How to use Expensify

70% complete. This guide, along with all our guides, is a work-in-progress and iterates as we consider new data and frameworks.

Expensify is our global expense tracking software for all reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses. All expenses, regardless of cost, must include an itemized receipt for tracking and approving purposes. As part of your onboarding experience, you will be provisioned on one or more Expensify policies depending on your level and if you have direct reports. If you do not have an Expensify account, please reach out to the Finance Team who will provision you with an Expensify account.


When preparing an expense report, you should consolidate the report based on the activity(ies).

Monthly Recurring Expense activities should be consolidated on one Expense Report monthly. These include mobile reimbursement, flexible office space, and more.

Non-Recurring Expense activities should be broken up by event and separated by an Expense Report. Common events include the following

  • Travel: you should have 2 expense reports:

  1. Flight expense report: This will include airfare paid for in advance of your trip.

  2. Travel expense report: This will include hotel, meals, uber/taxis, etc. incurred during the time of your travel.

  • Equipment: When onboarding, all expenses should be submitted on the same expense report in the month incurred

Expenses for the same trip or report that is submitted on multiple Expense Report (e.g. in piecemeal) will be pushed back to the submitter to amend.

All expenses should be submitted timely and therefore we request that expenses incurred in the month are submitted in an expense report within the same month. Long outstanding receipts submitted outside the month incurred are subject to additional review and in certain cases could be rejected.


You can go about creating a report in Expensify in two ways: Create the report before you incur expense and add the expenses as they arise or consolidate all your expenses from your trip/event/onboarding and apply them to report. To create a report, follow the directions below:

  1. On the left hand corner of your home screen, you will see an icon with your name and 4 tabs vertically down a dark ribbon: Inbox, Expenses, Reports, and Settings. Click Reports (as seen below)

  1. This opens to a Reports page where you can create a “New Report” located in the upper right hand corner of your screen (as seen below).

  1. Clicking “New Report” will automatically populate a report where you can begin to add expenses to. Note that the Report Name is auto generated with the following information on your profile (as seen below):

    1. Name: First and Last

    2. Start Date: First date an expense was incurred on your report

    3. End Date: Last date an expense was incurred on your report

    4. Report Number: Auto generated by Expensify

    5. Currency: The primary currency you will be reimbursed in

It is also important that you are submitting under the correct policy (as seen below). Please double check this information before proceeding.

  1. At this time, you can begin to add receipts


Receipts are relatively easy to add. You can add expenses in one of two ways: directly to the report you created or standalone where you can add to a report at a later date. It is best practice that once you have received a bill or receipt for your expense, either log into your Expensify account or use the Expensify mobile app to take a screenshot of your receipt(s) and upload them to your expense que (as seen below). You can use Expensify’s “SmartScanning” technology to pre-populate some of the information. Alternative, you can manually fill in the details yourself.

Once you have more time to sit down and sift through your expenses, you can then code these to the correct reports.

  1. Adding expenses to the “Expenses” queue by navigating to the left hand corner of your home screen where you will see an icon with your name and 4 tabs vertically down a dark ribbon: Inbox, Expenses, Reports, and Settings. Click Expenses (as seen below)

  1. Once on the expense page, you can view existing expenses not yet filed to an Expense Report or create a “New Expense” (as seen below)

  1. Under “New Expenses”, you can choose to upload your receipt in one of three ways: 1) Scan Receipt; Manually Create; or Create Multiple (as seen below). It is best practice to Scan or Manually Create a receipt to avoid any complications and expense processing issues.

  1. For Manually Created expenses, you will be taken to a screen (as seen below) to begin coding your expenses. For Scanned Receipts, you will first need to select a file from your drive to upload for SmartScanning.

  1. For new expenses, all fields are mandatory to complete. Below is the list and purpose of each category for submitting at Mattermost:

    1. Merchant: This is the vendor with whom you incurred the expense

    2. Date: The date noted on the receipt

    3. Total: Amount billed and the currency in which the expense was incurred

    4. Category: Category is an important and mandatory field as the coding directly impacts the face of the financial statements and P&L. This is a very important field that should be reviewed and considered thoughtfully. We have provided detailed descriptions and examples for each Category below. Should you have questions please reach out the the Purchases channel.

    5. Attendees: This should include all individuals (staff member or external person) involved in the expense. For example, a dinner with a customer should include the names of all the customers and internal staff members who attended.

    6. Classification: This is a mandatory field that impacts budgetary reporting. To facilitate the correct categorization, we have provided detailed descriptions and examples for each Classification below. Should you have questions or if you find there is no classification relevant to the expense, please reach out to the Purchases channel.

    7. Description: All expenses should have a description for the business need. The more detail the better. Please see below for examples that can be used to guide you in completing this filed.

      1. Example 1: John Smith just bought his new onboarding equipment which includes a Lenovo Carbon X laptop and an AmazonBasics HDMI Cable in Houston, Texas. Below are examples of expense descriptions:

        1. Carbon X Lenovo Laptop for onboarding

        2. HDMI cable for onboarding

      2. Example 2: Alison Henry has just completed her trip to Sweden where she met the VP of IT for Spotify. She incurred the following business expenses while on her trip: United flight roundtrip, dinner at Morrison Steakhouse, and a personal breakfast at the Hilton Hotel. Below are examples of expense descriptions:

        1. Flight to visit Spotify at headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden

        2. Spotify customer dinner at Morrison Steakhouse in Stockholm, Sweden

        3. Hotel stay at Hilton in Stockholm, Sweden for Spotify

Once your expense has been completed, you can add this to an existing Expense Report or let it stay in the Expenses queue until such time as you are ready to add it to a trip/event/onboarding report.


If you are a manager and reviewing a staff member's expense report, the below instructions should be followed:

  1. When an Expense Report has been submitted by a staff member, Expensify will send a notification via email to the manager for review

  2. Click on the report name in the body of the email and you will be directed to Expensify where you can review the report

  3. Review each expense for accuracy and completeness as aligned in the Mattermost’s expense policy, and ensure a receipt is attached. Note: we require a receipt for all expenses.

  4. Once reviewed and approved, Select [Approve and Forward] (as seen below) on the option drop down and Expensify will designate a pre-populated email address.

IMPORTANT - please do not use [Final Approval] because Expensify will not send the email notification for payment approval and it will delay the reimbursement process.

  1. If you will be Out Of Office, the manager can delegate the approval process during PTO (as seen below):

    Settings → Your Account → Account Details → Vacation Delegate → Enter the email address of the backup approval

  1. All expense question(s) can be addressed to the Purchases channel.



Categories are expense types such as airfare, hotels, meals, and more. When classifying your expense to correct category, be certain to use the following most recent below Category matrix.




Airfare for business related travel

Business Computer Accessories

External monitor, webcam, HDMI, keyboard and mouse, etc.

Business Computers

Employee laptops - Lenovo, Macbook, etc.

Business Electronics $1,000 or greater

Cell phone, mobile, or other hardware devices where the cost is $1,000 or more

Cell and Mobile Subscription Plan

Cell & mobile subscription reimbursement for business use

Company Events

All hands, corporate get togethers, etc.

Conference and Seminars

Cost of admission for conferences & seminars

Customer Entertainment

Tickets, tours, events with customers

Dues & Subscriptions

membership dues/subscriptions to pro/technical/trade pubs

Flexible Office Space

Wework or other work space

Foreign Exchange Reimbursement

Employee reimbursements for FX loss on expense reports

Home Office Equipment

Ergonomic chair, standing desk, laptop stand, etc.


Hotels, Airbnb, other

Marketing Promotional Materials

Promotional marketing materials i.e. Printfection

Marketing Swag

Mattermost branded swag i.e. Zazzle

Office Snacks

Office snack and refreshments

Office Supplies

Low cost consumable office supplies

Postage and Shipping

Postage & shipping fees for business related matters

Professional Development

Continuing education or professional development

Rideshares & Rentals

Uber, Lyft, taxi, rental car, train, parking, etc.

Software expense

Software licenses & subscription

Team Meals

Meals and snacks during team sprints, events, and outings

Team Outing

Tickets, tours, events with staff members

Travel Meals

Personal meals while traveling

Travel Telecommunications

Phone, internet, etc. while travelling


Departments are defaulted based on your classification in Bamboo. There is nothing required of the staff member related to locations.


Defaulted based on your classification in Netsuite. There is nothing required of the staff member related to locations.


All expense reports are required to have a Class. Below are the current list of Classes. If you have any questions which class your expense report should be marked with, please reach out to the Purchases channel who can assist.



Business Operations

Expenses to support office and business operations: stamps, postage, supplies, snacks, etc.

Conferences & Trade Shows

Expenses incurred to get to, attend, or stay at Conference/Trade Show

Customer Facing

Expenses incurred when meeting, spending time, or entertaining a current or potential customer

Marketing Events

Expenses incurred to attend marketing events, seminars, etc.


Expenses for Mattercon events only


Expenses for new hire home and office equipment; travel for onboarding training, etc.

Recurring Subscriptions

Expenses that are recurring in nature and support business operations: mobile subscriptions, software licenses, etc.

Team Celebration

Expenses for department head approved celebration with staff members. Refer to Expense Policy

Team Events, Meetups & Offsites

Expenses incurred for Team Events, Meet Ups, or Offsites, which include all known travel costs


Expenses incurred for work-related online courses and professional development certifications


If you are being reimbursed in a currency other than USD, refer to Currency Exchange Table Policy.

Foreign Currency Reimbursement Submission

If you are a staff member who has has or will be reimbursed and the exchange rate used is unfavorable, follow the directions below.

100 USD or Less

If the foreign currency impact of your report is 100 USD or less, please add a line to your expense report and use the select Foreign Currency Reimbursement as your Category. In your report, add the following information:

  1. Net amount owed,

  2. Attach document(s) to support the unfavorable exchange loss,

  3. Select Classification Business Operations

For further guidance, see screenshots below

Greater than 100 USD or Exceptional Cases

For those currency effects greater than 100 USD, please document and calculate the total amount of the difference using the FX Reimbursement Template and Mattermost will reimburse you. Once the template is completed, select Foreign Currency Reimbursement as your Category. In your report, add the following information:

  1. Net amount owed,

  2. Attach document(s) to support the unfavorable exchange loss including the FX Reimbursement Template,

  3. Select Classification Business Operations

Example 1: if your true expense total is USD 500 on your bank statement, but the converted total amount on your Expensify report is USD 300, the amount to be added to your expense report is USD 200 and claimed as an expense line categorized as Foreign Exchange Reimbursement and classed as Business Operations.

Expense Reimbursement Policy

Our goal is to reimburse staff members timely. We reimburse twice a month on the 15th and last day of every month. To be reimbursed timely, all expense reports must be submitted and manager approved 3 days prior to reimbursement. The primary reason for this is Finance needs to review for proper classification and to timely fund your bank account.

It’s important to note that an expense report approved by your manager does not automatically mean the expense is approved internally or ready to be reimbursed. As all expense reports are final-reviewed and approved by the Finance Team, you may be asked for additional support, justification, or to move expenses to a second report to meet our Expense Report Policy.

United States Payment

If you are located in the United States, you are required to set up your banking account information so that you can receive a direct deposit of reimbursable funds to your account.

Open World Services (OWS)

If you are located in Canada or employed through OWS, you will receive reimbursement via OWS. All reports once Final Approved should be downloaded and submitted to Cindy Hindley

Rest of World (ROW)

For everyone else, a account will need to be setup. If you already have a account and being reimbursed by Mattermost at this time, you may disregard. If you are needing to set up a account, please work with the Accounts Payable Team who will create your profile in for you. If you are uncertain, please reach out to the Accounts Payable Team for guidance. To ensure accuracy and expediency, please complete Mattermost Banking Information Form which the Accounts Payable Team will use to setup your credentials.