Help documentation

Administering your Zoho Expense account

Along with submitting and approving expense reports, Admins will have access to an additional section named Admin on the LHS. They can configure the organization’s account, invite users, integrate with other apps and setup company policies. In this section you will learn how to configure the organization’s account, under the Settings module in the Admin section.   


Click on the below links to easily navigate through the page.

Organization Profile

Organizational Profile

Under organizational profile, you can edit the following parameters:


Give a personal touch to your Zoho Expense account. Choose the theme that will go well with your company by performing the following steps:

Organization branding

Regional Settings

Regional Settings

Note: Once a transaction is created in base currency, it cannot be changed.  


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

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 organization. To enable:

enable personal expense

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.

Fields Customization

Fields Customization

Adding New Custom fields

In addition to customizing the fields, you can also add new fields to your expenses and expense reports. Let us see how that’s done:

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.

Reports Preference

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. Changing the status of the report, will only change the status name, and the reports are still considered as Approved/Reimbursed, set according to your configuration.

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 organization. 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

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 organization.

For example, your organization 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



Categories allows you to classify your expenses, using which it later provides a clear picture on your business expenditures. Zoho Expense comes with a set of pre-defined categories, but also allows you to create a new category if necessary.  

To create a new category:

Create New Category

To create a sub-category

Using Sub-categories, you can be further specific about your expense type. For instance, expenses incurred during a business travel include meals, lodging, cab charges etc. Here, you can add them as sub categories under the parent category ‘Travel’. As a result, you can accurately track the amount spent during the business travel.

Create New sub-category

Importing expense categories

To import expense categories:

Import Categories

Exporting expense categories

To export expense categories:

Export Categories

Export Template for Reports

Let’s take an example where you need to export reports from Zoho Expense to import it in your accounting software. While doing so, you may not require all the fields in the CSV or XLS file. In such cases, you can customize the export by creating an export template. To do that:

Creating a new template

Select fields for export template

On adding a paid through account, you can record the reimbursement of your expenses under these accounts. The accounts added in Zoho Expense will be automatically listed in Zoho Books and vice versa.

To add your Paid Through account:

new paid through account

adding paid through account

Importing Paid through accounts

To import paid through accounts:

Import Categories

Exporting Paid through accounts

To export expense categories:

Export Categories


Customers column allows you create, edit, and manage your customers to whom you can bill your employees’ expenses (expenses by an employee on behalf of your organization’s customer(s).)

To add a new customer:


Note: If your Expense account is integrated with Zoho Books, all your newly added customer data will reflect in your Books account.


In Zoho Expense, you can create projects and track expenses that are associated with each project.

To create a project in Zoho Expense:

Projects Screen

Associate users to projects

Associate users to projects


Merchants column allows you to add, edit, remove, and merge merchant entries and related information.


How to add a merchant

To add a merchant:

You can now associate the merchant using merchant code while creating expenses.


Merging merchant entries

You can merge two merchant entries into one when there is a duplication in your merchant list.

Let’s take an example where your organization has a merchant named “Willpower Inc.”, and you’ve created a new merchant entry for the same. Now, if another user in your organization creates another entry named “Will power Inc.”, then there will be two merchant entries with the same name. Under such conditions, you can merge both the entries into one. To merge merchant entries:

Merge Merchant Entries

Note: Upon merging, one of the two expenses will become the master, and the details of the other expense (child) will be transferred to the master expense. (The child expense will be deleted.) This merge cannot be undone.


Using Zoho Expense, you can create expenses in any currency. If you do not find your currency in the existing list, you can add your currency by performing the following steps.

Adding a new currency

Adding a new currency

Adding a new currency

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