Expenses is a simple payroll tool that customers can use to create and track employee expense reimbursement requests alongside payroll. Expenses is best used for reimbursements that require employees to provide information about their transaction(s), such as a receipt, Merchant, or Attendees.
This is separate from the Expense Reimbursement pay type available in the Payments Center which may be more suitable for reimbursements that do not require any additional context such as recurring monthly internet reimbursements.
You can find Expenses in the navigation bar on the left-hand side within the Payments section. Only admins with “Edit Employee Permissions” are eligible to set up Expenses, since the first step is assigning Admin and Manager permissions.
Initially, you will be directed to a details page that will provide key information and a brief walk-through. You can then click “Get Started” to opt-in and begin your setup.
Before you can begin setting up expenses, you will first need to assign proper permissions. There are two types of Expenses permissions available, Admin Permissions and optional Manager Permissions.
At least one admin will need “Manage Expenses” permission assigned to them. This permission is required to complete the setup of Expenses in Justworks. “Manage Expenses” allows you to complete the initial set up, change Expenses settings at any time and have final approval and pay scheduling of all reimbursement requests.
Manager Permissions (Optional)
You can allow your managers to initially review reimbursement requests submitted by their direct reports. They can either decline the request, send it back for corrections or approve the request and pass it along to an admin for final approval and payment scheduling. Managers are not able to have final approval of reimbursement requests.
After completing permissions setup, you will have the opportunity to add expense categories by clicking “Get Started” in the Categories field.
There are several default options already created on your behalf. If a particular default does not apply to your business, you can uncheck the box and it will hide it from your employee’s view.
If you don’t see a default category already made that fits your business needs, you also have the ability to add additional custom categories.
By clicking “Edit Rules'' next to an expense category, you can add customized optional or required fields for employees to complete. Checking the box “Include in expense request” adds the rule to the request flow and allows you to select between “Optional” or “Required.”
Request name, transaction date, amount and category are required fields on all expense categories. A field to submit a receipt will always be visible but it can be either optional or required to complete the expense.
Note: Per IRS regulations, attendees are required for categories related to meals & entertainment. For that category, that field has been made required.
After reviewing all your category settings, click “Submit”.
Project codes are an optional field that can be added to expense categories and is enabled separately after you have completed initial setup.
You can create projects and optional tracking codes that employees can select via a drop down.
Project codes can be deleted only if you have not yet clicked Update. You can update the project name or code. This will update the value in the drop box as well as retroactively change any expense that had previously used that project option. Additionally, you can uncheck a project so that it is no longer visible to the employee in the dropdown.
Turning On Expenses for Employees
After completing Company Setup, you still have the opportunity to review your expense settings for both permissions and categories prior to employees being able to submit expense requests.
While the toggle for “Turn on Expenses” defaults to “Disabled”, you can turn on Expenses for all employees by moving to “Enabled.” This allows you flexibility in communicating to your employees as Justworks will not send an automated notification email when Expenses are enabled.
After turning “On” Expenses, a green banner will appear at the top of the page indicating successful completion and you will now see additional tabs for “Active Requests” and “Past Requests”.
Note: To turn off Expenses, you must go back to the Settings tab in Expense and switch the toggle to “Disabled”. For record keeping purposes of historical requests, the “Expense” tab for admins and employees will not disappear. However, submitting new requests will be disabled.
Approving Reimbursement Requests
Admins with “Manage Expenses” permissions (and optionally managers if enabled) will be able to navigate to Payments > Expenses> “Active Requests” to review and approve reimbursement requests.
Reimbursement requests can be reviewed and approved individually or approval can be done in bulk by checking the box next to multiple requests.
If a reimbursement request needs to be returned to an employee for correction, a note can be added to indicate any required changes. The employee can edit the existing reimbursement request or individual expense directly without creating a new request.
An employee can cancel the reimbursement request by deleting it after it has been returned.
Admin Approval and Payment Scheduling
By default, once an admin approves a reimbursement request the payment is automatically scheduled for the next available pay date. However, you can adjust the “Estimated Pay Date” to align with a date of your choosing.
You can still cancel or edit the expense payment date any time prior to the processing deadline through the Payment Activities tab in the Payments Center.
Reimbursable vs Non-Reimbursable
By default, all expenses are considered reimbursable and will schedule a payment to the employee. However, you can choose to include the field for an employee to indicate whether they need repayment (reimbursable) or utilized another payment method such as a company credit card and are submitting for record purposes (non-reimbursable).
If an individual expense on reimbursement request is marked as non-reimbursable, it will show as a second line within the summary indicating that while that amount is approved, it will not actively send any money to the employee.
As these do not have any money movement component, they will not be visible on the Payments Activity tab or Upcoming Invoice forecast. They will instead go directly to the Request History tab.
Expenses submitted via the Expenses tool will be broken out on your company’s invoice utilizing the same categories they were submitted under. They will be easily visible as they will be tagged as coming from “Expenses”. Whereas any expense reimbursement request you manually schedule through the Payments Center will be simply marked as “Reimbursable Expense”.
Expenses and Accounting Integrations
You can map your expense categories at a granular level using one of Justworks accounting integrations. Within Advanced Settings, you can select Edit on Accounting Integrations.
If you do not already have an accounting integration setup, you will be redirected to our Integrations page to select from our currently available options.
Once you have connected an accounting integration, you can complete your mapping and/or any overrides as necessary for individual expense categories.
If you have already completed mapping, your current accounting integration and confirmation that expense categories have been mapped will appear in Advanced Settings of Expenses.
Exporting Expense History
Admins with either “Manage expenses” or “View Reports & Invoices” permission will be able to review the Request History tab. There, they can select either a single expense or multiple expenses to “Export to CSV”.
This will generate a report with each individual expense within an expense request broken out as its own line item. The report will reference the key information such as department, employee, request name, submission date, whether or not a receipt was included, etc.
Expense ID is used to note that several individual expenses may be included within the larger expense request. (e.g., Each line item with a designation Expense ID all have #0001 fall within the same expense request.)
Reviewing an individual reimbursement request on the Request History tab allows the option to view the “Activity” tab. This provides an audit log capturing when a request was created, by whom, if information is edited and status changes.
Both admins and managers are notified both via email and as an alert in Justworks when an employee submits or resubmits a reimbursement request. Alerts will allow you to navigate directly to the individual reimbursement request by clicking “View Request.”
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.