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Book keeping in your Pocket: A look at Expensify

By Idemudia Dima-Okojie

We live in an era in mobile technology where a product’s worth or value is not only determined by its features, but by what it enables the user to do with it.  Mobile devices are now an essential part of every day life, this is especially true because communication is at the heart of a lot of our daily activities, be it a voice call, text or email; and with the growth and popularity of social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the relevance of mobile devices (mobile phones and Tablets) cannot be overemphasized.

When it comes to using my mobile device to aid my daily tasks, I would say that one of the most annoying tasks is keeping track of my expenses, especially when I have to keep receipts (I’m not particularly a fan of keeping paper around me).  However, there is a really cool app that makes this activity a breeze.  EXPENSIFY is an app that enables users keep track of expenses (and holding on to receipts) while on the move. The free app lets you log mileage, file expense reports, and upload a limited number of receipts using your phone’s camera (a smart scanning system automatically extracts information like the date and the amount charged). The app is available on iOS (iPhone/iPad), Android, WebOS, and BlackBerry devices; and it is free!

The service, which can also be accessed on the web at www.expensify.com was specifically developed for small and medium businesses who need to easily track expenses of their employees; the app is however great for individuals as I have been using it for about 5 months now, and it has been a great experience.  Users can categorize added expenses; receipts can be scanned to expenses; the app allows users to track credit card transactions as well but currently not relevant in Nigeria, and reports can be submitted for approvals.  The Expensify web portal also provides analytics on expenses, which produces a graphical representation of expense trends based on the defined categories.

One of the important aspects of this app is that it supports over 50 international currencies, so users like myself do not have to use the USD or other major currencies; as such I am comfortable using my Nigeria Naira in capturing and managing my expenses.  Another great feature is the fact that expenses are still saved when users temporarily do not have access to the Internet on their mobile device; what happens is that saved data is synchronized as soon as there is access to the Internet.

In all, Expensify is a nice and functional app that solves a major need in the easy and smooth capturing of expenses using technology.  Being a Cloud service, expenses synchronized on a user’s Expensify account can be accessed by the user on different devices.  It must however be noted that the effectiveness of Expensify is highly dependent on a change in behaviour where the user dutifully captures their expenses; without this, Expensify would be just another icon on your mobile device.

 

About the Author

Idemudia is Product Manager: Cloud & Communication at Internet Solutions. Contact him at idemudia@me.com or follow him on twitter @idemudia


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