This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Expensify Is a Great Start, But No Guarantee

Small-business accounting on the Web -- in particular, nasty little bits such as expense management -- is turning out to be one wicked business problem.

Tracking all the money the 25 million or so American small businesses make and spend has turned into one of the Web's darlings. Small-business software giants such as Intuit (INTU), which host online products including QuickBooks Online, Mint.com and TurboTax Online, continue to post nutty-for-this-economy numbers such as a return on assets that's up close to four times year over year.

This hurricane of cash has spun up a dust storm of nouveau-accounting wannabes. Some are well known, such as H&R Block (HRB), Paychex (PAYX) and FreshBooks. And others are not, like Credit Sesame, Pageonce and Receivables Exchange.

And the sophistication here is only just beginning. San Francisco-based Expensify, started in 2008 by David Barrett, focuses on just one piece of the bean-counting dark arts: expense reports. Considering that expense management is literally job one for most small firms, I have been testing this product since early last year.

And in about a year and a half of use, some valuable lessons about managing small-business fiscal processes on the Web have become clear.

WHAT YOU GET Expensify is unquestionably a fresh approach to managing company expenses.

What Expensify does, where possible, is automate the process of capturing, tabulating, filing and getting reimbursed for purchases you make in the course of doing work. The backbone of the system is the so-called Guaranteed eReceipt, which the company says is the full digital replacement for some credit card purchases under $75. Expensify, once authorized by you, imports these eReceipts from online credit card statements and mixes them with hand-entered cash spending and car mileage allowances. It can even import photographs of paper receipts taken by a smartphone. And all of that is automatically cooked up into an IRS-ready expense form for reimbursement. Which, in turn, can be e-mailed, tracked and managed in an accounting package such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks or exported as a PDF for hard printing. All very clever.

By and large, for certain types of basic expenses, the system works. Once set up, my company American Express (AXP) card spending did feed Expensify automatically. I was particularly impressed with the mileage reports, which were eerily accurate.

Overall, I can recommend Expensify as a good first step for making sure your company money is going where it should.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,987.51 -61.49 -0.36%
S&P 500 1,985.54 -11.91 -0.60%
NASDAQ 4,567.5980 -24.2080 -0.53%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs