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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!

Now that you have Expensify, those Sundays spent crafting crude paper expense reports (with receipts taped to the back) are a thing of the past, and perhaps you’re on the lookout for additional timesavers. I forward my emailed receipts to to get them into my account, which is super convenient. But what if I could take it a step further, and didn’t even have to forward them in the first place? Here’s how to do that using Expensify & IFTTT (If This Then That). First, login to your free IFTTT account and select “Create a Recipe”.


I used an old family recipe, passed down through many generations

Click “this” and define the first statement (IF I receive an email from


Since I use Gmail, I selected it as the channel for the triggering action. Then I entered the email address that’s been emailing me all these receipts. Now it’s time to create the triggered action.

Again, select Gmail from the list of triggers but this time enter the forwarding address and you’re done!


This recipe sends receipts from Amazon to your Expensify account. With automatic SmartScanning enabled, Expensify will automatically match the receipt to its better half (the corresponding credit card expense). To illustrate, let’s say I make a reimbursable purchase from Amazon using my phone while at lunch. When I log into Expensify later and click on the Amazon expense I’ll see the image above. Receipt already attached and ready to add to a report! Even better, you can use this for any emailed receipt (airlines, rental cars, department stores etc.). If you’d like to use this recipe, here it is. You just saved yourself even more time – now go do something great with it!


Already matched! SmartScan’s matching magic

I know I’m not alone when I say taxes can be confusing. So confusing that the annual changes to the laws and rates has given birth to a 7.7 BILLION dollar tax preparation industry. Whether you have someone do your taxes, or you do them yourself, here’s a couple tips for using Expensify in 2014.

1. The IRS mileage rate is lower this year.

The IRS lowered the mileage rate to 56 cents/mile. That’s .5 cents lower than 2013. (Last year it was 56.5 per mile) If you are using Expensify to track your mileage, make sure you log in to the Expensify website and change the rate. All new Expensify accounts created after the mileage rate change takes effect will already be updated with the new rate. More details at

NOTE: We don’t automatically change the rate for existing users because many companies use a custom rate.

2. If you don’t like that rate, you can track your actual vehicle expenses and deduct that

You don’t HAVE to use the IRS mileage rate. If you think it actually costs you more to maintain your vehicle than 56 cents/mile then you can track your actual expenses and use that as your deduction. (This is where Expensify comes in handy) Be sure to record all gas, oil, repairs, tires, insurance, registration fees, licenses, and depreciation (or lease payments) attributable to the portion of the total miles driven that are business miles.

Other car expenses for parking fees and tolls attributable to business use are separately deductible, whether you use the standard mileage rate or actual expenses.

3. Record your receipts at the time of purchase, don’t wait until the end of the month to scan them all.

Hoarding a pile of receipts until the end of the month is so 2013. To get the full benefit of Expensify, take a picture of your receipts right when you get it and liberate yourself from the pocket full of receipts. You’re more likely to lose receipts if you have a bunch floating about your person all month. Just get a picture of it ASAP and be done with it. (Luckily you have a great App to do that.)

4. Linking your card to Expensify can save you if you lose a receipt

Let’s say you ignore #2 and decide to store your receipts in your coat pocket and end up losing one. No problem, as long as you’ve linked your card to Expensify, you’re still ok. Expensify creates IRS compliant eReceipts for all purchases under $75. You read that right – if your card or bank is linked to Expensify, we will import your transactions into Expensify and on top of that, automatically create a receipt for you! This is a lifesaver for those of you who habitually lose receipts.


We’re extremely excited for 2014. Our revamped new site just went live last week and there’s plenty of new and exciting things planned for the future. We look forward to making your life easier in 2014 and in the years to come!

Last week David announced some changes to our pricing. This week we would like to introduce an option that many of you have been requesting for a long time that will actually help offset that change to our price. We are happy to announce that you can now Prepay for Expensify!

Prepay for Expensify and get TWO MONTHS for free!

This has typically only been requested by enterprise companies, but we wanted businesses of any size to be able to get the same benefit our largest customers receive. If you prepay for 10 months, we will match you for 2 additional months! It works out to a 17% savings! Essentially, we’re applying a very large credit to your account that you are able to purchase at a steep discount.

Here’s the math:

  • Last month your company had 102 submitters on the Corporate Plan. This works out to $1,100 paid last month. (Remember, because we love our users, your company gets 2 free submitters per month)
  • You are an incredible employee and an all around go-getter. You decide your company should save money and prepay.
  • $1,100 x 10 = $11,000. You pay $11,000 to prepay for 10 months.
  • $1,100 x 2 =  $2,200.  We add  a $2,200 credit to your account on top of the $11,000 you prepaid.  You just purchased a $13,200 credit for $11,000!

End Result: You just saved your company $2,200 or 17% on what you would have spent for the year! Alternatively put, instead of paying $11/month per submitter, you are paying $9.20/month per submitter! 

Bonus Result: You get a promotion for being a great employee. (Hooray! You deserve it!)

To get started, head on over to and play with the Savings Slider Bar to see how much money your company will save.  Question: what are you going to do with all that money you budgeted for, but no longer need to pay?

Don’t forget, we launched Invoices and Bill Processing last month so check it out here. And as always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us at Happy Expensing!

Today we are excited to finally announce a much anticipated feature: Invoicing and Bill Processing! At the behest of our users who were fed up with their existing Invoicing and Bill Processing solution, we’ve worked extremely hard to bring you Bill Processing and Invoices that Don’t Suck! No longer must Expensify users subject themselves to clunky invoicing systems. We’ve taken everything you love about Expensify Expense Reports and applied it for our Bill Processing and Invoices!


Expensify now allows you to take Expense Reports created or submitted to you and re-bill them as an Invoice to your clients. Apply mark-up on materials purchased on behalf of your client. Upload your logo into Expensify and we’ll slap it on the invoice. Determine and communicate your custom payment terms.  If your clients already use Expensify they can even pay your invoices directly within Expensify with the same great options that are available for our Expense Reports: ACH Direct Deposit, PayPal, and even Bitcoin!

Ok, so what if your vendors dont use Expensify? You can still send them invoices – just click Attach PDF before you hit send.

We know most users want to keep their bills and invoices in the same program, so we developed Bill Processing to be incredibly easy.  When you activate Invoicing/Bill Processing we create an email address for you to give out to your vendors. Example: Any bills sent to that email address will be SmartScanned and populated into your Expensify account.


We built this functionality because our users were complaining they didn’t like having to export their expenses into Freshbooks or Quickbooks in order to send out Invoices. Well, now you can seamlessly handle Expense Reports, Invoicing, and Bill Processing within one interconnected, powerful tool.

We’ve added more information on our help pages so check those out here:

As always, if you have any questions about Expensify or need help getting your company set up, feel free to email

Read the press release here:

Expensify has a lot of users, a lot of different users.  We know that our users come have varying use cases when when it comes to credit cards. We’ve got you covered no matter your situation or credit card.

Safety First:

We use bank-level security to keep your sensitive financial data safe. We’re tested regularly to ensure our security measures are up to date, and even subscribe to daily probing by McAfee to make sure that we can defend against the latest hacker tactics.

We take your security seriously and comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This comprehensive analysis that spans many aspects of how systems interact is the gold standard of security measures for anyone taking credit card information online. The same rigorous standard is used by PayPal, Visa and YOUR bank. For more information on its requirements, check out the PCI-DSS website.

The Basics:

Import your card(s) automatically by logging into Expensify > going to Settings > Credit Cards > Import Card/Bank. You will then just need to find your bank and input your online banking username and password.

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 11.32.38 AM

You will then want to select what accounts you do want to pull into Expensify and whether or not these accounts should default as being marked as reimbursable expenses or non-reimbursable expenses.


Having issues?

We work hard so that our users have as few issues as possible when it comes to importing your credit cards, but every now and again you may find that your card is not updating automatically. If you do find yourself in this situation here are some helpful tips:

  1. Manually update your card:  You can do this by going to Settings > Credit Cards and selecting the ‘Update’ button to update your card. If you see a ‘Fix’ indicator, go to tip #2
  2. ‘Fix’ your card: We would first recommend that you can log into your online banking portal using the same  username and password you’re using to import your card into Expensify. When you have confirmed this, please select the ‘Fix’ button and input your username and password. If this does not work, go to tip #3
  3. Write As noted earlier, Expensify and the banks we import from have a very high level of security. As a result, sometimes we do need to change/update our connections which could disable the connection for a bit. User’s usually do not notice the changes but if your cards will not fix, do write so we can be sure to let you know what might be going on.

Commercial Cards/Centrally Administered Cards:

If your company does have a commercial card or wants to centrally administer your corporate cards, we still have you covered. If you are interested learning more please do check out this page.

As always, if you have any questions please write us at and we will be happy to assist.

Managing multi-page PDF receipts in Expensify is simple. To begin, just upload them as you would usually (forward to or upload them to the site). Once uploaded, you are free to attach the PDF to an expense much like any receipt image. You’ll notice that the thumbnail image in Expensify only displays the first page; don’t worry, we’ve got the other pages too.

In order to view all receipt pages just open the ‘Edit Expense/Receipt’ window and click the ‘download’ button below the image. This will open the receipt, in its entirety, in another tab in your web browser.


Alternatively, select the ‘Include full page images in PDF’ option on your report before printing a PDF and you’ll be able to view all pages of a receipt in the resulting PDF.


If you have any further multi-page questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at and we’ll get them smoothed out.

Each year, the IRS updates the reimbursable mileage rate for business travel to reflect the costs for operating a vehicle. With (still) prices going up, you are now able to claim $0.565 per mile travelled in 2013. Check out the full details on the rate change at

All new Expensify accounts created after the mileage rate change takes effect will already be updated with the new rate.

For personal users, change your rate by going to Settings > Preferences and clicking the ‘change’ button to the right your miles unit.

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 3.44.11 PM

For policy managers, please go to Settings > Policies > (choose your policy) > Basics and change the ‘Mileage Rate’ of your policies if you are using the IRS rate.

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 3.42.41 PM

Disclaimer: We do not update everyone’s mileage rate because a vast many of our users utilize company rates as opposed to the IRS rate.

Now you can enter your mileage expenses quicker, making expense reports suck even less! When you create a mileage expense on the web app, click the ‘use map’ button in order to use Google Maps to determine the distance you traveled.

Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 4.28.30 PM

When you type in one of your last five destinations/starting points, we will remember it and give you the option to select it.

Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 4.05.09 PM

If you have any suggestions for shortcuts or features that would help you save more time on your expense reports, please let us know at and we’ll see what we can do for you!

So you’ve made the decision to ease the expense reporting burden of your colleagues and began using Expensify! Our hats are off to you. You won’t regret it. Now let’s get your employees up to speed.

We maintain various tools to assist with onboading of your employees. We recommend you share a combination of these to enhance learning and get your company more acquainted with Expensify. If you’d like to work with us to put your onboarding plan together, contact us at and we’ll get help sort it out.

1. Communicate Company Expense Policy
Provide your team with guidelines and rules for the expense reporting process. These details can be shared via internal email, and we also recommend summarizing these on invite (through our customizable welcome message). Details include but are not limited to:

  • Expense categorization directions
  • Company expense rules (max expense age, max expense amount, receipt required amount, etc.)
  • Personal and company credit card policies
  • Report naming policies
  • Reimbursement processes and timing
  • Approval workflows

Best for: Ensuring a smooth roll-out.

2. The Getting Started Page
This is a broad overview of using Expensify for employees, in a step-by-step guide.

Getting Started

Best for: Users that prefer step-by-step written directions. The initial view is very simple, with links to detailed feature and terminology definitions.

3. Expensify Workshops (Live and Pre-Recorded)
We host live and pre-recorded workshops to train employees on the basic functions of Expensify. These functions include:

  1. Creating/importing expenses
  2. Creating reports and adding expenses
  3. Submitting reports for approval
  4. Adding an ACH reimbursement account

Best for: Users who prefer to learn with audio direction and visual demonstration. The learning is very straightforward. We recommend that all Workshop attendees also use our Getting Started page and Help site as research companions.

4. ExpensifyHelp
Your employees can find detailed descriptions of every facet and feature in Expensify on our Help Site. It serves as a great tool in learning about Expensify, becoming familiar with terminology, and setting up features for your company or employee accounts.


Best for: Referencing specific features or processes in Expensify. This is by far the most in-depth of all tools. Feel free to skim, but we find that ExpensifyHelp is most efficient by searching for specific information.

5. Contact our Support Team
You put that IKEA table together without any help, Expensify should be a walk in the park… Just kidding.

If your employees still can’t find the answers they’re looking for, our support team will be more than happy to answer any questions and provide advice.

Best for: Getting answers to company specific questions, once you’ve exhausted all of our other documentation.

6. The Expensify Blog
Obviously, you’re familiar with our blog since you are here. This serves as a reminder to share the blog with any interested employees. We post pro-tips, best practices, and advice for specific use cases on our here every week.


Best for: Keeping up with new features, use cases and expense report best practices.