Reaffirming Our Commitment to Tallie Customers

When Emburse brought together six market-leading expense solutions back in January, we were committed not just to maintaining each of those solutions, but also to continuing to invest in innovation across our portfolio. 

As the global pandemic has caused major disruption to the economy, the need for organizations of all sizes to effectively track and control spend has never been more critical to their survival. With that, we’re doubling down on this commitment to bring new capabilities to Tallie even more quickly. Being part of Emburse enables us to continue this innovation, even at a time when other organizations are reducing investment in new products.


Tallie already debuted premium services and support at the end of 2019, offering rapid response turnarounds as a subscription service. Very soon, we are launching Tallie Administrator Overview – a powerful new tool that gives administrators deep insight into an organization’s outstanding expenses, enabling them to manage spend and forecast cash even more effectively.  
 

Additionally, over the course of 2020, we plan to offer even more enhancements to Tallie as we bring together the best capabilities from each of the core expense solutions across Emburse, in service to our collaborative success. This includes a launch of an expense report audit service, a travel-booking platform to prepare you for return-to-business, and continued enhancements to Tallie’s receipt processing.  We also invite you to offer us feedback on ways we can make Tallie even better. Please feel free to leave any suggestions at ideas.tallie.com.
 

Tallie is a vital part of the Emburse family and will continue to be for years to come. We’re thankful for your ongoing support as we navigate the current business environment and humanize work for our 4.5 million users around the world.

Best,
Eric Friedrichsen
CEO
Emburse

Alcohol & Reimbursable Expenses: What’s Extravagant vs. Ordinary & Necessary?

What is alcohol’s role in the modern business world? Is alcohol able to be included in business expenses?

The relationship with alcohol, historically, is complicated. Alcohol as a beverage has been around for ages, with some of the earliest documentation dating back to 7000 BCE. That means that humans have been consuming alcohol for over 9,000 years! Now, the relationship between alcohol and societies has seen its ups and downs. Some could argue that a lot of greatness came from the convergence around alcohol, like the building of nations and the works of Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Allan Poe. While others could argue to the destruction it can cause, like the tens of thousands of deaths every year that are due to alcohol related incidents.

This article walks through the tricky relationship between alcohol and reimbursable business expenses. 

Alcohol and Business Expenses

Alcohol is in business. Now, by no means should alcohol consumption be pressured upon anyone, but it’s something that is very commonplace in society. A 9,000 year old habit won’t die easily.

Is Alcohol a Reimbursable Expense?

The short answer is yes, alcohol is a reimbursable business expense, per the IRS. According to Publication 463 by the IRS, a business-related meal expense “include(s) amounts spent for food, beverages, taxes, and related tips.”

The longer answer: The terminology used by the IRS on this topic is actually quite vague, and leaves a lot to the individual auditor’s opinion in terms of alcohol expenses that keep your business expenses compliant. Never in the publication does the IRS state a specific quantity or dollar amount as “the line.” So, it’s hard to say exactly what is ordinary and necessary versus lavish and extravagant when it comes to expensing alcoholic beverages.

When discussing this topic with Tallie’s CEO, Chris Farrell, we both agreed that taking Richard Branson for a business meal and expensing a $500 bottle of wine for the three of us would probably get the “OK” from the IRS. But, doing the same for an average client would likely not pass. This would suggest the qualification of “ordinary and necessary” is largely scenario-based.

Now consider taking a client to dinner and drinks, then expensing $100. The IRS probably won’t bat an eye. But, if you spend $500 on that same client, the expense might not pass. In this case, the qualification of “ordinary and necessary” is dollar based.

But, what if you buy multiple drinks for $50 or, in the same scenario, buy a single bottle of wine for $100. In this situation, the pass/fail will probably fall on the quantity of alcohol.

Confusing, right?

Now picture your own scenario. Are your alcoholic expenses judged on scenario, price, or quantity? Not only are the guidelines nondescript, but now there are three separate “options” for which your expense on alcohol can be deemed lavish or ordinary.

Expensing alcohol is an extremely tricky process and there’s no black and white cut-out for you to reference. So when drinking alcohol on a business work trip or client dinner, remember this: when in doubt, don’t expense it or speak with your finance team.

Have you experienced a situation that involved expensing alcohol? Leave your questions and stories in the comments below!

We’ll Continue to Be Here for You

At Tallie — and across Emburse — our customers are at the heart of all we do. We’ve been paying close attention to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and remain vigilant and proactive in our approach and response. In challenging times like these, there is no higher priority than the health and safety of our employees, and minimizing impact to our customers, partners, and business. 
 

We have taken a number of precautionary measures to protect our employees in all of our locations. In addition, we have a business continuity plan in place that is designed to minimize any disruption to our business, and in particular the support we deliver for our customers and partners.
 

Fortunately, we have not experienced any business impacts or degradations to customer service due to COVID-19. As a cloud solution provider, our software is delivered through leading hosting companies, using multiple hosting locations around the world. In addition, our internal systems are all provided by top-tier SaaS vendors. Our customer service teams are located in multiple locations around the world, and we are able to conduct remote work through a variety of online communication (including phone systems) and collaboration tools. We will continue to use our tools to provide ongoing support in the event of any disruption.
 

Keeping our operations up and running is critical. We are confident in our ability to respond to the challenges that COVID-19 may present, and we will work hard to ensure that our customers and partners continue to enjoy the same high level of service and support they’ve come to expect from us. 
 

Speaking on behalf of our global team, we appreciate your trust and confidence as we navigate through this time of uncertainty together. If you have any questions, please submit them to questions@emburse.com. Any further updates will be posted on our Emburse LinkedIn page so we encourage you to follow this page. 
 

Stay healthy and safe,

Eric Friedrichsen
Chief Executive Officer

Six Major Global Expense and AP Automation Brands Become One; Emburse Appoints Eric Friedrichsen as CEO

Accelerated innovation across tailored solutions to benefit over 4.5 million business travelers across 120 countries

Los Angeles and Portland, ME — JAN. 16, 2020: Six leading expense and AP automation companies have come together to form Emburse, a single unified entity, naming industry veteran Eric Friedrichsen as chief executive officer.

Emburse brings together Abacus, Captio, Certify, Chrome River, Nexonia, and Tallie, which offer tailored, highly-configurable solutions for organizations ranging from start-ups to global enterprises. The company employs 750 people worldwide, serving more than 4.5 million users at 14,000 customers in 120 countries.

“We are so much stronger as one company,” said Eric Friedrichsen, CEO of Emburse. “With significant scale and disruptive technology, we’re redefining how organizations view travel and expense management and AP automation. We will continue to actively support and will increase our rate of innovation on each of our six core expense solutions which are uniquely tailored for specific industries, company sizes, and geographies. Coming together, we are now also able to share key technologies – such as real-time expenses, sophisticated data capture and extraction, and deep integrations with corporate cards — across the different solutions. No one else in the industry has the ability to innovate as fast with such a customer-centric approach.”

He continued, “Emburse’s vision is to humanize work and automate everywhere we can, using technologies such as machine learning. This will enable organizations to make faster, smarter decisions, empower business travelers to recapture lost nights and weekends spent doing tedious expense management, and help make our users’ lives — and their businesses — better.”

Eric has spent nearly 30 years driving growth for some of the world’s largest software companies. Prior to Emburse, Eric was global head of commercial, SMB and growth markets for Marketo, a division of Adobe. Before Marketo, he was SVP and general manager for SAP’s North American mid-market and ecosystems division. Previously, he spent eight years in leadership positions at SAP Concur, in addition to roles at Business Objects and Information Builders.

“I am extremely excited to work arm-in-arm with Nord Samuelson, who has been president of the organization since May 2019, and has a deep track record of operational excellence across multiple high-growth technology organizations. Nord and the executive leadership team are some of the best in the industry and I am honored to work with them,” Friedrichsen concluded.

For more details on Emburse and its solutions, visit www.emburse.com.

About Emburse
Emburse humanizes work by empowering business travelers, finance professionals and CFOs to eliminate manual, time-consuming tasks so they can focus on what matters most.

Emburse brings together some of the world’s most powerful and trusted expense and AP automation brands, including Abacus, Captio, Certify, Chrome River, Nexonia and Tallie. The company’s innovative solutions, which are uniquely tailored for specific industries, company sizes, and geographies, are trusted by more than 4.5 million users in more than 120 countries. Over 14,000 customers, from start-ups to global enterprises, including Boot Barn, Grant Thornton, Telefónica, Lufthansa Systems, and Toyota rely on Emburse to to make faster, smarter decisions, empower business travelers to recapture lost nights and weekends spent doing tedious expense management, and help make users’ lives — and their businesses — better.

For more information on Emburse, visit emburse.com, call 877-EMBURSE, or follow the organization’s social channels at @emburse.

Welcome to Emburse!

Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of Emburse, a new global company which incorporates Tallie, as well as its sister solutions – Abacus, Captio, Certify, Chrome River and Nexonia.

Launching the Emburse Family, Which Incorporates Tallie

The Tallie & Emburse Team

I’m incredibly excited about this launch, and to step into the role of CEO of this amazing company. I’m honored to join our global team of passionate employees. Across our various businesses, we have some of the most talented individuals and leaders in the industry. As a unified team we are harnessing our collective strengths to deliver great outcomes for our employees, customers, and shareholders. 

Claire Milligan remains the Tallie General Manager, in charge of the day to day operations of the business. In that respect, it will be business as usual, with no disruptions. However, I’m excited about the improvements that people are already starting to see. We’re massively investing in innovation across all six solutions, and by leveraging technologies from across each solution, we can bring new products and solutions to market sooner.

Looking Ahead for Tallie

As part of the Emburse family, Tallie has already been able to debut premium services and support at the end of 2019 – offering rapid response turnarounds as a subscription service. Additionally, we plan to offer enhancements to receipt processing, credit card aggregation and machine learning functions as we bring together the best capabilities from each of our brands in service of our collaborative success.

We will continue to actively support and will increase our rate of innovation on each of our six core expense solutions which are uniquely tailored for specific industries, company sizes, and geographies. Coming together, we are now also able to share key technologies — such as real-time expenses, sophisticated data capture and extraction, and deep integrations with corporate cards — across the different solutions. 

More About Emburse

Today, more than 4.5 million business travelers, finance professionals and CFOs at over 14,000 organizations in 120 countries trust Emburse’s solutions to automate manual processes, ensure compliance and deliver deep spend insight to make smarter, more informed decisions. At Emburse, our goal is to help companies simplify and eliminate the complexity of travel, expense and invoice management so employees can focus on what matters most to them, and not the pain of time-consuming and tedious systems. We will help companies humanize work, by providing simple, intuitive and user-friendly solutions for employees, so they can save valuable time and money.

Some of you may know that the name “Emburse” isn’t entirely new. In fact, it was initially a company that provided organizations with smart, policy-based physical and virtual payment cards, which we acquired last year. When we were considering names for this new combined organization, we realized that we already have an absolutely fantastic name which works so well with all of our solutions. So it made sense for us to use this name for the entire portfolio. 

The “original” Emburse remains. Customers and card holders can continue to issue and use Emburse cards just like before. In fact, even more organizations will be able to benefit from these cards, as we integrate the capabilities across our entire portfolio of solutions. 

Last, a bit about me. I have nearly 30 years of leadership experience at some of the largest, most trusted and most well-known business software providers, including SAP, Concur, Marketo, Business Objects, and Information Builders. I live in Denver with my wife and three very active young children, who keep us very busy with their school and sporting endeavors. 

I’m thrilled to be joining a worldwide team of 750 people, working along an exceedingly talented leadership team. I’m particularly excited to work hand-in-hand in this endeavor with our president, Nord Samuelson. He has already done a fantastic job improving our operations and bringing the organizations together as one company with a singular vision to humanize work.

I hope that you share my excitement for the future. There is so much potential in this industry, and I think we’ve barely scratched the surface for what we can achieve. I hope that you will join us on this exciting ride.

Key Findings of the 2019 T&E Management Trends Report

Amid all the innovations of 2019—from self-driving suitcases to flying taxis—a remarkable number of organizations today continue to use analog processes to manage travel and expense.

Almost half of the nearly 600 professionals we surveyed for the 2019 Travel and Expense Management Trends Report say their organization continues to rely on either spreadsheets, pen and paper, or homegrown systems to manage this notoriously difficult-to-control business operating cost.

This year’s report, the seventh of its kind, paints a picture of the sheer range of companies, of all sizes, that still haven’t modernized their T&E processes to fit the smartphone era. Here are some of this year’s key findings:

  1. Technological immaturity remains a barrier to effective T&E management
    The market for dedicated expense management software is rapidly growing. IDC expects the worldwide T&E management software market to reach $2.7 billion by 2022 and have a compound annual growth rate of 8.7%. Yet technological immaturity emerges as a key trend for many companies:
    • Forty-three percent (43%) of organizations surveyed are still managing expense reporting manually.
    • Forty-four percent (44%) of companies that are not intending to invest in a dedicated T&E management solution in the coming year identify the primary reason as: “our current processes work well enough.” Yet among companies that have invested in, or are planning to invest in, technology to facilitate improved T&E management, 82% identified the primary motivator as “simplifying the expense reporting process for employees.”

  2. Organizations don’t fully understand the challenges they face in manual T&E reporting
    Data from our 2019 survey suggest that many companies do not realize—or fail to fully appreciate—the inherent complexity of T&E as a business operating cost.  
    • More than half of organizations (53%) report that the biggest pain point related to expense management is “employees losing paper receipts/submitting without receipts”. Yet most automated expense management systems make it effortless for travelers to scan and submit a receipt the second they make a purchase.
    • Nearly half of organizations (46%) do not track the cost to process expense reports.
    • It takes 43% of organizations eight days or more for an expense report to be submitted, approved, and reimbursed. Only 22% companies can do it in one-to-three days.
    • Only 27% of organizations have a system that automatically flags out-of-policy expenses.

  3. Visibility is a key pain point
    Finance teams can’t effectively manage what they can’t see—and an overall lack of visibility emerged as the chief pain point for organizations who haven’t yet modernized T&E processes in 2019.
    • Nearly half (46%) of organizations report less than a 75% rate of compliance with their T&E policy, while 26% of enterprise-sized companies report they do not know what percentage of submitted expenses are T&E policy compliant.
    • Only 27% of organizations have a system that automatically flags out-of-policy expenses.
    • Thirteen percent (13%) of organizations do not have spending policy category limits in place.

  4. The positive ROI of automation
    Deploying a dedicated expense management technology solution is proving itself to be an investment that can deliver a rapid return on investment (ROI) to companies of all sizes.


Of the organizations surveyed that have invested in such a solution, 57% achieved an ROI for that investment in one year or less, and almost 70% achieved an ROI in two years or less. 

Organizations view the value offered by dedicated expense management systems through the lens of two key elements: ease of use, driven by mobile functionality. This includes features like mobile receipt capture, direct deposit via ACH, mobile report creation and approval, and automated expense report building.

Whether you’re a pioneering CFO at the vanguard of innovation, or an overwhelmed controller holding on to age-old processes, this year’s report offers valuable insight into how organizations are either transforming, or avoiding, this key business function.

Download your copy of the 2019 Travel and Expense Management Trends Report here.
Or grab the infographic if you want to see the latest trends in a more visual format.