When you travel for business related trips, you probably know how tedious it can be to keep track of travel, food, hotel, and entertainment expenses. It often requires you to remember to get receipts, tallying them up and providing your company or organization an expense report. Well, ExpenseCloud, a new online service and mobile app, might vey well save you a ton of time.
ExpenseCloud works much like the popular personal financial service, Mint.com. You can use ExpenseCloud to import transactions from your online credit and debit card accounts, or manually add expenses, and in the end create an expense report for approval.
Though premium pay options for ExpenseCloud will be most useful to companies with several accounts, the free account for individuals can also be useful for say teachers, freelancers, government employees and the like who may not have a company account but need to keep track of expenses and provide an expense report, even for tax related purposes.
How It Works
ExpenseCloud is a cross platform mobile app for the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. After registering your account you can start using ExpenseCloud directly. The home screen user interface consists of a simple collection of data input buttons for recording Parking, Hotel Expenses, Mileage, Entertainment, Air Travel, Meals, and other expenses.
When you tap on a category, you can manually add an expense which includes data fields for the amount, date, and merchant, and if an expense is Billable or Prepaid. If you’re doing overseas travel, you can also indicate the currency you used.
Since ExpenseCloud is on your iPhone, you snap photos of receipts using the built-in camera. The iPhone camera capture documents even better than some scanners, and with a little practice, it takes less than 30 seconds to grab a shot of a receipt and have it stored on your iPhone. You can use the green Add button from within ExpenseCloud to activate the camera or add an existing photo of a receipt in your library.
With ExpenseCloud, you can of course manually input data as you might do when you save receipts and log items using pen and paper. But ExpenseCloud works like a spreadsheet, so when you manually input data, it provides a detailed report, calculating all the data for you, which makes it more precise. All the input you make in the mobile version of ExpenseCloud is synced with your online account, and vice versa.
ExpenseCloud works similarly to Mint.com in that it can link to your personal credit and debit card accounts and download transactions to your ExpenseCloud account, which in turn alleviates the need to manually input data, except of course when you pay using cash.
Auto-Import is a useful time saver especially if you do a lot of business related travel in which you need to manage and report your expenses. Like Mint, ExpenseCloud’s access to your credit accounts does not allow you and anyone else to make changes using ExpenseCloud. It only downloads your transactions for reporting purposes.
The huge time saver is when you need to gather and sort receipts, calculate your expenses, and create an expense report. ExpenseCloud does these tasks for you. After you get back from your trip, you can even add expenses not yet recorded, and then simply create your report, which can be exported to PDF or emailed directly to accounting.
If you make photo copies of your receipts, they of course will also be added to your report.
Larger companies will probably set up ExpenseCloud accounts for their employees, but there are also free and low cost individual options. The free plan includes auto-import of expenses, the reporting features, use of the free mobile app that syncs to your online ExpenseCloud account, and integrates with other account software such as Quickbooks.
With mobile technology like ExpenseCloud, there’s little reason to hang onto the outdated paper receipts and log sheet method of tracking expenses. Let us know what you think of ExpenseCloud. Is it service you think you might try using?
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