It’s no news that expense management is a big problem. Yes, the problem is also oh-so-old. What hurts more is that existing solutions are oh-so-old too. We don’t mean that existing solutions are built on old technology or display ugly colors on their UI. While that’s true, we’re thinking a step further - they don’t solve for challenges that matter right now.
What are these challenges, you ask? Here’s where this blog comes in. We’re going to talk about expense management problems that matter today. We’ll dig into details like why they matter now, how they impact the expense management process and how existing solutions are solving it. For the sake of this blog series, we’re going to compare Fyle with Expensify.
Let’s dive right into it.
Experience, behavior, et al
The definition of experience has changed over time. In today’s era, it’s used for something more than just providing an experience. With great experiences, you can change behavior. That’s exactly why you’re hooked to apps like Instagram. It’s not about the interface, the colors or the font size, it’s about how Instagram makes it super easy to share what’s happening in your life in real-time.
Okay, what’s Instagram got to do with expense management?
Instagram understands their users’ problems really well. And they figure out the quickest way to solve that problem:
- Click a picture
- Write a caption
- Upload it to Instagram
Going by that formula, here’s the easiest way to submit an expense:
- Click a picture of the receipt
- Add the purpose in expense form
- Submit expense
That's exactly how Fyle works:
- Click a picture of your receipt. ✅
- Let InstaFyle do its magic (<10s). ✅
- Add purpose in the expense form. ✅
- Submit expense. ✅
Here’s another thing Instagram does really well. It works flawlessly AT SCALE.
- Millions of people are clicking a picture, writing a caption and uploading it at the same time. Yet, Instagram doesn’t lag or doesn’t shut down randomly.
- This also applies when you are uploading one picture after the other. Nothing changes. Your experience stays the same.
Extending the same example to expense reporting at scale,
- Users should upload receipts anytime
- Users should upload multiple receipts at the same time
In today's age, we receive most of the invoices as pdf. An ideal experience would be to either submit them without leaving your Gmail or Outlook inbox or upload all those invoices in one go. While Expensify supports the bulk addition of receipts from the mobile app, the users who don't use the app find it difficult. They have to either forward receipts to Expensify or log on to the web app and upload them one by one.
Here’s an Expensify customer being dissatisfied with the workflow. In this situation, not being able to bulk upload easily makes the process far more frustrating than it needs to be.
Two years down the line, Expensify still thinks it’s okay to continue giving their customers a less-than-ideal experience.
Expensify does not intend to bring back bulk import via the menu option. And one of their solutions is to add more steps in the process by asking you to attach and email all the receipts to them.
And here’s Fyle:
It’s incredibly easy to bulk file expenses with Fyle. The product not only creates new expenses for every receipt, we also match the receipt to existing expenses. So if you already know what you’re reimbursing for, create an expense and just upload the receipts as they happen. We’ll take care of the rest.
Fyle goes a step further. We’re present inside apps that employees use every day. This means employees can
- text us the receipts or
- share directly through their Gmail or Outlook inboxes or
- share via Slack,
- Or just email it to us
We don’t just improve the current experience but also extend them to apps where they reside, truly turning it real-time.
Sounds fancy but what’s it got to do with me, a Finance/Accounting person?
Well, let’s go back to Instagram for a minute. What happens when Instagram is providing this awesome experience to its users? They keep coming back. They use it more. How does Instagram leverage the real-time usage? Advertisers. It’s actually that simple.
In the case of expense management, you, the Finance person, are the Advertiser. You close your books on time when employees submit expenses as they happen. Just think about all the month-ends where you and your team have to spend hours in the office simply because one employee who has at least 10 expenses a day decided to dump all of them - receipts, expenses, reports - at the last minute. It’s a nightmare and it only increases with a growing team.
A seamless experience that allows employees to get the job done, i.e., submitting an expense as quickly as possible, goes a long way. The buck shouldn’t stop at employee experience. Expense management software should enable Finance teams to:
- Turn expense reporting real-time.
- Stay compliant from the beginning.
- Close accounting books on time.
The extent of Finance controls with Expensify
Check out what you get as a Finance person with Expensify.
- Policies for specific groups to operate on:
This is bizarre since instead of tweaking one part of the entire workflow, Expensify forces you to create a new policy for different workflows.
- Expense rules:
With Expensify, you just get the basic stuff - expense age, cap amount, receipt requirements.
The sophisticated Finance controls with Fyle
- Customize what your entire org sees and how they see it:
We get it - your accounting needs are ever changing. This is why we give you first-hand control. Configure org-wide information - Categories, Projects, Cost Centers, Budgets and Holidays.
- Customize the expense form:
With Fyle, configure fields in expense forms. Create dependent fields, use checkboxes, multi-choice options, Yes or No questions to determine answers that help you stay compliant.
3. Control all employee information
Integrate Fyle with your HRMS and easily configure all necessary employee information required for approvals.
With Fyle, these controls are right at your fingertips. Automate compliance and make accounting easier.
Ease of use in expense management is continuous, not one-time. So what’s next?
At Fyle, we’re constantly coming up with ways to make it super easy for
- Employees to submit expenses
- Finance teams to automate compliance and accounting
Our journey includes gems like Auto-submissions, Auto-approvals, receiptless approvals and so much more.
The goal is simple - Not a second should be spent on expense reports.
Keep an eye out for the next part of this blog series. For more on how ease of use simplifies expense tracking and reporting, check out our Expense page.