Technology & Innovation
How to Enhance Reporting With Custom Fields

How to Enhance Transaction Reporting With Navan’s Custom Fields

Samantha Shankman

6 Jun 2024
3 minute read
Enhance Transaction Reporting With Navan’s Custom Fields

When it comes to accounting, one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why project and finance leaders need the ability to collect and categorize information from employees when they book travel or submit expenses

It’s also why Navan’s custom fields cater to every type of company and circumstance. 

What are custom fields?

Admins use custom fields to collect information from employees during the travel booking checkout process or when submitting a transaction in Navan Expense.

Why are custom fields necessary?

This feature adds context to bookings or expenses, allowing for more accurate reporting, and is critical for allocating costs to specific projects or clients.

Who uses custom fields?

Custom fields can help any company. But the businesses that typically make the most use of custom fields are enterprises and project-based industries such as construction, consulting, and legal services.

New Custom Field Features

Navan’s latest custom field features are meticulously designed to enhance the precision and efficiency of accounting and project management. These updates empower finance and project teams to better capture, categorize, and approve travel and expense data. 

1. Custom Field Approvers

What is it? When admins assign approvers to custom field responses, the booking and expense approval will be routed to them, to ensure the people with the necessary context are the approvers of the transaction for more efficient spend tracking. 

Why does it matter? This feature enables admins to set the approver to be the person who has in-depth knowledge of the project-specific expenses, but who may not be the admin or direct manager.

2. Nested Custom Fields

What is it? Using nested custom fields, admins create a structured way to capture and organize travel and expense data as employees book trips or submit expenses. Users can organize follow-up fields and responses under a parent custom field to create a hierarchy in which each prompt is dependent on the response entered in a previous field.

Why does it matter? It makes reporting more accurate and more manageable for admins to track expenses at the level of detail they need.

In the example below, once “Project 1” is selected, the phase field is displayed. Then, once “Phase 4” is selected in the phase field, the job code field is displayed. 

Nested Custom Fields make reporting more accurate and more manageable for admins to track expenses at the level of detail they need.

3. Targeted Custom Fields

What is it? Admins can tailor the custom fields and responses employees see when submitting expenses based on their name and HR attributes, such as cost center or region. 

Why does it matter? Especially for large companies, project codes can number from hundreds to thousands, so limiting the fields and responses most relevant to that employee streamlines workflows. Only seeing the fields and responses most pertinent to them makes it easier for employees to book travel and submit expenses faster. It also means fewer coding errors, as well as more accurate and efficient expense reporting.

With targeted custom fields, admins can tailor the custom fields and responses employees see when submitting expenses.

Customize Spend Reporting by Project Enhances Financial Transparency

By utilizing Navan’s user-friendly custom fields, employees can effortlessly provide the necessary information for accounting teams to ensure accurate reporting and insights — and guarantee visibility and proper expense allocation.

But don’t take it from us. 

Jason Randall, director of shared services at United Engineers and Constructors, shared the problem that custom fields solved for his company’s project and accounting teams.

“At United, our entire financial system is based around project-based reporting,” said Randall. “All billing, expenses, and reporting are related to the project codes, and therefore, all expenses coming through to the G/L must have a project number to post to. So, with Navan, one of the key features we were happy to see was the ability to set up a custom field, so that when booking travel, an employee had to enter a project number for the trip.”

“On the expense side,” he continued, “when expenses populate, a mandatory project code field is available before any transaction is completed. Transactions are flagged for the missing project code if the employee doesn’t enter it. The custom project code field saves significant time when reconciling and posting monthly expenses. It also helps to ensure the expenses are posted to the projects in a timely manner so that expense details can be included with billing when needed.”

Download the guide, “How Custom Fields Uplevel Travel & Expense Management,” to learn more.

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