Top 10 Big Ideas from AICPA CPA2Biz Roundtable 2014

At last week’s 5th Annual AICPA CPA2Biz Executive Roundtable in New York City, the accounting industry’s top thought leaders – including Tallie CEO Chris Farrell – addressed the challenges accountants face with today’s technologies. Inspiring presentations and panel discussions sparked a lively exchange of ideas over the 2-day summit that were shared in a live tweet stream (#roundtable14).

Today, we’ve rounded up the 10 biggest ideas from the 5th Annual AICPA CPA2Biz Executive Roundtable. From technology trends to company culture, exciting changes are on the horizon for all areas of the accounting industry.

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Which of these ideas has the biggest impact for you?

Download the Top 10 Big Ideas from AICPA CPA2Biz Roundtable 2014 pdf.

Top 5 Reasons to Ditch the Expense Report Template

Say goodbye to the days of manual expense reports. Automated expense management products have arrived in the market with advanced processes that are saving companies tremendous amounts of time and money. In fact, a recent study concluded that companies using this type of software spend 27% less than those using paper-based methods, and over 40% less for travel expenses (Runzheimer International, 2013). Here are 5 reasons why an automated expense product could revolutionize the financial apps industry and improve your accounting workflow:

1 – Data Entry Automation

Input expense data in a snap – literally. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology now allows users to simply snap a photo of the receipt and let the pertinent information populate automatically. Merchant, date, dollar amount, and expense category can all be automatically extracted and populated for you. This means no more manual expense data entry or creation of new columns for every expense category your company uses.

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The manual Excel expense report template seen above is revolutionized by expense management software products.

2 – Human Error Elimination

You’ll never have to stress about accidentally double counting your receipts. With an intelligent automated expense solution, duplicate receipts are accurately identified and flagged for the submitter’s review. Algorithms analyze the merchant name and total dollar amount to determine whether or not this expense has been previously entered.

3 – Increased Administrator Control

It’s no secret that any company can benefit from greater visibility into the spending habits of its employees. Expense management software provides multiple approver level options to assure the correct manager has control over their respective departments. Many companies have specific policies on reimbursable spend that are tedious to enforce in an Excel expense report template. Relieve that burden by automating your policies to enforce policy before it’s broken.

4 – Corporate Credit Card “Reconciliation”

One of the more valuable aspects of using a premier expense management solution is the ability to plainly track both reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses. Corporate credit cards can be automatically imported into the expense report and designated as non-reimbursable. This smooth process allows for quick reconciliation of corporate expenses. This level of control is simply unheard of in a traditional Excel expense report template.

5 – Tight Integrations with Core Systems

Integrating with QuickBooks is a key technical feature that requires a deep understanding of accounting and accounting systems. Deep integration allows for confidently accurate books, faster reimbursement to employees, and the reassuring notion that no errors have been made. Your expense management solution should do this seamlessly. If done correctly, you will eliminate any need for manual entry and ensure both systems stay synced. This level of confidence and accuracy in the expense report process is made possible only when the next generation of automated expense report tools seamlessly integrates with the systems you already use to run your business.

The age of efficiency and powerful automation is upon us. It’s time to ditch the expense report template and join the next generation of expense management. Learn more about how Tallie has incorporated all of these features and more by visiting our website.

Reinventing SaaS Customer Service Through Product Expertise

Tallie’s Product Expert role is more than a standard SaaS customer service position, but it hasn’t always been that way. When I joined the team in 2011, we were the Customer Support team. Our primary focus was to ensure our clients always received the answers they needed, trusted our guidance, and felt appreciated as a customer. But as time went on, we realized we had the opportunity to grow and develop our team into something much greater than a traditional customer service provider.

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Tallie’s Product Expert Team redefines what it means to provide exemplary SaaS customer service in the financial industry.

In 2012, we built on the SaaS customer service model to develop the Customer Experience umbrella. In an effort to foster collaboration with the Sales team, we executed a formalized communication strategy between teams to ensure all members had visibility into client progress. Acknowledging that our buyers were experts in their field, we wanted our expertise and customer engagement to help guide the sales process. This created a seamless transition from purchase to implementation and support.

Late in 2013, we evolved into the Product Expert team. It became clear that our team had the most amount of product knowledge within the company, and there was an opportunity to leverage that knowledge to influence all facets of the organization. Product Experts are in the unique position to welcome all new employees, regardless of department, and strengthen their knowledge of our product before launching into their new position. As a result, new members are empowered to explore a natural transition into any company department, from marketing to development and beyond. This proves to be a tremendous differentiator for Tallie.

By focusing on expertise, we were able to restructure the onboarding process for new customer service employees. For us as a team, this was incredible. Now, new members embark on a rigorous training path beginning with complete product immersion. Once through the initial training phase, our day-to-day is comprised of managing client relationships and participating in cross-functional collaboration groups with other departments.

Using an innovative SaaS customer service approach to transform the Product Expert team has proven fundamental to the growth of our company. Together, we attract new clientele and directly influence the future of our products. What’s more, the move has ignited a passion and drive that has immeasurable impact on the spirit and character of our team.

QuickBooks Desktop: How to Manage Billable Expenses Using Service Items

Invoicing expenses is generally a fairly straightforward process in QuickBooks (QBD) which can be made even more effective by simply following a few best practices related to using Service Items. The general process begins with a check or a bill marked as billable to a customer, which will then allow it to be added onto an invoice in the Invoices area.

Quickbooks power user tips offered by Tallie-expenses

Here at Tallie we aim to provide power user tips to our QuickBooks clients regularly.

This can be a one-off: You’ve negotiated with a client an expense reimbursement package for a business trip. Other times, this is a recurring event: You’re constantly adding billable expenses to invoices each invoicing cycle. In both scenarios, if you map those bill or check line items to a Service Item rather than directly to an account, you can capture the cost and income more effectively and have the billable expenses appear in a clearer, more organized manner on an invoice.

Here’s how.

First, you’ll want to create a new Service Item. In most versions of QuickBooks Desktop, you can do this by clicking on “Lists”, then “Items.” Once there, click on “Item” in the bottom left-hand corner and choose “New”. With a fresh new item to use, here are a few best practices.

Assign Both an Income Account and an Expense Account

Check “This service is used in assemblies or is performed by…” The options will change and you’ll now see a spot for both an Income and an Expense account to be assigned. Utilizing an item in this manner is often referred to as either a Double-Sided Item or Two-Sided item.

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Tallie explains how to easily and efficiently manage billable expenses using service items in QuickBooks Desktop and offers expense support.

Now, when you invoice billable expenses, you can track income and cost.

Utilize the Description Field

If you have a billable expense mapped to an account when you add it to an invoice, you may see it associated with “Reimbursable Group” or worse, just as an amount with no description. If you instead fill out the “Sales Description” field, you’ll have complete control over the description that appears on the invoice for the charge. Note that if you fill out the “Purchases Description” field, it will automatically populate the sales description.

Adding a Billable charge mapped to an Item onto an Invoice

If you need a billable charge to an invoice, simply open up an invoice for the client and click “Add Time/Costs.” You’ll find the charges under the “Item” tab.

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You’ll find the charges under the “Item” tab. Tallie shows how to send a billable charge to an invoice using QuickBooks Desktop.

Tallie fully supports using items on expenses. For more information, see this guide: Expense Categories