Issue 5: Planning your Expensify Integration

For small volumes of expenses, the Sage Financials ‘Travel Expenses’ Journal can be used. But Expensify is much more efficient for both users and administrators. Record and approve your expenses in Expensify and then use Expensify Sage Financials Connector to bring them into Sage Financials without double-keying.

The Expensify Sage Financial Connector can integrate tightly with Expensify, but you need to think through how you want this to work: Mapping to Dimension Tags & Products; Approval Method; Tax Codes; and some more advanced Expensify features.

Mapping Expensify Tags to Dimensions & Products

All expenses in Expensify need a ‘Category’, and you can also add custom ‘Tags’ for things such as ‘Project’ or ‘Department’. Additionally, each Tag Value can also have a ‘GL Code’ defined.

The Expensify Sage Financial Connector allows you to map both the Expensify ‘Tags’ and the Expensify ‘Tag GL Codes’ to Sage Financials ‘Dimensions’. You don’t have to map Expensify Tags to Sage Financials Dimensions, and if you want you can just add the Tag values to the line description in transaction.

So the first thing to consider is:

  • What Expensify Tags do I need?
  • Which Expensify Tags should be mapped to Sage Financials Dimensions?
  • Which Expensify Tags should be included in the line item description?
  • Do I want to use ‘GL Codes’ to extend the Dimensional analysis of the expenses?

If you want to be able to do cost analysis on the Expensify Tags, you need them as Sage Financials Dimensions, if not you can opt to exclude them from the mapping.


Expensify will automatically identify the ‘Merchant’. The Expensify Sage Financial Connector treates this as just another Tag, so it can be mapped to a Dimension, included in the line item description, or just ignored.

Category GL Codes

The Expensify Sage Financial Connector uses the ‘Category GL Codes’ to map to ‘Products’ in Sage Financials. These products can then be setup with Ledger Accounts for the posting rules to use. This means you can more than one expense ‘Category’ to a Sage Financials Ledger Account, allowing additional detail in the Category Dimension.

Approval Method

Expensify uses three approval methods:

  • Submit & Close
    All users can submit their expenses without approval
  • Submit & Approve
    All users must have their expenses approved
  • Advanced Approval
    You can have some users submitting without approval, and some requiring approval, and you can add ‘Approval Limits’

Depending on your Approval Method, the Expensify Sage Financials Connector will import submitted expense reports or only approved expense reports.

Although you might initially think ‘Submit & Approve’ is the obvious choice, this does impose an admin overhead on the approver and you need to consider if they are likely to approve expense reports in a timely manner. Adding a realistic approval limit makes the process run more smoothly.

Tax Codes

If you want to claim VAT from permissible expenses you need to enable ‘Tax’ in Expensify and define the tax rates. Each tax rate needs a ‘Tax Code’ defined which the Expensify Sage Financial Connector uses to map to Tax Treatment and Tax Code in Sage Financials.

If you do claim VAT you will want to have your Finance team review the expenses to ensure they are permissible, which they could do through the approval workflow.

Advanced features

Multi-company & multi-policy

Expensify can use ‘Policies’ to manage multiple companies. This works well if users raise expenses for one company or another, but becomes more complex if they have expenses for both companies. Users can change the Policy they are using in Expensify, but it’s not that easy.

The Expensify Sage Financial Connector can map Policies to Companies in Sage Financials, so this is the best solution from the administration point of view. But from the user’s perspective, it would be easier just to add a ‘Company’ Tag. For the Connector to work, you cannot have one Expense Report with Expenses for different Companies. You can move Expenses form one policy to another, but consider who is going to do that, and reflect on how much of an issue this really is…

Corporate Credit Cards

Expensify, integrated with the Connector handles Corporate Credit Cards really well. The complete postings are made in Sage Financials, and it also handles refunds. However, bear the following in mind:

  • The ‘Scheduled Submit’ feature in Expensify will not work with the Sage Financials integration
  • Some banks are happy to facilitate this with you, others are not, and if may depend on who you speak to and how much of a fuss you make!

Expensify converts all expenses to the ‘Default Currency’ for the Policy. The exchange rate used is the exchange rate at the date of the expense, which might vary from the exchange rate the employee obtained when changing currency. If this is seen as an issue, you can add a surcharge rate in Expensify, or you would need to make adjustments in Sage Financials.

Unit pricing

For mileage expenses, Expensify uses Unit Pricing. A single default mileage rate can be setup, and this is used to calculate mileage expenses. The Connector brings in the details of the mileage into the line item description, along with the expenses.

HMRC allow two mileage rates, but currently Expensify only handles a single rate.

Expensify also allows you to record ‘hourly expenses’ and you could use this as a simple time-tracking system. Currently the Expensify Sage Financials Connector does not support this feature.

Expensify Sage Financials Connector

To find out more about the Expensify Sage Financials connector, click the button below:

Find out more about The Connector

If you want to try out Expensify for free, click on the link below:

Register for a free trial of Expensify


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