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Please return the option of hiding/minimizing the audit trail comments on reports

SynergyConsultants30SynergyConsultants30 Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

I've learned due to some recent changes, users have lost the ability to hide/minimize the audit report comments. In our organization, the changes to reports are generally minor in nature (correcting a date, renaming, or correcting minor mistakes on a report) - and not anything we want to highlight or is relevant to the clients we are sharing the expense report with. I understand some may want the audit trail visible, however don't see why it can't have a hide/minimize option so the users can choose whether it is visible or not.

8 votes

Understanding the Issue · Last Updated

Comments

  • Michael HaxhiuMichael Haxhiu Expensify Customer, Expensify Team Posts: 43 Expensify Team

    Hey @SynergyConsultants30, don't forget to vote for your own idea using the yellow vote box at the bottom of your post! Votes and use cases is an important part of understanding the demand for a feature request.

    Additionally, may I ask if there are specific negative impacts to your workflow that this change caused? I'd love to understand better so I can relay any necessary feedback to my team. We have exposed this area of the report primarily to make changes easier to view and facilitate easier discussion on reports.

    Cheers!

  • SynergyConsultants30SynergyConsultants30 Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    We understand that some may prefer to have every change visible, and so it would be great if the user/admin has the option to show or hide the comments/changes. The main negative impact is it adds unnecessary and irrelevant additional details to the report PDF. We send the reports to our clients and would prefer to not highlight that minor internal changes were made.

  • Michael HaxhiuMichael Haxhiu Expensify Customer, Expensify Team Posts: 43 Expensify Team

    @SynergyConsultants30 Thanks for the additional context around your use case. I think I can understand that.

    Out of curiosity, do your clients take actions on those reports (i.e. approve or pay) after you share the PDF report? Or do they just view it and save for their records?

  • SynergyConsultants30SynergyConsultants30 Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    We invoice outside of Expensify so when we bill for expenses we include a copy of the corresponding expense report. Our clients primarily review the reports prior to approving payment then presumably save for their records.

  • Michael HaxhiuMichael Haxhiu Expensify Customer, Expensify Team Posts: 43 Expensify Team

    Got it, thanks for clarifying! With that use case in mind, I think I can better understand your request.

    We aren't able to adjust this today, but let's leave your post open for other customers to upvote and build up customer demand.

  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer

    We have the same issue. we send our clients our expensify statements for reimbursement. and do not want to send them the audit trail (changes, retractions, typos fixed, name changed to suit conventions etc).

  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer

    Why would you remove a useful feature like this???

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 303 Expensify Team

    We send our clients our expensify statements for reimbursement. and do not want to send them the audit trail

    What is it about the audit trail that it's of absolute paramount importance they don't see? Do you feel like they wouldn't pay the bill if this was there? Would there be a great delay in that payment? Have your clients shared this feedback with you directly?

  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer

    Hi Ted,

    We don't need our clients to know the ins and outs of our process. We like the neat outline on expensify, the pdf's receipts etc. everything neatly in one place in an easy to read format. It is not necessary for our clients to know that a submitter changed something, the reviewer had an amount lowered, or a tax rate changed etc. They do not need to review our process. Just the output. Thanks,

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 303 Expensify Team

    Good to know @Sal. Have you considered using our rebill functionality to create a new clean invoice from an Approved report - that would seem the best way to maintain this functionality then.

    With our new Bill-Pay functionality too, your Invoice will create a corresponding linked Bill for your client - you and your client can discuss anything you need to in the Comments on your Invoice and the clients can discuss privately anything they'd like to internally on their Bill (without you seeing that).

    Basically, the system we've built when used correctly should account for all these things, but exporting to a PDF seems to go against that flow a touch. Can I ask if there is anything in particular which makes you prefer sending your clients your internal PDF's of Expense Reports, rather than using our Invoices?

  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer
    edited October 20

    I am sorry, we can not do this. we have very few clients and statements. We send them a covering letter, the invoice and the expensify statements to support the reimbursements mentioned in the invoice. Our clients are international, and we are based in Singapore, so it is unlikely we can use your bill payment facility.

    Further, your invoices do not support the same categorization of expenses e.g. flights, meals etc. They are just a long list. Harder to read, harder to approve etc. Your expensify statements are extremely easy to understand.

    I know you offer the ability to generate invoices from your system but locally if we shifted to electronic invoicing, we would use Peppol, which is common in Singapore. Unfortunately, our clients are not in countries using e-invoicing, so it does not help in any case. So, while this may not be the flow you would like, this is what we need in our circumstances.

    Thanks,

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 303 Expensify Team

    Hmmm, I'm still a little confused @Sal. Even if you didn't want to use the full Invoice+Bill features, you could still create a brand new Invoice report (which looks almost identical to an Expense Report) by using the Rebill functionality on any Approved Expense Report with Billable expenses on, rather than sending your internal Expense Reports.

    Further, our invoices do not support the same categorization of expenses e.g. flights, meals etc. They are just a long list. Harder to read, harder to approve etc. Your expensify statements are extremely easy to understand.

    It's also interesting that you know that both you and your clients prefer the clean and easy to understand look of Expensify's reports (Invoices/Bills/Expense reports all look roughly the same) but if they were to start paying them electronically, you would instead choose to use something which you all agree would probably be worse?

    How are these invoices usually paid now? Is it a wire/SWIFT bank transfer? Is it a Check? Is there a legal requirement I'm missing which means an "e-invoice" must meet some standard to be considered an "e-invoice" at all?

    Essentially, what is the difference to you sending an Invoice Report (created from Expensify) to a client vs an Expense Report (created from Expensify) that materially necessitates you send the Expense Report instead?

  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer

    Ted, I made a typo. YOUR invoices/bills are a long list not categorized. We want categorized lists. Which is only offered for expense statements.

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 303 Expensify Team

    @Sal this might be something you should reach out to Concierge for because the coding available for expenses on an Invoice is exactly the same as the coding available for an Expense Report.

    Example Approved Expense Report:

    Example Rebilled Invoice Report: (this is automatically created with all Invoice fields when you click "Rebill Expenses" for you).

    Invoices, as well as a cleaner report also obviously come with the added benefit of Mark Up, Discount and Invoice Specific Report Fields.

    Now what I think having gone through a bit of this flow myself now is that you're really just missing the extra coding information being surfaced in the PDF, or at a first glance - as highlighted in the boxes here, shown by the "Detailed" breakdown options that are available on an Expense Report:

    Would it be fair to say that if you had those View, Group By and Split By options to format the PDF that was sent, that you'd be able to use this Invoicing feature? After all, the coding shown within Expensify to the Invoiced business does show the same across both Expense Reports and Invoices - it's there, it just wouldn't show on a flat PDF:

  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer

    Hi Tim,

    Yes, we need the split by category for easy reading/understanding. If that is in an invoice, we could use that. I notice this also has the audit trail....can that be removed here?

  • John SchusterJohn Schuster Expensify Team Posts: 89 Expensify Team

    Hey there @Sal! Expensify generated Invoices don't currently offer any sort of grouping by Category or Tag. If you feel this could markedly improve our Invoicing feature, would you be willing to create another Idea post for this specific idea? That would help make this particular idea a bit more discoverable for the greater community.

    Regarding the audit trail, When you create a new Invoice from the rebillable expenses from an Expense Report, that Invoice will not retain the Expense Report's audit trail. Rather, it'll contain a completely blank Comment section for you and your client to use to discuss the invoice itself.

    How's that sound?

  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer

    Hi John,

    thank you for your suggestion. I would really like the option for an administrator to "hide" the comments/ process to be restored to the expense statement, so the file can be saved without this extraneous information. Thank you, Salonee

    Ps. I am happy to offer the suggestion to add categories to invoices, but if we need to make changes, why not add the functionality to hide audit trails to the expense statements?

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 303 Expensify Team

    Hi @Sal, back again on this from me in the European timezone. I confess I did believe we'd gotten to the core of your concerns being the need for Categories on Invoices, as it seemed the argument you'd made for removing the audit trail was because:

    It is not necessary for our clients to know that a submitter changed something, the reviewer had an amount lowered, or a tax rate changed etc. They do not need to review our process.

    Now, the point of moving it to an Invoice, which in an ideal world would have the Categories showing is that this audit history would essentially be bare - only showing the timestamps that this was created, submitted and paid etc. What exactly about those things do your clients not need to know? We feel pretty strongly that they're useful for both parties.

  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer

    @Ted ,

    Thanks for your email. There is other information on the expensify statement, like the name of the employee and dates of the business trip. We typically attach (or send a link to) 10-15 expense statements on an invoice. All this information makes it easy for clients to quickly check, yes these were the dates that this employee was in their offices etc.

    I am puzzled that you would prefer to revamp invoices, for which there may or may not be a demand, just to avoid restoring some functionality and options to expense statements.

    Please add back options. Options to hide audit trails on expense statements. And if you wish, improve options for invoices. make it possible to show any information on an invoice- employee names, dates of trips, perhaps segregate the different expensify statements into different sections, to make it easier to read, understand and approve. For example, if there were four employees on a project, and they each have lunch separately on a particular day, why would it be better to have four listings for lunch on one day in an invoice? on the other hand, four simple expense statements are easy to understand and accept- each with all the details of that employee's business trip.

    Would you like to email me or call me to discuss further?

    Thanks,

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 303 Expensify Team

    Hmmm when you say "I am puzzled that you would prefer to revamp invoices", are you saying that I am misunderstanding that what you are sending to clients are in fact invoices?

    What you're saying in this thread is that you have a problem with invoicing clients - and thus, the most sensible place to make those changes are in our invoicing feature not Expense Reports. To build our Expense Reports as a workaround for invoicing so that they could be used for that function doesn't make sense when we have a function to Invoice already.

    We typically attach (or send a link to) 10-15 expense statements on an invoice.

    This seems immaterial to your need to restore a dropdown for audit history. As you can add as many billable expenses to an Invoice in Expensify as you like, you could simply send a single invoice with the 10-15 expense statement's worth of expenses at once, that's not a problem, you'd just use the Expenses Page "Billable", "Tags" and "Submitter" filters instead of the "Rebill" function in a single report.

    This allows you to present the information per invoice however you believe your client would like it - whether that's per day for all employees or per employee for that project - it's entirely up to you how you structure the expenses that need to be billed back - none of that though seems to state why collapsing the comments solves this problem for you that I can tell.

  • LaurenR_ExpensifyLaurenR_Expensify Expensify Team Posts: 67 Expensify Team

    hi @Sal hmmm I think there still seems to be some confusion here on how our invoicing works.

    This is what we're suggesting you do -

    1. Continue to have employees submit their expense reports, but make sure that the "billable" option is selected for all the expenses on it.
    2. When the report is approved, select report on the Reports page and click the "rebill" button.
    3. This will create a new invoice based on all the expenses in that report. This would be identical to the expense report, except it. would have the clean audit trail.

    You do have the option to merge multiple reports into one new billable invoice, but it doesn't sound like that is something you would want.

    As with all our product updates, we are happy to gauge user feedback on new design choices and listen to the reasons driving those opinions. Here is an example where we brought back starred reports in reaction to user feedback. In your instance, the need for a "clean and comment free" report to send to your clients as an invoice is available via the route above. However, if other users have use cases for this we are happy to continue to listen. Thanks!

  • SynergyConsultants30SynergyConsultants30 Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    I understand your suggestion of creating an invoice (to obtain a clean audit trail) but that is an extra step as well as creates both the original report and an invoice (so two documents for the same expense report) - we invoice outside of Expensify and often add multiple expense reports to the external invoice, so this adds an unnecessary, duplicative step. It also creates another problem for us it would appear as both an invoice and a report with the same name would be shown and when we change to reimbursed, both the report and invoice would now have to be manually changed to reimbursed. Again, adds extra, unnecessary steps to our workflow and process.

  • Sonia LiapounovaSonia Liapounova Expensify Team Posts: 133 Expensify Team

    @SynergyConsultants30 I see what you mean by extra steps. You mentioned that you often add multiple expense reports to the invoice. One thing you might find helpful is that you can select multiple reports at once when you rebill the reports. Selecting multiple and then clicking Rebill will create one invoice with all billable expenses combined from across the selected reports.

    Likewise, you can select multiple to mark them reimbursed in bulk. This works by selecting the checkboxes next to multiple reports then clicking Bulk Actions and selecting Mark as Reimbursed.


  • SalSal Expensify Customer Posts: 9 Expensify Newcomer
    edited October 22

    @Sonia Liapounova @Ted Harris

    Thank you for taking the time think out how to resolve this issue. This issue has only been created by the recent revamp.

    Instead of proposing long work-about solutions which generate extra work for the users of expensify and would require adding many features to invoices which are currently not there, why not simply restore a useful feature to expense statements?

  • Sonia LiapounovaSonia Liapounova Expensify Team Posts: 133 Expensify Team

    @Sal We definitely don't want to create more work for our users but we also want to make sure we leave no stone unturned as we learn about use cases we missed while working on the update so that we have a clear picture of where we fell short and what we need to consider. Thank you for your feedback!

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