Business Issues

Expensify expands capabilities to create ‘expense reports that don’t suck’

Keeping track of hours, mileage, and receipts is tedious. Compiling it all into an expense report that will pass the scrutiny of the accounting department can be a nightmare. Expensify wants to relieve that burden by delivering “expense reports that don’t suck,” and it continues to add new features to achieve that goal.

Expensify streamlines the process of tracking and filing business expenses.

The service has simplified expense reporting for remote and traveling employees by letting them record expenses on the fly, photograph receipts on their smartphone (for receipts under $75, Expensify guarantees that its eReceipts are IRS compliant), and use its GPS to determine travel miles. Expensify can also import transactions from online bank or credit card data and automatically categorize most expenses to save employees the effort.

Expensify is continuously updating its capabilities, and expanding its relationships with other services. The ability to scan, track, and manage receipts to produce expense reports is great, but the real value of Expensify lies in how it integrates with other business and accounting tools to simplify the whole process from start to finish.

Now Expensify is rolling out beta integration with Xero—a popular online accounting service. Xero lets you view and share cash flow in real time, reconcile bank accounts, and invoice customers. Businesses will be able to conveniently incorporate expense data from Expensify as well, and manage everything from tracking hours, to invoicing, to payroll from one place.

Another new feature is a “Submit Only” approval mode that automatically accepts and submits new expenses, ideal for businesses that don’t need—or want—complex approval workflows.

One piece of advice, though. The value of a tool or service like Expensify relies on using it consistently. If employees "dabble" in it, and track half of their expenses in Expensify and the other half with paper receipts and sticky notes, Expensify becomes an additonal burden rather than a tool to streamline processes. If you want Expensify (or just about any other tool or service) to work for your business, you have to fully embrace it and incorporate it into the culture and operational business practices.

If your business uses Expensify and/or Xero, and you’d like to participate in the beta program, you can send an email to ryan@expensify.com to apply. If you’re not using Expensify, you can sign up and try it out for free. You can manage expenses for up to two employees for free—each additional user is $6 per person per month.

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