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Managing multiple expenses for multiple clients?


Expenses are often small, less planned and easier to lose, and if you’re not tracking the Expenses against the work that you’re doing, you could end up in some financial trouble. In order to know how profitable your client work is, you need to know what your revenue and costs are.

Utilizing Accelo’s Expenses module, a manager is able to set up detailed Expense types, making it not only faster but simpler for end-users to log their expenses, including everything from lunch meetings and training materials to travel expenses.

In this guide, you’ll find information regarding:

Understanding the Expenses Model

 Expenses Model

The above illustration shows the Accelo Expenses Model in relation to Xero and QuickBooks Online. NOTE: a user does not have to be integrated with these accounting tools to benefit from the Expenses portion of Accelo.

When using one of the above accounting tools, though, you will notice a common term, called Items. According to QuickBooks, an Item is “anything that your company buys, sells or resells in the course of business, such as products, shipping and handling charges, discounts and sales tax (if applicable).”

These Items generally live in the accounting system, and when integrated, Accelo imports and synchronizes those Items from the accounting system, allowing you to utilize them in your Accelo deployment. So when the items are imported into Accelo, we can begin linking them to specific Expense Types, which can then be used for Expenses for both Invoices and Purchases.

Let’s do a deeper dive as we make our way down this model, starting with creating Expense Types.

Creating an Expense Type

Before we begin creating an Expense Type, let’s first take a look at the Items that we have available in Accelo.

To view the Items list:

  1. Click on the Settings gear at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

  2. Scroll down to the Invoices & Pricing tab, then click Material & Service Items.

    Material Service Items 456

If your Accelo deployment is integrated with Xero or QuickBooks Online, you’ll notice that items have likely been pulled into the system already. On this screen, you’ll see that full list, including the Item Title, Sale Price, Sale Account, Purchase Price and Purchase Account.

You can also create a new Item by clicking the Create Item button at the top right corner of the page.

All Items 123

These items are what will be used when creating Expense Types.

NOTE: Users without Financial Visibility are able to add Materials or edit the title and quantity of Materials when the Edit Materials permission is enabled (Settings gear > Users & Groups tab > Permissions Materials & Items tab). They will not be able to edit the cost or price of the Materials, as this requires Financial Visibility.

To begin creating an Expense Type:

  1. Click on the Settings gear at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

  2. Scroll down to the Invoices & Pricing tab, then click Expense Types.

    Expense Types 456
  3. This will bring you to your Expense Types List. To begin creating an Expense Type, click the Create Expense Type button.

    Create Expense Type button 123

 This will open the Create Expense Type screen.

Expense 1

Expense 2

  1. Title – the name of your Expense Type. This is required before the type can be saved.

  2. Items & Pricing – the Items that are grouped into this Expense Type.

    1. To link an item, click the + Link Item/Pricing button, then select an Item from the list.

    2. Multiple items can be linked to the same Expense Type. You can choose to make one of the Linked Items the primary (default) item my clicking on the three-dot icon, then selecting Make Primary. You can also Edit or Remove a Linked Item from this icon.

    3. An Item can also be created by clicking the + Create Item icon.

  3. Quantity & Units – when enabled, the user will be prompted to provide a quantity and unit for his/her expense entry.

    1. For example: If John Smith is logging an expense for a driving trip from Denver to Portland, then John will be prompted to log the number of miles traveled for the trip.

    2. When disabled, the option to enter a quantity or unit will not appear when a user is creating an expense.

  4. Purchase Vendor Options  can choose whether or not the user needs to provide who the expense was bought from.

  5. Default for Billable – defaults to Billable. This option allows the manager to choose whether or not an expense is billable, and if so, a default markup can be set.

  6. Reimbursable Options – defaults to Reimbursable. This option allows the manager to choose whether or not an expense is reimbursable.

  7. Tax Options – defaults to Inclusive (tax is included in the retail price of the Item). This option can be changed to Exclusive (tax is included on top of the retail price of the Item at the time of the sale) by clicking on the dropdown arrow.

Once the Expense Type is properly configured, click the Save Expense Type button.


Creating an Expense

Now that an Expense Type has been created, you can begin creating an Expense.

The Expenses tab is accessible on your ProjectsTickets and Retainer Periods. Knowing that Projects and Tickets can be linked to Retainers, these Expenses do not need to be created in the Retainer Period itself. 

A new expense can be created from the Expenses tab on these individual objects by clicking on the + Add Expense button. For example, the screenshot below shows the Expenses tab when on the View Project screen:

 Add Expense 1234

A new Expense can also be created by utilizing the + Create button at the top of the screen.

 Create button expense 234

When beginning to create an Expense, the Add Expense modal window will appear.

 Add Expense Modal 123

  1. Title – enter a title for your Expense. An Expense can not be created without a Title.

  2. Type – choose the Expense Type for this particular expense. NOTE: Based on the Expense Type chosen, you may notice new fields appear or disappear in the modal. This is related to the individual options chosen when creating the Expense Type, such as Quantity & Units, Purchase Vendor Options, Tax Options, etc.

  3. Where does this Expense belong? – choose the Project, Ticket or Retainer Period that this Expense is associated with.

  4. Date – choose the date that the Expense was made.

  5. Owner – the user who is actually responsible for the Expense.

  6. Attachment – if attachments are needed, such as images of receipts or odometers for proof of an Expense, then they can be added in this section.

  7. Add another? – Adding more than one Expense? Click the Add another? checkbox. After submitting the Expense, another modal window will open with pre-loaded information from the previously submitted Expense.


Approving an Expense

To approve an Expense for a Project, Ticket or Retainer Period:

  1. Navigate to the related object in Accelo, then click the Expenses tab.

  2. On the right-hand side of the screen, click the three-dot icon to open the dropdown.

    three dot icon 2

  3. In the dropdown, select the Approve option.

Marking as Reimbursed

To mark an Expense for a Project, Ticket or Retainer Period as reimbursed:

  1. Navigate to the related object in Accelo, then click the Expenses tab.

  2. On the right-hand side of the screen, click the three-dot icon to open the dropdown.

  3. In the dropdown, select the Reimburse option. This will mark the Expense as reimbursed, as well as add the reimbursed date.

  4. To undo this action, simply click on the three-dot icon again, then select Undo Reimburse.

Invoicing for Expenses

To invoice for an Expense off of an object in Accelo:

  1. Navigate to the specific object that you wish to invoice for an Expense (for example, a specific Project).

  2. On the main toolbar, click on the Create button, followed by Invoice in the dropdown menu.

    Create dropdown expense 2

  3. Next, scroll down to the Expenses section of the Invoice. Choose whether or not you want to show only approved Expenses or all Expenses by utilizing the dropdown option.

    Expense status 123
  4. Choose the Expenses you wish to invoice for by clicking the appropriate checkboxes next to the Expense title. As you check and uncheck Expenses, the total Expenses subtotal for the Invoice will automatically update. 

    Expense gif 3

  5. When you're finished creating the Invoice, simply click the Save & Send PDF button at the bottom-right corner of the screen.


Expenses & Purchases

To add an Expense when creating a Purchase:

  1. Navigate to the specific object that you wish to invoice for an Expense (for example, a specific Project).

  2. On the main toolbar, click on the Create button, followed by Purchase in the dropdown menu.

    Create Purchase 456

  3. On the Create Purchase screen under the Purchase Items section, click on the + Add Project Material / Expense button, then select the Expense you wish to add.

    Add Material 1234

  4. Once the Purchase is ready to be completed, click Save Purchase at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

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