Add a receipt to your expense claim or edit an existing one

Enter receipts for any spending you have incurred on behalf of the business and submit these receipts on an Expense Claim so you can be reimbursed.

Video: Enter and submit expense claims (1:55)

To add a new receipt to your current expense claim, go to Accounts > Expense Claims. If you're adding a lot of receipts at one time and are doing this using the 'Save and Add Another Receipt' button, we recommend you Save regularly - after you've entered about 30 receipts.

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Start your expense claim by adding receipts or edit receipts already entered

Enter or Edit

Editing a receipt is the same as adding one - you can edit any receipt details until the expense claim has been submitted.

Do you have a receipt or bill for money you spent out of your own pocket or on your own debit or credit card that the organisation needs to pay you back for? If so, you’re in the right place!

If not, and you’ve used the organisation’s debit card, you need to enter this as a spend money transaction directly out of the organisation’s bank account. If you have received a bill that the organisation will pay for, enter this as a bill that the organisation will pay. In these cases there is no need for you personally toapply for reimbursement using an expense claim as you have not spent your personal money.

Enter the details of the receipt. This is also this screen that’s used for editing a receipt you may have already entered. Each time you add a receipt a sequential number is added to help you keep track - you might even like to note this number on your paper receipt. Each time a claim is submitted, the numbering sequence starts again.

Add edit receipt

Each receipt represents each occurrence of personal spending. A group of receipts in a certain time period is submitted as an Expense Claim. Sometimes a claim might contain only one receipt.

Receipt From

Select or enter the name of the place that the receipt (or bill) came from. If you enter a new name here, that person or organisation will be added as a contact.

When you type a name that isn't in your list of contacts, NEW appears in the From field.

The date of the transaction.


The reference number off the receipt or bill (if applicable).


Attach a file to your receipt. This is likely to be the electronic copy of the actual receipt you want to be reimbursed for.


The overall total you are claiming from the receipt or bill.

  • You can leave the total field empty if you wish. Xero will add up the amounts on each line item for you to provide a total when you save the receipt. If you have entered more than one line item, make sure the total in Xero matches what was on your receipt. (You can go back into the receipt to edit and save again if not.)
  • You can also enter a total in the total field. When you save the receipt, Xero will then alert you if the total it has calculated based on the sum of each line item amount (and tax if applicable) does not match the total you have entered in the total field. If your total and Xero's do not match you may need to check the accuracy of each line item amount, and tax if applicable. Note also that Xero might apply rounding.
How tax is calculated on the receipt

Depending on what appears on the receipt or bill that you are entering on your claim, specify whether it shows tax and if it does, whether it is inclusive or exclusive.

Choose the tax treatment for the transaction, that is, how tax will be calculated on the transaction using the 'Includes Tax' options. If the transaction is to have no tax options, uncheck the 'Include Tax' box, otherwise leave the box checked, choose whether it is to be exclusive or inclusive then specify the tax rate applied to each line item (below).

Tax options

Find out more about transaction display and tax rates on your Sales Tax Summary.

Xero might call sales tax something different depending on your organisation's country. For example, South African organisations show VAT on their reports and screens in Xero.

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For each item entered tax is included in the line item amount and is extracted from the subtotal and shown separately in the final amount – this is the default option (and only displays if include tax is checked).

Incl Tax

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For each item entered tax is not included in the line item amount and is calculated on top of the sub total and shown separately in the final amount. This option only displays if include tax is checked.

Tax Excl

Transaction amounts are no tax

Clear the 'Include Tax' checkbox if the transaction shouldn't have any tax. For each line item entered, the Tax Rate field can't be edited, therefore no tax can be applied or shown in the transaction total. Read more about items that have no tax rate in the Sales Tax Summary.

Excl Tax

Enter the details of the transaction using as many line items as required.


Your own description of the purchase, that is, what you bought from the place named in the ‘Receipt From’ field (use as much text or additional lines for each item if required).

Note: if your transaction is for a fixed asset and you're going to assign it to a fixed asset account (see below), the description will become the title of the asset in the Fixed Asset register. The item will be added into the register in draft status where you can further edit it and there is plenty of room to enter a full and complete description of the asset so you don't need to do it here on the transaction (if you do, the title of your asset in the Fixed Asset register will be quite long).


Enter or edit the quantity (if applicable) for the line item.

Unit Price

Price for the line item. The total amount displayed will automatically calculate all line items and any tax based on the options chosen.

Note: expense claims must be entered in the base currency of your organisation, even if you have multi-currency. If you need to enter a receipt in a different currency, convert the amount to your base currency first.

Your user role will determine whether you have full access to the chart of accounts or Tracking in order to add new items from the Add Receipt screen.
Settings role comparison


Select the account (from your Chart of Accounts) that the purchase is to be assigned to.

Account list

If you are unsure which account to assign the purchase to, use the tip to display a list of the available accounts and definitions that you can use for Expense Claims. You can control what this list shows in the chart of accounts by editing the account name and description and tagging the account 'Show in Expense Claims'.

Account tip

If you choose an account that is a type 'fixed asset' in your chart of accounts (if one is available to choose on the receipt), then the line item that is assigned (coded) to this account will be automatically added to your Fixed Asset register as a Draft item. From there, you or your accountant or bookkeeper can complete the asset details as relevant to your business or delete the item.

If a suitable account does not exist in the chart of accounts for this purchase, you can create one now.

Add account

The information to be completed is the same as when you are creating an account directly in the chart of accounts. If you want the new account to always display when entering expense claims, make sure you tick the 'Show in Expense Claims' option when creating the new account.

Add account

If you are editing a receipt and the account previously used has been deleted or archived it will no longer be available to select.

Tax Rate

The tax to be applied to the line item. By default this will be the tax rate assigned to the account you've chosen for this item from the chart of accounts. You can change the tax rate for this transaction if required. The total amount of tax will be shown in the transaction total, calculated as inclusive or exclusive depending on the treatment you chose for the transaction (above).

Change Tax

Note: If you want to change the tax applied to the chosen account, you must modify the account from the chart of accounts.


Tracking categories will display if you have set them up for this organisation. If you want this transaction to be tracked, choose the required option(s) from the one or two tracking categories displayed. If you don't want to use tracking on this transaction (or a line in the transaction) just leave it blank or choose '(None)'.


If a suitable tracking option does not exist in the category you want to track the item against, you can add one from here using the '+Add' link. Enter the new option for the category and from now on it will appear in the list of options for this category when you are entering or editing any other transactions or running reports.

Add option

New option dialog

You can also add more options from Settings > General Settings > Tracking.

Once tracking is applied, the item will be included in any reports that are filtered by the tracking options you have chosen.

If you are editing a transaction and the tracking category or option previously used has been deleted it will no longer be available to select.

Set up tracking categories to monitor different areas of your business

Add line

A receipt can be entered using one or multiple line items.

Add a new line

If your single receipt or bill is itemised to show all the individual items purchased you can enter several lines for the receipt you are entering if you want to assign the individual items to different accounts in your chart of accounts. Add extra lines to the receipt you are entering by clicking Add a new line.

Multiple lines


Rounding may be automatically applied by the system if in breaking up the transaction into multiple accounts the tax applied slightly alters the line totals. Rounding amounts are assigned to the Rounding account in the chart of accounts.



If your organisation allows you to claim a travel allowance or mileage without submitting individual receipts you might like to consider this suggestion for doing it in Xero, although your tax authority or country's company legislation or company policy will determine rates and when you can claim.

Enter the receipt as explained above and use the following suggestions for entering mileage:

  • Add one receipt for your mileage for the month
  • If you made several individual trips that you need to itemise, enter each trip on a different line
  • Enter your name or 'Travel Allowance' in the 'Receipt from' field depending on how your company likes to receive these receipts
  • Enter 'Mileage' or 'Travel allowance' and/or the details of the trip in the 'Description' field
  • Enter the number of kilometres or miles in the 'Quantity' field and the mileage rate provided by your company in the 'Unit Price' field
  • Choose the tax rate applicable for mileage claims, in many cases this is likely to a rate that does not incur sales tax, for example, 'Tax Exempt' (for this type of expense claim only - when claiming actual receipts, leave the tax set to the default for the account chosen unless your organisation requires otherwise).


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History & Notes

View the expense claim history or add a note to this claim using History & Notes.

Save & Add Another Receipt

Save what you have just entered and add more receipts to this expense claim now. If you're adding a lot of receipts at one time, we recommend you click Save regularly - after you've entered about 30 receipts.


Save the receipt just entered and return to view your expense claim.

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Any details entered will be cleared and you will be returned your current expense claim.