15K new customers in 2017 so far, introducing Copilot, and about the new mobile update

David Barrett
David Barrett Expensify Team Posts: 38 Expensify Team

[Original post date: May 30, 2017]

Howdy! Just wanted to check in and share some updates from Expensify:

1) Expensify crosses 35,000 global customers

Did you know that Expensify now has more customers than Concur? Granted, their average customer size is probably a bit larger so I wager they have more active users than us still. But at this point I think we’re safely the 2nd most widely used expense management company in the world, and also the fastest growing. In particular, we’re especially happy to welcome Xero, HappyFresh, GoCardless, Adroll, and countless new international friends to the fold, along with about 15,000 new customers here in the US of A so far this year. If your company isn’t already using Expensify, regardless of where you are, I’d encourage you to take another look!

2) “Wingman” renamed to “Copilot”

Remember how we had the genius idea of naming our amazing delegated access feature (where one user can sign in to another’s account to help them out) “Wingman”? As a child of the 80’s I just assumed that name conjured up images of Top Gun fighter jets and double high-fives in everyone. But it turns out that to the children of the 90’s and beyond, it means cruising bars and picking up chicks — who knew? Actually, almost everyone it seems. So, bowing to the wisdom of the crowd, “Wingman” is now the less-offensively named “Copilot”. My bad!

3) Major UX simplification to the mobile app

We’ve made an incredibly important but surprisingly subtle change to the mobile app that was truly years in the making: we’ve removed the buttons along the bottom, and put them into a “hamburger” menu in the upper-left.

Why is this significant? We’ve been talking about this idea of “realtime expense management” for a while now, where we use mobile receipt capture, bank feeds, direct accounting integrations, and our Concierge artificial intelligence to automate away 95% of the tedious work, and then surface the remaining 5% to you via your Inbox. We can do this because — unless you are just tracking your own expenses — expense management for a business follows a well defined process. This means we can train our AI on your process, and in the vast majority of the cases execute that process for you.

Accordingly, the “right” way to use Expensify is to allow Concierge to “interview” you upon setup to learn your team’s configuration, scan receipts as you get them, and then sit back and wait for Concierge to do the work. In most cases, Concierge will not only read your receipt for you, but also match it against your credit card (the heart of our patents), split it into the correct reimbursable/non-reimbursable workflow, analyze it against your expense policy, export it to your company’s accounting package, and then reimburse you online.

This overall design philosophy means that, at least in theory, you shouldn’t need to scan through tons of expenses to figure out what to report, or look through lists of reports to see which you need to approve, etc. Rather, just wait for Concierge to tell you precisely which expenses, receipts, and reports need your attention — and when done, go do something else.

So, this is why we moved the Expenses, Reports, and Trips lists behind the hamburger menu. Yes, they are critical lists, and in a world before Concierge’s AI, you would need to consult them frequently. But if everything is configured correctly, you should almost never need to look at them yourself, because Concierge is looking at them for you.

Is Concierge perfect? Not yet. But in the same spirit as how Tesla released their auto-pilot once they concluded it was probably a better driver than you (and thus immoral to withhold despite its imperfections), this change reflects our confidence that Concierge is at least as good as you at doing expense reports, and — in all likelihood — much, much better. After all, Concierge is programmed to like expense reports. Are you?

4) Reminder: Open casting call for ExpensiCon II

If you haven’t already seen it I’d love to direct you over to ExpensiCon — our second all expense paid, invite-only conference, this time on our private island in Bora Bora. We’re looking to bring the 100 most interesting and influential people we can find together for sun, food, drinks, and the kind of conversation that you just can’t find anywhere else. If that sounds like your kind of thing, please email joinus@expensicon.com to make your pitch!

5) Opening an office in Portland, OR!

Finally, as we’ve received a surprising number of questions about this: yes we’re the mysterious tenant that has been renovating the derelict First National Bank building in downtown Portland: Built 100 years ago and vacant for too long, we’re fixing it up with all the grandeur it deserves, and are actively hiring the best and brightest we can find in Portland to fill it. As always, we hire very carefully and slowly, but if that sounds interesting to you — in Portland or elsewhere, especially if you do infrastructure/devops or customer success — please check us out!

That’s all for now. It’s been an incredibly exciting year so far, and we’re just getting started. I hope all’s well with you, and remember: if you’re putting receipts in your pocket, you’re doing it wrong!


Founder and CEO of Expensify