May 22, 2020

Need native English help! Looking for a word...

Illia Kalaur @kalawr

I have literally been blocked for weeks looking for the right label for a button in the app I build.

It's a spending tracker app. Naturally, it has the concept of an "expense", that has happened in the past. It also has the concept of a "planned expense", that the user expects to happen some time in the future. The button I am talking about changes a planned expense to an expense, when it finally took place. What is the verb or the phrase that would make that action intuitive to understand?

I will celebrate any feedback I can get, as I was stuck with this unsolved issue for quite some time :(

  1. 3

    I'm not an accounting expert, but I'm a native English speaker and your question made me curious. I started to look up accounting terms, but some questions came to me and I'll use an example, (that's not me).

    I have a small business and I track my revenue and expenses to know my profitability. I have planned for $5,000 of office expenses for the year, and now we need a new printer cartridge. I'm going to Staples to get the $300 cartridge, do I;

    1. Pay immediately with petty cash, or
    2. Pay with credit card and pay the monthly bill, or
    3. Put it on my Staples account and pay the monthly invoice when due on net 30 terms?

    I think this matters as to what the term is used for your button, or I'm wrong LOL.

    Record Expense?
    Incur Expense?
    Credit Expense?
    Accrue Expense?

    1. 2

      I like "Record Expense". It seems simple and clear to me, but I guess it also depends on who your audience is. If the user is an accountant (or similar), I would use a more technical term like "Incur". For the average person accounting jargon can be very confusing.

    2. 1

      Thank you, this is the outside perspective I was looking for!

  2. 2

    You "incur" or "realize" the expense.

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot, this is very appreciated :)

  3. 2

    There are a couple of ways to say this, but it depends on where the button shows up, how it's displayed, etc...

    "Convert this expense to a transaction"
    "Convert this expense"
    "Convert 'Planned' to 'Expense'"

    Another word for a "convert" is "transform" but it probably doesn't make sense here. Hard to tell without seeing the UI.

    Hope that helps.

    1. 1

      Thanks for taking the time to help!