Online Expenses

The postman arrives with a pile of envelopes.  Half of them are from your field staff, and most of them are expense claims.  You distribute the envelopes and your staff managers start sifting through the detritus trying to make sense of the claims.  Budgets are checked, receipts are ordered and eventually the semblance of a report gets to the accounts department to be re-processed and eventually approved or declined.  Sound familiar?

We wanted to solve this problem for you.  And now we have.

Introducing Watu Expenses.  Our pain reliever for the expenses process.

This is how it works:

  • Your staff managers set an expense allowance for a role or for an individual.
  • After the activity has been completed, the staffer logs in and claims their expenses (photographing the receipt using their computer or drag&dropping a copy of the receipt on to the shift).
  • The staff manager logs in and checks expenses, runs through all the claims, edit/approves & declines.

Job done.  All online, no paper, all within the rules and all stored in the cloud so that if you’re ever audited, you have an easily accessible trail online.

So here’s how you review and process a staffer’s expense claim:

Click on Payroll and then Approve Expenses


You see all the jobs and their dates that have expenses submitted by staffers, pending your approval.  We’ve colour coded for ease of use.

  • Grey & ‘unclaimed’ – The staffer hasn’t claimed expenses for the day.
  • White – You haven’t yet looked at the claim.
  • Red – The claim is over budget.
  • Green – You’ve approved the claim.


Clicking on a staffer’s picture brings up the details of the claim.  You have a number of options:  You can;

  • Reject any receipts by turning off the green toggle to the left
  • Change the amount of a receipt by clicking on the amount to the right and entering a new figure

The bar at the bottom shows what the allowance was, how much the staffer claimed in total, and how much you’re approving, which takes into account the changes you just made.

Clicking “Approve” at the bottom applies your changes (if any), and marks these expenses as approved, which gets them ready to be paid.


We’ve helped identify claims that are over budget by turning them red.  You’ll also see a new button called “Approve up to {x}”, with x being the allowance. Clicking this button will approve all receipts up to the allowance you set for the shift, and reject any amount above it. Essentially, it caps the claim to the budget you had set.


Finally, when looking at the general overview of expenses pending approval, you’ll notice a menu to the right with 2 options to approve all expenses without having to go through them in detail.

Approve all within allowance will automatically approve all claims as long as they as not over the budget set. You will still have to manually check the ones that are over-budget and decide what to do in each case.

Approve all up to allowance will also approve all claims within budget, and for those that are over-budget, it’ll cap them to the budget you set, thus approving partially, just like the last button in the dialog before.

These should save you tons of times if used carefully.

Paying for Expenses

Since expenses are reimbursements, and they do not show up in payslips sent to your staffers, they are processed separately from regular staffer payments. You’ll notice a new option when you go into the Payroll area:


The process for paying expenses is very similar to that for jobs. You select a date range (automatically set to cover all approved expenses), you select which jobs you want to pay expenses for, and you pay.


Afterwards, you’ll get a CSV file detailing all the staffers that need to be paid, their bank account details, and the total amount to pay.

Self-employed staffers will include their expenses on their invoices, so approved expenses will show up to the right just like shifts and adjustments, and you will select which of these were included and which aren’t, and process the invoice as usual.

This feature has been in beta testing for a month now and staff are finding it easy to use and are using it correctly.  We’re excited about the huge time saving this affords for your agency.

Onwards and upwards!

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