Tallie Unaffected by Heartbleed

Earlier this week, the Internet was hit with the Heartbleed bug that poses a serious threat to mass amounts of private information and data. No customer data stored in Tallie is vulnerable. We’d like to take a moment to help you understand the potential gravity of the Heartbleed bug, how Tallie protected your data, and what you personally can do to prevent compromised data in the future.

Heartbleed Security Bug

What is Heartbleed?

Heartbleed is a security flaw in OpenSSL’s implementation of the TLS/DTLS (transport layer security protocols) heartbeat extension (RFC6520). The bug has caused memory contents to leak from the server to the client and from the client to the server. While bugs in software are often fixed by new versions, Heartbleed has proven to be a “super bug” of sorts– leaving extensive amounts of private information vulnerable and exposed online. This extensive exposure, combined with untraceable attacks, makes for easy exploitation.

Your Tallie Customer Data is 100% Secure

On learning of the general issue, Tallie’s Development Team performed an exhaustive assessment of potential exposure and concluded that all user data is secure. Here’s why:

Our public servers are safe. The load balancer we use does not contain or use the affected OpenSSL component, and passes Heartbleed vulnerability testing without issue.

Our private servers are secure. All of our private servers operate within a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and are not accessible directly from the Internet. One Amazon Linux-based system within our VPC, which we use for coordination, is being patched, but hosts neither customer data nor sensitive access keys.  Even if it were sitting on the internet for all to see, it would not compromise customer data.

Some 3rd party services experienced minor exposure.  Some of the 3rd party services we use were vulnerable and have been patched by the providers. For these systems, we are following the recommended mitigation steps by regenerating access keys, though there is no indication of any breach or compromise, and again, no customer data is at risk indirectly via these particular systems.

How to Remain Protected Moving Forward

Stay out of accounts from affected sites until the company has patched the problem. Most major companies should release announcements regarding the status of their security. If they have not, Tallie recommends that you contact the company to verify the safety of your data.

Change your passwords ONLY on officially patched sites. Start with personal financial login information, then email accounts, then software solutions that affect business and professional matters. After all critical accounts have updated passwords, then begin updating the rest of your personal and business accounts.

REMEMBER: In order to truly remain safe, you should diversify your passwords and never use the same password for all critical accounts. If you have used a password for your Tallie account that is shared across several different online accounts, we recommend you change your Tallie password to be safe.

Routinely check on your financial statements. Manually scan your credit card statements, for both personal and business, for any suspicious charges over the next few months. If you see a charge you do not recognize, contact your bank immediately to report it.

The unyielding protection of your information remains our highest priority here at Tallie, and this commitment has proven critical in moments of vulnerability such as this. If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments below and we’ll reply as soon as possible!

RootWorks Deems Tallie’s Expense Report Software a “Game Changer”

Tallie continues to build momentum as more and more CPA advisors are endorsing Tallie’s automated expense report software to their clients. Now RootWorks, a premier membership-based accounting education organization, has joined the list of Tallie partners.

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“[Tallie is] setting the standard for automating expense workflow.” – Darren Root

When I spoke with Darren Root, CEO of RootWorks, he told me: “Tallie is a game-changer. They are setting the standard for automating expense workflow, a core requirement for Next Generation Accounting Firms™.”

At its annual Winter Academy Conference in Sarasota Florida last month, RootWorks introduced Tallie as an integral part of its CPA practice curriculum. The RootWorks model is designed to help firms improve operational efficiencies by implementing optimized workflows and technologies and applying proper branding and marketing strategies.

RootWorks has been at the forefront of a fundamental shift in the accounting industry towards workflow automation, helping hundreds of firms implement technology solutions and improve business operations. Tallie’s advanced expense report software and integration with QuickBooks, Bill.com, Right Networks and SmartVault makes it a perfect pairing for RootWorks members.

RootWorks is one of many accounting practice advisors that have chosen to endorse Tallie’s expense report software. Tallie has received similar endorsements from accounting consultants including BMRG, National Advisor Network, and The Sleeter Group.

2014 IRS Mileage Rate Updated in Tallie Accounts

Last month the IRS issued Notice 2013-80, announcing the 2014 updated standard mileage rate. As of January 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates.  The charitable rate is based on statute.

To determine the minimum mileage rate, the IRS conducts an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. It is believed that a dip in fuel prices last year is the probable reason for the rate shift. In the notice, the IRS reiterated that taxpayers are not required to use the standard mileage rate should they prefer to track and deduct the actual costs of travel themselves.

Tallie engineers have adjusted the default mileage mapping calculations setting to reflect the new IRS 2014 standard mileage rate. Current Tallie accounts using the default setting have been automatically converted to reflect the new rate, while accounts using any custom set auto-calculated mileage rate have been left unchanged.

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Tallie users have the option of adopting the 2014 mileage rate through the Settings tab in an Administrator’s account.

To view, edit or add new mileage rate categories, log in to your administrator account and select the Settings tab. From there, click on the Manage Lists link, followed by Expense Categories and then Mileage.

Additional Mileage Rate Information from the IRS Website:

“Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.”

“A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle.  In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.”

 

Tallie Expense Software Integration Chosen as Model for Bill.com Developer Program

Bill.com recently made the strategic decision to adopt an open architecture approach, opening its code to third parties through a new Developer Program. This is a significant move because it further establishes Bill.com as the de facto standard, and positions the financial apps industry towards a model of system-to-system interoperability. Tallie was the first partner chosen to explore the full potential of integration with the Bill.com platform. Our selection was motivated by the ability of our engineering team to build a revolutionary bidirectional data integration, coupled with our willingness to work hand-in-hand with Bill.com’s development team. Find out more about their Develop Program on Bill.com’s website.

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Tallie’s expense software is featured prominently on Bill.com’s Developer Program page.

Since our integration launch last October, Tallie’s expense software has received high praise from leading accounting advisor practices including BMRG, The Sleeter Group, and Rootworks. Bill.com founder and CEO René Lacerte affirmed, “The future of business software the right combination of highly specialized, best-in-class SaaS solutions working together in a simple, completely integrated way. We have built the Bill.com App Center around this vision, and have chosen Tallie as a marquee solution because it is very simple for employees to use, yet also offers a rich set of features for accountants and financial professionals. The combination of Bill.com and Tallie is the expense report ‘killer app’ that finance professionals have long searched for.”

When we announced our unprecedented bi-directional integration with Bill.com back in September, support from BMRG and Rootworks quickly followed. It was this same integration that earned Tallie’s expense software the Sleeter Group’s 2013 Awesome App Award. This recognition from industry luminaries combined with Bill.com’s new open architecture Developer Program confirms that the movement towards the integration of SaaS financial apps, such as the Bill.com/Tallie partnership, will emerge as the leading model of success.

Using Client Feedback to Optimize Accounting Workflow

It is somewhat ironic that businesses labeled as a ‘Software as a Service’ company typically deprioritize customer support in pursuit of growth. At SpringAhead and Tallie, we look at it from a different perspective. We believe the ultimate metric of success is customer satisfaction. Highlighted in a recent SalesForce/Desk.com case study for customer support, SpringAhead has successfully maintained a 99% satisfaction rate through 796% growth period. We are continuing the same tradition and commitment to customer satisfaction with Tallie.

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Tallie featured in Desk.com feature regarding accounting workflow optimization.

Our high customer satisfaction rate is not a result of a disproportionate investment in post-sale customer care. Rather it’s the by-product of our redefinition of the whole customer support function. We do not settle for just a customer support department. Instead we have a team of product experts to engage practitioners throughout the product lifecycle, from product specification, to implementation, to accounting integration and bug fixes. The purpose is to incorporate their accounting workflow experiences into the decision-making of our designs.

The same team facilitates the implementation process and remains engaged to assess the effectiveness of our product.  Ongoing user feedback is the backbone of feature refinement and engineering roadmap prioritization.  We consider our customers as an important input to the solution, rather than taking them for granted as an output. When customers are treated more like partners, accounting workflow becomes smoother and both parties are left with optimized business.

New in Tallie: Email Receipt Processing for Audit-Ready Expense Management

Today, we are pleased to announce that any email-based receipt – whether it comprises text, image, html or includes an attachment – can be forwarded to receipts@usetallie.com for immediate receipt processing in the Tallie expense management workflow.

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Tallie expense management software processes email receipts, better preparing companies for audit with original images of receipt files delivered directly to Bill.com and/or SmartVault on export.

When an email receipt reaches Tallie, a high resolution snapshot of the receipt is collected by the system as an original file for reference in the approval workflow. While this snapshot is generated, the receipt is sent through our standard receipt processing service wherein the file is scanned for merchant, amount and date information. Just like all other receipts, an expense is then created in the user’s Tallie account populated with the snapshot alongside the scanned merchant, amount and date information. Tallie captures high resolution images of all types of original receipt files to establish the critical first step of an audit-ready expense management process.

Together with our integration partners Bill.com and SmartVault, Tallie closes the expense management audit loop by delivering all original receipt images directly into one or more of these systems on export. In Bill.com, all expense reports exported as bills are now accompanied by high resolution receipt image files as well as expense report summary files, which are always referenceable from synced accounting systems. When using the SmartVault toolbar in QuickBooks for Windows, high resolution receipt image files are mapped directly to transaction line items.

Learn more about our approach to audit preparedness via financial software systems integration here.