.

    Pat Hilliard, SHIFT NC

  • April BekkalaApril Bekkala Expensify Customer, Expensify Team Posts: 60 Expensify Team

    Hi @Path1123,

    I think this Community post will serve you well! You are able to remain on your current method of per diem rates! This post will help you to better understand the new method, should you choose to use it, as well as provide information on how to get it set up successfully!

  • jadame104jadame104 Approved! Accountant Posts: 1
    edited March 17

    I loaded all DoD Per Diem rates into the system. It resulted in a large list; now when I go use the search feature in the destination it takes a little less than a min. to load the destination list. Also, when I try to load the policy it takes close to two mins. to load. 😑

  • Flavia FariaFlavia Faria Expensify Team Posts: 10 Expensify Team
    edited March 31

    Hi @jadame104! Would you mind sending this issue to so that we can look further into it? Thank you!

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 362 Expensify Team

    Hi @jadame104 - It sounds like you might have uploaded more than 100,000 rates - even though I only see an extra 663 rates (or 1,326 rates with M&IE rates as well as Lodging) stipulated by the US GSA here, in addition to the Standard CONUS rate which applies to all counties not specifically listed - where cities not listed may be located in a listed county.

    It would be great if we could make hundreds of thousands work as well as up to ~around 10k, but I just had never expected the need to load every individual destination if they fell within the standard.

    Could you try slimming down your list and simply label one as "Other" or "Standard CONUS rate" to account for the thousands extra you have?

  • C22C22 Expensify Customer Posts: 1

    Expensify is being very short sided not using the government's API to pre-load global GSA or DoD (JTR) approved per diem rates. It forces individual account administrators to have to perform very manually intensive data entry and to import massive spreadsheets. This duplicates the exact same data in multiple accounts in Expensify, thus using massive amounts of Expensify storage and system resources.

    Your competition provides this feature already at a rate that makes a good business case for migrating off of Expensify, which most of us do not want to do but may be compelled to do so.

    For users reading this post, go to the Expensify Ideas community and vote for GSA integration of per diem rates.

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 362 Expensify Team

    @C22, you're dead right about what a better solution would be! When you're responsible for building a feature to support all governments (not the USA alone) and take into account the time it would take a portion of your engineering team, unfortunately some ideals are always deemed to be out-of-scope. Right now, the manual upload supports every government possible, including the USA but it has no bells, or whistles in how those rates are added to the policy.

    Some governments have API's available to download rates, but some simply upload a PDF to very old website every so often. If you know of an API which can pre-populate and keep truly global per diem rates in sync, we'd love to hear about it.

    This feature was built to service a large gap in our product - the ability to accurately and more easily claim Per Diem amounts primarily where a government has multiple deductions available for that trip, and also allow users to record the actual trip dates.

    We'd definitely concede that if your main use case within Expensify is capturing and tracking Per Diem expenses, many of our competitors have focused more energy here - because as you've correctly identified, there is a need for it. If you have no need for in-app and automatic reimbursement, smart unlimited and automatic levels of approval (both by category/tag and employee), any existing daily synced cloud accounting connection, GPS mileage or time expense tracking, tax, integrated audit features, custom company expense policy violations, company card management and reconciliation or SmartScan just to name a few features - then we'd encourage that.

    We're building solutions for people who need them to solve their biggest pain-points, and if our current solution doesn't do so - but some other solution does, you'd be a fool not to use them!

    I'm so happy you've taken the first step in creating an Idea to have others weigh in on. It's great to see this part of our community thriving and I hope we see plenty of votes on this, so we can get back to improving yet another piece of our product for all the customers who need it.

  • KasuKasu Expensify Customer Posts: 1

    I am not using per-Diem rates. Is there anything that I need to do.

  • Isabela StisserIsabela Stisser Expensify Team Posts: 268 Expensify Team

    Hey @Kasu, if you're not using per diem rates you can ignore this announcement. Thanks!

  • M_WM_W Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    Here's my specific feedback:

    What the hell is wrong with you? How is "Fix it now!" an appropriate subject, ever?

    I chalked up Expensify's deeply flawed and brainless approach to rolling out the Expensify card to sheer stupidity. Not malice or intent, just the absolute lack of strategic thinking and absence of any form of common sense or foresight.

    With this, I can only conclude is that it's an active strategy to alienate and shed customers.

    We're in the process of migrating from Expesnify now (prompted by the trash fire that was the Expensify card roll-out and response). I had deprioritized it given everything else going on in the world, but this email reminded me just how clueless Expensify's approach is to everything and, aside from wanting COVID-19 to stop killing people, I couldn't want anything more than to churn out of Expensify. Brilliant work.

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