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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create an Expense?

FreshBooks makes it easy to keep track of your spending with Expenses. This is helpful if you are required to document business-related purchases for your business and for tax deductions.

You can create Expenses, as well as Recurring Expenses that can generate automatically on a frequent basis (perfect for subscription-related costs). You're also able to upload receipts, and mark an Expense up for rebilling to your Clients.


Create an Expense

There are three ways to create a new Expense: 

  • On the Dashboard, click on the Create New button, then select Expense
  • Go to the Expenses section (from the left menu) and click on the New Expense button
  • Go to the Expenses section (from the left menu) and at the top of the list, click on the + New Expense button (quick entry)

From the first two ways above, you'll be taken to the New Expense page:

New expense creation screen.

  1. A category is required for each Expense. Click on the Choose a category to select one of the tax-friendly categories to make tax time a breeze
  2. Everything else is optional, but you're able to add a DateVendor, and Description to give more details on the expense
  3. Add an amount in the Grand Total box which is the full amount of the expense
  4. To add taxes, click on the Add Taxes link below Subtotal
    1. Check off up to two boxes next to Taxes you want to add (or you can use the Add another Tax button to make a new Tax instead)
    2. Then click Apply Taxes
    3. If you need to override the tax amount with a different total, you can click inside the tax amount and update it
  5. When you are done with your Expense, make sure to click on the Save button to finish.

For more information on categories and creating your own subcategory, check out our article here.

Create a Quick Expense 

Quick new expense entry with fields.

If you’re looking to quickly create or edit an Expense, use these steps:

  1. From the Expenses section click on the + New Expense button above the listNew Expense button above list of expenses.
  2. Click on Add vendor and search for an existing Vendor, or type to add a new one
  3. Click on Add category to select one of the tax-friendly categories, or type to make a new subcategory instead
  4. If needed, choose a date with the calendar picker
  5. Next, you can click Assign to client to add it to a Client, as well as enter a Tax Amount and Grand Total
  6. You can also click and type in the Add description field to add more details as needed
  7. To attach a receipt, click on the attach receipt link
  8. When you’re done, click on the checkmark button to save the Expense. If you’re looking for more settings like Mark as billable, Mark as COGS or change the currency, click on advanced expense settings instead and follow the steps from Create an Expense above.

Create a Recurring Expense

If you have Expenses that are identical and repeat on a frequency, use the below steps to set up a Recurring Expense to take care of creating Expenses automatically (or watch this video instead):

  1. Go to the Expenses section
  2. Click on the New Expense button
  3. On the New Expense screen, under Expense Settings, click on Make Recurring (this has to be done first before adding in the Expense details)
    New recurring expense option.
  4. Click on the Make Recurring button
    Make expense recurring button.
  5. In the New Recurring Expense screen, you'll be presented with the Next Issue date, where you're able to select a Start DateHow Often the Expenses are to be generated and How Many Expenses are to be created
    Recurring expense screen.
  6. Add in your Expense details (Category and Grand Total, along with anything else like Notes or Taxes)
  7. Click Save to finish.

New and existing Recurring Expenses will appear in the Recurring Expenses sub-section next to All Expenses inside the Expenses section:
Recurring expenses sub-tab.

 

Upload Receipt Images

While adding your Expense details, click on select a file or drag a receipt to the top corner of the expense. You can read more about uploading receipts here.

 

Rebill an Expense to a Client

While making your Expense, under Expense Settings on the right, you can click on Mark as billable. You can read more about rebilling expenses here, including adding a markup.


FAQs

I received a credit, refund or reimbursement on an Expense. How do I record this? 

Currently any Expenses recorded counts as money leaving your account (payments for your business). If you have received a full or partial refund, you will need to either:

 

Partial

  1. Click on the Expense you want to modify
  2. Click on the Edit button
  3. Change the Grand Total to reflect the remaining balance paid
  4. Adjust the taxes if applicable
  5. Leave details in the Description about the refund (like the original total and amount refunded)
  6. Click Save to finish.

Full 

  1. Click on the Expense you want to modify
  2. Click on the Edit button
  3. Change the Grand Total to $0
  4. Leave details in the Description about the refund (like the original total and reason for refund)
  5. Click Save to finish.

Alternatively, you can delete the Expense entirely. We recommend checking with your accountant on which would be best for your business.

 

How do I edit or delete a Vendor? 

Vendors are populated from existing Expenses where that Vendor is listed. If a particular Vendor is no longer saved on any Expense, it will disappear from the list of Vendors. To make changes to a Vendor, you can use these steps:

  1. Use the Search, or check off the boxes next to the Expenses you want to edit
  2. Click on the Bulk Actions button
  3. Select Change Vendor
  4. Type in a new Vendor, or choose from the list
  5. Click Save to finish.

How do I edit or delete taxes on my Expenses? 

If you have several expenses where the taxes need to be added, edited or removed simultaneously, use the below steps:

  1. Use the Search, or check off the boxes next to the Expenses you want to edit
  2. Click on the Bulk Actions button
  3. Select Change Taxes
  4. Select the taxes you want to apply to all the selected Expenses, or unselect to remove all taxes
  5. Click Apply Taxes to finish.
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