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Better Expense Exports

We have some news today about our old friend, the PDF expense export. And when I say old, I mean those report exports were due for a little freshening up.

A lot of our customers export PDF files of their expense reports. Those PDF exports include, in addition to tracked data, receipt images, which are handy to send to curious clients, or are just nice to keep around for your own records.

We did some research, and realized our PDF exports might have been too bare bones—just receipts with expense info listed beside them.

So, we made some small but nice changes. PDF exports of expense reports now include a useful summary page. That page displays the details of your report filters, the report’s total amount, and a list of the expenses included in it.

A beautiful expense report

We also made some changes to the layout of your receipts and expense data, so they should look more handsome on the page.

We think these changes will be pretty useful for a lot of folks. And a big thanks to all of you who participated in our survey to help make these reports better!

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This was posted in Expense Tracking, New Features, Product News.
  • Donald Luna on October 23, 2014

    Would love to see you guys develop a concept of recurring expenses, for those of us that charge license fees and things of that nature. The recurring invoice is great, but some clients prefer all their charges in one statement.

  • We invoice our customers for expenses using your invoice module. Unfortunately, I first have to go run a report for expenses and filter for the client/dates. The export to PDF. Then generate my invoice and save it and combine the PDFs and then email new file to clients. Why can’t invoices which contain expenses also include the receipts in the PDF produced? That would make sense and would save a TON of time. If you wanted to get face on the invoice you could have a check box option to include receipt images or not.

  • I second Brent’s comments. We invoice our clients for expenses as well and would love to be able to include it with the Invoice and the email automation, instead of having to do it all manually with separate reports.

  • Third Brent’s comments. Capturing receipts is of no use if they can’t be included automatically on invoices.

  • Having the source documentation images to accompany the customized expense report summary in a pdf file is extremely beneficial and is a huge product improvement. Thank you for focusing effort on the expense portion of Harvest!

    Several additional comments/suggestions in regards to expenses.

    First, we reimburse all of our employee-incurred expenses, so once an admin is notified of the project manager’s approval, after running the applicable expense reports it would be helpful to have a feature to mark, designate, and even sort the current status of the expenses (ie. pending approval, approved, reimbursed to employee, invoiced) once they have been reimbursed to the employee to easily keep track of and ensure they are not reimbursed multiple times for the same expenses without having to refer to prior reports and keep tabs on which expenses have been reimbursed and which haven’t.

    Second, since we have employees that travel outside of the United States, it would be extremely helpful to have a currency conversion feature when entering expenses based on the date the expense was incurred. This way the employee does not have to look up and calculate the conversion rates when compiling and entering their international expenses.

    Third, it would be helpful to be able to add pre-defined tags to the expense entries to make it easier to code departments and events (ie. trade shows, non-customer and non-project related travel). This way the employee does not need to enter their department and event in the memo for every single expense entry – they can select pre-defined tags (which could possibly then be re-sorted in customizing the expense reports?).

    Fourth, it would be helpful to have alternative ways of populating the source documentation to accompany an expense entry (other than taking a photo or attaching a file). Often times the source receipt is an e-mail confirmation, so it would be helpful to be able to forward that e-mail directly into the employee’s harvest account. I know this is stretching it, but another feature would be the ability to log into a user’s financial account (ie. credit card or bank account) through their Harvest account in order to quickly identify the applicable expense transactions incurred and populate their expense entries.

    Finally, having a direct deposit facilitation option would be helpful so that when employees are reimbursed they do not have to wait for a paper check.

    While several of these last suggestions may sound out there, many expense oriented applications already offer these features and in my opinion they would make Harvest even more efficient on the expense side of things, cause lets face it, no employee wants to spend much time on their expense reports, much less their time sheets (where Harvest already shines). The same can be said for administrators on the receiving end of the expense reports as well!

  • We love Harvest. It has saved us so much time in tracking our hours and expenses. However, Invoicing is another story. Brent did an excellent job of summarizing the steps that it takes to send invoice and expense summaries to our clients. We’ve had to resort to sending our invoices outside of Harvest as a manual process. We requested this functionality two years ago. Please move this feature up higher on your priority list. It would make Harvest so much better!

  • Thank you, this makes the reports much cleaner. It would be great if you could have an option to add this report to the invoice in which the expenses are billed!

  • I fourth Brent’s comment! Can we just have a feature that allows the expense report PDF to be automatically amended to the invoice they relate to, so that we only download one – complete – PDF?

  • Calina Madden on October 31, 2014

    Donald: That’s an idea we’ve been thinking on. No specific plans to add it soon, but we’ve got this in mind.

    Brent, Bryce, Andrew, K.C., Andrew, Brent: We agree, attaching reports to invoices is something that would be really handy! We plan on adding this feature to Harvest. You’ll see some changes in the coming months, which help set the foundation for us to be able to do this.

    Don: Thanks for the great feedback—we love hearing detailed ideas like this! Marking expenses as reimbursed, as well as multiple currency support, are on our radar of things we should consider. No specific plans yet to add them, but we’re actively thinking about it. Other things, like tagging expenses, emailing receipts into Harvest, and direct deposit, are less likely to make their way into Harvest. I’ll make note of your ideas on this, though, so we’ll have them in mind!

  • Calina Madden on October 31, 2014

    Lisa: Yep! See my comment to Brent above, that’s something we hope to add to Harvest!

  • This would be GREAT if I could attach it to the invoice! I love that you are now capturing the receipts into the report so at least that’s slightly easier than saving each photo/pdf one at a time and emailing to the client post-invoicing.

  • Ok… it’s 2016 and part of the reason I signed up was that multiple currencies were “on your radar” 2014… apparently still on your radar.

    Expenses these days come in multiple currencies as do billable hours.

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