Building an Expenses App on the Power Platform

Expenses PowerApps

This guide shows you how an expenses PowerApp app simplifies the process to submit and approve expense claims using via a mobile to include supporting expense receipts.

Submitting expense claims and managing the approvals process often proves time-consuming, especially if this involves a stream of emails, scanned documents and paper receipts.

To simplify this, an expenses mobile app built on the Power Platform is designed to speed up the entry and handling of these claims.

As a canvas PowerApp, expenses data is stored in the Common Data Model bringing this data together and enabling it to be connected with hundreds of data sources including Dynamics 365 and Office 365. 

For this app we've defined two types of expense user:

  • Standard user - has the ability to create, edit and submit expense claims and attach receipts against each item using their phone camera 
  • Approver user - has the ability to approve or reject any claims submitted by all users

When a standard user logs in, the Expense Claims section lists their active claims (unsubmitted, submitted or rejected) and a history of their approved claims:

Submitted Expenses

From this screen, a user can:

  • Create a new claim
  • Edit or delete an unsubmitted claim
  • Filter the claims lists by a date range
  • Sort the claims list by date (ascending/descending)

Within each claim, a user is able to enter details of their supporting expenses:

  • Log expenses against this claim
  • Attach a receipt to each expense
  • Edit / delete unsubmitted expenses
  • Submit the claim for approval

In this example, an unsubmitted claim of £52 consists of 3 expenses:

Ubsubmitted expenses claim within a PowerApp

When an approver user logs in, they'll see an additional Approvals section.

This lists all submitted claims which are pending approval and from this view, approvers are able to: 

  • View details of each claim including related expenses and receipts
  • Approve or reject claims
  • Overwrite submitted amounts
  • Filter the claims lists by date
  • Sort claims by date (ascending/descending) 
Details of a submitted expenses claim

When an expense claim is processed, the user who submitted the claim will receive a notification that their expenses were their sanctioned or declined. 

Additional Capabilities Include

  • Routing functionality to calculating the expense distance and amount based on to and from postcodes, user vehicle, mileage rate, accumulated distance for the Personal and Company car mileage expenses. Also, includes the ability to log Motorbike mileage expenses.
  • Have multiple approvers in the system, defined at user level
  • Enable approvers to see their approved claims

Further functionality will be added as we extend its capabilities. Upcoming features will include:

  • Linking expenses directly to project, booking or order records in Dynamics 365
  • Approver filtered views for approved / declined expense claim lists
  • Expense claim rejection reasons
  • Admin management via mobile app
  • Expense reporting functionality
  • Timesheets module 
  • Integration with Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation 

If you would like to find out more, including how this app can be extended and adapted to fit your organisation's expense claim processes please get in touch.

RELATED: About PowerApps

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