Archives For Announcements

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

While thinking of fun, creative projects that would also WOW our customers, software engineer Carlos had the AMAZING idea of integrating Expensify with Silicon Valley’s newest darling, Yo.

The 411:

To set it up, go to Settings > Connections.

Scroll down until you see the Yo integration, and enter your username before pressing ‘Connect’.

Expensify & YO! integration

Voila, you’re all set!

After connecting, you’ll get Yo’d as soon as you get reimbursed.

Why Integrate with Yo?

People want to be notified when they’re reimbursed. Yo is a simple communication system that works perfectly in context. Once Yo opened their API, an Expensify integration was a no-brainer.

Have a question? Email us at help@expensify.com or give us a shout-out on Twitter!

In previous Expensify blog posts you may have heard us refer to WOW Fridays. Every Friday at Expensify we allow our engineers the freedom to work on projects of their choosing, that aren’t necessarily part of our immediate product roadmap. We do this in order to allow them to exercise their creative freedom with the benefit that we end up with some really cool additions to the product. Well, the latest product of WOW Fridays is here: Report Comments! Major props to our engineer Florent for whipping this up.

Comment directly on expense reports

When you scroll to the bottom of an expense report in Expensify, you will now notice that the “Report History” section has been re-branded as “Report History & Comments”. In this section, anyone that can view the expense report can comment on it, without having to leave Expensify.

Report History and Comments

 

Email notifications

Whenever someone comments on a report, the people that are shared on the report will get an email notification along with the comment. This makes it easy and efficient for employees, approvers, and admins to communicate about expenses.

Report Comments Email

Hopefully, this helps make your expense reporting process suck even less. As always, let us know what you think!

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.

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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.

Drag, Drop and Wow!

cead22 —  July 16, 2014 — 1 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,  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.

New, Updated Features

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 allow Expensify to either 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 go with the distance traveled.

Integration with Magento Calendar

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. If you know anything about us here at Expensify it’s that we love automation. We’re also 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.