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Overview of expenses for accountants
Overview of expenses for accountants

Learn about the features related to your company expenses in Payhawk.

Andrey Bankovski avatar
Written by Andrey Bankovski
Updated this week

Payhawk provides powerful options for monitoring and reporting on your company expenses and seamlessly utilizes its optical character recognition (OCR) functionality to extract expense information from attached receipt notes and invoices automatically.

Types of expenses in Payhawk

Payhawk enables employees to create the following types of expenses:

  • Card expenses

  • Bank transfer

  • Company cash

  • Reimbursement

  • Mileage

  • Per diem

Creating and uploading expenses

Every employee can create and upload expenses in Payhawk. For more information, see the collection of articles about expenses for employees.

Configuring expense types and approval workflows

Only Payhawk administrators can define the settings for the expense types at your company and the workflows for approving expense requests and payments.

For more information:

Automatic data extraction with OCR

Optical character recognition or reader (OCR) is the electronic conversion of images of typed or printed text into machine-encoded text, whether from a scanned document or a photo of a document.

As part of its expense management solution, Payhawk has developed a native OCR tool, which automatically extracts the relevant information from uploaded invoices and receipt notes, and transfers it to the Payhawk system. The avoidance of manual data input reduces errors in accounting data and increases Finance teams' productivity.

The Payhawk OCR is an in-house developed machine learning algorithm built on top of Google's OCR and is able to extract data in more than 65 languages, including Cyrillic.


​The tool extracts the following expense information from payment documents:

  • Supplier

  • Date

  • Due date

  • Amount

  • Tax amount

For more information on the Payhawk OCR implementation, see the Smart data extraction made simple with OCR technology blog post by Trish Toovey.

Lifecycle of expenses

The following table lists the available tabs under which an expense is positioned depending on its status and based on the approval workflows required by the organization.

Tab

Status details

Submit

The Expenses > Submit tab contains expenses that have the Submit option for the expense type in Workflows switched on and have not been submitted yet. These expenses await the employee to explicitly confirm the expense submission by clicking on the Submit button.

If the Submit option for all expense types in Workflows is switched off, the Submit tab will be automatically hidden.

From here, the authorized people or roles at the company can also:

Once submitted, the expense will automatically:

  • Move under the Approve tab if the expense requires approval.

  • Move under the Review tab if the expense doesn't require approval.

Approve

The Expenses > Approve tab contains all expenses that have the Submit option of the expense type in Workflows switched on and are pending approval.

If you are not an approver or if an approval process for all expense types is not required, the Approve tab will be automatically hidden.

From here, the authorized people or roles at the company can also:

Once an expense is approved, it will automatically move under the Review tab.

Review

The Expenses > Review tab contains all expenses that are ready for review. These include the expenses that do not require the submission and, therefore, the approval step when they are created.

From here, the authorized people or roles at the company can also:

Once the expense has been reviewed, it automatically moves under the Pay tab. In case of a card expense, it will directly move under All.

Pay > Confirm details

The expenses under the Expenses > Pay > Confirm details tab require confirmation of their payment details before the payment is initiated.

From here, the authorized people at your company can:

Once done, click on Confirm details and the expense will move under the Pay > Authorize tab.

Pay > Authorize

The expenses under the Expenses > Pay > Authorize tab are all that require authorization for their immediate or scheduled payment.

From here, the authorized people at your company can:

Pay > Scheduled

The Scheduled tab contains all bank transfers that have been scheduled for a specific date or their due date.

From here, the authorized people at your company can:

All

The Expenses > All tab contains all expenses regardless of their above-mentioned statuses.

From here, for paid expenses, the authorized people at your company can:

  • Download the payment confirmation for expenses.

  • Remove expenses from subscriptions.

Icons and navigation

For faster and more intuitive navigation, the current state of an expense in Payhawk is indicated with an icon and can be any of the listed in the following table.

Icon

Indication

Details

The expense is missing a document.

Often, expenses without uploaded documents are card payments waiting for the cardholder to add a receipt note or an invoice.

The expense has an attached document or is reviewed.

  • Expenses marked with this icon and having a payment document uploaded also have the required accounting data automatically extracted from the receipt or the invoice.

  • Expenses marked with this icon may have already been reviewed by an accountant even if they don't have an uploaded document.

The expense is archived.

Archived expenses are read-only and cannot be edited. However, they can be viewed and exported, their payment documents downloaded and their history traced.

Useful resources

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