All Collections
Payhawk for administrators
Getting started for Payhawk administrators
Getting started for Payhawk administrators

Introductory tutorial for the administrator role: how to add and manage funds, employees, teams, issue cards, and set approval workflows.

Cristina López avatar
Written by Cristina López
Updated over a week ago

Welcome to Payhawk!

We are super excited to have you on board and hope to make your life easier with our platform!

  • The Payhawk Customer Success Team is available to guide you through the entire process and you can also find them in the live chat every Monday-Friday from 08:00-18:00 CET for proactive support.

  • If you need to check some of the most common questions, search through the resources on the Payhawk help center.


This guide is for company employees who have Payhawk administrator rights for managing all company expenses, issuing cards, setting spend policies, defining workflows, making bank transfers and reimbursements, creating teams and shared budgets, and having full control over the company's Payhawk account.

Before you start

To be able to follow the steps in this guide, you need to first:

For more information, see the articles about configuring your personal Payhawk profile settings.


This quick start will lead you through the basic steps for using the system as a Payhawk administrator and will help you get up and running with the Payhawk web portal and mobile app where needed.

Let's get started with your Payhawk experience!

Step 1 - Load funds into your Payhawk account

Loading money into Payhawk is as easy as a bank transfer. To top up funds in your Payhawk account from linked bank accounts in the UK and Europe:

  1. Go to Funds. Click on your desired currency in your credit or debit accounts.

  2. Click on the + Add Funds button to view a list with your linked accounts.

  3. Click the linked account of your preference to set it as a funding source for topping up the required funds and specify the amount. Click on Add Funds.

  4. Once you have authorized the payment, the deposit will be displayed as pending under your relevant account. When the deposit is settled, it will be shown under the Deposit History field of the account.

    The Deposit history field on the Payhawk platform showing the fund deposit transation.

For more information:

Moreover, with Payhawk you don't need to sign in to the product every day to just keep an eye on your company's fund balance. Set a threshold and when your balance falls under this amount, Payhawk will automatically inform administrators over email.

Step 2 - Invite your team members

To enable your team and employees to take advantage of the Payhawk capabilities, you need to first invite them to the system.

Payhawk roles

Payhawk distinguished between three basic roles which have different rights and responsibilities:

  • Employees - The cardholders of your Payhawk corporate cards.

  • Accountants - Have the same rights as the Payhawk employee role plus can manage expenses, export expense data, and see and edit the extracted information.

  • Administrators - Have the same rights as the Payhawk accountant role plus can issue and close cards, update card limits, add spend policies, allow cash withdrawals, invite employees, and manage Payhawk billing among others.

Invite employees to Payhawk

To invite employees to Payhawk and assign them the necessary roles:

  1. Go to the Employees > Employees tab. Click on the + Add new button.

  2. To send an email invite to the employees, enter an email, select the role, and click on Invite. As a result, the employee will receive an email with a registration link.

    To send an SMS invite to the employees, enter an email, and switch on the Invite with SMS toggle button. Fill in the employee name and cell number, select the role, and click on Invite. As a result, the employee will receive an SMS with a registration link.

The team members you invite receive emails. Clicking on the Start using Payhawk button will lead them to the screen for creating their Payhawk account.

Once the invited employees register to Payhawk, their pending invitation status will change and the employee will move under the Employees > Active tab.

After you've invited your employees, you can manage them in many ways, for example:

Step 3 - Manage your teams

The bigger your organization gets, the greater the need for a structure that supports its workflows. That's why Payhawk delivers the Teams functionality to enable you to reflect your company structure, whatever it might be.

Before setting up your team structure, you need to customize it to suit the needs of your company. Then, you are ready to start creating your teams:

  1. Go to the Employees > Teams tab. Click on the + New button.

  2. In the dialog that opens, name your team, add its external ID, and, if applicable, select a parent team.

  3. Click on Create.

Once you have created your team structure, you can assign team members and team managers to each team.

Step 4 - Issue cards for your employees

Now that you have deposited funds into your account, you can start issuing physical or virtual cards for your employees.

  • Payhawk virtual cards are intended for online payments. However, they can also be added to a digital wallet and used for payments on POS terminals.

  • Payhawk physical (plastic and premium metal) cards are intended for executing both online and POS payments, for example, company-related in-store purchases or for travels worldwide.

Stand-alone limits and spend card policies

You can also issue individual cards for employees or create team cards (or shared budgets) for your teams. In Payhawk, you can set a stand-alone limit to an individual or team card, or define spend policies and assign them cards.

  • Stand-alone limits are individual monthly limits for individual or team corporate cards. Cards with stand-alone limits are suitable for recurring payments that are easy to estimate and do not require complex approvals.

  • Limits based on company spend policies are suitable for grouping cardholders into different categories based on their spending behavior. For example, you can define a high-level management policy that can have a high-spending limit.

Issue plastic and premium metal cards

Physical cards arrive in less than five business days from issuing. Each plastic or premium metal card is associated with individual employees and each cardholder must activate their physical card from the Payhawk mobile app.

To issue a plastic or premium metal physical card:

  1. Go to Dashboard > Cards > Cards. Click on the + New button.

  2. In the dialog that opens, select the Physical (for a plastic card) or Metal (for a premium metal card) option, and choose the employee assigned to the corporate card.

  3. For cards with stand-alone limits, select the currency and the monthly recurring limit. For cards under existing company spend policies, select the currency and the policy to which you'll assign the card.

  4. Choose the delivery address for the card. The toggle button indicating your company address is switched on by default If you want the card to be delivered to another location, switch off the toggle and fill in the required post data.

  5. Click on Issue card to confirm your choice.

Issue virtual cards

Virtual cards are automatically activated and your team can start using them directly after you issue them.

To issue a virtual Payhawk card for an employee:

  1. Go to Cards > Cards. Click on the + New button.

  2. In the dialog that opens, select the Virtual option and choose the employee assigned to the corporate card.

  3. For cards with stand-alone limits, select the currency and the monthly recurring limit. For cards under existing company spend policies, select the currency and the policy to which you'll assign the card.

  4. Click on Issue card to confirm your choice.

​For more information on managing the cards and spend policies for employees and teams at your company, see:

For more information on using the Payhawk corporate cards, see:

Step 5 - Sync your Payhawk account with your ERP (accounting) software

Payhawk supports live integration with the following ERP (accounting) systems:

Based on the integration, the master and custom accounting data, specific to the ERP system, is automatically shared between Payhawk and the accounting software. For more information on what expense and payment data is pushed and pulled daily, see the following articles:

In addition to the integrations with the ERP systems, Payhawk enables you to automatically upload TravelPerk invoices and populate accounting data in Payhawk, and to seamlessly reclaim your VAT with 60dias.

Step 6 - Set your approval workflows

Managing expense approvals can be tough. Different departments, amounts, and expense types might require different approvers before the invoice gets paid. You might even have an approval process for card payments, making sure that each transaction is a company expense before it's reviewed by your accounting team.

Approval roles and amount-based approval chains

Payhawk provides flexible functionality for setting your custom workflows that meet the requirements of your business most effectively allowing you to define specific people, roles, or an amount-based chain for your approvals.

  • Most companies opt for the Team manager role. In this way, the expense will be approved according to the team structure you've set.

  • You can also choose the Custom field manager role, for example, a Cost Center Manager, Project Manager, or Supplier Manager.

  • Accountants or administrators, that is, any of the Payhawk accountants or administrators.

  • Any accountant, that is, any Payhawk accountant.

  • Any administrator, that is, any Payhawk administrator.

  • Specific person means that you must select a particular person.

The amount-based approval chains can be single-step, multistep sequential, or multistep non-sequential.

  • Single-step approval chains - Enable employees to submit expense requests only to the most relevant person who has been defined as the approver for this amount.

  • Multistep sequential approval chains - Require all relevant approvers to approve expense requests one after the other (in sequence) for each specific threshold.

  • Multi-step non-sequential approval chains - Require all relevant approvers to approve expense requests simultaneously (in parallel).

Defining workflows for immediate and scheduled bank transfers

To define approval workflows for bank transfers at your company both for immediate and scheduled payments:

  1. Go to the Settings > Workflows > Expense types tab.

  2. Go to Bank transfers and click on Edit workflow.

  3. From the Submit drop-down menu, select On to allow employees to explicitly submit bank transfer expenses.

  4. From the Approve drop-down menu, select the specific person, role, or an amount-based approval chain to define the approval process for your company bank transfer expenses.

  5. From the Review drop-down menu, select the specific person or role that will have the right to review the expenses at your company.

  6. From the Pay > Confirm details drop-down menu, select the specific people, roles, or an amount-based approval chain for confirming the expense details and the payment execution methods. If you choose the Specific person option, that person must be either a Payhawk accountant or administrator.

  7. From the Pay > Authorize drop-down menu, select the specific people, roles, or an amount-based approval chain for authorizing immediate and scheduled payments.

  8. Click on Save changes.

You can also set approval workflows for:

After you have defined your workflows, your employees can submit expense requests, card requests, and purchase requests, while the approvers at your company can approve or decline them.

Step 7 - Define your expense categories and custom fields

Payhawk's expense categories and custom expense fields combined are very powerful tools as they allow for faster and easier financial control.

Payhawk expense categories

Expense categories are user-friendly names assigned to expenses that employees can submit from the mobile app or the web portal. Employees can see and quickly choose the appropriate category of an expense.

Each category is tied to an optional account code from your chart of accounts or other systems of record. Note that the account codes will be visible only in your monthly report.

Create expense categories

To create an expense category:

  1. Go to Settings > Expense fields.

  2. In the Built-in expense fields section, click on Categories, and, then, on the + Add category button.

  3. Enter the name for the new category, the account code, and the default VAT rate if any.​ Click on Save.

Payhawk custom expense fields

In addition to the expense category, Payhawk enables you to include more details in each company expense such as cost center, project ID, and many more.

Create custom expense fields

To create a custom expense field in Payhawk:

  1. Go to Settings > Expense fields.

  2. Under the Custom fields category, click on + Add field to add the new custom field.

  3. In the Add field dialog, provide the required details - field name, roles, whether the custom expense field will be displayed for specific expense categories, whether the custom expense field will be required for submission, and whether the custom expense field will be required for review.

  4. Click on Add.

For more information, see:

Step 8 - Close the month and archive your expenses

With Payhawk, you can close and archive specific periods, which is an especially important feature for businesses based in Spain and Germany - the expense archive functionality follows the Spanish state tax regulations as well as the GoBD directive and enables you to do paperless accounting.

Specifics for archiving company expenses

  • You can close and archive all expenses for a given month, but you cannot archive a single expense.

  • After closing and archiving a period, you can access, see, and export each archived expense, but you cannot change or delete archived expenses.

  • You can close an accounting period only if all expenses for that period have been reviewed.

  • Payhawk archives all expenses with a service period date for the selected period.

Close and archive a single month

To close a single month and archive your expenses for a specific month:

  1. Go to Archive.

  2. Hover over the month you want to close and after the checkbox appears, check it. Then, check the checkbox for the confirmation option.

  3. Click on the Archive 1 month button.

Did this answer your question?