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Old Nov 25, 10, 4:02 am   #1
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Expense management/reporting tools [consolidated threads]

I'm a consultant who spends a lot of time in the US, meaning that my expense claims get messy. I have to fill out a client expense form in USD, and my employer expense form in GBP. The client expense form is online via QuickArrow. My employer expense form in an excel spreadsheet designed by moi

I find it takes a couple of hours a week to get all receipts scanned and get both the expense claim forms completed and balancing.

I've just come across ExpenseCloud (www.expensecloud.com), and I've been having a bit of a play around.

It seems like it will do everything I need, and should cut down my time at the weekend doing my expenses. The main things I like so far :-

- iPhone app allows me to enter expenses 'on-the-fly'
- I can take a snap of a receipt with my iPhone and attach it to my expense
- Multiple currencies handled
- iPhone expenses are then synchronised to the main ExpenseCloud account
- I can generate an expense claim, and submit for approval to my boss.
- It's free! Well, the individual version is anyway.
- Links in with TripIt.

The only slight issue I've found is that the currency exchange rates are being retrieved from CitiBank. These rates have what appears to be a 2.5% loading fee. However, there is a place in the settings where you can set an adjustment.

My only slight concern is that it seems to be a fairly small 'start-up' company. I can't seem to find any reviews anywhere, and there don't seem to be any posts in the forums except from staff.

So... is anyone else out there using it?

Cheers,
Rick
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Old Nov 25, 10, 4:12 am   #2
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Very interesting- I have a similar challenge to you working in many currencies- is the data "safe" here? My only concern would be the amount of information that is stored in this "cloud" considering it would have passport numbers, addresses, email, credit card numbers, phone numbers etc when all invoices were combined. Otherwise the idea looks excellent.
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Old Nov 25, 10, 4:16 am   #3
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
Very interesting- I have a similar challenge to you working in many currencies- is the data "safe" here? My only concern would be the amount of information that is stored in this "cloud" considering it would have passport numbers, addresses, email, credit card numbers, phone numbers etc when all invoices were combined. Otherwise the idea looks excellent.
One thing I didn't mention is that it can also grab expenses directly from credit cards.

I didn't activate this - mainly because this would involve giving my CC details and password to an 'unknown'. The other reason is that I use my credit card form both personal and business transactions, so it would get messy.

There isn't any other information stored that I would be too worried about. Just my email address.

Cheers,
Rick
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Old Nov 25, 10, 4:18 am   #4
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
One thing I didn't mention is that it can also grab expenses directly from credit cards.

I didn't activate this - mainly because this would involve giving my CC details and password to an 'unknown'. The other reason is that I use my credit card form both personal and business transactions, so it would get messy.

There isn't any other information stored that I would be too worried about. Just my email address.

Cheers,
Rick
Interesting.
When you scan receipts- where does this information sit?
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Old Nov 25, 10, 4:24 am   #5
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
Interesting.
When you scan receipts- where does this information sit?
Oh yeah.... I hadn't thought of that. However, I only tend to scan the relevant part of my flight receipts, so this is really just my name, flight details and payment amounts. I'm pretty sure it doesn't include my passport number or credit card.

My hotel receipts tend to have the account number partially obscured.

I think I'll just be careful initially, blanking out anything too personal before taking the photo.

Cheers,
Rick
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Old Nov 25, 10, 4:28 am   #6
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Thanks Rick- it does look interesting- please do report back on how well it works.
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Old Nov 25, 10, 4:34 am   #7
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I've just sent an email to them pointing out that FlyerTalk could be a good source of potential customers

Hopefully someone will visit this thread and answer some of the security questions.

Cheers,
Rick
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Old Nov 25, 10, 5:30 am   #8
  
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I use an expensive, but excellent, Fujitsu Scansnap to load all of my paperwork into Evernote for printing and recall as necessary.

Expense claims outside of GBP, I use the xe.com expense claim toom
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Old Nov 25, 10, 9:08 am   #9
  
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Hi everyone. I am the CEO of ExpenseCloud. Thought I would help answer some of your questions and concerns posted on the thread.

For starters, it sounds like your using QuickArrow. We do support the parent company (OpenAir). What this means is we can take the expense report generated within ExpenseCloud and import it directly to OpenAir, including all the projects and clients. Worth looking into if you company plans to migrate over to OpenAir.

On currency - we do support Citibank's currency, but will changing that probably this weekend to a different provider. Hopefully you will not see any "loading fees" in the new FX provider we use.

Regarding reviews - there are been several posted by media outlets like ReadWriteWeb, GetApp, Business.com and Centerworks. Also we have partnered with companies like FreshBooks, Intuit, Intacct, Salesforce, NetSuite, OpenAir and TripIt to provide integrations between our products. You can see their customer reviews on each of their partner "marketplaces".

Regarding our credit card import and security. ExpenseCloud uses 128-bit SSL encryption to ensure that all communications between your browser and our Web site are secure. Our hosting facility is one of the top companies in the world in terms of security, reliability and protection. When you enter your online financial username/password, your credit card and bank information is not stored in our system. We user Yodlee for our card import, who is the top software company for this feature (and are used by some of the largest banks in the world). Also, financial accounts are a read-only service one way connection. ExpenseCloud cannot manipulate or transfer money from any of your financial accounts.

Hope that helps. Look forward to hearing more of your feedback and how we can improve the expense reporting process.

Thanks,
Eric

CEO/Founder
expensecloud.com
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Old Nov 25, 10, 11:54 am   #10
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I've recently been using Expensify, and I've been pretty happy with that as well. It has the ability to take a photo of a receipt from my iPhone, or I can forward email receipts to the system that get loaded into my account, or pull from my credit card.

Honestly, it has cut down my expense reporting time down by a factor of at least 4-5. I'm pretty happy with it.

I was able to put together my expense report on Tuesday on my way from the office to the airport with receipts. The whole thing took me 20 minutes, and only that long because I was over 3G and not wifi.

It's free for individuals, and costs $5/submitter each month once you have more than 2 submitters.

I've been pretty pleased with it. And it's a huge improvement over systems I've used in the past.

As for the privacy aspect, I think the benefits of credit card integration far outweigh the negatives, especially in this day and age of CC fraud protection. I don't have my debit card linked to it, mainly because I centralize expenses on my Amex, but even if I did, I wouldn't mind. A quick phone call to my banks would have all charges immediately reversed pending investigation if I noticed any unauthorized activity. So I really think there is minimal risk of providing this information to realize the full benefits of the platform.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 9:42 am   #11
  
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Originally Posted by RChavez View Post
I've recently been using Expensify, and I've been pretty happy with that as well. It has the ability to take a photo of a receipt from my iPhone, or I can forward email receipts to the system that get loaded into my account, or pull from my credit card.

Honestly, it has cut down my expense reporting time down by a factor of at least 4-5. I'm pretty happy with it.

I was able to put together my expense report on Tuesday on my way from the office to the airport with receipts. The whole thing took me 20 minutes, and only that long because I was over 3G and not wifi.

It's free for individuals, and costs $5/submitter each month once you have more than 2 submitters.

I've been pretty pleased with it. And it's a huge improvement over systems I've used in the past.

As for the privacy aspect, I think the benefits of credit card integration far outweigh the negatives, especially in this day and age of CC fraud protection. I don't have my debit card linked to it, mainly because I centralize expenses on my Amex, but even if I did, I wouldn't mind. A quick phone call to my banks would have all charges immediately reversed pending investigation if I noticed any unauthorized activity. So I really think there is minimal risk of providing this information to realize the full benefits of the platform.
I looked at both ExpenseCloud AND Expensify and selected the latter as it has the capability to set personal categories and Tags (=client/projects). This makes it possible to make a claim that is very close to the one that I have to submit via my companies on-line system (i.e. I am NOT using Expensify for reimbursement). I agree with the credir card capture, any fraud is quickly recognized.
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Old Nov 30, 10, 12:00 pm   #12
  
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Originally Posted by RChavez View Post
As for the privacy aspect, I think the benefits of credit card integration far outweigh the negatives, especially in this day and age of CC fraud protection. I don't have my debit card linked to it, mainly because I centralize expenses on my Amex, but even if I did, I wouldn't mind. A quick phone call to my banks would have all charges immediately reversed pending investigation if I noticed any unauthorized activity. So I really think there is minimal risk of providing this information to realize the full benefits of the platform.
You should double check the bank/CC issuer's insurance rules - providing your password to a 3rd party may void insurance claims related to it...
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Old Apr 29, 14, 9:38 am   #13
  
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Expense management/reporting tools

I've been spoiled in that my assistant has prepared my expense forms for me (I was CEO) and I just retired. Clients have asked me to do some consulting for them so I am setting up an LLC to do so. One thing I am trying to do is settle on something that would ease expense capture/accounting/reporting so I thought I would ask on FT for recommendations.

Couple of things I am looking for:

1) ability to breakdown hotel receipts into categories (ie not make the total lodging but be capture line detail and map it to category [lodging, meals, entertainment, laundry])
2) ability to make a particular expense billed in part or in total to a particular client
3) ability to apportion an expense across clients

I am looking at Expensify and have asked them the above questions.

Anybody have any recommendations?
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Old Apr 30, 14, 8:15 am   #14
  
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Did you check Concur (https://www.concur.com/)?


Works pretty well for us.
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Old May 1, 14, 7:28 am   #15
  
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Did you check Concur (https://www.concur.com/)?


Works pretty well for us.
Thanks - yes - I am looking at that (opened a trial account).

Unfortunately, I am not finding anything that breaks out a hotel bill into separate line items (lodging, meal (billable), meal (non-billable), laundry...)

Frankly, the other stuff is easy - the pain is the detail on the hotel bill.
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