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App of the week: Expensify

expensify logo

This week I take a look at Expensify, a powerful, functional and incredibly good-looking expense reports app. No, not another personal finace tool, this is for the travelling business person, and it’s a must-have. With a powerful desktop based web app to support it, Expensify is fast becoming the standard for recording business expense reports whether you’re out for lunch with an important client, or opening another office on the other side of the world.

I travel a lot for work, so much so that when I am about to leave for a trip, I have certain rituals that I’ve pioneered to make my trip that much smoother, and with every trip I take, I develop new rituals. Some of these include packing formal clothes in such a way that they don’t wrinkle in my backpack, setting a reminder to check-in online as the option becomes available so that I can get the best seat, even how to work the check in queues so that I’m always in front when boarding the plane, but that’s another article right there.

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One thing that has always annoyed me, and our office manager, is the pile of receipts that I collect when away from home. Business lunches, hotel bills, parking, stationary etc. I shove them all into the front pouch of my laptop bag and carry on with my day. Something I’ve tried to do in the past is organize and record all these receipts in my notebook on the flight back, but anyone who’s taken the 19:30 flight on a certain budget airline from OR Tambo to Cape Town International will know what a nightmare it is trying to get anything done with a screaming baby staring at you while the clever flight staff crack their tired old jokes over the intercom.

So a couple weeks back I thought, as all of us do at one point in our lives, there must be an app for this, and that app is Expensify.

Expensify is a cleverly designed and deceptively powerful little app that allows you to efficiently track every single expense you want to when travelling abroad or going for lunch with a client down the road. Its dead simple user interface allows you to add expenses, record receipts and generate reports, all on your device, and mail them to whoever needs to capture and process them in order for you to get reimbursed. No more handfuls of faded receipts with stone-age type descriptions scrawled on the back. No more missing parking receipts from the airport after your car has stayed there for 2 nights. No more wondering if you’ve remembered to keep every receipt while crammed into your seat on the flight back.

The latest version of Expensify also allows you to scan receipts and automatically loads the data into the app if you’re too busy (or just plain lazy). The app comes with 25 scan credits and thereafter you have to buy more. To be honest, I haven’t used this feature yet, simply because recording an expense is very quick, and my experience with data collection from photos hasn’t been too great so far. All I do is tap the expense button, enter the most important details, categorise the entry and save it. I will also take a photo of the receipt, if I have time, and attach it the expense.

Once you’ve finished all you have to do on your trip, and recorded each and every expense that you’ve incurred, Expensify allows you to create awesome looking expense reports that you can then mail back to the office before you even get back. These reports also stay on your device as well so that you can keep track of your reimbursements and make sure that everything gets paid back in to the credit card. The best thing about these reports however is the way they look, elegant, full of necessary info and professional enough to handover to your boss

Overall, if you’re someone who is out all the time with clients, or travelling abroad, Expensify is a must have app for you. With great support, an awesome web app version and a brilliantly performing iPhone app, it is truly a wonder that this app stays free.

Name: Expensify
Publisher: Expensify, LLC
Category: Finance
Price: Free
Size: 2.3 MB

Available for iPhone & iPad, Android

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