Sending Client-Billable Expenses From Expensify to QuickBooksOnline

Expensify is a very slick and lightweight service for handling business expense reports.

QuickBooks Online is the cloud/Saas version of QuickBooks. It’s not pretty, but rather is a safe choice with a large ecosystem of bookeepers who understand the QB way.

Expensify and QuickBooksOnline have for some time been able to talk to each other via an API. QuickBooksOnline sends customer and account data to Expensify, and Expensify sends individual expenses to QuickBooks Online (hereinafter QBO).

Yet that connection only covers situations where your company recognizes an expense on the Expense side of QBO’s general ledger.

What if your company needs to bill customers for its expenses? You can do this with regular installed-software QB (as detailed here) but not with QBO. The basic Expensify-QBO connection puts expenses into a liability account, and it should ideally go into an AR account.

The good people at Expensify tells me that they’re working on a solution.

Here’s the workaround, in abridged form. I am skipping some steps.

You’ll need to purchase a $20/month middleware app called Transaction Pro Importer, obtained from Intuit’s QBO app store. Plus, you will of course need to establish the data connection between Expensify and QBO.


1. In Expensify, prepare a CSV export format that resembles the following. You are mapping Expensify data to Transaction Pro Importer’s “Credit Card Charges” schema.



2. Still in Expensify, export your completed expense report to your customized CSV. It will look like this:


02/14/2012,"Small World Coffee (princeton)",21.00,
"Reimbursable Expenses:Meals-Reimb","zzz Test Customer",
"Crucial Meeting.","Credit Card","Princeton Meeting 14Feb2012",660287,1


3. Now in Transaction Pro Importer, upload the CSV file you created.



4. Still in Transaction Pro Importer, confirm your field mappings and select records for importing (shown below).



5. Go to QBO to see your expense transaction. Note that Billable is not checked, even though we tried to force that with “LineBillableStatus” set to 1. That’s an annoyance we’re working on fixing.



Note that this post is just an outline, not an exhaustive help document. If you’re clever enough to connect Expensify and QBO, then you can bash your way through the entire process with Transaction Pro Importer. Their detailed help is here.

Hat tip to Angela Yeager for her help.