Digital document junkies, rejoice: Recently launched iPhone app ExpenseMagic uses Evernote and Dropbox to capture receipts and turn them into usable expense reports. ExpenseMagic, which operates on a subscription basis, also has built-in FreshBooks, FreeAgent, and Xero compatability.
The program is designed for use in corporate settings by employees with frequent expenses. Users snap pictures of their receipts, and then either upload them directly to ExpenseMagic or save them in their Dropbox or Evernote account. After the receipt is shared with ExpenseMagic, offshore bookkeepers based in India enter the data into a secure account that can then be exported. Receipts are processed within 24 hours of uploading. ExpenseMagic, based in London, currently operates in both the United States and United Kingdom; bookkeepers are trained in both countries' tax laws.
Corporate users have the option of either having expenses automatically sent to a designated employee or of letting individual users manage their own expenses. A geotagging feature also notes the country in which an image was taken for automatic currency conversion. The receipt items are entered automatically, letting users skip the process of manually entering expenses.
According to ExpenseMagic's Adam O'Kane, the firm decided to use human bookkeepers for data entry due to technical issues surrounding OCR readers for receipts. Users also have the option of manual entry and the capability to leave notes about each receipt. Entries can also sync to a phone's diary and automatically append meeting and event information.
ExpenseMagic offers several subscription plans. A no-frills version of the software without data entry is available for free, and unlimited subscriptions are offered at $11.99 for 30 days and $20.99 for 90 days. A pay-as-you-go plan also offers 20 receipts for $4.99. Although the app is currently only available for iOS, an Android version is expected to launch in the coming months.
Due to the fact that ExpenseMagic stores receipt data on the cloud, security is an issue. Apart from the built-in security measures at Evernote and Dropbox, data is also secured with 128-bit encryption SSL and ISO certified up to industry standards.
It's important to note that the sort of data ExpenseMagic deals with could be extremely profitable for the firm. Although the company did not discuss any immediate plans to collect or analyze data related to the processed expenses with Fast Company, data analysis and mining could help outside firms understand who's spending what when, and where. In turn, ExpenseMagic—or other companies like it dealing in expense processing—could, yes, expense other firms to analyze the aggregate data.
The market for expense apps is a considerable one; both the iTunes store and Google Play have considerable sections dedicated to expense-tracking apps. ExpenseMagic's smart move is their Evernote and Dropbox integration, which makes use considerably easier for most customers.
[Image: Flickr user Nacmias]