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We've changed the format of ReportIDs to randomised numbers

Christina Dobryzynski
Christina Dobryzynski Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 269 Expensify Team
edited September 2 in Product Updates

We recently made the following changes to our expense reports:

  1. ReportIDs are now a randomised set of numbers up to 16 digits long. 
  2. If you export from Expensify to CSV, we’ve added an “R” to the front of the reportID on any export templates that include report IDs.
  3. If you reimburse employees through Expensify, then reimbursement lines on your bank statement will use a new Reimbursement ID starting with “E” instead of the Report ID. You can search for reports on the Reports page in Expensify using either Report ID or Reimbursement ID.

What are ReportIDs?

ReportIDs are the unique identifier for each report. They can often be found in a Report Title or under the Details section of a report. They can also be exported along with other report and expense details

Which reports will this change affect? 

ReportsIDs are changing for all customers. This change will not retroactively affect historical reports, only reports moving forward.

What happens when the new IDs are exported to a spreadsheet?

We found that Excel and other spreadsheet programs sometimes automatically changes the format of long numbers to scientific format (e.g. 1.7976e+308), making them incorrect and impossible to use as a reference point. To address this, we’ve added an “R” to the front of the reportID on any export templates that include report IDs.

How do I reconcile report reimbursements using the ACH debit from my bank account?

As a result of this change, when you reimburse a report, the corresponding debit in your withdrawal account will no longer have the Report ID appended. Instead, we are generating a new Reimbursement ID during the reimbursement process and appending that new Reimbursement ID to the debit.

Not to worry though - we've updated the Reports page so you can search for reports using this new number. If you copy the number appended to the debit and paste it in the search field in Expensify, it will pull up the corresponding report for reconciliation purposes.


What if I'd like to only export the number portion of the Report ID, without the "R"?

Simply amend your formula to show {report:id|substr:1:16} or '{report:id|substr:1:16} to show just the number in the exported CSV or XLS. Read more about how our Substring and Math formula work here and how Excel treats numbers with a single quote attached here.

Do you have questions about these changes? Feel free to reach out in chat or by emailing [email protected] with any questions!


Related Links:

Comments

  • Julia
    Julia Expensify Customer Posts: 162 Expensify Pro

    How do we search by Report ID now? When I press Shift+G and paste the Report ID in, it no longer finds the report.


  • Cortney Ofstad
    Cortney Ofstad Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 161 Expensify Team

    Hi @Julia! You can search by report ID using the filters along the top of the reports page, as shown below:

    This will bring up the requested report. If you still continue to experience the error, please reach out to [email protected] and we can take a deeper look! Thanks!

  • Jake
    Jake Expensify Customer Posts: 23 Expensify Admirer
    edited September 1

    Basically, this change has made the Report ID unuseable for our accounting system, which has a maximum number of 20 characters for a Report Title going into the system. Since your new "improved" Report ID is a whopping 16 characters in and of itself, we cannot use it any longer as we had before, where we concatenated it with other data ({report:submit:from:customfield1}_{report:enddate:yyMMdd}__{report:id}). This change has not done us any favors.

    I'm currently trying to decide how to handle this going forward, but this change seems nonsensical to me. The ID number is too lengthy to be of any immediate use in terms of referencing it (even verbally), while its randomness also makes it non-intuitive and quite unhelpful. Also, I'm sure we can't be the only users that are going to run up against a character limit which will make this ID datapoint totally useless going forward. I'm sure you thought you had good reasons for implementing this change, but I assume many others will have an issue with this. :(

  • Jake
    Jake Expensify Customer Posts: 23 Expensify Admirer

    I left a comment earlier and just tripped across this potential way to truncate the lengthy ID so I can use only the last four characters in my Report Title: {report:ID:|substr:12:16}. When concatenated with a user customfield1 (user initials) and a date (start date in my case), I think I can make this work! I had asked the Concierge about this issue last week, and they never mentioned this was a possibility. I'm hoping this will work for us and may work for others who are finding the 16-character Report ID unwieldy. Good luck!😉

  • Kirk Barrett
    Kirk Barrett Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 128 Expensify Team

    I'm glad to hear that you found a workaround around on this! Please let us know if you run into any further trouble.

  • Julia
    Julia Expensify Customer Posts: 162 Expensify Pro

    Wanted to add that this update has created extensive problems for us, our integration coding all has to be reprogrammed. Expensify should really reach out to its customers about major changes like this. And no, a post in the community is not sufficient enough. And no, subscribing to product updates is not something we can do either. Our IT department had to put a block on most of these thanks to all the unsolicited messages David Barrett sent, which caused a huge breach in client trust.

  • Julia
    Julia Expensify Customer Posts: 162 Expensify Pro

    Also, the changes to how these post through bank withdrawals is going to cause an additional reconciliation nightmare. We have hundreds of reimbursable reports every week, we cannot paste the 'new report ID' that generates on the bank side to look up each and every single one.

    Why can't it be the actual report ID? If it's a character limit, then certainly you should have considered that as a potential issue your customers are running into with their accounting software. We will now only be able to allow up to 9 items on an expense report, because each transaction on a report generates an additional number. 17 digits is our limit. What a nightmare.

  • Greg Schroeder
    Greg Schroeder Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 64 Expensify Team
    edited September 1

    Hi @Julia,

    We spent a fair amount of time discussing this adjustment, and didn't make the change lightly. Since the change has gone live, we've been responding to customer feedback to maintain and/or restore as much functionality that was in place with the old Report ID structure. I'd say that still characterizes our position and I'd love to get more detail from you.

    >We will now only be able to allow up to 9 items on an expense report, because each transaction on a report generates an additional number. 17 digits is our limit.

    I'm not sure I follow here - can you clarify your workflow here and why this change limits you to 9 items on a report? Thanks in advance!

  • Rashed
    Rashed Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    Hi @Greg

    My feedback,

    I second Julia's concerns on integrations. We are now in a situation where integration stopped working and we will need to make urgent changes, and test these changes, in a month-end freeze period, in multiple environments (production, UAT, Test, etc.) to support the addition or "R" to the ReportID,

    If you make an API call to get a list of report IDs for approved expenses, then if you do web service call to get the CSV file for each of the report IDs, you will immediately hit a discrepancy issue and a breaking-change where report IDs do not match what's on the CSV file is as a report ID (the "R" addition); so from both master data identical records and integrations, it is just misaligned,

    (On a side note, I will have to check if we will need to change from a num/digit format to string format in our ERP to be able to consume the "R" addition to the digits/Id)

    From timing perspective, executing the change close or at month-end, is also not the best, as controllers, accountants and finance closing their books.

  • Ben Fitz
    Ben Fitz Expensify Team Posts: 114 Expensify Team

    Hi @Rashed,

    Thanks for leaving your feedback. Mind contacting us at [email protected] so we can dive a little further into your workflows? We're looking to understand all of the peripheral impacts of this change, and getting some specifity on your situation would be helpful for us in that regard.

    Thanks!

  • Julia
    Julia Expensify Customer Posts: 162 Expensify Pro

    @Cortney Ofstad

    Your suggestion isn't working, what else can I do to find these reports easily?


  • Conor Pendergrast
    Conor Pendergrast Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 175 Expensify Team

    Hey @Julia , nothing about searching for the Report ID in that field has changed with this update, so if you're not able to find the report based on that ID, then there's likely something else at play. For example, the account you're searching from may not have access to that report.

    If you could chat to Concierge, and say you're having trouble finding that report (with the report ID), then look to see why that account can't find that report. Thanks!

  • CF2
    CF2 Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer
    edited September 12

    16-digit Report ID's seems a bit excessive especially considering a lot of us (expensify customers) use excel in someway to look at data. We personally do not mind the length of the Report ID but excel does and that is affecting the way we do our reconciliations. I've tried your many solutions and even though I was able to get the full 16 digits to display by making them text instead of numbers, unfortunately the formulas we use do not like text and only work when the Report ID's are stored as numbers.

    Is there no way to make the Report ID's be a maximum of 15 digits long? If Report ID's continue to be 16 digits and we cannot find a way to make it work for us, it will create a bunch of unnecessary man hours to get our reconciliation done. We are already spending a decent amount of extra hours trying to find solutions and we are not even sure we will find one.

    We personally think this change was a bad idea and if possible, we vote to change it back to the way it was before of at the bare minimum choose any amount that is either 15 digits or less for Report ID's. We've noticed that some of our Report ID's were 15 digits long at some point during this transition so it seems like this could be possible.

  • jim23
    jim23 Expensify Customer Posts: 1

    Very good post! We will be linking to https://legitmedsonlineshop.com/ this great article on our website.

  • Sasha Kluger
    Sasha Kluger Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 125 Expensify Team

    Hi everyone - I wanted to let you know that we have heard your feedback and are planning to change Report IDs again to address the issues you raised and accommodate your requirements. Please see our new product update post for a summary of the new changes, and feel free to reach out to Concierge with any questions about the upcoming change.