Settling Expense Claims by Partners

Hello Forum! I’m new here; to Manager, and by extension to accounting as well. That said, so far Manager has aided me a great deal in understanding the basics. I have a business with two other partners and I’ve ran into some trouble trying to settle expense claims incurred by ourselves. Case scenario: A partner wants to be reimbursed KES525 that they incurred for meals and refreshments. I have in my expenses tab of the P & L statement an account titled “Expense Claims Reimbursement” to cater solely for such claims, and another titled “Meals and Refreshments” for expenses of the same paid for directly by the company. I withdraw money from my bank account and credit the petty cash so as to settle the payment from this account, since it is quite meager. When creating the expense claim for the KES525, in the accounts section, I input the “Meals and Refreshments” account. When spending money from the petty cash to pay this claim, in the accounts tab, i input the “Expense Claims Reimbursement” account. This way, in the summary page, it only shows the charge in “Expense Claims Reimbursement” account in the expenses section, while the “Meals and Refreshments” account remains nil (In my opinion, this suits me coz i only want this account for use when recording direct costs by the company for meals and refreshments). The problem or trouble occurs when i attempt to redo the same for another expense claim of KES500 by the same partner. This time, the partner incurred the expense by way of paying for materials and labour for the fabrication of costumes. Like before, i create an account titled "Costumes Fabrication"in the expenses tab of my chart of accounts. My intention is to use this account in future for all expenses incurred in the fabrication of costumes. So when creating the expense claim, in the account tab, i input “Costume Fabrication”, while when settling the claim from the petty cash, i input the “Expense Claims Reimbursement” account. Since the transaction follows the same path like the one before, i assume when i go to the summary page that the “Costume Fabrication” account will be nil, and the expense recorded in the “Expense Claims Reimbursement” account. However, the expense is recorded in the costumes fabrication account, and the capital account of the partner credited the amount to be paid. Thing is, i only want to use the capital accounts balance for drawings of share of profits or dividends, and not expense claims, thereby eliminating confusion in our company structure. I sincerely need some advice since i am inclined to believe i have made some mistake, only i do not know where. Thank you for taking interest in my long question :slight_smile:

Welcome to Manager.

As you suspected, you have made several errors. All are easily corrected once you understand the principles behind the Expense Claims module. Expense claims record expenditures for legitimate company expenses, that is, things it would be proper for the company to buy or pay for directly from a company bank or cash account. But instead of coming from a company account, the expenditure is made from personal funds by an authorized payee.

Of course, to use this feature of Manager, the Expense Claims module must be enabled under Customize. Doing that automatically creates certain interrelated accounts. You should not create any additional accounts beyond the normal expense accounts you set up in your chart of accounts, based on the needs of your business for monitoring various types of expenses and fulfilling tax reporting requirements.

The act of creating an expense claim generates a credit to the Expense claims liability account, because the company now owes that person reimbursement in some form. Creating the claim requires you to designate the subaccount of the person who spent their personal funds, called the Payer. Expense Claim Payers can be created under Settings. But, if you have already set partners up with capital accounts, they are automatically authorized payers. And if you have employees set up, they will be authorized. You might also set up outsiders, such as a partner’s spouse.

When the expense claim is created, allocate the transaction to an appropriate expense account, such as Costume materials or Meals and entertainment, depending on what was purchased. At this point, your Profit and Loss Statement will reflect the expense for the company as well as the liability to reimburse the Payer.

You have several choices on how to reimburse the Payer, depending on your form of business organization. You can Spend Money from one of your cash accounts and reimburse them directly. This is what you would do if the claim was on behalf of an outsider or an employee. Allocate such a Spend Money transaction to the Expense claims liability account and choose the appropriate Payer’s subaccount. Do not allocate to any form of expense claims expense account, because you have already recorded the expense. All you are doing here is clearing your obligation to the Payer. Such a transaction is completely separate from recording the expense to the company.

If you have partners with capital accounts, you can also regard the expenditure of personal funds as an additional contribution of capital. In that case, clear the Expense claims liability via a journal entry, debiting Expense claims (and the partner’s subaccount) and crediting the partner’s capital account by the same amount. Your worry about maintaining the structure of the company is groundless, because this transaction records how much extra capital a partner has contributed. If you do not want various partners’ relative contributions to change, then instead clear the claim through direct reimbursement, just as described above for an employee.

Just for the sake of completeness, a sole trader could clear the expense claim directly to owner’s equity or take a direct reimbursement.

The important thing to understand is that an expense claim creates a liability for the company to reimburse whoever purchased something on its behalf. In the process, it records the expense to the company. Settling the expense claim by reimbursement or addition to a contributed capital or equity account gets rid of the liability.

Now, you should also understand that I’ve described things from the perspective of accrual-based accounting. Hopefully, with multiple partners, you are not trying to use cash-based accounting, because many of the necessary steps won’t show up. And depending on your tax jurisdiction, it may not be legal.

Try recording the two transactions you described in accordance with what I’ve written above. Then, if you have specific question, please ask.

NOTE: I unlisted your duplicate version of these questions another heading.

Thank you very much for the speedy response and for the warm welcome. Thanks also for the deletion of the duplicate, was wondering how to.

What you’ve pointed out makes a lot of sense, and I will follow all the steps provided. For clarification, I am using the accrual basis of accounting.

However, I have one worry; after installing manager, I did get rid of (delete) certain accounts, especially in the expenses part of the chart of accounts, and I fear one of them could be the Expense Claims Liability Account. I understand that I could, perhaps, simply create another account titled the same for use in applying the above provided guidelines?

Thank you once more for the kind response. I will report back the results.

First of all, the automatic Expense claims account is not an expense account. It is a liability account and shows up on the balance sheet, not the profit and loss statement.

To be absolutely certain the built-in control accounts are set up correctly, it may be best to delete the few expense claims you already entered. Then disable the Expense Claims module. (Manager won’t let you disable anything with transactions already entered.) Then re-enable the module. Manager will automatically create the necessary control accounts. Then you can put those expense claims back in correctly.

Let me know if you have trouble.

Thank you for the clarification. Indeed, it shows up on the balance sheet. As feared, I did delete it - probably wasn’t sure of it’s exact function. That’s a great idea, let me execute it and hopefully I will get back with some positive news.

You may have to delete other related transactions, too, before you can delete the expense claims. Manager will let you know.

Back again. I have done as you suggested, that is, disabled Expense Claims module, updated, closed manager, re-opened manager, re-enabled Expense Claims module, updated (I hope you intended for it to follow this order).

Conversely, I have also deleted all payments associated with those claims as applicable. However, as you say, if there are other related transactions that may require deletion, I await your cue.

Anyway, after doing that, in the summary page, there still isn’t an Expense Claims Liability account generated automatically by the Expense Claims module. My question at this point is whether or not it will be prudent to manually create one through the chart of accounts.

Manager does appear to have let me delete all claims - there were only two; those I featured in my first post. Consequently, Manager also does appear to have allowed me to disable/re-enable the Expense Claims module

In summary, I have deleted both claims, plus all the payments I had issued for them using the regime I described in my beginning post.

If deletions were required before you could disable the module, Manager would have told you. But, if you had transactions that improperly were allocated to other accounts, Manager can’t distinguish them from valid entries. So you’ll have to look through your records to find them. Anything related to that Expense Claims Reimbursement expense account you created should go. And that account should be deleted in the chart of accounts. Actual expenses should show up in their proper accounts based on what they are.

No! Any account you create will not be linked to the Expense Claims module. Manager wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from a car loan.

It is common in Manager that accounts with no entries don’t show up until needed. So enter your first expense claim, entering an appropriate Payer and allocating the transaction to the expense account that matches what was purchased. Then look on the Summary page to see if that amount shows up under Liabilities in an account named Expense claims.

I have clicked on every blue figure and line on the summary page, and I am certain all transactions related to that improper account have been deleted. Thank you for another critical lesson regarding the creation of such accounts in Manager. Let me work on your last suggestion, I am certain this will resolve the matter. Thanks, will let you know :slight_smile:

Well, perhaps I did speak a little too soon about the matter coming to a close :frowning: Anyway, I have done as you recommended - created a novel expense claim, entering the payer as the partner seeking reimbursement, the payee as the place where the cash was spent, and the expense account as “Meals and Refreshments.”

However, upon clicking the summary tab, there still isn’t a generated account named Expense Claims showing the liability represented by the expense claim. I am now at square zero, hoping you can direct me appropriately. Thanks!

Can you upload screen shots of (1) your left-navigation pane in Manager and (2) your chart of accounts from Settings? To upload, use the upwards-pointing arrow at the top of the response area in this forum. The pop-up will show you the kind of files that can be uploaded.

Please do not include any actual financial data in your screen shots.

Sorry for the delay in response. I have tried my best to capture the entire screen for maximum viewing. If it helps, I have uninstalled and re-installed Manager; in fact, I have all but deleted the business thinking the issue will go away if i start a new, and, since I was only a day into Manager, I did not have much to loose. I hope this does not complicate matters further.

Sorry for the delay in response. I have tried my best to capture the entire screen for maximum viewing. If it helps, I have uninstalled and re-installed Manager; in fact, I have all but deleted the business thinking the issue will go away if i start a new, and, since I was only a day into Manager, I did not have much to loose. I hope this does not complicate matters further.

OK, Expense Claim account doesn’t show in the BS until you have created an Expense Claim Payer.
Go to Setting - Expense Claim Payer and create a Payer, a person who will be submitting the Expense Claim, then the account will appear

If you are using the Capital Accounts tab and have set up Partners, then any expense claim from a Partner shows up (directly posted) under the Capital Accounts, not the Expense Claims account.

To keep Expense Claims cleaner I suggest you set up each Partner under Expense Claim Payer, but use different name structure so each can be easily identified

Capital Account = Peter Jones
Expense Claim = Peter (EC)

Similarly with employees, any expense claim from them gets posted directly to Employee Clearing account not the expense claim account

Read more about Partner Expense Claims here

What @Brucanna says about the account appearing when there is a Payer is true, as far as it goes. But capital account owners are automatically included as expense claim payers. There is, in fact, no reason to create partners as Payers, because they should appear on the list in a separate category, headed Members, already. So @Brucanna’s suggestion just creates more work and clutter.

Your trouble, I believe lies in your capital account structure. Your chart of accounts shows that you have no subaccounts under Capital Accounts, yet you have recorded 3 transactions per the left navigation pane.

So the answer to your problem is not to create Payers, but to create the capital accounts for the partners.

By separating the partner capital accounts from the Expense Claim Payer enables you to pay (contra) the expenses claim, if the expense claim goes to the capital account there can never be a contra - read the linked topic

Capital Accounts is a control account so the sub-accounts don’t appear on the balance sheet - the sub-accounts are maintained via Settings - Capital subaccounts - NOT via Chart of accounts

OK. Sorry for the confusion. Things have changed a little since I last used capital accounts for my sole proprietorship. Creating a capital account member should add that member to the list of payers for an expense claim. I’ve verified that it does for a test business I just created.

But @Brucanna is correct that it no longer routes the claim to the Expense claims liability account. I am not sure when that changed. It could have been a couple years ago. Now, as I’ve confirmed to my embarrassment, the claim goes straight to the capital account. This is equivalent to what I described as an option for clearing the expense claim, but it happens directly and automatically, saving a step. A partner paying an expense from personal funds, though, is still equivalent to an additional contribution of capital.

With my recently updated knowledge, I will say that if you don’t want to adjust relative capital contributions between the partners, you should create an expense claim payer and directly reimburse the partner. Otherwise, the claim will end up in the capital account.

@Writer-Typist, please accept my apology for the confusion. This is one of the pitfalls of adopting Manager. The application develops at an extremely rapid pace. And many times, it maintains backwards compatibility so that users don’t have to adjust their processes. But as a result, those of us who try to help others on this forum are sometimes outdated in our knowledge. Things we know for an absolute fact to be true sometimes are not. :blush:

Thank you very much @Brucanna and @Tut for the informative responses. As regards the confusion, with an accounting software, I think elasticity does get limited, as opposed to physical books of accounts. For example, this same transaction is already recorded and completed physically, but the virtual recording is what’s been giving me headache. So yes, I do understand.

In regards to Brucanna’s suggestion, I have indeed tried setting up the partners as expense claim payers, and the expense claims account displays on the liabilities section. However, as Tut says, the partners are already designated as payers and i can see them in the members area. Nevertheless, I really want to pay the reimbursement through the expense claim liability account, and as such, I find the extra work worthwhile given the neatness it helps me maintain.

So just to recap; @Tut, you would suggest the same? Creating separate expense payers accounts for the partners to enable the reflection of a lodged expense claim by a partner? And what would essentially happen if I use the members capital accounts and then have that particular partner draw the equivalent of the funds to be reimbursed? This is where it gets a little confusing for me. Please forgive any question that may seem ignorant as I’m quite new to this practice.