There are many occasions when you will need to spend company money.
PostHog is a lean organization - the less we spend, the more time we have to make sure the company takes off. However, it is more important you are productive, healthy, and happy.
Please spend money in a way that you think is in the best interests of the company.
If it's a trivial expense, just buy it. We provide you with a company card with a $1,000/month spending limit for this reason. We use Brex for everyone, and also provide UK team members with an additional Revolut card.
Need a one off budget increase? You can do this directly within Brex - just request the amount and duration for the relevant budget in the app, and the People & Ops team will automatically be notified for approval.
You should use your Revolut card for UK-specific spending (i.e. ordering from UK sites, hotels/food/drink/... in the UK), and Brex for everything else. This lets us claim VAT back on UK spending.
For larger expenses which don't fit into the items here, please raise a policy suggestion for it as a pull request on this page, so we can document our decision making into our policy, rather than making everything case by case. If it's likely to just be a one-off, you can post in #team-people-and-ops in Slack instead.
Just do it.
This means expenses that are under $75 one off or under $20/month recurring that we can cancel easily.
Make sure you keep copies for all receipts. If you expense something on a company card and cannot provide a receipt, this may be deducted from your pay.
You should default to using your company card in all cases - it has no transaction fees. If using your personal card is unavoidable, please post in the #team-people-and-ops channel in Slack afterwards and tag Charles to get reimbursed manually.
We now use Brex Empower. This allows the People and Ops team to effectively track overall spending habits of the company without waiting for end of month reports, with very little changes to how you use your Brex account.
- Before spending money on your Brex card, you’ll need to log into your account either through the app or desktop, and assign a ‘spending budget’ to your card. The budget you pick from should relate to the transaction you are about to complete. For example, if you are buying a book for BookHog, this should come out of your ‘Books stipend’ budget. When you then complete your purchase, the money will be taken from that specific budget and you will easily be able to see how much of your budget you have remaining.
- If you forget to assign a budget before completing the purchase, you can retroactively go into your Brex account and assign the transaction to the related budget.
- For the vast majority of transactions, you now will not need to upload a receipt as Brex Empower does this automatically. The exception to this is if they have requirements to provide the IRS with itemized receipts. If this is the case and it’s a digital invoice, just forward it to email@example.com with a note explaining what it is for. If it’s a physical receipt, take a picture and upload it with a note: you can use the Brex app, email or reply to the SMS notification.
- You only need to submit receipts for purchases of $75 or more. You don’t need to keep receipts below this amount.
By default, the email forwarding feature only accepts emails from your PostHog address. You can contact Brex support to enable forwarding from your personal email address if needed.
- Buy something on your Revolut card.
- If it's a digital invoice, just forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a note explaining what it is for. If it's a physical receipt, take a picture and forward it to the same place with a note.
- You need to submit receipts for all purchases.
Your personal card
- You shouldn't usually need to do this - if you can't use your PostHog card for some reason, ask Charles to purchase it for you on theirs in the first instance.
- If you do need to use your personal card, just post the receipt in the #team-people-and-ops channel in Slack and tag Charles to get reimbursed manually.
Accidentally bought something on the company card when it was a personal expense? Tried changing the payment method with the merchant and it's too late? Don't worry! Again, just post in #team-people-and-ops as soon as you become aware and we will provide you with the relevant bank details for you to repay PostHog.
Making larger purchases
If your purchase fits within the policy below, there is no need to ask. We cannot pay you back for anything without a receipt if you use your personal card.
If you don't have enough space on your company card, just ask Charles to increase your limit.
PostHog is an all-remote company. This means it's important you have an ergonomic setup at home to be as productive as possible.
PostHog will provide you with office equipment. Please note that it remains PostHog's property.
We'd prefer you to use a laptop. This is so when we host meetups in real life, you can easily bring your work with you. You should use an Apple laptop unless there is an exceptional reason why you can't, just to keep life simpler - for example, that means everyone can use the same software, and as we get bigger, it'll mean we're dealing with one supplier, not many. Please make sure you order a laptop with a keyboard that is US/UK/International English - this makes it much easier for us to reuse your laptop if you upgrade to another model or leave PostHog.
- For engineering roles, we recommend a Macbook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro, with the 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU upgrade and 32GB of RAM. By default grab the smallest SSD (512gb), but you can upgrade if you need to.
- For all other roles, we currently recommend a Macbook Air with an Apple Silicon (M2) processor and 16GB of RAM.
These are just general guidelines - the most important thing is that you select the model that is appropriate for your needs. If your requirements are different to the guidelines above please just ask Charles.
Apple offer multiple screen sizes. The larger screen sizes (15 inches +), are disproportionately more expensive. These make sense if you do a ton of work in coworking spaces or cafés where you do not have a second screen. If you are realistically going to do most of your work at home, it is more rational to pick a smaller laptop size, and to get a large (27 inch) monitor.
When buying something at Apple we can get 3% cashback on purchases through Brex. You should be able to find that in the 'Rewards' tab on Brex or ask Charles. (Don't do this if you're in the UK though - use your Revolut card.)
Also, Amazon regularly offer discounts on Apple products of around 10%, so always worth a check before buying direct from Apple. If you buy from Apple, you may be asked if you wanted to purchase Apple Care - please don't buy this as it's not great value for money.
For monitors, we suggest you pick one that supports 4K. This means you'll get a higher resolution than a standard HD monitor, and thus can fit more content onto the screen.
We would expect to spend $250 to $350 on a monitor. Philips have a great value model. It comes with an HDMI cable, but you'll need an adaptor to USB-C with most Apple laptops.
Keyboard, mouse, and laptop stand
We'd encourage you to buy a keyboard, mouse and laptop stand.
Again, Apple items for keyboards and mice should be what you default to - refurbished is usually fine.
Nextstand make great value laptop stands that are portable.
Chairs and desks
We find that most people already have a desk and chair that are comfortable.
If you do not, then buy yourself one within our set budget. We aren't yet at the stage where we can afford the latest and greatest here, but we will aim to be reasonable. For example, if you would like a standing desk, buy one you consider to be good value.
We would expect to spend $250 on a desk, and around the same for a chair. If you wish, you can switch out the chair for a walking treadmill instead.
If you live in the UK, Office Resale offer a range of like-new refurbished designer furniture, which you might find better value than buying something new but of lower quality.
If you need to work in a noisy environment and don't already have noise cancelling headphones with a microphone, feel free to buy a pair.
We would expect to spend $250 on noise-cancelling headphones.
Software expenses are treated as above and will generally fall into trivial.
We are strongly opposed to introducing new software that is designed for collaboration by default. There needs to be a very significant upside to introducing a new piece of software to outweigh its cost.
The cost of introducing new collaborative software is that it creates another place where todo items / comments / communication can exist. This creates a disproportionate amount of complexity.
Our entire stack for collaborative software is pleasingly simple. All we use is:
- Google Sheets - spreadsheets
- GitHub - documents, code, discussion
- Slack (premium) - chat (although we encourage you to default into discussion of features/strategy etc into GitHub)
- PostHog - product analytics
- Figma - graphic design
Individual software is down to your personal preference, and we encourage you to share cool software.
- IDEs range widely in cost. Best in class IDE suites can cost up to $700, which is a bad value proposition for most engineers. However, we are happy to revisit this policy if you have very specific needs.
- Before then, if you wish to spend up to $200 on an IDE, that is fine. Visual Studio, VIM and PyCharm are the most popular within our team.
Open-source sponsorship for individuals
The PostHog platform wouldn't be possible without open-source software. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. As such, we feel it's important to support the software we benefit from through open-source sponsorship.
If you believe an open-source project is fundamentally important to the success of PostHog then we should set up a recurring sponsorship. In this case, see the open-source sponsorship Marketing initiative.
To enable individuals to support projects on an ad-hoc basis, we use Open Collective and have a $100/month budget per team member.
To get setup with Open Collective get in touch with Charles who will add you to the PostHog Open Collective team. From there, you'll be able to make "contributions" (sponsor a project) as the PostHog organization via Open Collective. For more information see the Open Collective payments documentation.
If you find a project that only supports GitHub Sponsors, please ask Charles to set up the sponsorship.
We care about you being healthy, happy and productive.
While PostHog will use the money saved from not having office space for real life meetups, we are happy to cover some expenses related to where you work. Most people do most of their work from home, but we understand that getting out of the house from time to time can help you escape cabin fever!
You can spend up to $300/month to work in cafés or coworking spaces. You must provide receipts if applicable, and in this case, they must only be for yourself.
We have a company WeWork All Access account that allows you to book desks in any of their worldwide locations. If you wish to take advantage of this, post in #team-people-and-ops and Kendal will add you. This membership costs the full budget per month, so please keep that in mind when opting in.
If you need to travel on PostHog’s behalf (e.g. in person onboarding, meeting customers, working on a specific project), again please spend money in the best interests of the company.
We now use Brex Travel to help with planning and booking travel. If you are booking an individual trip, you can use the ‘Travel’ function to search and book flights directly through Brex.
- First, click the trips icon and go to ‘Manage Profile’. Here you can enter all of your travel details, including loyalty program and known traveler numbers, so you won't have to enter them manually with an airline, hotel, or car hire service in the future.
- Go back to the trips section and go into ‘Book a new trip’
- Here you can book flights (indexed from Google Flights), hotels, and rental cars
- You can also book for a guest, if someone is coming with you pre- or post-offsite
- Name your trip and assign it to a budget. For example:
- To your meeting up stipend
- To your offsite budget
- To your in-person onboarding budget
- To your generic budget for other travel
- Search for flights, accommodation, rental cars, or train tickets
- Your receipts and memos are automatically added to the expense, and you will receive emails with all of the confirmations (as well as be able to access them via the Brex app)
- You can also manage your trips if you need to change something or cancel
We do not pre-approve your travel expenses, and trust team members to make the right decisions here. Some guidance:
- We all travel economy by default- we cannot afford for folks to fly premium or business class. Feel free to upgrade using your personal money/airmiles if you’d like to. If you are particularly tall and struggle to fit into an economy seat, PostHog will cover the cost of an emergency exit seat.
- Be sensible when considering the value of your time, and avoid over-optimizing for cost. It is probably not worth saving $100 to take a non-direct flight that takes you 5hrs extra. Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to save $50 by taking a flight that leaves at 6am, only to have to expense a taxi to get to the airport.
- Related to the above, consider signing up for programs like Global Entry if you are regularly travelling to countries that offer it- these can pay for themselves in one trip with the amount of time saved, particularly when travelling to the US. PostHog will cover costs here.
If you have any questions about this stuff, or are unsure what is reasonable here, feel free to check in with Charles.
Budget for working together/socializing
As a global, all-remote team, we don't get many regular opportunities to work with each other or socialize outside of offsites.
We strongly encourage team members to try and work together in person when practical, and provide everyone with an $1500 quarterly budget to cover the cost of travel, accommodation, and meals. This isn't limited to just working with people in your team, but we do expect that you have a reasonable reason you need to work together. Beyond staying within the spending limit, please just spend the money in the best interests of the company (ie. not spending $500/night for 3 nights in a fancy hotel!).
This budget is in addition to things like in-person onboarding and team offsites. Any unused budget does not roll over into the next quarter.
If you're in the same place as other team members, even if you aren't directly working together, PostHog will cover the cost of a dinner or a fun activity. This will also come out of your $1500 quarterly budget. Again, just spend the money in the best interests of the company.
We offset all carbon emissions generated by team flights using Wren, so if you book a flight to meet up with someone, then please let Kendal know the departure and destination airports, and she'll log it accordingly.
If you are meeting a user for an interview or a potential customer, we would encourage you to pick up the bill. At PostHog's current stage, a fancy coffee shop is encouraged. A fancy lunch or dinner is not.
We have a separate section on spending money on training, which covers things like books and conferences.