Configure expense management

This article describes the considerations and the decisions that you must make during the planning process before you configure Expense management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition. In the Expense management area, you can store information about payment methods, travel requisitions, expense reports, and policies, among other things.

Because many of the decisions that you make when you plan your configuration for Expense management are based on your organization’s hierarchy and financial structure, you must refer to the planning documents for those areas.

Intercompany expenses

When you enable intercompany expenses, you allow legal entities and employees to incur expenses on behalf of, and collect payment from, another legal entity within your organization. For example, an employee in legal entity A completes a project for legal entity B. If intercompany expenses are enabled, the employee can then file a timesheet to, and be paid by, legal entity B. If your organization doesn’t have multiple legal entities, you won’t need to enable intercompany expenses. Decision: Do you want to enable intercompany expenses?

Financial management

Expense management is tightly integrated with the financial management of your organization. A lot of your configuration for Expense management will be based on the decisions that you’ve made about your organization’s finances. The following sections describe the different areas that require planning and decisions based on your organization’s financial decisions and guidance from your leadership team.

Per diems

You must define the employee per diems that your organization provides. Because per diems are typically used to cover expenses such as meals, lodging, and other incidental expenses, you can create rules for the per diem allowances that your organization offers. Per diem rates can be based on the time of year, the travel location, or both. When you define a per diem rule, you can specify that a percentage of the per diem rate will be withheld if a worker receives complimentary meals or services. You can also define per diem rate tiers to set the minimum and maximum number of hours that the per diem rate can be applied to a worker’s travel. Decisions:

  • Default per diem rules for the first and last days:
    • What is the minimum number of hours that an employee can claim for a day and still receive a per diem?
    • Is there a reduction in the amount that is offered for meals for the first and last day? If so, what is the percentage of the reduction?
    • Is there a reduction in the amount that is offered for a hotel for the first and last day? If so, what is the percentage of the reduction?
    • Is there a reduction in the amount that is offered for other expenses incurred on the first and last day? If so, what is the percentage of the reduction?
  • Default per diem rules:
    • Is there a percentage reduction in the per diem allowance for each meal if, for example, the meal is complimentary? If so, what is the reduction percentage for each meal?
    • Is the meal reduction calculated per day, per trip, or by the number of meals per day?
    • Should per diem amounts be rounded normally or rounded up?
    • Are per diems calculated on a 24-hour period or on a calendar day?
  • Per diem rules based on location:
    • Do per diem rates vary based on location and what locations are included?
    • If per diem rate do vary based on location, for each location, what percentage amount is provided for:
      • meals
      • hotel
      • other expenses

Expense management journals and accounts

Expense management requires that you use multiple journals and accounts. You must decide, for example, whether the same account is used for cash advances and credit card disputes. Decisions:

  • Which ledger journal are approved expense reports posted to?
  • Which account is used for cash advances?
  • Should cash advances be posted immediately?

Payment methods

When you allow employees to incur expenses on behalf of your business, you must define the payment methods that employees are allowed to use. For example, you might allow employees to use cash or a corporate credit card. You might also allow employees to use personal credit cards, and then reimburse the employees. You must make the following decisions for each payment method that you allow. Decisions:

  • What payment methods are allowed?
  • Who owns the payment method expenses?
  • Is there an offset account type? If so, what is it?
  • If there is an offset account, what is the account?
  • If the payment method is a credit card, should the payment method be used only with imported transactions?

Expense categories and shared categories

When employees create an expense report, each expense that they record must be associated with an expense category. Expense categories are derived from Shared categories that can be shared across the legal entities within your organization. These categories can also be shared in Project management and accounting, depending on how your organization is defined. Based on the definition of your organization and guidance from the implementation team, determine whether the categories used in expense management are to be used in only expense or if they should be shared between Project and Expense. Note that these categories can be shared between Project and Expense or Project and Production, but not between Expense and Production. You must make the following decisions for each expense category. Decisions:

  • What is the expense category? For example, flights, hotel, or mileage.
  • Can this expense category also be used in Project management and accounting?
  • What is the expense type?
  • What is the default payment method for the expense category?
  • Are expenses in this category required to be itemized?
  • What is the main default account for the expense category?
  • What is the default item sales tax group for the expense category?
  • Are additional payment methods allowed for the expense category? If so, what are they?
  • Are there subcategories within this expense category? If so:

    • Are any of the subcategories excluded from tax recovery?
    • What is the item sales tax group of the subcategories?

    If this expense category is also used in Project management and accounting, answer the remaining questions. Otherwise, you are finished with this section.

  • Which cost accounts will be used for the following?
    • Cost
    • Payroll allocation
    • WIP-cost value
    • Cost-item
    • WIP-cost value-item
    • Accrued loss
    • WIP-accrued loss
  • Which revenue accounts will be used for the following?
    • Invoiced revenue
    • Accrued revenue-sales value
    • WIP-sales value
    • Accrued revenue-production
    • WIP-production
    • Accrued revenue-profit
    • WIP-profit
    • Accrued revenue-subscription
    • WIP-subscription


For expense-related taxes, you must determine what is included or enabled on expense reports. Decisions:

  • Is sales tax included in the expense amounts?
  • Should tax recovery be enabled on expenses?

Note that if, during your planning of the general ledger, you have decided to apply U.S. sales tax and use tax rules, which is done by toggling the Apply sales tax taxations rules field to Yes, you can’t enable tax recovery on expenses.


You can create expense report policies so that your organization can save time and money when employees incur expenses on its behalf. Policies ensure that employees stay within budget, provide all required information, and spend money only as necessary. You must make the following decisions for each expense report policy and each expense report approval policy that you create. Decisions:

  • What is the name of the policy?
  • What is the expense policy for?
  • If you previously decided to enable intercompany expenses, to which companies in your organization will this policy apply?
  • When does the policy become effective?
  • When does the policy expire?
  • What is the policy rule?
  • What is the outcome of the policy rule?