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This post will cover getting started with Expensify for new users (submitters and employees).

Download the Mobile App

You can download Expensify for iOS and Android devices using the respective links here.

How to review homepage tasks

Every time you log into Expensify, you’ll land on your Home page. Here, you’ll find tasks you need to take care of, like:

  • Reviewing and fixing mistakes before sending your report
  • Starting the review process for upcoming expense reports
  • Getting helpful tips on how to use Expensify

Create your first expense

You can create expenses in two ways: manually or automatically with SmartScan.

Manual Expense Creation:

  • On the mobile app, tap the blue “+” icon.
  • On the desktop app, click “New Expense.”

Automatic Expense Creation with SmartScan:

  • On the mobile app, tap the “camera” icon.
  • Take a clear picture of your receipt.
  • Click “Save” for the expense. SmartScan will pull the details from the receipt and fill them in for you.

You can also forward receipts from your email address to SmartScan will handle the receipts the same way.

Feel free to add coding details, categories, tags, comments, or attendees while SmartScan processes your receipt. SmartScan will handle the merchant, date, amount, and currency for you.

For more details on how to create and edit expenses, take a look here.

Submit your first report

Expensify can automatically handle your reports through Scheduled Submit. There are two ways to activate this:

Activating Scheduled Submit for personal use:

  • Go to Settings > Workspaces > Individual > [Workspace Name] > Reports.
  • Toggle the setting to “Enabled”.
  • Choose how often you want reports to be submitted.

Activating Scheduled Submit globally for members of your Group Workspace:

  • Go to Settings > Workspaces > Group > [Workspace Name] > Reports.
  • Toggle the setting to “Enabled”.
  • Choose how often you want reports to be submitted.

Note: If you are a member of a Group Workspace, the company’s settings might already have Scheduled Submit enabled. In this case, your personal Scheduled Submit settings will be ignored in favor of the Group Workspace’s submission schedule.

If you need to send a report manually:

  • Click the Submit button in the top left of the report.
  • On the mobile app, tap the report and click, Submit Report.

For more details on creating and submitting reports, take a look here.

What happens to my reports when they’re submitted?

When you create a report, Expensify will automatically set your report to submit under the company Workspace your account is set to submit under. That means, when your report is submitted, it will follow the rules and approval chain of the Workspace.

Every new user account has access to a “personal” Workspace, which is essentially a set of rules that you set for your own, non-company reports.

With that in mind, it’s important to make sure your account is set to your company’s Workspace by default, to ensure that all newly created reports will be submitted under your company’s Workspace by default.

If you find your reports are being submitted under your personal Workspace, you can correct this by changing your default Workspace which can be found in the account menu by clicking your Account Switcher icon. Additionally, if you have a Draft report that is set to submit under your personal Workspace, you can correct that by navigating to the report, clicking the Details button in the top right corner, and selecting your company Workspace from the dropdown.

How to use the Expenses page

The Expenses page is your hub for managing your expenses. Here you’ll see three types of expenses, each with an icon representing an expense type:

  • Cash Expense (represented by an icon of a bank note)
  • Personal Credit Card (represented by an icon of a credit card)
  • Corporate Company Card (represented by an icon of a credit card with a lock)

In Expensify, any expense that has been manually created (i.e., not imported from a bank automatically) is considered a Cash Expense. These are typically out-of-pocket expenses and default to “reimbursable” unless indicated otherwise by your Workspace Admin.

A Personal Credit Card expense is an expense that has been imported automatically from your personal bank. Personal Credit Cards can be imported through your Personal Settings, and the expenses are considered reimbursable by default unless you set it otherwise.

A Corporate Company Card expense is an expense that has been imported automatically from your company card feed set on your company’s domain. This card is assigned to you by your Domain Admin, and the expenses are typically non-reimbursable.

The Expenses page allows you to search your expenses using a wide variety of filters, including date ranges, merchant names, categories and tags, and the state of the report that the expense is contained within. You can also change the view of the Expenses page to fit your personal preferences.

How to use the Reports page

The Reports page is a hub for managing your expense reports. There are four available states for reports:

  • Draft Reports: These are reports you’ve created but haven’t submitted for approval.
  • Processing Reports: These are reports currently under review by your admin.
  • Approved Reports: These are reports that have been reviewed and approved by your admin.
  • Reimbursed Reports: These are reports that have been reimbursed either through Expensify or by your admin outside of Expensify.

The Reports page allows you to search your reports using a wide variety of filters, including date range, Report name or email address of the submitter, Report type, and Report state.

How to add a deposit account

Adding a deposit account allows you to be reimbursed through Expensify by your company. There are a few nuanced differences between how to add deposit accounts depending on the currency you will be reimbursed in. Take a look at the different options here.

Add a Secondary Login to your account

Expensify accounts are personal by design. They belong to you, the user, forever. Yes, you might change careers, but your account will always be yours, just add your new company email address.

To ensure you get to keep your Expensify account as you shuffle through your professional life, we recommend adding your personal email address as your Secondary Login. This will ensure that, even if you were to leave your current position for something new and exciting, your account will not be closed when you are removed from the company. Instead, your company email address would be stripped from the account, but you would maintain ownership of the Expensify account.

Here’s how you can do that!

How to secure your account

You can add an extra layer of security to your account by turning on Two Factor Authentication (2FA). Follow these steps on either your computer or mobile phone:

On Computer (Desktop):

  • Open the desktop app.
  • Go to Settings > Accounts > Account Details > Two Factor Authentication.
  • Toggle the switch to “Enabled.”
  • Save or download your Recovery Codes. If you can’t use your authenticator app, these codes are essential for access.

On Mobile phone:

  • Open the Expensify app and go to Settings.
  • Turn on the switch next to Two Factor Authentication.
  • Save or download your Recovery Codes.
  • On the next screen, copy the Secret Key and paste it into your preferred authenticator app.
  • Once connected, enter the code from your app into Expensify before the time runs out.

Note: It’s best to keep the time/date set to “Network” for Android and iOS to avoid issues with authentication codes that depend on time zones.

Using Recovery Codes

Only use a recovery code as a last resort to sign into your Expensify account. If you do use a recovery code:

  • Reset 2FA in your account settings on the web or mobile app after gaining access.
  • Toggle off and on 2FA to set it up again and get new recovery codes.

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