Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Expense reports - The Next Generation. Wow!

I was filling out expense reports this past weekend and tweeted about it:



A short while later, I got a reply tweet:



My first thought was "Oh crap! Twitter spam!" But for some reason, I clicked on the link and ended up at a new site called Expensify.



Maybe because I hate filling out expense reports (particularly the part where I have to tape all my receipts to copy paper) or maybe it's because I was just bored of doing it and thought something new and different would at least be not boring, so I signed up.

Within a few minutes, I had linked up the credit card I use for all my business expenses and imported all the transactions for that card into Expensify. From that list of transactions, I chose the expenses that were from my latest business trip and built a new expense report following the very simple instructions. There were a few expenses that I didn't charge to my card, so I added those manually.

They said I could email a JPG of the receipt to receipts@expensify.com and it would be made available for me to include on my report just like charge card receipts. I tried this and it didn't work. Oh well...I figured it was either user error or perhaps it was the fact that this site is still labeled "beta" and I had just hit a bug that was preventing it from working.

But, for the part that worked, I was very happy. Every expense from my credit card had a certified electronic receipt. What this means is that there is proof of my charge direct from my credit card vendor that the IRS accepts so I don't need to provide the physical receipt for those expenses. In other words, if I charge everything to my card, I have electronic receipts for all those charges and my entire expense report can be handled without me having to deal with one scrap of paper or receipt! Now that is awesome!

I was a bit concerned about the cash receipts JPGs not showing up though so I sent a feedback note (by clicking on the site's Feedback link) saying that I couldn't get the JPG email to show up properly. I figured the feedback would just disappear into a support black hole, but then !bam! I got an email from a real person with a real name with a real email address:



I forwarded him the original email I had sent with the attached JPG as he requested and got this reply:



Wow! Real. Live. Actual. Responsive. Customer. Service. Wow!

I re-sent the email with the attachment and checked my Expensify account and !wah-lah! it was there, pretty as you please.

Wanting to be thankful but seeing something else I was now wondering about, I replied:



And very shortly, I received this note in response:



Again, I say Wow! I got an acknowledgment and a work-around.

I'm seriously impressed with these folks. It reminds me of TripIt and how much easier using it has made organizing my travels. Expensify seems to be to expense reporting what TripIt is to travel. Granted, I think they've still got some maturing to do but I'm highly impressed with what they've got and with their excellent customer service. And, even better...it's free to use!

My customer service experience is so critical to how I view a product or service. If customer service and support is top notch, I think that speaks volumes. And, it didn't take much for the Expensify folks to make me feel well taken care of and heard. I appreciated it so much I've just spent 20 minutes writing this blog post singing their praises!

So, if you hate doing expense reports and want a way to make it easier and faster to do them than you ever thought possible, I highly recommend that you check out Expensify.

2 comments:

David said...

Oh, wow, this is incredibly flattering. Thank you so much for writing this up, and we're excited to have you as a user! Please don't hesitate to hit that feedback box whenever you like, and I promise you'll get a fast, personal response.

-david (Founder, Expensify)
Follow me at http://twitter.com/expensify

Angel said...

Hello Karen!

There’s a ton going on at http://Expensify.com : new API, closed a $1M round of seed funding, Salesforce application, QuickBooks integration, new iPhone app, and lots more. We’ve been working hard and people are starting to notice! Expensify’s Salesforce integration was recently picked the “audience choice” expense reporting application, AlwaysOn picked us as a “Global 250 innovator and disrupter”, we just demoed our new API at the SF New Tech meetup and we’ve got much more in store. Please check out our latest coverage below:
http://venturebeat.com/2009/08.....reporting/
http://www.examiner.com/x-4003.....un-factory
Thanks for your help. It’s hard work getting the word out, and I really appreciate the attention you’ve given us. (And if you would be so kind as to tweet or post us somewhere, that’d be rad!) If you have any questions at all, or if you’d like to see a live demo or learn more, please contact me or David Barrett (the CEO) directly at dbarrett@expensify.com (801-860-0540). Thanks!

- Angel (angel@expensify.com)
You should follow us at http://twitter.com/expensify