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.

Preparing and submitting expense reports

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 so on.
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:
    • Flight expense report: This will include airfare paid for in advance of your trip.
    • 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 in a timely manner 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.

Creating a report

You can create a report in Expensify in two ways:
  1. 1.
    Create the report before you incur expense and add the expenses as they arise or,
  2. 2.
    Consolidate all your expenses from your trip/event/onboarding and apply them to the report.
To create a report, follow the directions below:
  1. 1.
    On the left-hand corner of your home screen, are four tabs listed vertically: Inbox, Expenses, Reports, and Settings. Select Reports.
  1. 1.
    On the Reports page, select New Report located in the top-right corner of your screen.
  1. 1.
    Select New Report to automatically populate a report where you can begin to add expenses. Note that the Report Name is auto-generated with the following information from your profile:
    1. 1.
      Name: First and Last
    2. 2.
      Start Date: First date an expense was incurred on your report
    3. 3.
      End Date: Last date an expense was incurred on your report
    4. 4.
      Report Number: Auto-generated by Expensify
    5. 5.
      Currency: The primary currency for reimbursement
It is also important that you are submitting under the correct policy (as seen below). Please double check this information before proceeding.
  1. 1.
    Next, you can begin to add receipts.

Adding 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's 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 queue (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. 1.
    Add expenses to the Expenses queue by selecting Expenses left-hand navigation.
  1. 1.
    Once on the Expenses page, you can view existing expenses not yet filed to an expense report or create a New Expense.
  1. 1.
    Under New Expenses, you can choose to upload your receipt in one of three ways: Scan Receipt, Manually Create, or Create Multiple. It's recommended to scan or manually create a receipt to avoid any complications and expense processing issues.
  1. 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. 1.
    For new expenses, all fields are mandatory to complete. Below is the list and purpose of each category for submitting at Mattermost:
    1. 1.
      Merchant: This is the vendor with whom you incurred the expense.
    2. 2.
      Date: The date noted on the receipt.
    3. 3.
      Total: Amount billed and the currency in which the expense was incurred.
    4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 1.
          Carbon X Lenovo Laptop for onboarding
        2. 2.
          HDMI cable for onboarding
      2. 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. 1.
          Flight to visit Spotify at headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden
        2. 2.
          Spotify customer dinner at Morrison Steakhouse in Stockholm, Sweden
        3. 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 you're ready to add it to a trip/event/onboarding report.

When approving an expense report

If you are a manager and reviewing a staff member's expense report, note the following instructions:
  1. 1.
    When an Expense Report has been submitted by a staff member, Expensify sends a notification via email to the manager for review.
  2. 2.
    Click on the report name in the body of the email to navigate to Expensify where you can review the report.
  3. 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. 4.
    Once reviewed and approved, select Approve and Forward from the 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. 1.
    If you will be Out Of Office, the manager can delegate the approval process during PTO:
    Settings → Your Account → Account Details → Vacation Delegate → Enter the email address of the backup approval
  1. 1.
    All expense question(s) can be addressed to the Purchases channel.

Reporting fields


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 and mobile subscription reimbursement for business use
Company Events
All hands, corporate get togethers, etc.
Conference and Seminars
Cost of admission for conferences and seminars
Customer Entertainment
Tickets, tours, events with customers
Dues & Subscriptions
Membership dues/subscriptions to pro/technical/trade publications
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 e.g. Printfection
Marketing Swag
Mattermost branded swag e.g. Zazzle
Office Snacks
Office snacks and refreshments
Office Supplies
Low-cost consumable office supplies
Postage and Shipping
Postage and 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 and 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.
Expenses to support office and business operations: stamps, postage, supplies, snacks, etc.
Expenses incurred to get to, attend, or stay at conference/trade show
Expenses incurred when meeting, spending time with, or entertaining a current or potential customer
Expenses incurred when attending marketing events, seminars, etc.
Expenses for Mattercon events only
Expenses for new hire home and office equipment, travel for onboarding training, etc.
Expenses that are recurring in nature and support business operations: mobile subscriptions, software licenses, etc.
Expenses for department head approved celebration with staff members. Refer to Expense Policy
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.
Add a line to your expense report and use the select Foreign Currency Reimbursement as your Category. In your report, include the following information:
  1. 1.
    Net amount owed.
  2. 2.
    Select Classification as Business Operations.
  3. 3.
    Attach document(s), if available, to support the unfavorable exchange loss.
For further guidance, see screenshots below

Expense reimbursement policy

Our goal is to reimburse staff members in a timely manner. We reimburse twice a month on the 15th and last day of every month. To be reimbursed within that timeframe, all expense reports must be submitted and manager-approved three days prior to reimbursement. The primary reason for this is Finance needs to review for proper classification and to 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 that it's 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.


If you are located in Canada please submit your expense reports on the 5th and 20th of every month, so that you can be reimbursed on the 15th and the last day of each month. Submissions made on the 5th will be reimbursed on the 15th and submissions made on the 20th will be reimbursed on the last day of each month. The primary reason for this is to give your manager time to review and for Finance to be able to review expenses for proper classification and timely submission to our accounting team in the Canada.

United Kingdom and Germany

If you are located in either the United Kingdom or Germany, please submit your expense reports on the 5th and 15th of every month, so that you can be reimbursed on the 15th and 25th of each month. Submissions made on the 5th will be reimbursed on the 15th and submissions made on the 15th will be reimbursed on the 25th of each month. The primary reason for this is to give your manager time to review and for Finance to be able to review expenses for proper classification and timely submission to our accounting teams in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Rest of World (ROW)

If you are located outside the US, Canada, UK and Germany, follow How to get paid to set up your banking credentials. If you send invoices to the company for your payroll or if your payroll is processed through Deel, expenses reimbursements will be made on Accrualify on the 15th and last day of the month. The currency that you will be paid is dependent on the currency that was agreed upon between you and Mattermost in your employment contract.
If you have questions, the Accounts Payable Team is here to support.