Expense Categories - Creating and Managing

The Expense Categories page in the Business Payroll Settings section is used to define the various employee expense categories used by your business.

To access your business expense categories from the payroll dashboard, select "Expense Categories" listed under the Pay Run Settings heading.

Adding an Expense Category

To add an expense category, click on the "Add" button, located on the top right hand side, and complete the following:

  1. Name: enter the name of the expense category;
  2. External Id: enter an External Id for the expense category. This is applicable if the business uses an external system to track employee expenses and so needs to sync with the payroll system. If an external id is used that has been used before you won't be able to save it if the 'unique external Id' setting is switched on. This setting is located on the Payroll settings > Advanced settings page. See here for more information. 
  3. Tax Code: This caters towards mapping GST in journals that may be applied to expense claims. If you have integrated Xero with the payroll system you will be able to select the tax code from the pre-populated dropdown list. If you are using a file export journal, you can manually type in the tax code that will be included in the payroll journal.
  4. Tax Rate: If you have integrated Xero with the payroll system, the tax rate will automatically pre-populate based on the tax code selected. If you are using a file export journal, you can manually type in the tax rate that will be included in the payroll journal.

Click on "Save".


The tax code and associated tax rate will populate for each expense line submitted by your employees. You can also give employees the option to override the tax code when submitting their expense claims. This setting can be configured via the Employee Portal Settings screen.

Note: When adding new expense categories you cannot have multiple entries with the same tax code and different tax rates. This has been done to avoid issues with the incorrect rate being applied. 

Edit an expense category

To edit an expense category, click on the name of the category you want to edit. This will expand the details of that category for editing. Make the necessary changes and click Save when you're done.

Delete expense category

You are also able to delete expense categories from this screen by hovering your mouse over the category that you want to delete and clicking on the red circled cross that appears. Note that you cannot delete expense categories that are in use. 

Restoring an expense category

You are able to restore an expense category by going to Payroll settings > Restore deleted items, and selecting 'Expense category' from the drop down box. A list of all deleted expense categories will appear and you can click the 'Restore' option against the expense category that you are wanting to reinstate. 

If you have any questions or feedback please let us know via support@nzpayroll.co.nz.

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