Archives For Announcements

As we continue towards our major realtime expense reporting push, we are continuing to streamline the Expensify product. This started with simplifying our pricing structure and now involves changing the way report submission and approval works for those people using Expensify outside of an expense policy. When users submit reports outside of an expense policy, the reports are now moved to the “closed” state and shared with the person the report was submitted to. The recipient of the report still has the ability to approve the report by moving the report to a policy.

What This Means for Submitters

When you submit an expense report, the report’s status will change from “open” to “closed”.

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This report will be shared with the person you submitted the report to. As usual, they will get an email letting them know you have submitted this report to them. The Report History will reflect that the report was closed and that it was submitted to your desired recipient.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 1.42.57 PM

What This Means for Approvers

Approvers who are not members of an expense policy will continue to have the ability to view the reports that are submitted to them within Expensify. If you are a member of an expense policy, you will be able to move the expense report into that policy and approve it.

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If you don’t yet have an expense policy and you would like to approve the report, you will be able to create a new policy directly from the approve dialogue.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 1.47.02 PM

Individuals using our product for free have always been Expensify’s base and we will always support them. However, as we have grown and developed as a company, it has been necessary to continuously rethink what features apply to our individual user and company users exclusively, how they interact, and the simplest way to present them. To this extent, we’d love your feedback! Please give us a shout at help@expensify.com and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have about this update.

Drag, Drop and Wow!

cead22 —  July 16, 2014 — Leave a comment

WOW Fridays, internally referred to as “fWOWdays”, are an experiment we just started at Expensify, and the main idea behind it is to allow engineers to devote 20% of their time working on cool projects that improve our customers lives and WOW them at the same time.

You may have heard of other companies doing something similar, but none of them really do it the way we do expense reports, that is, in a way that doesn’t suck. By focusing the 20% time on “Don’t-break-things-Fridays”, and shielding developers from support and other non-critical issues, they can stay in the zone and collaborate with other undistracted developers to build cool things.

This is a brief story of one of the first and probably smallest results of this experiment.

Drag and drop receipts to upload them

Drag to Upload

Drag and Drop Receipts Everywhere

Dragging and dropping receipts on the receipts page is the easier and faster way to import receipts from your computer into your Expensify account. We just enabled this functionality on the whole website, and made it smart enough to attach the imported receipts to expenses and reports automatically when you’re editing them.

Drag and drop receipt on report to attach it

Drag and drop receipts on report to attach it

As a consequence of this, an idea that had been in our designer’s wish list for months resurfaced, I call it “drag to report”. In that sentence, report is a verb, and put in words the idea is that as you drag expenses, a list of reports appears so that you can drop them into one of the reports to add said expenses to it.

The WOW factor

We’re constantly trying to make simple things simpler while saving our users valuable time. In this case it’s only a few seconds, but you’ll see how little savings tend to add up noticeably.

Drag to report expenses

Add 130 seconds (avg. number of expenses on a report * time it takes to SmartScan a receipt from your phone = 13 expenses * 10 seconds/expense = 130 seconds) and you end up with an expense report that don’t suck created and submitted in under 3 minutes.

Happy expensing!

One year ago, Expensify raised prices — the first time, ever — in order to get profitable.  That worked (thanks everyone!), but today is very different.  Today we are changing pricing in order to lay a foundation for a simpler and better product, even though the net effect of this change on our total revenue will be neutral.  This new pricing scheme is in effect today, and will first affect the 7/1 billing cycle.

Most customers will only be marginally affected — and many will see their price go down.  Those who do see their price go up are being given 12 months to get comfortable.  But everybody will see immediate benefits, and those benefits will compound over time as our new “realtime expense management” vision comes to fruition.

So that’s the long and short of it, and the new price is fully described here.  But if you care to know how we came up with it, read on:

Why do “realtime expense reports” necessitate this change?

Anybody who hangs out at Expensify HQ for long will tell you we’re hard at work reinventing the core experience of expense management into something we call “realtime expense reports”.  More details will be going public soon, but a key part of this experience is that the whole notion of “submitting a report” — historically the singlemost important function in the expense management process — is relegated to the dustbin of history.  Employees don’t like to do it, accountants don’t like waiting for employees to do it: nobody likes to freakin’ do it.  So coming very soon, you won’t need to.

There’s one slight catch: the main thing we charge for today is… submitting a report.  The very thing we’re about to deprecate.  So we need to change pricing somehow.  Given this unavoidable change, we’ve opted to wrap in a few other changes we’ve wanted to make for a long time in order to get it all out of the way at once to minimize disruption.  Those changes are:

1) Switch from $6/11 per “submitter” to $5/9 per “active user”

Before: From the beginning (at least, the beginning of when we charged at all) Expensify has charged “per submitter” — meaning, charging based on the number of people who submit expense reports in a given month.  But actually, that’s not even strictly true: we charged based on the number of distinct people that were approved in a given month.  It was a confusing concept to explain, and even them most people immediately forgot and just assumed we charged for every active user.

Now: So we’re going to switch and just do what people assume we do: charge for anybody who uses Expensify to process expense reports.  Personal use is just as free as before, but now anybody who creates, edits, submits, approves, reimburses, or exports a report is included in the policy’s “active seat” count — not just submitters.  Clearly, this new, expanded notion of activity means most organizations will have more active seats — and barring some other change, the cost of Expensify would go up.  To avoid that, we’re offsetting this seat increase with what we estimate to be a matching price decrease: we’re reducing price ~18% to the nice round numbers of $5 and $9 per seat for Team and Corporate policies, respectively.

Example: Your company has 100 people, 50 of who submit expense reports every month, and 10 who approve them.

Before: 50 submitters x $6/submitter = $300

Now: 50 submitters + 10 approvers = 60 active seats x $5/seat = $300

2) Include unlimited SmartScan with every policy

Before: SmartScan is an absolutely amazing convenience, and for that we’ve always charged $0.20 per SmartScan (though every account got 10 for free every month).  And in practice, most users didn’t actually need more than 10 so it worked out well.  However, over time people became more and more comfortable scanning receipts, meaning the 10 free didn’t go as far as it did — and the $0.20 cost became a distraction.

Now: By popular demand, we’re very happy to finally do what we’ve been asked countless times for years: unlimited SmartScan at a fixed price.  Everybody still gets 10 free SmartScans every month to use for their personal expenses, but now every SmartScan on a report linked to a paid policy is no extra charge.  Previously, this “hidden cost” added about 17% to a typical company’s bill, so making it unlimited is equivalent to an average 17% discount — on top of the 18% discount described above.  SmartScan it up, you deserve it!

Protip: Have no interest in expense reports but want to SmartScan a ton of receipts?  Just get yourself a Team policy for $5/mo, and SmartScan to your heart’s content.  That’s right: unlimited personal SmartScan for only $5/mo.  Finally!

Example: You SmartScan 50 receipts a month.

Before: The first 10 are free, and you pay $0.20 x 40 = $8/mo

Now: You pay $5/mo for a single active user (you) on the Team plan.

3) Include Invoicing and Bill Processing with every policy

Before: A year ago we launched our Invoicing and Bill Processing feature, which allows you to send invoices (and collect online payment) or receive bills (to a yourname@bills.expensify.com address), with a $15/mo “all you can eat” plan.  This quickly became our fastest growing feature.  However, it was always a pain to charge in a special way — we always wanted to somehow just bundle it with our main feature.

Now: So we did.  Now you can send invoices or claim your @bills.expensify.com address using any Team/Corporate policy, and you’re billed for it just like for a report.

Example: You invoice 1-2 clients a month (the common case), and they approve and pay online via credit card.

Before: You paid a flat $15/mo.

Now: On the Team plan you pay $5 for yourself, and $5 for each recipient, for a total of $10-15/mo.

4) Switch from “account” plans to “policy” plans

Before: This is a subtle change, but previously you upgraded your own account — and every policy you owned gained the benefit of your upgraded account status.  This worked well for a while, but had confusing edge cases: for example, previously it was impossible to own both a Team and Corporate policy in the same account.  Granted, not many individual companies are configured this way, but as an increasing number of accounting firms signed up with a variety of customers (some on Team, some on Corporate), it’s become a real problem.

Now: Accordingly, now you don’t upgrade your individual account — you just create (or upgrade) a Team or Corporate policy.  Incidentally, this also means there’s no such thing as a “Pro” plan anymore: all accounts are the same, and any functionality differences are based on whether the functionality is attached to the Team or Corporate policy.  Then at the end of the month we’ll figure out all the active users across all the policies you own, and bill you accordingly.  (Incidentally, we don’t “double dip” — a single user active on two policies is only paid for once, so feel free to create as many policies as you need to match your organization.)

Example: You own two policies, a Team and a Corporate.  Alice submits to you on a Team policy, and Bob submits to you on a Corporate policy.  Cathy submits two reports, one on Team, and one on Corporate.  You approve all four reports.  The active seats you are billed for are:

Alice: $5 (Team)

Bob: $9 (Corporate)

Cathy: $9 (Team and Corporate, but Corporate pricing wins)

You: $9 (same as Cathy, because you’re active on both)

Total: $32

5) Super streamline the Team plan

Before: Our Team plan was always intended to be the simplest thing we could imagine, for the smallest of companies.  However, over time we just kept adding features — which sounds great in theory, but had the effect of just over-complicating the product.  The result was people who didn’t really need certain features would enable them unnecessarily, creating a poor experience for all involved.

Now: Accordingly, we’ve removed a lot of functionality from the Team plan to keep it simple.  Anybody using QuickBooks Online or Xero — Team is for you, and it’s more streamlined and less expensive than ever.  Everyone else, please take a look at our Corporate policy, which has everything under the sun for only $9/user/mo.  (And if you have over 1000 employees, write sales@expensify.com so we can discuss our Enterprise options.)

6) Team customers have been auto-upgraded to Corporate

Simplifying the Team policy sounds all well and good by itself, but I need to be very upfront about a major consequence: everyone currently on Team has been automatically upgraded to Corporate.  This was a weighty decision that I’m sure is going to be very controversial.  But in the end, we determined it was impossible for us to know which customers were truly using functionality that is now only available on the Corporate policy, or who only needs the functionality now in Team.  So to avoid any chance of breaking customers’ well-oiled workflows without warning, we’ve opted to upgrade all Team customers to Corporate (and encourage everybody to downgrade back to Team if they’re able) — thereby ensuring nobody will see functionality they depend on suddenly disappearing.  But wait!  Before writing in to complain about a bait-and-switch, please read the next bullet…

7) Discounts are immediate, but increases will be phased in over 12 months

Between the 18% reduction in the cost per seat, and the 17% discount by making SmartScan free, as best we can tell this should more than offset any increase in the number of seats caused by the new activity definition — so most customers should be unaffected by this change (or even see a price decrease).  And those who are entitled to a discount will see it immediately, starting on the 7/1 bill.

But to soften the “sticker shock” to those Team customers who choose to stay on Corporate (or any customer who sees a price increase for any reason), we’re going to do something I don’t think I’ve ever seen done before, and that is: calculate a unique discount per customer that completely offsets any price increase, and then phase that discount out over the course of 12 months.

In essence, we’re going to calculate all 7/1 bills with two pricing plans: the old and the new.  And for each customer, we’re calculating a unique discount that will completely offset the new price to match the old price, ensuring everybody will be billed on 7/1 for the exact same price as they would have been had we made no pricing changes at all.  Then, over the next 12 months, we will gradually reduce that discount such that in a year, everybody will be on the new, standard price.

The goal is to ensure everyone will have had plenty of time to downgrade back to Team (if they’re able), get comfortable with the new price (which is still an incredible deal), or — if necessary — migrate to an alternative solution (though I hope this won’t be the case).

Example: You are a company with 50 submitters and 10 approvers.  You were previously on Team, but have been auto-upgraded to Corporate — and you choose not to downgrade back to Team.  The cost of Expensify with the old and new pricing plan would be:

Old: 50 submitters x $6 / Team submitter + 17% for SmartScan + $15 for invoicing = $366

New: (50 submitters + 10 approvers) x $9 / Corporate submitter = $540

To avoid any pricing disruption, this example company would be given a 32% discount, which will be gradually reduced over 12 months.  This means that were every month to have exactly the same number of active users, you would pay:

2014/6/1 – $366 (old price)

2014/7/1 – $540 – 32% = $366 (discounted to be same as old price)

2014/8/1 – $540 – 30% = $380 (discount is gradually reduced every month)

2014/9/1 – $540 – 27% = $395

2015/6/1 – $540 – 3% = $525

2015/7/1 – $540 – 0% = $540 (standard price in 12 months)

Conclusion

And of course there are a ton of small details that I’m leaving out, but these are the big pieces.  It’s a big change with a million moving pieces, and it’s all just a precursor to some even bigger changes on the way.  Thanks for your patience and please excuse the dust.  As always, we’re lucky to have the most awesome userbase a startup could ever hope for, and once again I appreciate you taking this change in stride.  However, if you do have concerns, please write us at help@expensify.com and we’ll get them taken care of.

Thanks for everything, and I hope you’re as excited about the future of expense reports as we are.  If not yet, you will be!

-david, Founder and CEO of Expensify

When we launched the ScanAnywhere API in early 2012 the API and really, Expensify itself was focused on scanning receipts. Soon after, we added mileage tracking capabilities to Expensify and now about 40% of our report submitters are submitting mileage expenses. At the request of many of our partners, we’ve updated the API to allow apps to pass mileage expenses into Expensify.Previously, the API only allowed importing an expense and receipt image into a user’s account. Now, with the mileage update, other apps are able to designate an expense as a mileage (or kilometer) expense and choose whether to allow Expensify to calculate the reimbursement amount based on the user’s pre-defined mileage rate or at a rate specified by the partner’s app. We are also adding the ability to pass along a map image to accompany the distance traveled. (Coming in a week or so)

We’re also excited to announce our newest integration partner and the first company to make use of the new API upgrade: Magneto Calendar! Magneto is a cloud-based system that syncs and fixes your various calendars. Better yet, it calculates and adds drive times between your various meetings, adjusting for traffic. Magneto calculates the distance between your meetings and uses the ScanAnywhere API to pass that mileage into your Expensify account. Now, Magneto users will have all their business travel automatically entered into their Expensify accounts for reimbursement or tax purposes. 

 

Magneto___Mileage_reports

Send your mileage expenses from Magneto to Expensify!

Just one more way you can automate the busy work out of your life. And if you know anything about us here at Expensify its that we love automation. We’re excited to welcome Magneto into the Expensify ScanAnywhere Alliance and we look forward to seeing all the great ways our partners will utilize this new API functionality in the future.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 8.24.33 AM

Greetings, and Happy Wednesday! We’re excited to announce that our long-awaited (and oft requested) update to our QuickBooks Online integration has officially arrived. We’ve written about this topic before, but to review, there are plenty of reasons to make the switch once your books are closed for April 2014. The most important reasons include:

  • Discontinued API. Our old integration, and the one you’re using, is on a deprecated QuickBooks API that will discontinue service in the coming weeks.
  • Vendor matching for company card transactions. We’ll match the merchant name on the Expensify transaction to any corresponding Vendors in QuickBooks Online. If none exist, we’ll assign a “Credit Card Misc.” vendor for later mapping, should you desire.
  • Saved export preferences. Our most requested feature, it’s now possible to set your export preference for reimbursable and non-reimbursable transactions.
  • Billable flags export successfully. Now you’re only an export button away from conveniently creating customer invoices in QuickBooks Online.

Exciting indeed! Now that you’re ready to switch, an extra word of caution: Please follow these three simple steps AFTER you’ve successfully processed all reports belonging to the previous accounting period. This will ensure a seamless transition between the old and new connections.

  1. Navigate to the Admin tab and then click on your policy name. Special note: You’ll need to do this for each company policy that connects to QuickBooks Online.
    Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 9.00.10 AM
  2. In the Connections tab, click the “Disconnect” button to remove your old connection.
    Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 9.06.46 AM
  3. Once disconnected, you’ll see the option to connect to our new QuickBooks Online integration. If you’d like a step-by-step guide we highly recommend our help page on establishing a successful connection, or as always, don’t hesitate to write help@expensify.com.

And you’re done! If you’d like to see further enhancements to our QuickBooks Online integration, or if you use QuickBooks Online internationally and would like to see tax support added, please write jason@expensify.com. We’d love to hear from you, thanks!

DefibrillatorYou’ve likely already heard about the “Heartbleed” security vulnerability affecting thousands of websites and millions of servers worldwide.  I just wanted to share some quick notes here to address any questions you might have about how this affects Expensify:

  • All data is secure.  We’ve had no indication that this vulnerability has affected any users in any way.
  • All public servers are secure.  We’ve done a complete audit of all public webservers and confirmed that they do not have this vulnerability.
  • All private servers have been secured.  We did find one private monitoring server experiencing this vulnerability, but it does not host any customer data, nor is it accessed by customers.  Regardless, it has been shut down and will be secured before being restarted.
  • The https://www.expensify.com certificate has been renewed.  Even though there was no indication of any wrongdoing by anybody, just to eliminate even the possibility of security risk we’ve replaced our primary HTTPS certificate.

In summary, all is well, and will remain so.  Incidentally, while on the topic of security, let me remind you what we do and share some new details:

  1. PCI-DSS.  Everything we do complies with the Payment Card Industry, Data Security Standard.  This is the “gold standard” for security, created by Visa and MasterCard, and the official security standard used by banks and financial services worldwide.
  2. SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II.  It’s a mouthful, but we’re undergoing a comprehensive audit of all internal systems and controls.  Most companies won’t care about this, but it’s important to our larger and publicly-traded customers.
  3. External security audit.  Even before this went down, we’ve engaged an outside security firm to do a “deep dive” on our internal security design, as well as do “white hat” analysis and scanning of our systems to verify that they’re implemented correctly.

Security is at the very heart of everything we do.  We think of it continuously, so you won’t need to.

In a few weeks, Expensify will be releasing a brand new version of our QuickBooks Online integration. This complete overhaul was built to be faster, more stable, and so much easier to use.

Here’s a brief overview of the new features that will be part of this integration:

  • Vastly simplified connection setup: configure the policy once and export your reports to QBO without having to specify which accounts to export to, or export type, etc.
  • Billable flags are now passed from Expensify to QBO
  • Classes and locations now import as report fields in Expensify
  • Export preferences can be configured based on expense type (reimbursable vs. non-reimbursable)
  • Employee and vendor records automatically match to the Expensify report submitter.
  • Connect your Expensify policy to QBO in two clicks.

QBO Connection Dialogue

The QBO connection configuration dialog

 

Additional features, like tax support and export date configuration, are already planned and will be added in the future.

This new integration is currently in a closed beta test. If you would like to take part in this beta, simply email jason@expensify.com and specify that you would like to be able to test the new QuickBooks Online integration.

Thanks, we can’t wait for this to go live!

2013 is so last year. To celebrate the new year, I’m very proud to announce two major developments:

1) We’ve just rolled out a total overhaul of the UI. It’s faster, sleeker, easier to use, and so much prettier. Sign in here to check it out:

https://www.expensify.com/signin

2) If you’re lucky enough to have an executive assistant, add them as a Wingman so they can sign into your account and do everything you can do:

http://help.expensify.com/wingman

On top of that we’ve had tons of accounting improvements, including a massively accelerated Reports page, an Admin tab for improved management of multiple companies, support for multiple corporate card feeds in a single company, and bulk management of employee workflow.

All in all, 2014 is primed to be pretty amazing. Let’s make this the year your expense reports don’t suck!

-david
Founder and CEO of Expensify
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/expensify

PS: Also, our NetSuite integration is nearly complete, and Oracle EBS, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards, and SAP are close behind. Email sales@expensify.com to be first in line.

PPS: Do you set budgets when employees travel? Do you wish you could? Either way, reply to this email and I’d love to talk with you about it.

We recently highlighted some of the new features you can expect to see with the launch of our new and improved Expensify Beta, but dive deeper and you’ll find that there’s a rhyme and a reason behind many of the design choices we made over the past few months while bringing you expense reports that suck even less.

Structure, Oh Structure

One of the most immediate structural changes we wanted to make was a better usage of screen real estate. The old Expensify was a bit chunky with lots of unnecessary whitespace. But with our new beta, we trimmed some pixels which yielded a much more obvious and harmonized page structure across varied content. No matter the page, we can simply plug it into this template:

EXP-Template

And though we’d hate to say we’re a predictable group of lads and lasses, there’s nothing bad in having predictability in a user interface. We carried that over to the bread and butter of our product — the expense report itself — where we also wanted to condense information yet still make it easier to find what you are looking for.

OCDelightful Reports

Behold, where it all started. The revamped report page was the driving force behind the Expensify Beta project and rightfully so — this is where submitters and approvers a like spend a lot of time. And any time we can save you from doing expense reports, well that’s time well-saved.

EXP-Report

Primary Navigation: Where am I?

Secondary Navigation: What status-changing actions can I do here? This light blue bar is a site-wide indicator of some top-level actions you can do in respect to the page that you are currently on.

Next Step: What needs to happen to keep this report moving through the approval flow? Look at me I’m YELLOW! We’ve purposely placed this high up on the report so you can instantly see what you need to do (if anything).

Report Header: What’s the status of this? Is this an expense report or an invoice? What policy is this report using?

Title & Amount: Important information = Large font size please.

Report Details: Gimme the breakdown.

Report Actions: A sticky toolbar so you can make report actions no matter where you are scrolled on the report.

Report Items: The meat and potatoes of the report.

A more colorful, friendly place

Pretty pictures and colorful icons make a world of a difference when it comes to doing something as mundane as expense reporting (Disclaimer: I’ve only ever read five books in my lifetime and three of them were coffee table books). It’s not much, but just a little bit of personality across the site can make the overall experience much more pleasant.

EXP-Dashboard

Remember the old dashboard? Probably not.

EXP-DomainControl

Ohhhh, ahhhh.

EXP-Distance

You can create a receipt from a map?!

Consistency Across Devices

We also took this opportunity to unify our design across our mobile app, our web app, our blog, and soon our help site among other things. The dark blue color in the header, or “Kiwi Blue” as it’s being dubbed (Expensify Beta is coined as Project Kiwi internally), has made its way around our product and our marketing too.

EXP-LaptopPhoneCountless other details went into the Expensify Beta project and we hope you’ll enjoy finding all of them. We’ll be rolling out Expensify Beta to the masses right around the start of the New Year, so here’s to 2014 — the year of sexy expense reports that suck even less.

Expense reporting used to be universally hated. Precious hours of our life wasted, sitting in a dreary office taping receipts to paper. Not anymore! With Expensify, all you need is a laptop with internet connection or your smartphone to log expenses no matter where you are in the world. We constantly receive emails from users proclaiming that Expensify made their recent trip across the country (or world) easy and hassle-free.

These users also frequently send us photos of the exotic locations they visited requesting we put those photos on our sign-in page. If you’re unfamiliar with our sign-in page, we rotate photos of unique or beautiful locations taken by Expensify employees. Clicking the “i” button gives you a little blurb about the picture as well as the name of the photographer.

Expensify Expense Reports

As you may already know, we just got back from a month of working in Croatia and we’re planning on adding some of the pictures we took there to the home page rotation. As a user-focused company, it makes total sense to us that we should feature user photos on the site.

So without further adieu, we’d like to announce the Travel with Expensify Program! We want to see all the cool places our users have been. Bonus points if you used Expensify to track your expenses, track your flight, or to submit an expense report for that trip.

To show off your photography to 1.8 million Expensify users:

1. Submit a photo of a unique or beautiful location. 

-Filetype must be jpg or png.

-The bigger the better. Anything less than 1000px wide won’t look good.

2. Include the title or subject of the picture.

-Examples: “View from Above”, Pra Nang Beach, Exit Glacier

3. We need a comment or description of the photo.

-See our sign-in page for examples.

4. Email this info and photo to ryan@expensify.com with the Subject: “Travel with Expensify”

-OR simply upload the photo & info to Facebook or Twitter (be sure to mention “Travel with @Expensify” so we’re sure to see it) and show your friends the great places you’ve worked from.

5. If you submit via email and not social media, be sure to include know your name and company you work for.

That’s it! We’ll select the best ones and throw them into the sign-in page rotation where they’ll be viewed by the extremely important people who use Expensify. We can’t wait to see where you’ve been!