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Managing Expenses

posted 7 Apr 2014, 02:11 by Daniel Bryden   [ updated 7 Apr 2014, 02:16 ]
Sitting down at the end of the week with a bunch of receipts is pain. Fortunately there are plenty of tools out there that can reduce the hassle of this. We've been using Expensify for a year now and I would like to tell you how it has helped us.

For a long time we used XpenseTracker to manage our day to day expenses. It was good, but it was only available on the iPhone at the time and I new I was going to be looking at Android devices in the future.

I found Expensify through the Google Apps Marketplace and we have been using it for just over a year now.

The premise is simple: it's free for up to 2 people submitting expenses per month (a third person can approve them). Take a photo of your receipt using the app on the phone, categorise, enter an amount and the name of the merchant, save it and you're done.

At the end of the week I go to the main website, add my expenses for the week to a report and submit that to the person who approves expenses (affectionately known as mum in our company). I will then receive notification when it is approved and when it is paid. I can mark it as received for my own records.

Mileage can be added by creating a Google Map from Expensify and using the quoted distance. We can set up various policies for the business (e.g. ensuring that receipts are always added to a submitted report) and the system has a nice clean interface and is easy to use.

For me, a tool like this is great because it means that I can do receipts as I go along. That is manageable - you can do it while on the train or waiting for your next meeting, and it stops being a Friday chore that you would rather not do.

If you want to use Expensify, start by heading to or find it through the Google Apps Marketplace. We have it added to our apps account so it appears in the dropdown list on Google. It's worth taking some time to go through the settings so it does exactly what you need it to do.

As for the future, you never know - I've just started to use Zoho Invoice for estimates and invoicing, and that has expense management in there as well. There may be a change at some point, but for now we're happy. And as a general rule of thumb, if my mum is happy using it, it must be good.