Preferences

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.

Notifications

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.

Cards

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:

  1. Navigate to the Admin module on the left sidebar and select Settings.
  2. Click Expenses under Preferences.
  3. Mark the personal field option under Expense Fields Customization. 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,

  • Include signature line in report PDF: This option allows you to include a signature line for the submitter and the approver(s) of the expense report in the PDF of the report.
  • Show Report History in PDF: This option lets you include the report history in the PDF reports.
  • Show trip details in report PDF: If your report is associated to a trip, this option allows you to display the trip details in the PDF report.
  • Include receipts in PDF report: This option provides you a choice to include or exclude receipts in the PDF reports.You can also choose the number of receipts you like to display per page in a report.

PDF template

  • Standard : In the Standard template, all the expenses will be sorted in the ascending order of the dates on which the expenses were incurred.
  • Group by Category : In the Group by Category template, all the expenses will be segregated according to their categories.
  • PDF Font: This dropdown allows you to choose a font for the text in the PDF reports.

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:

  1. Go to Admin > Settings > Reports.
  2. Navigate to the Report Custom status section and click + New.
  3. Fill in the status Name and select Approved or Reimbursed from the Consider As dropdown. Configuring Report Custom Status
  4. Click Save.

To change the status of the reports:

  1. Go to Reports Approval.
  2. Select the Approved/Reimbursed report for which you would like to change the status.
  3. Click Mark as “Name” from the More dropdown on the top right corner of the page. Change Report Custom Status
  4. Once this is done, the report will be marked with the new status and will be considered as Approved/Reimbursed as per your configuration.

Note:

  • Once you change the status, it cannot be reverted.
  • Changing the status of the report will only change the status name, and the reports will still be considered as Approved/Reimbursed, based on your configuration.

Configuring notifications that occur upon report submission

Upon report submission, you have options to:

  • Configure the last day for report submission - This option allows you to set deadlines before which the users are required to submit their expense reports every month. Users cannot submit their expense reports after the last day of submission of the respective month.
  • Attach report as a PDF file to the notification email - The expense report is attached as a PDF file along with the notification email.
  • Copy the submitter in the email - A copy of the report submission notification is sent to the submitter upon the submission of the report for approval.
  • Receive a copy of the report - A copy of the report is sent as an email to the user you select from the dropdown, once it is submitted.
  • Display Terms & Conditions - You can add the terms and conditions for the submission of reports. This will be displayed in the Submit Report page when a user tries to submit a report.

Notifications upon Report Submission

Configuring approval preference

Approval preference allows you to:

  • Allow approvers to approve their own reports.
  • Set the number of days within which an expense report should be approved. (Applicable from the date of submission.)
  • Notify approver when submitted reports are nearing their due dates.
  • A copy of the report will be sent as an email to the user you select from the dropdown, as soon as it is approved.

Configuring Approval Preference

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

  • Expense reports are approved or rejected.
  • Expense reports are marked as reimbursed.
  • Comments are added to expense reports.

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:

  • Hierarchical approval: Select this option to set the approval flow based on the hierarchy set while inviting the user. If you select this option, the reports will be submitted to the user assigned to them in the Submits To section of the Users module for approval. Select a user in the Approves and forwards to section, to forward the reports for further approval.

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

  • Custom Approval: Select this option if you want the approval flow to be based on certain criteria. Learn more about custom approval.

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.

  • No Approval: You can set this if you don’t want to set up any approver for your employees. Your employees can record and apply advance payments to their reports directly. The advance payment will be approved automatically.
  • Simple Approval: As an admin, you can individually approve the advance payment requests your employees submit. For this, you can select simple approval which allows only you to approve advance payments.
  • Custom Approval: You can configure this approval, if you want to customise approval workflows for your organisation. You can set up multiple criteria that trigger multiple levels of approval when conditions are satisfied.

Learn more about setting up Custom Approval.

Admins can set approval types by performing the following:

  1. Click Settings under the Admin section on the left sidebar.
  2. Navigate to Advance Payments under Preferences.
  3. Select the approval type. 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:

  1. Click + New.
  2. Enter the status name.
  3. 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
  4. Click Save.

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.

  1. Scroll down to the Advance Fields Customization section and click + New Field. Add custom fields
  2. Fill in the following fields:
    • Label: Provide a label for the Custom Field.
    • Data Type: Select a data type in which you want your employees to enter information.
  3. Click Save. 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 tripโ€™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.

  • Attach trip as a PDF file to the notification email
  • Receive a copy of the trip request as email
  • Display Terms & Conditions (The Terms and conditions will be dispayed before a user is about to submit a trip request.)

Customise trip fields

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

  • Approved
  • Submitted
  • Cancelled

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:

  1. Go to Admin > Settings.
  2. Select Expenses or Reports or Advance Payments or Trips.
  3. Scroll down to the Expense Fields Customization section at the end of the page; or to the same section under Reports or Advance Payments or Trips. Expense fields customization
  4. Uncheck the field(s) you wish to exclude.
  5. Select the fields which you would like to make as mandatory. Users will not be able to submit/save the expenses unless the mandatory fields are filled in.
  6. Choose whether or not to show these fields in the report PDF.
  7. Click Save.

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:

  1. Go to Admin > Settings.
  2. Select Expenses or Reports or Advance Payments or Trips.
  3. Scroll down to the Expense Fields Customization section at the end of the page; or to the same section under Reports or Advance Payments or Trips.
  4. Click + New Field. Custom Fields
  5. Fill in the following fields:
    • Label: Provide a label for the Custom Field.
    • Data Type: A data type is simply the type of data you enter into the system. Custom Fields
    • Default Value: The value entered in this field will be displayed by default for this field. You can always change it while creating the report.
    • Preview: You will be able to see how the custom field will look like when creating a report.
  6. Choose whether or not to show the custom field in all the PDFs.
  7. Click Save.

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:

  1. Go to Admin > Settings.
  2. Select Expenses or Reports or Advance Payments or Trips.
  3. Scroll down to the Expense Fields Customization section at the end of the page; or to the same section under Reports or Advance Payments or Trips.
  4. Click the Gear icon at the right corner of the custom field for which you want to configure access permissions. Access Permissions
  5. If you select Read Access, the user will not be able to view the custom field when they create an expense. However, once the admin or the user with the write access enters a value in the corresponding custom field, they can view the custom field value in the respective expense page.
  6. If you select Write Access, the user will be able to view the custom field as well as enter values in it when they create an expense.
  7. Click Save. Access Permissions

Note: You cannot configure access permissions for default fields.