Help documentation


In this section, you can configure the following preferences:

Expense Preferences

Expenses preferences allows you to manage various parameters such as setting an expense expiry period, assigning general policies to expenses, sending reminders regarding unreported expenses etc. Below given are the list of options available under expenses preferences.

Base Currency: You can view your base currency which you had selected during your quick setup.

Manage currencies: Under the Manage currencies page, you can add currencies that are involved in your expenditure, and assign them exchange rates for easier conversion.

Enable automated currency conversion: We’ll automatically convert the foreign currency expense to your base currency, based on the spot rate on the transaction date.

Create reimbursable expenses by default: When you create an expense, the claim reimbursement option in the new expense page will be auto-checked by default, thereby creating reimbursable expenses.

Expense expiry period: You can check this option and specify the expiry period before which, expenses have to be approved.


Warn users when an expense created by them nears its expiry date: Notifications allow you to warn users when their expense is two days due for expiry date.

Send reminders for unreported expenses: You can set daily/weekly/monthly reminders regarding unreported expenses.


Auto-match/create expenses for corporate card transactions: Your card transactions will be automatically matched with your existing expenses based on the date (before or after three days from the specified date) and the expense amount. If you do not have expenses that correspond to any transaction, an expense will be automatically created based on the transaction details.

Permit users to edit the amount in personal card expenses: You can allow the users to edit the amount of the expenses incurred through their personal cards.

Expenses Preferences

Fields Customization

If you would like to add additional information when you create an expense, you can add custom fields in Zoho Expense. You can also opt to customise the fields that are available when you create a new expense. Learn more about fields customization.

Enabling personal expense

Personal expenses are the expenditures that are not business related. These expenses are incurred by employees for themselves.

Admins can enable the personal expense option for their organisation. To enable:

enable personal expense

Reports Preferences

Auto generating expense report numbers

You can set a prefix and a starting number for the auto-generation of your expense reports.

Report Name Automation:

Generate report name automatically: You can auto-generate report names by choosing placeholders such as Customer, Start Date, Policy etc. from the Placeholders dropdown.

Report name automation  

Selecting a Default PDF template

This option allows you to decide on how you want to see your Report in the PDF format. There are two options, namely,

PDF template

Configuring Report Custom Status

In addition to the pre-defined statuses, Zoho Expense allows you to create new custom statuses for your Approved and Reimbursed reports. In your business, when you approve and reimburse reports, you may have intermediate stages such as Reimbursement Initiated, Reimbursement Pending or more. But Zoho Expense only has Approved and Reimbursed as statuses. Now, if you want the stages in your business to match with the report’s status in Zoho Expense, you can create them as custom statuses using the Custom Status option.

To create a new custom status:

Configuring Report Custom Status

To change the status of the reports:

Configuring Report Custom Status


Configuring notifications that occur upon report submission

Upon report submission, you have options to:

Notifications upon Report Submission

Configuring approval preference

Approval preference allows you to:

Configuring Approval Preference  

Under this section you can configure the system to send notifications when:

Notifications Related To Expense Reports

Configuring Approval types

The Approval types help you configure the approval workflow of your organisation. The approval type may be based on the hierarchy defined while inviting the user or based on some custom criteria. You can configure the approval type for your reports in this section.The following are the available approval types:

Note: You can change the hierarchy in the Edit User page.

Configuring Approval Types  

Fields Customization

If you would like to add more information to your reports, you can add custom fields in Zoho Expense. Also, you can customise the existing fields in your reports. Learn more about fields customization.

Advance Payments Preferences

Approval types

Zoho Expense lets you set approval workflows for your employees’ Advance Payment requests. Additionally, you can keep a check on their requests through a series of criteria that will help you assess if the advance payment should be approved or not.

Learn more about setting up Custom Approval.

Admins can set approval types by performing the following:

Select approval type

Advance Custom Status

If you want to provide an alternative status specifically for approved advance payments, you can add a custom status. This option will help you set up new custom statuses based on the expense reporting process in your organisation.

For example, your organisation might have multiple stages after an advance payment has been approved such as partially paid, pending, paid etc. You can create new custom statuses for these stages and update the approved advance payment accordingly.

To add advance custom status:

Check the Notify approver via email option, if you want the approvers who were set up through the custom approval policy to receive email notifications when employees submit advance payment requests.

Add custom status

Advance Fields Customization

You can add custom fields for advance payments besides the default fields if you want your employees to provide additional information when they request for advance payments.

Add custom fields Custom fields

Trips Preferences

Admins can set up the preferences of your trips module from here. Open Settings and navigate to Trips under Preferences.

Auto generating trip numbers

You can set a prefix and a starting number for the auto-generation of your trip number.

Make trip mandatory in expense report

Check this option to make sure that an expense report can’t be submitted without a trip request associated to it.

Associate expenses incurred only within the trip’s duration

On enabling this option, users will not be able to associate expenses to the trip request that are not within the trip’s date range.

Create an advance payment for the trip’s budget amount and associate it with the trip when it is approved

Check this option to create an advance payment for the trip’s budget amount whenever a trip request is approved.

Allowances for trips

Your organisation might provide you with a fixed allowance per day for your daily expenses. For such cases, you can choose to create trip allowances automatically. These allowances will be calculated based on the duration of the trip and the default per diem rate.

Trip Preferences Page

On trip request submission

After you submit your trip request, if you wish to receive a copy of the trip as a PDF file via email, have a backup of trip report as an email or display the terms and conditions while submitting a trip report, you can scroll to the on trip request submission section. The On trip submission will contain the following checkboxes.

Customise trip fields

Under this section you can configure the system to send notifications to employees when trip requests are:

Fields customization

If you wish to add additional information while raising a trip request, you can do so by using custom fields. You can also customise the fields in your trips request forms. Learn more about fields customization.

Fields Customization

While creating an expense report or an expense, you will be prompted to fill several input fields. But not all of them might be necessary. So, in order to make it simple, Zoho Expense comes with field customization. Here, you can choose the input fields your users should see while creating a new expense or an expense report. You can also choose to make these fields mandatory and add them to the report PDF. The steps for fields customization is the same across Expenses, Reports, Advance Payments and Trips. For removing the fields:

Expense fields customization

Adding New Custom fields

In addition to customizing the fields, you can also add new fields to your expenses and expense reports. The steps to add new custom fields is the same across Expenses, Reports, Advance Payments and Trips. To add new custom fields:

Custom Fields

Custom Fields

Following are the data types we support:

Data Type Name Description
Text Enter a word or a short phrase against the field name.
Email Enter an email address against the field name.
URL Enter a URL to a file or a website against the field name.
Phone Enter a contact number against the field name.
Number Enter any positive or negative number against the field name.
Decimal Enter any positive or negative decimal number against the field name.
Amount The amount you enter will be displayed. Currently, only your accounting currency will be supported.
Percent Enter a value to denote a percentage against the field name.
Date Select a date from the calendar for this field.
Checkbox You can add a checkbox with a small text or description to tell what it is for. For example, it may be used to confirm an action or make a choice. If it is selected, the value ‘True’ is passed, else ‘False’ is passed.
Auto-generate number Provide a prefix (or) suffix and a starting number to enable auto-generation of numbers.
Drop-down Provide a list of options that can be selected from the drop-down.
External Lookup You can look up a field from the Tickets module in Zoho Desk. For example, if you create a Lookup field for ticket number in the Expenses module, you can look up the ticket number and associate it with an expense.
Text box (Multi-line) Enter text for mutiple lines against the field name. The field can contain upto 36,000 characters.

Configuring Access Permissions for Custom Fields

Based on the user roles, you can configure read or write access for the custom fields. That means, every user who is under a particular role will have the access that you assign to that role. 

For example: Let’s say, in your organisation, the finance team requires the approvers to provide a mandatory reason for the approval of policy violated reports. In this case, the users will be given access to the corresponding custom field as follows:

Submitter: No Access

Finance Team: Read Access

Approver: Read and Write Access.

Thus, when the submitter creates a report, the custom field will not be visible to them. However, when the submitter submits the report, the custom field will be visible to the approver and they will enter the reason for approval in the corresponding custom field. When this report is forwarded to the finance team for further approval, they will be able to view the reason for approval provided by the approver.  

The steps to configure access permissions for custom fields is the same across Expenses, Reports, Advance Payments and Trips. To configure:

Access Permissions Access Permissions

Note: You cannot configure access permissions for default fields. 

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