Create and manage expense categories

Expense categories make reporting and reconciliation seamless between Extend and other accounting platforms your company uses manage organizational spend. 

What are expense categories?

Expense categories are classifications that allow users in your organization to tag virtual cards and transactions with corresponding accounting codes. Typically, your expense categories will match the GL codes your accounting team uses for reporting. This will ensure that spending from virtual cards in Extend is properly tracked on your connected accounting platform.

Why should I set up expense categories?

Expense categories allow you to start reconciling before you transact. You can set up your GL accounting codes in Extend so that your team can tag virtual cards and transactions. This makes reporting seamless between Extend and your company's accounting software.

Once created, the expense categories will be available in a pre-populated dropdown menu on both the Transaction and Virtual Card details pages. This access allows users to tag virtual cards and transactions with the appropriate GL codes. A user can even select an expense category when they request a virtual card.

The expense categories will apply to all accounts not connected to an integration within your org.

To manage expense categories for your accounts connected to an integration, please see the QuickBooks Integration article for more information. 

Who can set up expense categories?

Expense categories can be set up and managed by Org Owner, Admins, and Bookkeepers. These roles can manage expense categories for the entire company on the Organization Settings page. All users within an org can view the applicable expense categories under the Account Settings tab for their individual accounts.

When should I set up expense categories?

In order to tag virtual cards and transactions with expense categories, be sure to set them up as soon as you register your physical card in Extend. But you may also create or update the expense categories at any time from the Org Settings page.

How to set up expense categories

1. To manage Expense Categories, the Org Owner, Admins, and Bookkeepers will need to access the Organization Settings page from the Home page on the web app.

Note: Org Owner, Admins, and Bookkeepers will see the Organization Settings option from the two drop-down menus on the Home page. Org Members will not see the Organization Settings drop-down option.


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2. Org Owners, Admins, and Bookkeepers can add, modify, and remove Expense Categories from the “Expense Categories” tab. 

Note: Expense Categories will apply to all accounts within the Organization. 

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3. Select Add Expense Category to create a new expense category

4. Enter key details about the expense category, including the Expense Category Name, Expense Category Code, Label, and Label Code. See more information here

5. Click Save Changes

Note: Once the expense category information is saved, you can change its name at any time but you will not be able to edit the associated Expense Category Code itself.

Expense Categories and Accounts

You can access manage Expense Categories at the Account level via the Account Settings tab. Expense Categories display as view-only on the Account Settings tab for each individual account.

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Key Terms

  • Expense Category: The title for a collection of options that a user may select from when creating or editing virtual cards or transactions.
  • Expense Category Code: An alphanumeric identifier tied to the Expense Category Name. This helps you filter and search through transactions faster and will appear as its own data column when you download a transactions .CSV file. A code will be generated automatically for you if you choose to leave it blank. 
  • Label: This is a description of a General Ledger (GL) code that can be attached to a virtual card or transaction. These will appear in the Expense Category section when you create or update a virtual card, or update a transaction. There is no limit on the number of labels you can create for an expense category. 
  • Label Code: An alphanumeric identifier that is tied to the description of the General Ledger (GL) codes. This will enable you to connect with accounting platforms outside of Extend. You can enter your own code of choice or a code will be generated for you if you decide to leave it blank. 
  • Free Text: Allow users to enter their own Label for an Expense Category at the time of creating or updating a virtual card.
  • Send to Bank: Enables some users to pass expense category information into user-defined fields when a virtual card is created. This most likely does not apply to your Organization.
  • Required: Checking this box will ensure that all virtual cards are assigned a label and label code.



1. If I disconnect and reconnect my integration, what will happen to my account?
Because your account inherits the Expense Categories set on your integrated platform, disconnecting and reconnecting your account from that integration will not change your data. Your account will just inherit the Expense Categories from the integration again.


2. Who will have access to creating and modifying Expense Categories?
The Org Owner, Admins, and Bookkeepers will have the ability to create and modify Expense Categories that will apply to all accounts within their Organization. RCN Account Holders who are added to a new Organization will have to be added as an Admin or Bookkeeper in order to add or modify Expense Categories for their Organization.

Note: Expense categories are only available to users within an organization.