Manage budgets and spend limits

OverviewCreating a top-level budgetCreating a sub-budgetCreating a spend limitEditing a budget/spend limitDelete or archive a budget/spend limitMultiple budgets/spend limitsSpend limit requestsSpend limit increase requestsApprove spend limit requestsAutomatic spend limit selection

This article refers to a feature that might not be available in your current Brex plan. If you'd like to learn more about this feature and how to unlock additional capabilities in Brex's upgraded plans, please have your account or card admin reach out to Brex Support by clicking on Support in your dashboard.

Overview

We offer two tools for spend management: budgets and spend limits. A budget can help customers plan for their company’s future spending. Each budget can contain sub-budgets and/or spend limits. Spend limits contain controls like an expense policy and a limit on how much employees can spend. Employees can spend from spend limits via card or reimbursement.


Creating a top-level budget

PremiumEnterprise Step 1: In your dashboard, go to Budgets and click Create top-level budget at the top right. Step 2: Add your budget’s details, including a name, amount (optional), currency, frequency, and owners.

Step 3: Click Create.


Creating a sub-budget

PremiumEnterprise Step 1: In your dashboard, go to Budgets and select the budget you want to set up a sub-budget under. Step 2: Click the three dots and Create sub-budget. Step 3: Add your budget’s details, including a name, amount (optional), currency, frequency, and owners. Step 4: Click Create.


Creating a spend limit

Account and card admins can create new spend limits for both themselves and other users within the dashboard.

For Essentials Essentials

Step 1: In your dashboard, go to Spend limits and click Create spend limit at the top right. Step 2: Select the type of spend you want to set up. Step 3: Add your spend limit’s details, including:

  • Name
  • A description
  • Members
    • If this spend limit is meant for other users, add spend limit members.
  • Limit amount
    • You can choose whether you want the limit to be flexible or not. Flexible limits allow employees to spend beyond the assigned amount of the spend limit. Over-limit expenses are completed with the merchant but are then sent for approval from the admin or designated approver.
  • Recurrence

Step 4: Click Continue. You’ll see a preview screen to click Create and a note confirming that the spend limit was created successfully.

For Premium and Enterprise Premium Enterprise

Step 1: In your dashboard, go to Cards and Limits and click Create spend limit at the top right. Step 2: Select the type of spend you want to set up. Step 3: View the policy and edit it as needed. Note: The currency of your spend limit will match that of your policy. If you want to set your spend limit as non-USD, first create an expense policy with those same currency parameters. Step 4: Add your spend limit’s details, including a name, purpose, parent budget, and limit details. You can choose whether you want the limit to be flexible or not. Flexible limits allow employees to spend beyond the assigned amount of the spend limit. Over-limit expenses are completed with the merchant but are then sent for approval from the admin or designated approver. If this spend limit is meant for other users, add spend limit owners and spend limit members and (if applicable) choose whether you want to Automate spend limit distribution. Note: Turning on automation for a spend limit will override any other rules previously set. You can view the spend limits automation rules by filtering by “Auto-distribution” in your dashboard. Step 5: You can add the following rules to your spend limit spend by toggling on any of the following:

  • Virtual card spending only: Good for card-on-file payments, like subscriptions and other recurring purchases. Your team won’t be able to use a physical card to spend from this spend limit or to request reimbursements on their expenses.
  • Block specific merchants and categories: This will restrict the type of expenses that can be made on this spend limit.

Step 6: If you want advanced spend limit settings in place, you can check or uncheck the following:

  • Allow limit increase requests: If you want to allow spend limit members to submit requests for higher limits.
  • Hide limit from members: If you want to hide the limit from members and disable requests for limit increases.
    • Account admins, card admins, and spend limit owners can still view the spend limit limit.
  • Allow member expense visibility: If you want employees to see the other spend limit members’ expenses, or if spend limit members should be restricted to seeing only their own expenses.
  • Set a maximum amount allowed per transaction: If you want to set a limit per transaction to be automatically declined.
    • The spend limit’s transaction limit is independent of the parent budget.
  • Roll over unused funds: By toggling this on, a team member’s unused funds will roll over to the next spend limit period. For example, if your $100 spend limit recurs monthly, and you only use $85, rolling over those funds will give you a spend limit of $115 next month.
    • Clear rollover funds: You can choose when (if at all) accumulated rolled-over funds clear and the spend limit reverts back to its standard limit.
  • spend limit overrides: If you choose this option, you’ll be prompted to input the Legal entity, Department, Location, and Cost center that you want to override.

Step 7: Click Submit. A popup window will appear asking if you’d like to Undo the spend limit creation. You’ll have six seconds to click this option in case you need to adjust the spend limit for any reason. You can edit most of your spend limit information later on after the spend limit’s creation. The only exception to this is your spend limit’s currency, which cannot be changed after creation.


Editing a budget/spend limit

You can edit your budget/spend limit at any time after you’ve created it. Most details can be updated, but some features, such as the currency, are permanent.

Single budget/spend limit

Step 1: In your dashboard, click the budget/spend limit you want to update. You may need to click the arrow to expand the budget/spend limit group to find it. Step 2: Click the three dots > Edit budget/Edit spend limit. Step 3: Update the fields beside the details you’d like to change. Do this on both pages, then click Review budget/spend limit > Save changes. Note: When you edit your budget/spend limit’s recurrence, all approved and pending limit increases will be canceled.

Multiple budget/spend limits

PremiumEnterprise Step 1: In your dashboard, click the checkmark to the left of any budget/spend limits you want to edit. Step 2: Click an action at the bottom of the screen (Move, Edit limit, Add users, or Archive). Other budget/spend limit details can be updated by editing each budget/spend limit individually. Step 3: Depending on what details you’re updating, click either Save or Add when your edits are complete.

Moving a budget/spend limit

PremiumEnterprise Controllers have the ability to reassign a given sub-budget/spend limit’s top-level budget from their dashboard on the Budgets or Cards and Limits page or from the All budget details page/All spend limit details page. Note: Budget/spend limits can only be reassigned if limits, limit currency, restrictions, and policies are aligned. For example, you wouldn’t be able to move a spend limit that would exceed the hard limit of the new parent budget or a spend limit that allows transactions at a gas station into a spend limit that restricts purchases that fall into the Gas & Fuel category. Spend limits that are automatically distributed can not be moved.

Single budget/spend limit or budget 

Step 1: In your dashboard, click the budget/spend limit you want to move. Step 2: Under Actions, click Move budget/spend limit. Step 3: Select the new budget/spend limit you’d like to assign. Step 4: Click Confirm.

Multiple budget/spend limits or budget 

Step 1: In your dashboard, click the checkmark to the left of any budget/spend limits you want to move. Step 2: Click Move budget/spend limit at the bottom of the screen. Step 3: Choose your new budget/spend limit and click Move budget/spend limits.


Delete or archive a budget/spend limit

Budget or spend limit owners, account admins, and card admins can archive and delete spend limits from their dashboard. Affected budgets and spend limits will have differentiated visibility in the dashboard and they will not accept more card transactions. Budget and spend limit owners and members will receive notifications when deleted or archived.

Single budget/spend limit

Step 1: In your dashboard, click on the budget/spend limit you want to delete or archive. Step 2: Under Actions, select the action you’d like to take:

  • Archive budget/spend limit: Will remain visible on your admin dashboard.
  • Delete budget/spend limit: Will be permanently deleted from your admin dashboard.
    • Note: This action only appears if there are no expenses on the spend limit.

Step 3: In the popup window, confirm your decision by clicking either Delete or Archive. You can reopen an archived budget/spend limit by clicking on the tile for the specific budget/spend limit, and choosing Reopen. Clarify the specifics in the popup window and click Reopen budget/Reopen spend limit. Deleted budget/spend limits cannot be restored.


Multiple budgets/spend limits

PremiumEnterprise Step 1: In your dashboard, go to Budgets or Cards and Limits and click the checkmark to the left of any budget/spend limits you want to delete or archive. Step 2: Click Archive budget/Archive spend limit at the bottom of the screen. Step 3a: If you want to permanently remove the budget/spend limits from your dashboard, check the box for Permanently delete this budget/Permanently delete this spend limit. Then click Delete [#] budget/Delete [#] spend limit(s) to confirm. Step 3b: Leave the box unchecked if you want the budget/spend limit to still appear in your dashboard with an Archived status. Then click Archive [#] budget/spend limit(s) to confirm.


Spend limit requests

In your dashboard Essentials

Step 1: At the top right of the Wallet page, navigate to Request spend limit. Step 2: Select the type of spend you wish to make, either a user limit or vendor or travel spend. Step 3: Add your spend limit's details, including a name, purpose and amount. Step 4: Click Submit.

In your dashboard Premium Enterprise

Step 1: At the top right of the Wallet page, navigate to Request spend limit. Step 2: Select the type of spend and add your spend limit’s details, such as a name, purpose, owners, members, amount, currency recurrence, and date. Step 3: Click Continue.

In your app

Step 1: Tap Wallet at the bottom of your screen. Step 2: Tap Switch spend limit > Request new spend limit. Step 3: Select the type of spend and add your spend limit’s details, such as including a name, purpose, owners, members, amount, currency recurrence, and date. Step 4: Tap Submit.


Spend limit increase requests

Step 1: Navigate to the relevant spend limit in your Brex dashboard or mobile app. Essentials Step 2a: Under Actions, select Increase limit. PremiumEnterprise Step 2b: Choose Request limit increase. In your dashboard, you’ll find this by clicking the three dots at the bottom left of the spend limit’s detail pane. In your Brex app, this is below the spend limit name. Note: If you can’t find Request limit increase, check in with your spend limit owner. They may need to toggle on the ability for spend limit members to request a limit increase. Step 3: Specify the marginal increase amount and add a reason for the request. PremiumEnterprise You can indicate if you want the limit increase to be temporary (until the end of a specific spend limit period) or permanent (applies to the current period and all future periods). Step 4: Click Save. Step 5: You’ll receive a confirmation email that your request was submitted. You can view the outstanding request and the approval progress in Wallet > View all spend limits and cards. You can also withdraw the request at any time prior to final approval. Step 6: If the limit increase was approved, you'll receive an email and see the updated limit in your Brex account. In your app, you may also receive a push notification. If the limit increase was declined, you will receive an email notifying you of the decline. Note: As a spend limit owner, account admin, or card admin, you can toggle whether spend limit members should or should not be able to request a limit increase on a spend limit. To toggle this setting, click Edit spend limit and find the toggle titled Allow members to request limit increases.


Approve spend limit requests

When an employee files a request for a new spend limit or an increase in the amount to an existing spend limit, approvers can review all requests and approve or deny them. Step 1: Go to Tasks > Spend limits and click the request to view its request details. Step 2: At the bottom of the request pane, choose either Edit, Deny, or Approve. Note: A popup window will appear asking if you’d like to undo the approval/denial. You’ll have six seconds to click this option if you need to adjust the spend limit for any reason. As an account or card admin, you can always manually edit the limit of the spend limit.


Automatic spend limit selection

Account and card admins can enable automatic spend limit selection for each transaction on an employee card by following the steps below: Step 1: In your dashboard, go to Company settings > Brex Assistant > Automatic limit selection. Step 2: Have any cardholders who are members of two or more limits go to Wallet in their dashboard or app.

  • In their dashboard: Have them toggle on Automatic limit selection.
  • In their app: Have them tap Switch limit and toggle on Automatic limit selection.

Note: If they ever want to disable automatic limit selection in the future, they can turn this toggle off. Now, when your user transacts, we’ll automatically assign a spend limit to the expense, so long as the user has a limit with enough funds left that allows that type of transaction. This does not include Virtual card spending only limits. After a successful transaction, the user will receive a push notification and/or text message to let them know which spend limit we assigned. They can always reassign the expense to a more appropriate spend limit. Note: No spend limit will be selected for declined transactions. Declined transactions cannot be assigned to a limit after the decline occurs.

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