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Say hello to the new Xero Expenses

Posted 9 months ago in Product by Jim Chidester
Posted by Jim Chidester

Expense claims are the simple truth of running most any business. From gas, flights, meals, supplies, and everything in between – there are countless expenses that need to be reimbursed to the folks who work at the company. But it’s amazing how the simple task of reimbursing employees turns into a paper-filled/process-filled/follow up-filled back-office nightmare. Not anymore. Today, we are excited to announce new Xero Expenses to tackle these issues all inside Xero.

That’s right, starting today, you can try new Xero Expenses within your practice organisation. Now accountants and bookkeepers can access powerful analytics and flexible controls to provide valuable advice and support to their clients around expense claims. For example, accountants and their small business clients can snap photos of receipts and automatically create that expense claim in Xero – without ever touching a scrap of paper. The new Xero Expenses can then provide reports and analytics to help better understand spending patterns.

What’s new in Xero Expenses?

You’ll notice a cleaner and easier to understand user interface, simplified workflows, powerful analytics and – most importantly – integration into accounting with automatic journal entries and payment through bills. This robust feature lineup gives accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses all the tools they need to process expense claims, analyze spending patterns and communicate and connect with their clients – quickly, simply – on one platform.

For you, this means better insights and support for your clients … not to mention less steps and reduced costs. All told, the new Xero Expenses can help your practice flourish and grow.

Read on for complete details.

Easily capture and submit expenses

Expense Claims

You’ll find automatic receipt processing in our new Xero Expenses. Accountants and small business owners can easily capture and submit expense claims through their mobile device on both iOS and Android. Simply take a quick picture of the receipt and let Xero submit the expense claim. The design and workflow improvements make it easy to capture and submit an expense claim without the paper chase or endless follow up.

Flexible controls and permissions

The new user permissions model gives more flexibility and control to the right people at the right time during the expense claims process. This significantly simplifies the workflow and boosts efficiency. That’s because only appropriate people in the business can view, submit, approve or decline, and pay an expense claim.

You’ll also find a highly-requested feature – the ability for a user (typically an accountant) to submit an expense claim on behalf of other people in the organisation. The relevant folks will receive real-time push notifications on their mobile phones, which makes it easy for accountants, business owners and employees to keep each other up to date.

And soon, new settings at the organisation and user level will include the ability to set defaults around tracking categories and expense accounts upfront – so those who are submitting expense claims won’t need to guess how their expenses should be tracked or coded. This will make it easier for employees to submit an expense claim with more accuracy and avoid time-consuming, frustrating and costly rework for accountants and administrators.

Lastly, Xero Expenses includes a labels feature which allows users to “label” and organise multiple expenses as a logical group without the hassle and rigidity of a full-blown expense report.

Easy review and payment

Expense Claims

You know all too well how difficult it is to review, approve and pay an expense claim quickly. But thanks to re-designed list views and expense drill-down views – you can save time and enjoy better functionality:

  • The expense claim list immediately gives you a high-level view of your own or your employees’ expense claims in easy-to-consume groupings, such as by status or by employee. The most important information required for review, approval and payment are available at a quick glance. These include status, amount, expense account, description, vendor and date. From the list, just one click will let you drill down into the details of the expense – and provide a view of the receipt, tax details, tracking categories and associated label.
  • Actions can be taken on expense claims from the list or the details view, whether it be editing, approving or paying. And because you can now view all of the expense claims that require review and approval in one list, batch approval is as easy as one click.
  • You can view approved expense claims that are awaiting payment within bills. We’ll provide links to and from bills in Xero, so you can conveniently view bills associated to expense claim reimbursement side by side with vendor and supplier bills. This allows you to more easily make a decision around who and what gets paid in one simple view.

Expense analytics

Quite simply, you have to know how your staff spends money and if they follow established rules and policies. An exciting new feature gives small businesses and their accounting partners deeper insights into spending and expense claims that will provide actionable findings. Accountants and business owners have access to a real-time and accurate view of their expenses.

What’s coming next?

Immediately after our first release, we’ll work to deliver highly-requested features such as mileage tracking and spend money transactions (non-reimbursable expenses). We’ll continue to provide a singular financial platform by tightly integrating expense claims with Xero and other Xero applications such as Xero Projects, Xero Payroll and Xero HQ. For example:

  • Small businesses will benefit from the Projects and Payroll integration because they’ll now be able to bill their customers for expenses associated to specific projects and reimburse their employees through Xero Payroll.
  • Bookkeepers and accountants will benefit from the integration with Xero HQ. This will keep them up to date with expense claims for specific clients and deliver a comprehensive view of expense claims across their entire client base. HQ Explorer will provide expense claims analyses, benchmarks and insights that they can use to support clients with intelligent advice in an accurate and timely fashion.

We’ll also look to support integrations to and from other third-parties, including banks and vendors. Think ride sharing, online and general shopping, and anything that’s typically expensed. Our goal is to make sure customers never touch a piece of paper ever again.

Want to try?

Expense ClaimsThe new feature is available to Xero partners in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the UK and the US within their practice organisation. If you want to try it out, just go to the “Accounts” menu and select “New Expense Claims” or download the new Xero Expenses mobile app for iOS or Android. It is free as part of the Xero Partner Program in your practice organisation.

You can also invite your clients to try it at no extra charge for a limited time. Once the introductory period ends, a monthly usage fee will apply. Just have them download the new Xero Expenses mobile app for iOS or Android, login and tap the “Request Access” button.”


John Toon
September 14, 2017 at 10.57 am

Love the look of this. Expenses in Xero has always been a bit clunky

Aaron J. Angel
September 19, 2017 at 7.38 am

Am I reading this correction? “You can also invite your clients to try new it at no extra charge for a limited time. Once the introductory period ends, a monthly usage fee will apply.” Is Xero taking a pretty integral feature and spinning it into a separate offering with a separate fee? What happens to the existing functionality? You have been promising to improve your expense claims interface for some time. Is this what you meant, charge more? Expense claims is already part of part of the package. I feel like you are sweeping an upcoming change in pricing under the rug. I hope I am misunderstanding you.

Ken Tirant
September 20, 2017 at 11.01 am

There still appears to be a flaw with Expense Claims. We have clients that want to use this but don’t want to give their employees access to their Xero file. The user security needs to be modified so that an employee can have access to My Payroll and Expense Claims but nothing else.

October 23, 2017 at 10.58 am

Hi Ken,

My understanding is that employees will interact with their expenses and payroll via a mobile experience by downloading My Xero which is a restricted employee- centric Xero.

– Reubs

James Moore
October 6, 2017 at 3.40 am

“You can also invite your clients to try it at no extra charge for a limited time. Once the introductory period ends, a monthly usage fee will apply. Just email us with their organisation name at ”

You’re kidding me. In order for us to have another user enter expenses into the system on our behalf, the solution is to upcharge us more? For cripes sake, I just want my admin assistant to be able to enter the receipts in as expenses, I don’t need an AI system that integrates with the world.

For the love of god, please open it up so that users can add expenses on behalf of other users. Nothing fancy, just open that up please.

Simon Gates
November 16, 2017 at 12.45 am

15/11/17: Echoing James and Aaron. We need to get opposition to this move to charge escalated up through Xero as I am told by my account manager that this is intended from January 2018. I have asked whether existing functionality will remain for those of us who a) don’t want to pay more for basic functionality, b) have embedded client processes we don’t want to retrain , and “the answer is that is a great question”. Here is my dialogue below:

Me to new account manager 5/11/17:
First query for you to answer please. Can you confirm whether the revised expenses functionality will be chargeable as an extra service? That is what the latest blog seems to suggest which will be a devastating move to loyal users. Can you establish the facts on this for me before this dialogue goes further?

AM Response 13/11/17:
Huge apologies for missing this first time around!
Yes the expenses will be an additional cost moving forward starting in January.
A price for this has yet to be announced from our Xero HQ in New Zealand, but we will have an idea closer to Christmas.
Please feel free to give me a call if you would like to discuss this further.

Me to AM 13/11/17:
Will the existing functionality for both ‘items to be repaid’ and items from a business bank account be kept? From what I have seen of the new app there will be no appetite to pay extra for this amongst my clients.

AM Response 14/11/17:
Thats a great question!
We are still doing some work on this and i have contacted our expense team asking some questions on this for you.
As soon as i hear back from them i will pass the information onto you ASAP.
Apologies for not having an answer for you now!
Thanks for your patience on this.

October 18, 2017 at 4.37 am

Surely the thing about charging more was a typo? Like – accountants can give their clients a 30 day free trial, and then they’ll pay normal Xero fees? Because the price we *already* pay for access is supposed to cover Expenses in its entirety.

I see no mention of multi-currency, either. This feature was requested over 5 years ago at (Xero have since removed all dates from posts, presumably to obfuscate the fact that this has been so long-awaited?!) and still hasn’t been implemented.

October 24, 2017 at 5.21 pm

“The new user permissions model gives more flexibility and control to the right people at the right time during the expense claims process”

Where is this functionality? At the moment the user needs to be able to access invoices etc in order to submit an expense claim. Why can’t an employee just have access to MyPayroll and Expense Submissions?

Roger Pearson
December 16, 2017 at 2.57 am

Hi, is there somewhere to discuss / feedback on the new expenses while we are in beta?

Jim Chidester
December 20, 2017 at 6.40 am

Thanks for reaching out Roger and for trying out Xero expenses. If you would like to share your feedback and comments, please send an email to We appreciate your feedback and would love to hear from you.

January 5, 2018 at 2.45 am

Is the long awaited function of multi-currencies included in the new version of Xero Expenses? I cant see any reference to this essential feature.

June 12, 2018 at 9.20 pm

I concur!

Neil Phillips
January 5, 2018 at 3.47 am

When is this going to be rolled out to all users and how much is the charge?
I am based in the UK.
Does this include workflow to send to a line manager for approval?

January 5, 2018 at 9.50 am

So let me get this straight 2 basic things – improved expenses and project tracking are now being spun into separate pay for features? And PER USER/month as well from what I can see?
They will certainly lose my business immediately. In fact the only reason we are still with Xero is because of the improvement promises that will now be extra cost. Bye bye…

Paul Nielsen
January 22, 2018 at 8.28 am

As we add employees I DO NOT want to give everyone a login to Xero so they can enter their own expenses. That’s just crazy. I need a system that lets the bookkeeper enter expenses for the employee, and NAME THE EXPENSE REPORT. Currently, the iteration of Xero that I’m using is completely broken in this regard. If this don’t get changed, I’ll be forced to go back to the clunky, ugly, but working QuickBooks.

Jim Chidester
January 25, 2018 at 11.39 am

Thank you for sharing your feedback Paul. I believe one of our product managers followed up with you directly but I thought I would respond anyway. The new expenses service will solve both of those issues you raised. We are building unique user permissions so you’ll be able to give employees the capability to submit an expense claim without having other levels of access. With the “create on behalf of” feature you can have your bookkeeper or accountant enter expenses for employees if you prefer. The labels feature will let you organize expenses without having to create a report. You can certainly use employee names as labels if you like. I hope this information was helpful.

Adrian Shiel
February 5, 2018 at 11.27 am

Just submitted my first expense claim form (I am both employee in one company and admin in many others.)

I have the following comments:

85% of all my expense receipts are not received at point of payment, they are received via email after the fact. My experience with smaller companies is that they don’t have a Company Paid Credit Card but a personal one so the invoice for anything from coffee to Email hosting is received down the line and paid. OCR although a nice feature for ” on the road” expenses is useless unless it can work on uploaded expenses via the main web portal.

Uploaded documents only seem to show first page? I noticed that the GST is normally just off the page and its the first thing to check.

My (and many others in our 100 strong org) method of expense claims is just after end of month, sit down, collate expenses, save as we go along and then submit in batch. This doesn’t play well with that approach (unless you use the label feature but see comment below) because it individualises everything.

This individual approach leads to the next item: No way to sort (except list) or group the long list on the Draft screen, need a date order or Payee order as that is how many people check to their list.

No ability to mass select on the Draft screen and change status to Submitted.

No import ability – I know we have the OCR feature and maybe this is about changing the way people should work but I have been doing expenses for years and listing them out in excel, ticking them off and reconciling all claimed is still the way I see many users doing expenses. IMPORT CSV function at least just to import all the TRX.

Like the Label feature because I claim my expenses across several different entities.

GL Posting Date – now this might be there but I don’t know. It’s rare for people to claim directly in the month and we have a 3 day close. The first comment from my junior accountants was “please change the date to 1st January for December receipts” because they said they can’t be posted after December locked. Do we have or Can we have a DOC Date/Receipt Date that is used for reporting but that the trx date is the day it is entered in the system?

February 6, 2018 at 5.17 pm

It will be a pity if this is charged as an additional cost, rather than included in the standard xero functionality. There are several fundamental limitations that should be fixed in xero without additional charges!

February 7, 2018 at 3.30 pm

I am having issues with the new expenses. All expenses get uploaded with an image of the receipt, come back the next day and all the expenses have no images attached to them….

February 22, 2018 at 3.24 pm

May I know if it is possible to prevent the employee from looking at the customer/supplier contact? It seems like all the user roles setting allows everyone to see the contact list. Hope there is a role that only allows the employee to submit expenses and nothing else.

February 27, 2018 at 6.28 pm

I can’t believe after years of promising it was coming Xero is planning on charging extra for this extremely basic functionality. Especially because it will largely be used by Xero payroll customers who are already paying per employee fees. Change your plan Xero!

April 20, 2018 at 1.29 pm

So now only Xero partners could access this new function? And in the future we’d pay extra for it? Disappointing. It’s really a basic function and I don’t see any point to pay for it. We are paying payroll monthly fee and don’t even mention the Premium fee.
And yes, we need limited level of access for staff.

June 1, 2018 at 9.59 pm

So i found this thread looking for how to add in expenses in a non base currency .. i.e. my base currency is GBP but i just had some CAD expenses to add. Sad to see this feature not added. Is there an ETA ?

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