Join Josh Zweig for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding an expense, part of FreshBooks Essential Training.
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- Now that we've got a good handle on invoices, let's dive into recording expenses. FreshBooks allows for a number of ways to record expenses, including importing them from other software, connecting to your bank, or manually recording them. We'll cover the importing and bank functions in the next movies, so let's start with manually setting up an expense. Click on Expenses in the Main Menu bar, and then on the Expenses sub-tab. To get started on adding a new expense, click on the New Expense button on the right hand side of the screen. Enter the total amount of the expense in the Amount text box.
Under the Amount text box, if the expense has sales tax on it, click on the Taxes checkbox. You'll then be able to use a drop down menu to select the appropriate sales tax item that we set up in an earlier movie. FreshBooks then automatically calculates the sales tax on that item. Note that the amount that you include in the Amount text box is the full amount of the expense, including the sales tax. FreshBooks will then automatically back out the sales tax amount below. In the Date text box, click the date on which the expense occurred.
Next, enter the vendor on the receipt. If you've never entered that vendor in before, you can just type it in, otherwise the vendor will appear on your drop down menu. You'll see under where it says Vendor, there's a Recurring check box. We'll come back to this in just a minute, so let's leave that blank for now. In the Category section, click on a category that best represents your expense. You can always add sub-categories by clicking on the Edit This List button within the sub-category option. You can continue to add sub-categories by clicking on the Add Sub-Category link.
Click on Save to add your sub-category. When you're finished adding sub-categories, click on Done Editing to lock them in. You might want to add sub-categories when you have specific categories that you like to add. In our example, we buy a lot of flower pots, so we added flower pots as a separate sub-category. The more sub-categories you add, the easier it will be to do reporting at the end of the year. Under Category, you'll see a check box called Assign to Client. Clicking on that check box will allow you to apply that expense to a client.
Since we bought the flower pots on behalf of that client, we'll choose our client from the drop down menu. You then need to assign that expense to a project. If you haven't set up a project yet, you'll need to do that, just as we discussed in the earlier movie. Choose a project from the drop down menu. Since we bought the flower pots for Jim's wedding, we'll choose Jim's wedding. Next, add some notes that relate to that expense. Once you've added your notes, you have the option of attaching an image of the receipt. To do that, click on the check box beside Attach Image of Receipt.
You can then click on Choose File and navigate to that file on your computer. FreshBooks will then attach the picture of the receipt to the expense, so you'll never have to go looking for that receipt again in your hard drive. When you're happy with all the fields, click on Add Expense to lock it in. You'll then see all your expenses appear below. If you've attached a document to an expense, you'll see the paper clip icon appear beside that expense. Dragging your mouse over it, you'll see a preview of the receipt.
Under the Note of the expense, you'll see if we assigned that expense to a client, and the client name will appear. If we've assigned an expense to a client, you'll see the status of the expense as Unbilled or Invoiced. If we haven't yet billed that expense out to a particular client, the status will be left as Unbilled. Once you add the expense to an invoice, it will be marked Invoiced. We'll cover adding expenses to invoices later on behalf of clients. Now let's take a look at expenses that occur on a regular basis. So take Rent for example, which you might pay on a monthly basis.
Instead of manually recording the rent expense each month, which might take a lot of time, FreshBooks allows you to set up a recurring expense. To get started setting up a recurring expense, click Back on your Expenses screen, and let's add a new expense. In the Amount box, enter the amount of your recurring expense. If that amount includes sales tax, click on the Taxes check box and select which sales tax item applies. Next, choose the date of the recurring expense. In our example, our rent occurs on the first of each month, so we'll choose the first of the next month.
Enter the vendor for which the expense applies. If you've already entered the vendor in before, you'll see it appear in the drop down menu, so we'll select Jim the Landlord. Now because the expense occurs every month, it's a recurring item, so we'll click on the recurring check box. In the frequency drop down menu, you have the option of choosing how often that expense occurs. Since our expense is monthly, we'll choose monthly. Next, you can tell FreshBooks when you want to end that recurring expense. If you know your rent expense, for example, is going to end on a particular date, choose the End Date using the Calendar icon.
If you're not sure, select Forever, and FreshBooks will keep the recurring expense going each month until you tell it to stop. Next, choose the category where the expense applies to. Since our expense is rent, we'll choose Rent. You then have the option of assigning a recurring expense to a client. In our case, our rent is a general expense, so we're not going to assign it to a client. Feel free to add some notes in the Notes text box. If you like, you could attach an image of the receipt by clicking on the Attach Image of Recipt check box.
You can then attach the rental contract, or monthly rent check, whatever you like. When you're finished entering all the fields, click on Add Expense to lock in your recurring expense amount. Clicking Back on the Expenses sub-tab, you'll see a listing of all your expenses appear, including your recurring expensese. You'll know it's a recurring expense if you see the recurring expense icon appear just under the date. The recurring expense icon will also tell you the next date when the expense is gonna be incurred. To edit an expense, click on the Edit link beside the expense you'd like to update.
You can then update all the fields, and when you're finished, click on Save Expense to lock in your changes. FreshBooks also gives you the option to bulk edit certain fields in an expense. To do that, choose the expenses you'd like to change. Using the Edit button on the top menu bar, click on the drop down menu. Here you have the option to change all the categories of an expense, all the vendors of the expense, assigning the expenses to a specific client, or changing the author of an expense.
So for example, say we miscategorized these three expenses. We can choose Edit Category and then choose the category where we'd like to regroup them in. If we misspell the vendor and want to allocate them to a particular vendor, we can do the same thing by clicking on Edit Vendor and assigning all three expenses to a particular vendor. If we want to assign all those expenses to a particular client, we can do that by using the drop down menu. Finally, we can change the author of an expense.
The author of an expense is who actually inputted the expenses to begin with into the system. Because we inputted the expenses, we'll see You appear just under the date. But if a staff member entered the expense, we'll see the name of the staff member appear under Date. If you want to change the person who entered the expense, you can do that by clicking on Change Author and assigning them to a staff member or to you. To archive or delete expenses, choose the expenses you'd like to archive or delete, then select Archive or Delete.
To view archived expenses, click on the Archive link in the bottom right hand corner, and you'll see a listing of all your archived expenses. To un-archive the item, select the check box next to the item you wish to restore, then select Un-archive. To see your deleted items, click on the Deleted link on the bottom right hand corner of your screen, and you'll see a listing of all your deleted expenses. To un-delete an item, choose the item you'd like to undelete, then click on the Undelete button.
Visit FreshBooks.com to sign up for a free 30-day trial and use your new account to follow along with Josh.
- Signing up for FreshBooks
- Accepting credit cards
- Adding customers and contractors to FreshBooks
- Logging time to projects and tasks
- Creating estimates and invoices
- Tracking receivables
- Tracking expenses