Archives For Announcements


Bitly logoYou’ve seen them all over the web — Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, your email, and more — but you might have not noticed. That’s how simple Bitly works.

Bitly’s mission is to empower marketers to make better decisions by providing insight into the connected world. Since 2008, the company has been committed to unleashing the power of the link. Based in NYC, Bitly shortens more than half a billion links per month as an integral part of social, SMS, and email efforts from brands, marketers, publishers, government organizations, non-profits and individual users.

Processing more than eight billion clicks on those links per month, Bitly continues to work unveiling new products while generating one of the most valuable proprietary datasets in the world today.

Puzzles are Fun, But Not Like This

Some of the Bitly team having fun (but not with their expense reports!)

Some of the Bitly team having fun (but not with their expense reports!)

Before Bitly started using Expensify, their expense reporting system was this.

  1. Use post-it notes and paper clips to gather receipts
  2. Submit to bookkeeper
  3. Bookkeeper would then manually key in the details at a summary level detail
  4. File the reports into obscurity

Really though, this expense reporting method was more of a problem than a solution. They needed an upgrade.

Let Me Upgrade U

A wise woman once said,

“Partner let me upgrade you
Flip a new page
Introduce you to some new things
And upgrade you”

Bitly wanted an upgrade, badly. So after hearing good things about Expensify, they decided to test us out.

“Expensify [quickly became] an easy, simple solution for a process that we had struggled to optimize,” says Brian Saplicki, Finance and Operations Manager. “The iPhone app was a nice surprise — it helped our team get reports in faster and minimize the paper trail normally created.”

In addition to an easy-to-use mobile application, Saplicki found that keeping expenses in one place helped create a catalogue of historical records that added transparency to the expense reporting process. Other features the team loved include consolidated reports and approval workflows to help better manage the expense reporting process.

“Expensify solves a simple problem that somehow manages to be a headache,” Saplicki says. “[The app] help us consolidate the chaos, and I would and already have recommended the app to other users facing similar issues.”

Want to get rid of Post It note-covered expense reports? Give us a try with a free trial today!

Hey there! My name is Conor, one of the Success Coaches at Expensify. Ours is a new team, dedicated to ensuring expense reporting happiness for our customers. This week, we’re proud to bring users of our QuickBooks Online integration a great new feature: export to credit card sub-accounts!

Those familiar with QuickBooks Online and Expensify will be aware that early this year we switched over to Intuit’s new API. With the new integration, we significantly reduced the amount of time customers spent exporting from Expensify to QuickBooks Online, improved the stability of the integration, and added support for vendor bills and billable expenses. Overall, our customers loved this new connection and took full advantage of it.

We received many requests for support for exporting from corporate cards to multiple credit card accounts. Now, however, we’re really excited to share the news that we’ve added support for linking corporate credit cards in Expensify with credit card accounts in QuickBooks Online.

The process of linking cards in Expensify with accounts in QuickBooks Online is very easy, and the export works pretty much exactly as it does at the moment.

Want to get started now? Check out our Help page on the topic and you’ll be up and running in minutes.

We’re working on a number of other improvements for our QuickBooks Online integration but in the meantime, do you have an idea about other ways we can improve the connection? Leave a comment below, or email help@expensify.com and let us know.

Connecting_Expensify_s_Company_Cards_to_QuickBooks_Online_Credit_Card_Accounts_-_Expensify

Submit to Concur

Submit to Concur, easy as 1, 2, 3!

You might have read the news that our friends at Concur have just sold to SAP, a global enterprise powerhouse.

This is great for nearly everybody: SAP, Concur shareholders, and especially for us.  As for Concur customers… well the future just got a bit cloudier (and not in a good way).  They probably feel locked into a long-term contract with a company whose focus has suddenly shifted away from their needs, and I’m sure that doesn’t feel great.  Expensify exists to help people feel great about their expense reports, so in light of the news we’re offering a very special deal:

If you’re currently a Concur customer, switch to Expensify now and PAY NOTHING for the duration of your Concur contract.

If that’s one year, ten years, or a thousand years — no problem.  There’s no need to stick it out to the end: you can switch today without stressing over the sunk cost.  If you or anyone you know are using Concur and feeling uncertain about the future, please write to concur@expensify.com and we’ll get you set up.

Alternatively, if you’re convinced the company will never switch, we whipped up something this weekend for you too: we call it “Submit to Concur.”  To enable, just sign in to https://expensify.com, click Settings > Connections > Concur, and enter your Concur username/password.  Create your next report using Expensify as normal— including our cutting-edge mobile app and industry-first SmartScan technology — and when you submit we’ll connect via the Concur API, upload the receipts, and create the report for you.  So whether you’re in charge or not, there’s no reason to suffer through to the bitter end: you can make the switch to Expensify by yourself, today, without waiting for the rest of your company.

Regardless, it’s a great new day for the industry.  Congratulations to Steve Singh at Concur; it was a fantastic run.  We’ll take it from here!

This post was originally sent out as a newsletter to our users. To sign up for Expensify, visit http://use.expensify.com/. Questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to drop us a note in the comments section below!

Raising money or starting your own business? Then you might want to continue reading!

David recently spoke at the Silicon Valley Innovation Summit (SVIS) about the cultish view of customer acquisition amongst startups and the myths of performance acquisition. Check out the video for tips and tricks on how to avoid the CaC trap:

The keynote touches upon a few key points:

  • Customer acquisition is almost synonymous with raising money, why?
  • Theory (V = R * $ *LTV/CAC) vs. Practice (V = R * $ * hope)
    • Curious? The video explains in detail where hope “fits in”
  • Making money should be a requisite for making money
  • The nouveau enterprise: introducing disrupter (we know, very overused word) economics

While the keynote itself is about 11 minutes long, stick around for the Q&A session afterwards, where David explains exactly how his view on CaC has fueled our strategy against our biggest competitor.

Got something to say? We’d love to hear your reaction and thoughts on the subject in the comments section below!

Expensify Partners with Uber to Bring SmartRides to Business Travelers Worldwide

Traveling Can Suck. SmartRides Don’t.

Traveling can be brutal. Delayed flights, trying to find a cab, fumbling through your phone for your hotel address — it’s all a huge headache. Those headaches are now a thing of the past because Expensify has teamed up with Uber to trade your boarding pass for hotel key with a single tap.

 

So What is It?

Expensify already provides live flight updates for any reservation forwarded to receipts@expensify.com, and creates your expense report along the way. We call this feature “Trips”, and we’re taking it one step further: starting today the Expensify app will detect when you land and have an Uber driver waiting outside baggage claim to escort you straight to your hotel — all prearranged from your itinerary without you even needing to look up the address.  We call it “SmartRides”; the VIP travel experience for everyone, brought to you by Uber and Expensify. 

 

Expensify Uber

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Think This is Magical? We’re Just Getting Started.

As great as SmartRides is, it’s just the beginning of our partnership with Uber. Next up is an expansion of SmartRides to take you to the airport at the start of the trip, and back home after. After that, we’re launching our integration with Uber for Business, which allows companies to centrally pay for their employees’ Uber trips and automatically sync up the receipts. After that we’ll take Realtime Expense Reports out of beta such that expense reports are a thing of the past once and for all, and then… well, you’ll need to just wait and see.

We didn’t just set out to make “expense reports that don’t suck”; we’re aiming for a total reinvention of the expense management space. Call it ambient computing, call it crazy, call it whatever you want.  But we’re doing it, sooner than you might expect, and it’s going to be awesome.

Have you tried SmartRides yet? Let us know what you think!

 

Download the Expensify App and start enjoying SmartRides here:

Download Expensify on the App Store  Download Expensify on Google Play

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”.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 1.40.59 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 1.45.23 PM

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.

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