Companies can design a system which lets their representatives note, modify, and oversee their own expenses. This is accomplished thanks to various statistical views.
The tool helps users enter data related to expenses generated, as well as consulting and modifying them whenever required, on or offline. To add a new expense, users indicate the amount and date, choose the expense type from a list provided by the system, and make a note describing the expense. They can also optionally attach an image of the receipt. Once the expense is ready to be uploaded to the central server, the user can lock it. Once the expense has been locked, users cannot modify it; it will only be available to consult.
When the device synchronizes with the central server, the expenses which the user has marked as locked will be uploaded to the server.
2 Feature Summary
2.1 Add Expense
This is the tool's primary feature. It offers the user a simple interface to enter as much expense-related data as they wish. The following types of data can all be entered:
- AMOUNT Simply by accessing the Add Expense section, a numeric keyboard appears to input the expense amount. It can be modified as many times as needed while entering other data.
- CATEGORY With this list, we can select the type of expense to be entered. The list consists of the types defined in the corresponding table in our database.
- DATE By default, the expense date will appear as today's date. To modify the date, simply tap it to open a calendar window.
- NOTES This is text field where users should enter the expense's description, as well as any clarifying notes they deem necessary.
- IMAGE At the bottom of the screen, users can upload an image of the expense receipt. To do so, tap the image field to bring up a drop-down menu. Choose whether the image is a file stored on the mobile device or uploaded directly from the camera.
To store the expense, users simply tap the icon at the top-right corner of the screen.
2.2 Expense Summary
This feature shows a history of all past expenses. Expenses are displayed grouped by month. To consult each expense, select a specific month from the drop-down menu to see more detail; the type of expense, description, date and amount will be indicated. Each entry has a padlock associated with it, used to lock the expense and notify the system that the information is ready for uploading. As explained previously, once an expense is locked, it cannot be modified or deleted.
In summary mode we also find, at the bottom of the screen, the average amount per expense and the total amount. From here, users can access the Add Expense screen, consult an existing expense, or view statistics.
2.3 Consult and Modify Expenses
Tapping an expense brings up its information. This data is shown with the same format as in Add Expense. If the expense has not been locked, users can modify any information which appears and save the changes. Expenses can also be deleted by pressing the button in the top-right corner. If, on the other hand, the expense is locked, users can still view the screen and consult expense data, but cannot modify or delete any fields.
2.4 Consult Statistics
3 Information Synchronization
To keep information updated in the central data server, the user can work offline. A synchronization process between expenses uploaded by device users and the central server is configured.
For each expense, the user can decide whether it is ready for upload to the central server. If so, they need only indicate it as a locked expense. During the next synchronization process, the expense will be sent to the server. To avoid data consistency problems, expenses marked as locked cannot be modified or deleted. This process is not reversible.
4 Using the Tool
4.1 Data Model
Tables the model consists of:
4.2 Expense Types
This area is used to configure the various expense types present in the system.
The expense table provides us with all necessary information related to system expenses.