Summary:

Like its competitor Expensify, ExpenseBay can automatically import transactions from credit cards. You can also enter cash transactions via your smartphone (using the free iPhone or BlackBerry apps), and scan or email photos of receipts to attach to expense items.

ExpenseBay is an easy-to-use tool that streamlines and automates the protracted and sometimes even painful process of generating expense reports.

Like its competitor Expensify (an app that I reviewed last year), ExpenseBay can automatically import transactions from credit cards. You can also enter cash expenses via your smartphone (using the free iPhone or BlackBerry apps — an Android app is coming soon), and scan or email photos of receipts to attach to expense items. Once your expenses are recorded in ExpenseBay, you can classify, edit, delete and split them as required.

Generating reports is a matter of selecting items to add to the report — you can do this on an item-by-item basis in the attractively designed web app, or by selecting items that match certain rules (for example, you could make a report of all travel expenses from the last 30 days). You can create as many different reports as as you need, and reports can be onetime or recurring. Once your reports are ready, you can preview them before downloading them or submitting them via email to whomever approves your expenses. ExpenseBay can also integrate with several other popular web apps, including Freshbooks, SalesForce, Quickbooks and TripIt (integrations are only available on Premium accounts).

As everything stored in the cloud (if you’re interested in cloud computing, check out our Structure conference in June) and reports can be generated as PDFs, the system is completely paperless — which should be a lot tidier than the “traditional” process of filling out Excel sheets, printing them out and attaching photocopied receipts. As you can record everything as you go using the mobile apps, it should also do away with the end-of-month digging around in the bottom of your briefcase, desperately trying to find the receipts that you need.

While I tried out the service through a demo account, if you want to use data from a credit card, you’ll need to provide your card’s web site login credentials. Despite the assurances on ExpenseBay’s lengthy Privacy and Security page, this makes me nervous. I’d really like to see the equivalent of oAuth for bank accounts, to allow apps like this to access to financial details via an API without providing any other access to the account.

ExpenseBay has a range of pricing plans. The Basic account is free, and will allow you to import data from one credit card, email receipts and generate reports. The Mobile plan ($5/month) adds the ability to edit expense items and attach receipts to expense items using the mobile apps, while the Premium account ($10/month) includes premium expense report templates, and integration with other apps.

Do you use ExpenseBay (or a similar app) for managing your expense reporting?

By Simon Mackie

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