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Expensify Partners with Uber to Bring SmartRides to Business Travelers Worldwide

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. Not any more because Expensify has teamed up with Uber to trade your boarding pass for hotel key with a single tap.

So What is It?


Expensify Uber

Expensify already provides live flight updates for any reservation forwarded to receipts@expensify.com, and automatically creates your expense report along the way. We call this feature “Trips”, and now 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 pre-arranged 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. 

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.

Because 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

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!

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!

This week we’re releasing version 4.3.0 of our mobile app on iPhone and Android. In addition to the many small bug fixes and other improvements, this release includes the ability to use Wingman on your phone. With Wingman, you can give someone full access to your account full access to your account without having to share your password. Expensify will continue to keep a paper trail of each user’s actual actions. So when your Wingman performs an action on a report, we record that it was them, not you.

Signing up for Wingman

It’s extremely easy to add a Wingman. Just log into the web app (at expensify.com), navigate to your settings, and invite someone to be your Wingman.

Wingman Settings

Here is a screenshot of Carlos account ( I used Wingman to get it ;) )

Above you see that Giorgio, Garrett, and I have Wingman access to Carlos’ account and that Carlos can log into two tests accounts and Giorgio’s account.

Using Wingman

To use the feature on the web, I just click on the user menu ( avatar in the top right ) and I can see the list of accounts that I can access.

Using Wingman

On my mobile app, I can go to settings to connect to Carlos’ account.

Access to Wingman on Mobile

Tapping on this row shows the list of users that I have Wingman access with.

Wingman accounts

Now I just select the user’s account I want to access.

I am Carlos!

Back on the home screen, I see that the header and tabs are a different color and there is a small wingman icon on the settings.

HomeScreen

I can even forward receipts into accounts that you have access to:

Wingman Email

Go give it a whirl!  And remember, always practice safe Wingmanning.

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!

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!

Since 2008, Expensify has been striving to make expense reports not suck.

Over time, the design of our site and mobile app has evolved, but the basic design has remained pretty much the same. Sure, we have tweaked and improved it, but globally the design has stayed relatively consistent.

Before

Before

Historically, our users have enjoyed Expensify because it’s an easy to use product with a clean interface. To continue to provide this feel, we felt that the current UI/UX could stand for some modernization and simplificaition. It took tons of collected feedback, lots of time and even more discussion but we’ve finally come up with something that we feel will make your Expensify experience better.  You can try this pretty, new Expensify by opting into our beta server.

After

After. [heads turn] Oooohhh… Ahhhh..

For a company, creating an expense report “solution” can be an easy process. You define what you need and just do it, user experience be damned. Many people are using an awful Excel based process. (want to leave that behind? Try SmartReports) .

We here at Expensify have a different take on it. We believe that expense reporting can be simple and convenient using automation and robust company controls to encourage compliance. To this end, we’ve created an application that supports individual users, tracking their personal expenses, AND multinational corporations with thousands of employees. Our current design did a good job at “hosting” all our functionality, but as I said before, we can do better.

New Header, Improve Navigation

One of the first things you’ll notice is the new header/navigation bar. We merged our headers  into one, freeing a lot of vertical space.

Header

Header

The global navigation of the application has been updated. The dashboard is now “hidden” behind the logo. It is our homepage, so binding it to the click on the logo made sense. This freed vertical space on the navigation bar but also removed a secondary screen from the highlights. The navigation will now contain the most important pages of the site prominently: “Expenses”, “Receipts”, “Reports” and “Admin”.

Help Menu

We also grouped most of our help links into a new, context sensitive, help menu. Here you can find common questions, direct access to search our help website, and a way to send us direct feedback.

Help Menu

User Menu

You may have also noticed the picture on the top right. Click on it and you will discover our new user menu.

User Menu

User Menu

This menu aims to group together, in a less obstructive way, the settings that apply to your account. You will find the list of policies that your account has access to and the ability to pick the one you want to use here. You can also connect to other users accounts thanks to our Wingman feature. Finally, you will be able to access your Personal Settings and change your avatar. For that, we are using the excellent Gravatar as it is easy to use, free and widely accepted.

Once again, hiding these “secondary” elements allows us to uncluttered the UI and show only the most important navigation elements.

Report Filtering

Pagination controls

Pagination controls

On the reports page, most of the changes are behind the scene.

We are now doing real backend filtering and use real pagination to load the list of reports. In plain English that means that we are now loading the 250 most recent reports initially. You can view more by using the pagination control on the top right of the reports list.

We hope it will solve the confusion created by our previous behavior of initially loading the last 45 days, which would make older reports “disappear” after a while.

Another benefit is the substantial speed boost. Accounts with a lots of reports can now load the page more quickly.

You can now filter the list of reports by submitter, report name and report ID using our search bar. For submitters, we even help you write the email address of the submitter thanks to our handy autocomplete feature.

Autocompletion of the submitter email

Autocompletion of the submitter email

Report Page

All previously mentioned magic, we spent most of our time improving the report page. Our goal was to provide an accurate preview of what your report will look like if you export it to PDF.

Report Page

Report Page

It’s hard to list all of the changes we have made, but I will try to focus on the most import ones.

Report status: We are finally displaying the status of the report!

Report status

Report status

On the same level you will find the report ID and the report type selector which allows you to convert an expense report into an invoice.

Policy Selector: The policy used by this report is now clearly indicated and can be changed using this control.

Policy Selector

Policy Selector

This single item justifies the whole redesign. By clearly separating the primary policy used by the account from the policy of a report, we hope to streamline and simplify the Expensify experience for user with multiple policies.

Report cycle: You can go switch between report without having to go back to the reports page, making the approval of a bunch of reports much faster if used with bulk approval.

Report cycle

Report cycle

Action Buttons and Next Step: We have increase the visual weight of the buttons for changing the state of the report to make it more obvious and visually accessible.

Action button and next steps

Action button and next steps

Report Tools: On the right of the report, you will find the new toolbox.

Toolbox

Toolbox

Here you can change the report layout, export the report to PDF, attach receipts, add expenses,  and share the report with other people, etc.

To use Expensify with this new layout, just jump on our beta server. Tell us what you think, we are still making improvements!

We hope you love the changes! VIVA LA EXPENSIFY!!!

Old Report Page

Old Report Page

New Report Page

New Report Page

Expensify Xero IntegrationWe’re excited to officially introduce the Expensify Xero Integration! Users from both of our companies have been requesting we sync up and make this happen and now that fantasy is reality.  Log in now to experience Expensify/Xero nirvana!

The integration is powerful, yet simple.  First, we pull in your expense accounts (or any account that has “Show In Expense Claims”) from Xero as Expensify categories. Next, just use Expensify like normal, but categorize your expenses using the new Xero categories. Once your reports have been submitted and approved you click “Export to Xero” and you’re done! Your Expensify reports are now bills in Xero! It’s as simple as that.

Head over to http://use.expensify.com/xero to get started. As an added bonus, Xero is giving Expensify users a great deal, so check it out! (New sign ups only) Once you’ve given it a spin, let me know what you think! We will continue to look for ways to improve this integration, so email any Xero integration feedback you have to ryan@expensify.com.

Here at Expensify, we understand that simplicity is imperative to a smooth workflow. To that extent, we’ve received requests over the years to simplify, or at least add some simple options, to our approval workflow. Today we’ve made good on those requests. We’re proud to introduce two new Approval Modes: Submit Only and Submit & Approve

Submit Only:

The most basic approval option in Expensify. This is also the default option for new policies and accounts.

When the submit-only option is enabled, reports for all users will be sent to a single person or external system via email with a PDF copy of the report attached. The reports will automatically be closed in Expensify after submission, with no approval required.

This approval mode is typically chosen by companies that do not require reports to be approved, or simply want to send reports to an external system like AvidExchange.

Submit & Approve:

The most basic option for companies that require reports to be approved.

When the submit and approve option is enabled, reports for all users will be submitted to a single person for approval. The company approver will final approve all reports they receive without an option to approve and forward.

And as always you’ll be able to utilize Advanced Approval:

For companies that have more complicated approval workflows.

When the advanced approval option is enabled, the approval workflow can be configured at the employee level. This option also allows for a multi-tiered approval and rule-based approval structures. To read more about setting up advanced approval please visit our dedicated advanced approval help page.

What this means for current users?

Extra functionality! You’re existing policies will remain in Advanced Approval. New policies will be set to Submit Only.

If you’d like to change to Submit Only or Submit & Approve, you can do so in your policy’s People section:

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 9.19.17 PM

For any questions regarding our new workflows, check out our Approval Overview help page or email help@expensify.com and we’ll be glad to clarify!

Here at Expensify, we’re constantly striving to improve our product. User feedback drives a majority of these improvements. Corporate Card Reconciliation, Invoicing, and Prepay are all examples of new features developed due to user demand. Now, we are happy to announce some improvements to our report approval workflows. The workflows were already highly customizable, but our users wanted more options. You asked for it, and we’ve delivered! Approval workflows now have the ability to dynamically change based on report value.

Previously, our workflows were static. The report had to go through a predefined flow no matter what. A common suggestion heard was to make reports go to different people based on value of report. So now, if a report is over/under $X the flow will adapt and reroute to a different person.

Here are some examples:

Before:

Sales person submits $5000.00 expense report to their manager.  The manager submits to a junior accountant. This is a very typical flow and works for a majority of companies. The problem here is that some companies have policies that reports over a certain value cannot be approved by anyone other than the head of accounting.

Now:

Sales person submits $5000.00 expense report to their manager. Expensify detects that the expense report is $5000.00 and the junior accountant is not allowed to approve amounts of $5000.00. Once the manager approves, the approval flow is dynamically rerouted to the head of accounting who then approves and submits to the CFO. This lets you have create multiple conditions to reroute to various people within the organization letting you create a custom approval flow solution for your company.

Just another way Expensify gives you options while saving your company time and money! Give it a try and let us know what you think. Be sure to check out all the other new features we’ve released this year and feel free to email your feedback or suggestions to help@expensify.com.

Updated: Changed the workflow example as it was slightly incorrect at time of publishing.