This is what we'll cover in this article:

Important notes: 

  • If you are using a group policy and directly integrating with an accounting system, check out the article on your specific package (QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Sage Intacct, Xero or NetSuite) as you will want to create tags within that system then sync over to Expensify. In most cases, you will not be able to create them within Expensify because they would then not align with your accounting system. 
  • Anyone can edit tags while using their individual policy, but you must have a Policy Admin role in order to create tags for a group policy.
  • If you have tags set up in your individual policy settings, these tags will be overridden by group policy tags if you are reporting on the group policy.

Adding single tags

Adding tags is easy! Go to Settings > Policies > Group or Individual tab >  [Policy Name] > Tags. You can choose to add tags one by one, or upload them in bulk via a spreadsheet.

  • If you're using an individual policy, you'll be able to add a single level of tags, as well as name more specifically this list of tags:
  • If you are an admin for a group policy, you'll have a couple more options. You can enable require tags for any policy submitters, as well as choose to use multiple levels of tags:
  • If you are importing tags from an accounting system, you will not see the "Add a Tag" box here. You will still see the tags that have been imported, with an icon logo to clarify that they have been imported.

For example, QuickBooks tags will display as shown below:

Renaming the tag field

You can change the name of the "tag" field heading to something more descriptive so users know exactly what they are selecting when they edit expenses. Note: if you have your accounting system linked with Expensify, you will not have the ability to rename your tags.

To do this, go to the Settings > Policies > Group > [Policy Name] > Tags and enter in the desired text:

Users will then see this appear in their expense edit screen. (If this is not re-named, the default will remain "Tag".)

Tagging expenses and searching for tags

In order to tag an expense, start to type the tag name to filter and select the appropriate tag from the list that matches those characters, instead of scrolling through long lists (though you can still scroll if you really want to)! You don't need to know the full name of the tag. For example, "5" would search and find the "Cost Center 5" tag.

If the policy has fewer than 500 tags, we'll show all of them, and you can either type to select, or scroll and click to select the tag you'd like.

If the policy has greater than 500 tags, you will need to start typing to display the correct tag since scrolling will not reveal past the 500th tag.

Multi-level tags

Multi-level tagging is available for companies on group policies, and is intended to help accountants track additional information at the expense line-item level.

Multi-Level Tagging Setup

If you need more than one level of tags available to assign to expenses, the steps below will help you set them up for your policy.

  1. To help you decide what type of multi-tagging you’ll need, answer the following questions. Click to download the corresponding CSV file.

Would you like your second tag, say ‘Project’, to populate different options depending on the first tag, say ‘Department’ selection?

If yes, you'll want to use dependent tags.

If no, then you'll want to choose independent tags.

  • Would you like to capture GL codes associated with your tags to export to your accounting software? 

2. Fill out the correct CSV/TSV file with your tags and go to the Tags section of the policy editor by going to Settings > Policies > Group > [Policy name] > Tags

3. Click the toggle button here to enable multi-level tags, then click "Import from Spreadsheet" to import your CSV.

4. Manage the tags with the options shown:

  • Select whether or not the first line contains the tag header.
  • Select whether the list is independent or dependent. Examples of each are found above and should correspond with the CSV file you upload.
  • Select whether or not your tags list has the GL codes in the adjacent column.
  • Choose either to upload your tags as a CSV or TSV file 
  • Select your file and update your tags list!

5. The table on your Tags page should look like the following, where the "List Name"column will display the column headers from your CSV. 

  • The example below shows dependent tags using GL codes in adjacent columns.
  • Here is the same list uploaded as independent tags. Note that you have the additional functionality now to change the order that these display in the expense edit screen for users. Use the arrows shown on the right to move each tag to the desired level.

6. For both independent tags, you can also choose which tags in each tag level are available for selection policy members. Just click Edit Tags next to the tag level you would like to edit. To enable/disable dependent tags, you will not be able to do this here. Instead, you'll want to export your tags, make the edit in your spreadsheet manager, and re-import the file.

7. Select how/if you want to require tags. 

  • If your tags are dependent, then use this button to indicate whether or not users will need to tag expenses. These will require "all or nothing" and you won't be able to only require certain tags.
  • However, if your tags are independent, then you will be able to choose which levels are required to be tagged by users.

Note: Every time you upload a CSV it will override your previous settings so when you need to add or edit existing tags you need to make sure your spreadsheet contains all the tags you need. The easiest way to keep the old list is to download it from the Tags page by clicking Export to CSV, editing the list, and then importing it to apply the changes.

Finally, if at any time you need to switch back to single-level tags, click the toggle here to disable the multi-level option. Make sure to have a backup of your tags! This action will delete any tags that currently exist here!

Using multi-level tags when editing expenses

Once multi-level tagging has been set up, employees will be able to choose more than one tag per expense. Based on the choice made for the first tag, a second subset of tag options will appear.

After the second tag is chosen, more tag lists can appear, customizable up to 5 tag levels.

For a live overview of the Policy Admin role, policy management and administration, register for our free Admin Onboarding Webinar!

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