Category Archives: Expense Reports Automation

Alternatives to Concur Expense

Finding an alternative to Concur Expense is my holy grail in this review of four expense report software packages.

I have worked for a number of companies over the years, and one thing that always annoyed me was filling out forms for legitimate expenses I incurred while doing company business. I was never high up enough in the corporate food chain to get my own company credit card, and to tell you the truth, I never had that many expenses. But when I did have expenses for things like books, trade shows, taxi rides, meals etc, I spent a ridiculous amount of time filling out spreadsheets, or of late using software to file my expense report.

The last bit of expense report management software I used was by a company called Concur. They are the bigwigs in the space of managing expenses. And the version of software my company used looked as though it was built pre-2000, with it’s rather crusty and obtuse user experience. They had no mobile version of their software, and so I was forced to keep copies of my expenses, then scan them, and upload them via my desktop computer. And the user interface was difficult and unintuitive to use, and both co-workers and I wondered if there was a User friendly Concur Alternative.

concur expense
concur expense

Of course there were an limited number of image file types supported, and unbelievably, they required, or requested you use an Operating System, and browser that I did not have, and that was Windows, and Internet Explorer. I certainly hope that newer versions of the software support all the major current browsers, and that you can use a mobile device.

Both my co-workers and I struggled to get Concur to work, and often had to try submitting and resubmitting multiple times before you were successful. Often a few days later an accounting person would email and say something was wrong with our reports, and we had to go back and try yet again.

Surely there is an Alternative to Concur Expense. And so I decided to go on a journey of trying other company’s software for filing expense reports.

On my list of possible expense report software, I have decided on looking back at Concur, as well as investigate Tallie Expense, Expensify, and Nexonia. These seem to be the biggest players in the expense report arena. Tallie Expense is a relatively new company on the block, and Expensify, Concur and Nexonia have been around for quite a while.

These days, all of the best expense software packages include a Mobile solution app for the two big Mobile platforms of iOS / iPhone, and Android. Less prevalent is Windows Phone apps. This is due no doubt to the general lack of Windows Phones in the Market. Same goes for the once unstoppable BlackBerry.

To be continued…

Expense Report Workflow

Expense Report Workflow
Expense Report Workflow

How a business keeps track of employee’s expenses, how it reports on these expenses, analyzes them, and approves and reimburses the employee can define a process that is easy and effective to use. However the opposite can be true. Many accounting systems are old fashioned, and employees often get stuck on doing things the slow and inefficient way due to their methodology and antiquated tools. A cliche image of a bookkeeper hunched over a stack of receipts and toiling over manually writing in a ledger comes to mind. Why use these old tools when easy to use modern, and efficient expense reports management software is available?

Companies must define an expense report workflow that makes sense from a technology point of view, but most importantly from a human point of view.

If the process is easy to understand, and is fast and powerful, then employees are more likely to keep better expense records, and feel good about submitting their expense reports in a timely and accurate manner.

Likewise if the accounting department has the tools to streamline and automate the expense workflow and to use as many modern mobile and desktop automated expense software tools then they too will find the expense report workflow easy to understand, and implement.

Expense Reports Automation

In a modern accounting office employees get bogged down in the mundane tasks of inputting data. A manager or employee goes to the bookkeeper, and drops off an envelope, or a box of receipts gathered on a business trip. The bookkeeper now gets to sit and type, and categorize all of these receipts, create reports and submit them for approval. That’s a silly waste of time when the tools are available to simply have that manager or employee take out their smart phone, snap a picture of their receipts as they dine, pay for books or other legitimate expenses, click the submit button and automatically categorize, add the total, and send the accounting department the receipts. The process can take a few seconds, and getting an expense can take but a few minutes. If the bookkeeper, or employee or manager needs to add a note, or change a total, or the category that takes but a second using a desktop version of the expense management software.

After an expense is approved it is a simple and fast task to reimburse the employee and deposit money directly into the employee’s bank account or credit their credit card.

Expense Reports Automation

Tallie Expense Report Automation
Tallie Expense Report Automation

In the old days, not so very long ago, accountants and business owners would have to keep impossible to keep up to date ledgers of their everyday business expenses. Corporations needed large accounting departments full of people manually inputing expenses from stacks of cash register receipts, bills and invoices. Data entry is the bane of every accounting office employee. Writing in these expenses or typing over and over again is time consuming and prone to errors. Modern software promises to make the chore of Expense Reporting easy and less of a manual labor chore. But, almost all software solutions tend to require more or less manual data entry.

Expense Reports Automation
Expense Reports Automation

The holy grail of expense reports automation is a system or a software suite that truly automates the process of gathering, inputting, categorizing, submitting, approving and finally getting reimbursed for your business expenses.

The new expense report app promises to be the holy grail of expense reports automation. Starting with their Mobile Expense App for the iPhone and Android smart phones, you can photograph a receipt as you get it, automatically have it scanned, and using sophisticated optical character recognition software, automatically categorize it, and send it to your accounting department for adding to your expense reports, and then automatically sending it for authorization or approval and then get reimbursed quickly and automatically have funds sent to your account.

expense management

Expense Reports Management

Expense Reports Management

Expense Reports Management is easy with the right tools. Tallie by Springahead is an integrated software suite that includes mobile expense reports management tools for the iPhone and Android, as well as a sophisticated desktop expense software solution.

Some of the better Expense Reports Management software tools are actually a suite of apps that include a Mobile Solution that lets you snap a photo of your receipts while you are at a store or a restaurant, then seamlessly let you click on a single button to automatically categorize, and submit the receipt for approval so you can get paid faster. Then when you get to the office your book keeper has the Desktop Solution that keeps track of you and other’s business expenses and lets them make any corrections or add any additional notes or combine other receipts, save them and give powerful reports and analytics. You know where money has been spent, on what and when, and at glance understand the big picture of your expenses.

Up next, Expense Approval Chain, and Automated Credit Card Transaction Management

Managing business and travel expenses can be a pain in the neck for administrators and staff, but with the right tools, you’ll improve the work flow for your employee expense reporting process. An improved Workflow begins with an Expense Approval Chain that is specifically designed to reduce data entry for admins, and thus speed up the process. You can approve expenses in a matter of minutes, by clicking on a button, and avoiding typing out details. Approve, and export to files your accounting system requires, or print to PDF or a hard copy. An Expense Approval Chain Configuration or setup allows admins to determine their path for employee filed expenses and reports. Speed up your time, your employee’s time, and greatly speed up employee reimbursement. Everyone is happier, and more productive.