Looking for a Concur Alternative for Expense Report Management, we discovered Tallie Expense Management.

Having used a variety of Expense Report software packages over the years, I know which ones work and which ones do not, at least in terms of usability. One ubiquitous package out there is Concur. The last version of their desktop software which I used to submit expenses to get reimbursed by my company for software engineering books, trade shows, etc was an absolute bear to use, took multiple attempts, and left me itchy.

Tallie - Concur Alternative
Concur did not support all the common browsers at the time, and seemed to only be interested in keeping Internet Explorer (IE) as it preferred browser, even though IE was busy losing it’s market share to Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Because of the outdated nature of the software, and it’s obtuse way of getting receipts and submitting, it quickly became a nightmare that none of my co-workers wanted to embark on. We hated Concur with a passion.

At the time, Concur had no mobile platform, which meant that we had to get a hard copy of a receipt, or an email copy of a receipt, generate a supported file format such as .jpg or .bmp and make sure it existed on our desktop computer, then go through the convoluted way of starting an expense, and then uploading the receipt. God forbid if it were in .png format or .pdf, because Concur did not support these formats. Bah.

At this point in the process, you’d then select some expense category which almost never, ever made any sense at all. Though I’ll admit this was probably fault of the bookkeepers at my company. Make a mistake at this juncture however, and you’d have to start all over again. Yep, there was no other way. Cancel first attempt, and make a second attempt. Often after a trade show, you’d notice my co-workers and I all filing expenses at the same time, and you’d hear cursing, and kvetching from all corners of the room.

We all longed for another expense report package that was mobile friendly, and even had a mobile app for iOS, and for Android, and just plain worked. A Concur Alternative had to exist.

And so it did, and does. Latest kid on the block that has about seven years of development under it’s belt is Tallie, the most excellent Alternative to Concur on the planet.

expense fraud
expense fraud
Once upon a time I worked for a company that had the top executives constantly on the road, traveling, flying to conferences and meetings with clients. These folks struggled to keep up with their expenses, and really suffered when it came time to filing company travel expenses. I often heard these executives complaining, and one time I hear one executive explain to another on how to pad his expenses, and make a nice stipend that padded his wallet. This was fraud, and eventually it caught up with him, and he got fired and had to reimburse the company for his expense fraud.

My friends over at Tallie know about expense fraud since they are in the business of building software for filing and managing business expenses. Read their take on Expense Fraud.

I run a small business, and can barely afford to pay myself most of the time. I make a little money, put it back in the business, and so it goes.

Years ago I talked to an accountant and he said it was time for me to get serious, make money in the business instead of always operating at a loss, so I could start to do things like deduct business travel, take clients out for lunch or drinks and be able to deduct these expenses. Great I thought. But reading an article over blog.tallie.com I see that the rules can be quite a bit different for small businesses versus big businesses. In short, according to the IRS, if you are entertaining some big wig public figurehead you can deduct a $500 bottle of wine for a business expense, but if you are entertaining a Joe Schmo, you might be able to get away with a $100 bottle of wine. Either bottle is mighty rich for my pocket book.

So the IRS rules on expensing alcohol (and other things) are different depending on who you are, and who you are entertaining, and how dare you think you can get away with following the same rules as a big corporation.

Hrrrmph.

Read the article and weep. Then go on over to the IRS and read the rules yourself. Good luck on comprehension.

Excel Expense Report Template – This is going to sound crazy, I know.

There are a lot of accountants, and bookkeepers who process expense reports for companies the old fashioned way. The old fashioned way might include using a paper based ledger or more likely an Excel Expense Report Template.

It’s 2014 and people are still inputting data by hand, and it makes no sense to me at all. And to top it off they are using methods and work flows for gathering receipts, copying the data over to their Expense Report Template, then manually checking credit card receipts and statements against those paper receipts, getting a manager’s approval, and finally cutting a check for reimbursement. I’m left scratching my head in wonder why some folks still needlessly waste their time.

Time is Money. We’ve all heard the old adage, that you can be penny wise and pound foolish. And in this case you’ve got to wonder if people in charge of expense reports think it costs nothing to manually input data and jump through all those other hoops to pay employees back for their legitimate expenses.

How on earth do busy people get expense reports done? Simple. Use Expense Report Management Software to do the job.

By now most of the civilized humans in this country have a pretty sophisticated smart phone. Doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an Android, you can download a free mobile application to capture your receipts out in the field. You go out on a business trip, and photograph the dinner receipt where you entertained a client. It’s a legit business expense so record it. You could then email yourself the resulting image of the receipt, but that’s another waste of time if you have an Expense App. Open your app and use it to make the photo of your receipt, and hit the Submit button.

Your expense application will then automatically categorize your expense and load up the total. You can make notes if you desire, assign to a project etc. Any data entry is optional and determined by the administrator. It can literally be a simple couple of clicks to capture a receipt and submit for reimbursement. Back at the office the approver can immediately transfer reimbursement to your credit card or integrate with quickbooks, or Intaac or Bill.com, etc.

It’s time to ditch the expense report template and move up in the world of labor saving and automation.

The 2014 IRS Mileage Rate Update is here.

The IRS has changed the rules possible in response to lower gas prices, which in turn reflects lower revenue for the tax collectors.

Expense Management software companies are sure to be updating their software to show these changes.

Read more about the 2014 IRS Mileage Rate

A related article on IRS Record Keeping can be found on the Tallie Blog. This is really good information on best practices for record keeping as it relates to small and large business practices.