Introducing Attendee Tracking in Expensify
Great news! We’re thrilled to unveil Attendee Tracking in Expensify. This new feature offers increased transparency on group spend by allowing users to add internal colleagues and external guests to expenses, as well as document attendees for meeting and event spend.
Here’s how it works:
When creating a new expense, simply choose internal attendees from a drop-down list of your coworkers, or manually type in external attendees (like a client's name).
Add attendees to an expense to account for group spending scenarios. Policy rules and expense limits are applied on a per-person basis. An expense that exceeds policy limits based on the number of attendees will result in a violation. If a violation exists, expenses will be highlighted in the Guided Review process for submitters and approvers.
Admins can quickly and easily examine and export attendee details to a template for reporting and spend analysis. No need to check the comments field of each expense for important attendee details - just check out the attendee field!
If an expense is over the policy limit (per person), violations will be flagged on reports for submitters and approvers:
Curious for more details? Check out our help doc on Attendee Tracking here.
How do I remove this from my reports? We don't want to give employees access to this.
Once an attendee is being to an expense report line, does that person get an email notification?
Hi @ILOVEEXPESENSES, welcome! Can you tell us a little more about why you'd like to remove this functionality for your employees? At this time Attendee Tracking is a built in functionality of Expensify policies, but I'd love to learn more so I can share your feedback with my team.
Hi @ReynerT, great question! We don't currently support notification for being added as an attendee to another person's expense, but I'd be interested in knowing how your team would utilize that functionality.
Thanks so much for this functionality! I think folks will love it!
I have no drop down. When I try to add attendees, it shows my employees and that's it. If I try to type someone in search bar to add it won't let us
Oh my goodness, please give us a way to disable "customers" and "attendees". I want to keep my team's expense list as simple as possible, since most of my team's, I rather only include fields that they must fill out.
We like the functionality but it would be so much better if it was configurable to specific categories, could this configuration be possible in the future? For HMRC purposes this is only needed for external catering, but we would find it handy for policy violations if staff are paying for subsistence or a hotel for another colleague. So I think the answer would be to make it configurable by category level so it can be turned on for certain categories rather than across the whole system.
Agreed with @SamAY - this is a fantastic feature but we currently do not want to introduce this to our users. The list of details to fill out for each expense is already plenty and introducing this will add confusion.
It will be especially confusing since this is an 'optional' field - all the other fields we set up are required fields.
If you could add these enhancements then it would make for a much better adoption:
1) Make this feature something you can toggle for particular categories.
2) Allow this to be an optional or required field.
Don't want/need this. How do I remove it? Making this process more difficult for me, not easier.
Don't want this feature. Please make it optional and can be turned off. We want to keep it simple and least amount of fields to enter. We are able to use expense categories to differentiate meals by oneself, with other employees and with customers.
is it possible to add attendees in app?
Hello everyone, thank you all for taking time to share really helpful feedback. I've compiled it all for our team to digest and discuss, and we'll update this thread should more information become available.
I did want to take a moment to address some common questions I've seen and some other issues that were also brought up in this thread.
Can it be disabled ?
We don't currently offer the option to disable this feature, but we are interested in hearing from everyone who feels it should be optional. If you haven't already shared why this feature doesn't work for you and your team, please do so on this thread so I can include the feedback in our internal discussion.
Are employees notified?
At this time employees and individuals aren't notified if they are added as an attendee. We'd love to hear more about how you would use the notifications, what benefits they would offer, and what risks, if any, you're thinking about in not having the notifications.
@mserick, can you tell us a little more about how this feature is making using Expensify more difficult? We'd love to understand how it's impacting you and your team's use of Expensify. Are you seeing confusion from your employees about the functionality? Would your team ever need to track attendees?
@stevebmg, I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with this and I'd like to help. Can you please try to add an attendee from a new browser and let me know if you see any difference? If you don't, I'll reach out to you for some screenshots. Thanks!
@caskew, you sure can! From the mobile app, open your expense and click "More options" then in the Attendee field you can add more attendees. (Below)
We're pretty excited about this change.
What would be a great next step is the ability to define a travel/expense policy per client. Right now, we set a category to indicate travel expenses that will be billed to the client, and we have a drop-down to indicate which client (or request a new one be made). Being able to extend the policy violation feature to allow different policies for different clients (rather than different staff) would make managing numerous clients and their policies a lot easier!
We need this disabled as well! Our employees will now think they can just do this instead of putting it in the memo. When we export to NetSuite this new field doesn't go anywhere so we would lose this valuable info! (we are not interested in doing an export of it)
Thanks for implementing this! I've read through some of the other posts and I agree with making this Attendee field available for certain categories. For my company, we want to make sure employees are not going over their allowed daily limit for business meals. I would also like to see an option to either split the total cost or allocate the appropriate cost for each attendee (right now it is just split evenly). This would help track that each attendee does not go over their daily limit.
I agree with the ability for turning off the functionality since it doesn't currently doesn't work with integrations.
Looks like settings are being set as "Per Individual" automatically. Expensify might want to leave it to "Per Expense" to match previous configuration for administrators who are unable to get to the change in time.
When typing users, have the ability to populate a user based on "Name" and "Email". Currently Expensify did an upgrade where users are able to input their name for a more personal feel. Since Admins can't touch the field, some users don't fill it out, which in turns leads to a disconnect between info.
This is not helpful for us at all as it doesn't come over through the Quickbooks feed. In addition, it doesn't let you not include the individual whose transaction it was, but we often buy airfare for someone else. Please let us turn this feature off.
Please disable this - Of all the so called 'upgrades' you've done this is by far the most annoying. We do not want our employees to see this - the system is to difficult to use to begin with without confusing the employees even more with having features showing that we don't want them using. I has already caused many problems with our reporting which was already screwed up with the previous 'upgrades' where you disabled half the features we used.
I would like to add to the request list of being able to toggle this option off. We don't track expenses this way at this time, therefore all it does is add unnecessary noise to the process for both admin and users.
Please allow optionality . We do not want to confuse users with unnecessary information and want to keep as simple as possible. Please, please give us the option to make as simple and complex as the user determins. I do not like forced updates as many people here have said.
If clients have the same domain, can people on separate policies see each other's contacts. For example, we don't want Company A employees to see Company B employees since they share the same domain but are different companies. Has there been enough negative feedback to disable this feature.
It is unfortunate that your team is announcing such a thoughtful feature which clearly took time to plan, build, test, and release, and yet the majority of the immediate feedback here is negative. It appears that your team did not consider strongly enough the significance of our need to be able to determine what is and is not required for our teams, and what is and is not allowed.
Like many here have said, we insist that this feature become one that we can disable and configure, without delay.
As others have noted, the introduction of this feature without warning our policy administrators, allowing our integrators to prepare for both the simple and the less obvious effects on our data, or preparing our staff to understand and correctly use it, is not appreciated. Better to not have a new feature (even if we actually want it) than to have it thrust upon us without consideration or alternative.
@Sheena Trepanier to answer your question about notification:
This feature, as currently implemented, automatically changes the calculations used in determining a report's compliance, shifting the responsibility for a single expense from one person to multiple people, without giving those other people either 1) the knowledge that their name is being used to justify an expense; or 2) the ability to contribute to this shared responsibility or even contest the accounting for an expense if it is in fact inaccurate.
Not only is this irresponsible, but it also reduces our ability to manage instead of enhancing it.
Again, until we determine that it is an acceptable time to roll this out within our organization, we must be able to choose to not do so. And for our organization specifically, we will almost assuredly not allow the convenience of tying someone else to your expenses with this feature until that action is able to be seen and confirmed by the named expense "attendees".
If the other attendees on the list report to different managers, are all managers given visibility into the expense?
I tried out an expense to add an External Attendee, but it does not appear to be working. I type in a random name, click the box below that says "Add (random name)," but it appears to take no action. What am I missing that I am not having success adding and External Attendee? Adding an Internal Attendee appears to work just fine. I'm also going to agree with the other comments- it's disappointing that Expensify always wants to force features on users. We should be able to decide when/if we want our users to have the attendee feature to use. Also, I want to educate our users on the attendee feature, but I cannot do so when part of it does not work.
Thank you for joining this discussion and sharing their thoughts and concerns. I’m hoping to learn a little more from many of you so that I can share your needs with my team.
Making attendee tracking category specific
If you’re requesting this be functionality be based on category, can you answer the few questions below?
- Do you have group-based GLs? For example, do you have Lunch and also Group Lunch?
- If yes, would you consider having a single GL and allowing employees the option to add attendees when necessary?
- If no, can you tell us a little more about which categories you’d enable this for?
Exporting attendees to your accounting package
(Quickbooks Online, Quickbooks Desktop, Xero, NetSuite, Sage Intacct)
If you’d like to export attendees to your connected accounting package, how would you like that to work? For your specific accounting package, can you answer the questions below?
- What accounting package do you have connected?
- What field do you want attendees to export to in your accounting package? If possible please provide a screenshot of the field/area you’d like the attendees to export to.
- What will you do with the attendee information once it is in your accounting package?
One domain, two companies
@ChristineS - You mentioned you had two companies operating under a single domain in Expensify. With the way Attendee Tracking works, internal attendees would be anyone who is a member of a policy or domain you are a member of. This means that CompanyA and CompanyB employees would be able to add each other as internal attendees.
Would you mind sharing a bit of context around your unique use case?
- Are there any plans to separate the company into separate domains?
- Would employees ever need to add an attendee that is a member of a different company?
@LisaNia - You said previously “it doesn't let you not include the individual whose transaction it was, but we often buy airfare for someone else”. This scenario is supported with attendee tracking in its current form. We require that there be one attendee on the expense, but it doesn’t have the be the employee submitting the expense.
This means that you should be able to add the employee the flight was bought for, and remove the employee who is submitting the expense. (Below)
@Jason_Richards_25 - Thanks for reporting this! We are working on a fix now and I will update you as soon as that has been implemented.