Using Expense Fields in Abacus

How to setup 'Expense Fields'

Admins can create custom fields that will appear in the expense submission window to collect necessary additional expense details. This allows employees to add additional information to each expense, which can be mapped back to an accounting system via a direct integration or manual mapping. Examples include: Project, Event, Job, and Client.

Syncing a New Expense Field from Your Accounting Integration

For lists that exist within your connected accounting platform (connected accounting platforms here), Abacus can automatically pull, map, and sync these fields in a few easy steps:

First, navigate to the Expense Fields tab in your 'Account & Settings' tab and select “New Expense Field”

Select “Sync from [Accounting Software]”

The drop down list that populates will include any currently unmapped custom fields from the integrated accounting software - each of these fields can be used only once within Abacus. Select the field from which you would like to create a synced list in Abacus - the selected field can be renamed (tip: select a name that users will understand!)

Synced accounting fields will always reflect the corresponding list in the connected accounting software - this includes new tags as they are added, and existing tags as they are deactivated - ensuring that the selections available to employees are always up to date.

Creating a New Expense Field

First, navigate to the Expense Fields tab in your 'Account & Settings' tab and select “New Expense Field”

Select ‘Create New Field’

Abacus offers some standard fields to choose from, or a custom field can be created - the name should be a descriptive label for what this field will track.

Setting Field Visibility

By default all users have visibility into the field, however ‘scoped’ visibility can be set by choosing specific groups (based on any configured team fields) within your organization to display this field to.

Dropdown vs. "Free Form" Expense Fields

There are two ways to capture data in an expense field: a pre-populated drop down list, or free form text input by your employees. If the contents of the free from text field are re-entered by someone else in the organization, Abacus will recognize it and auto-populate it. 

To create a drop down list, items can be entered one by one, or in bulk by copying values from a CSV and using the "Bulk Add" feature.

Manual Accounting: Mapping Expense Field Tags for CSV Export

Expense field tags can be easily mapped to secondary values, which will populate as a separate column in a CSV export from Abacus for simple upload into an accounting platform, project management system, etc.

To set up this mapping, edit the created field using the pencil icon and name an ‘Accounting Field’ for mapping. From here, tags can be mapped

  1. One by one using the pencil icon on each tag;
  2. In bulk using the ‘Bulk Update Items’ button and pasting both the tags and the mapping directly from a CSV.

Enforcing Selection of Expense Fields

If an expense field should be required based on certain criteria, an "Expense Field Required" rule should be created. Once you save this rule, the field will be automatically populated on expenses meeting the outlined criteria - learn more about creating rules here

Archiving Custom Field Items

If a field is no longer needed, it can archive the field without losing access to any search or reporting capabilities related to that field. To archive, simply use the trash can icon in the top right of the field.

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