Certify, Inc./Chrome River Acquire Emburse to Revolutionize Expense and Card Solutions

Commercial card provider becomes part of a global spend management portfolio including Abacus, Captio, Certify, Chrome River, Nexonia, and Tallie, to expand spend controls to the pre-purchase experience

PORTLAND, MAINE and LOS ANGELES, JULY 29, 2019: Certify, Inc./Chrome River, the largest independent portfolio of travel, expense and payment solutions, announces the acquisition of Emburse, a leading startup provider of virtual and physical cards for business expenses and vendor payments.

San Francisco-based Emburse offers a range of corporate card solutions that allow organizations to easily enforce travel and expense policies, while providing employees and job candidates a simple way to make purchases. These solutions, ranging from traditional plastic cards to virtual cards delivered via texts or digital wallets, give businesses deeper, real-time insight and control over corporate expenses, by allowing administrators to set granular spending parameters. Emburse has processed hundreds of millions of dollars of company spend over tens of thousands of credit cards, while doubling revenue every year.

“Joining such a prestigious portfolio of travel, expense and invoice management brands will greatly accelerate our ability to expand Emburse’s reach,” said Peter Lai, CEO at Emburse. “We share a common goal in helping organizations control employee spending and reduce expense fraud, all while providing a user-friendly and flexible solution to both frequent and infrequent card users.”

Emburse is being added to the leading portfolio of global spend management brands, which includes Abacus, Captio, Certify, Chrome River, Nexonia, and Tallie. Emburse will initially be integrated into the Abacus expense management platform, further strengthening Abacus’ capabilities in supporting real time expense reporting.

“Adding Emburse to Abacus will enable the next major step in real time expense reporting innovation by providing policy insight in advance of the purchase,” said Omar Qari, co-founder and general manager of Abacus. “This exciting new capability will continue to reduce customer liability, while improving the overall employee and interview candidate experience.”

“The acquisition of Emburse demonstrates our continued commitment to bringing valuable innovation that benefits our customers, their employees, and prospective employees, across our brands.” said Nord Samuelson, president of Certify, Inc./Chrome River.

About Emburse
Emburse alleviates major pain points experienced in all businesses by providing virtual and physical credit cards with built in spend enforcement and expense reconciliation, vastly reducing the hours required from both employees and finance departments. Cards can be restricted based on set budgets, merchant categories or individual merchant IDs, and even specific hours of the day. Major use cases include cards for corporate spending, travel, vendor payments, perk cards, and more. All services are also available via an API. Please visit www.emburse.com for more information.

About Certify, Inc./Chrome River
Certify, Inc./Chrome River is the world’s largest independent provider of travel, expense and payment solutions. The portfolio includes leading SaaS platforms Abacus, Captio, Certify, Chrome River, Nexonia, and Tallie. With innovative spend management applications such as real time expense reporting, integrated travel booking, time tracking, and accounts payable automation, the company has transformed how more than 11,000 organizations manage corporate spend. The company’s commitment to delivering a superior customer journey by creating long-term value for its customers, makes it a preferred choice of CFOs, CIOs, AP teams, travel managers and business travelers.

Customers include Anthem, Grant Thornton, Garmin, Mailchimp, Pinterest, Red Bull, Shopify, Subway, SurveyMonkey, Toyota, and Virgin Galactic.

For more information, please visit: www.abacus.com, www.certify.com, www.captio.com, www.chromeriver.com, www.nexonia.com, www.tallie.com

New Tier-Based Pricing Takes Effect August 1st, 2019: Making Our Pricing As Straightforward As Our Product

Hello! 

In case we haven’t met, my name is Claire Milligan and I serve as the General Manager of Tallie and Co-Chief Product Officer for the Certify/Chrome River family of brands. I started at the company in 2012, prior to the public launch of Tallie, and was part of the team that conceived of our active user pricing model “way back when.” Since then, we’ve learned a lot and it’s time for our pricing model to catch up. Today, we introduced a new tier-based pricing model for new customers and I’d like to take a moment to explain how and why we arrived at this new structure.

The new pricing model includes three tiers of functionality, based on integration: Basic Accounting, Cash Control and Cloud ERP. Each tier comes with a set number of included users for a base price. For every active user over the included number in any given month, a customer is charged an overage in arrears. We will continue to calculate active usage in the exact same way as before, registering a user as active once an expense has been created in their account. The full pricing breakout is presented below:

Pricing Model Confusion

At Tallie, our mantra is to make our product seamless and easy-to-use for all users, but it seems our pricing structure didn’t live up to this brand promise. Our previous model of having a $50 minimum that would be removed once an active usage rate exceeded $50 was cumbersome to explain. In speaking to clients and investors, I resorted to miming a graph with one arm as a minimum and the other arm showing increasing active usage eclipsing that minimum. When you find yourself using interpretive dance, it’s a clear indicator that you have missed the mark. Plus, you should see the crazy logic that has gone into generating a Tallie invoice. We pre-bill a minimum, then refund it, or just hold on to it, all depending on how many users were active in the month and whether there was a proration involved. Not seamless. Not easy-to-understand. 

First, Analyze Impact

Knowing we wanted to simplify our pricing, we underwent extensive modeling against our current database of customers to determine how to best align price points with current scales of customers using a variety of combinations of feature sets. We were on a mission to simplify, not to ratchet up prices. We wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be a significant difference in invoice amount for a customer who bought our service a month ago as if they had bought our service today. Because the new pricing model is different, the price point for an equivalent customer is rarely identical, however. This is why we have not automatically shifted any customers to our new pricing model and have no plans to do so in the future.

Unpredictable Costs

We built Tallie to be an excellent solution for businesses that prefer a streamlined, simple workflow that does not require accounting expertise for effective, scalable use. As a result, our customers tend to be on the smaller end of size, having tens or hundreds of employees, rather than thousands. However, with only a $50 minimum, any business with greater than 5 employees did not have a way to predict the cost of using Tallie from month to month, a variation that swings more wildly as companies become larger. In fact, we noticed a trend of customers asking us for a higher monthly minimum in order to lock in a predictable invoice amount. We needed a model that would allow a client to expect a flat recurring monthly charge that might vary only occasionally with seasonality or company growth.

Value-Added Integrations

In our family of brands, Tallie is the product known for plug-and-play accounting integrations, which feature Activity-Based Sync (did you see the news that we just added NetSuite to our list!?). Our Bill.com integration can support a ‘triangle sync’ configuration that keeps QuickBooks records and Bill.com records always in sync and empowers a dynamic export configuration to both systems. Our Sage Intacct integration natively supports both shared multi-entity and distributed multi-entity environments, allowing easy attribution of expenses across entities and currencies. Our NetSuite integration is well on its way to parity with the Sage Intacct integration. We believe there is an inherent value to these integrations above and beyond our standard offerings for Xero, QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Additionally, the need for these higher-end integrations tends to grow with the size of customer, so the model mapped very well for our customer base.

For those of you who are already customers of Tallie, you’re welcome to opt in to the new pricing model at any time after August 1, 2019. Simply visit the Billing area of your account, within the Settings pages, to view options and convert your account. Or, stick with your current model if you prefer!

For any prospects evaluating Tallie for your own use, feel free to create a Free Trial and select the pricing plan that makes the most sense for your business when you are ready to buy (some lower-level plans may not be available, depending on the integration functionality you have activated in your trial). If your business is at an even larger scale than our current tiers, a sales expert will be happy to negotiate a custom flat rate and active user overage pricing that makes sense for you. Please keep in mind our changes will go into effect August 1, 2019.

Thank you all for many happy years together and, together with our team here at Tallie, I look forward to bringing you more simplified, innovative approaches to integrated expense software in the coming years.

Thanks,
Claire Milligan
General Manager, Tallie
Co-Chief Product Officer, Certify/Chrome River

Introducing the Oracle NetSuite Integration

If you’re a Tallie customer, you’ll know by now that integrations are one of our key strengths. Our Sage Intacct integration won a CPA Practice Advisor Tax & Accounting Technology Innovation Award. It offered leading activity-based and multi-entity integration for Sage Intacct users and accounting teams, with a wonderfully hassle-free implementation process.

That intelligence was leveraged to build the Oracle NetSuite Integration. It’s a solution for companies who are simply scaling so fast they need a reliable solution to power their growth.  

The integration allows NetSuite users to work in a bi-directional way with Tallie. It offers automatic transfers of data between both platforms with immediate syncs of new or edited data from NetSuite into Tallie. It also offers a direct export of completed expenses back into NetSuite. The bi-directional sync keeps the data up-to-date at all times, in a controlled environment.

This helps overcome a key hurdle that accounting teams often face when connecting expense management tools to their ERP. For example, if you require your users to track their expenses against data that lives in NetSuite, it can cause headaches to give users access to the controlled data in NetSuite. The integration with Tallie gives users a controlled environment in which to access the data. It’s also ideal for companies who require real-time updates to their chart of accounts and other lists multiple times a day.

Here are four key benefits to look forward to with this integration:

1. It’s plug-and-play.
This is a turnkey solution that offers integration with NetSuite’s standard lists including: employees, projects, customers, items, categories, accounts, classes, departments, and locations. Contextualized data is seamlessly exported back to NetSuite, ensuring a complete record of all expenses.

2. It has an activity-based sync.
Our integration can be configured using NetSuite “bundles,” which allows Tallie to automatically sync changed list data from NetSuite into Tallie as soon as the change occurs. This feature is ideal for companies whose data changes often. It also requires zero effort to keep your data in sync, freeing up more time in your busy day. And who doesn’t need more time in their day?

3. You can rely on comprehensive exports.
Tallie offers an easy-to-use interface to manage the integration, offering the status of your exports as well as actionable error handling if any issues arise. This means you’ll know immediately when a sync is successfully imported—or if a failure arises. This immediate feedback loop creates a seamless experience. It also gives you access to all your data history.

4. You control user access.
Integrating NetSuite directly with Tallie empowers users to leverage data from their ERP in a controlled system, with settings in place to limit their exposure to sensitive information.

Tallie was purpose-built with accountants in mind. And this newest integration is a way to give you peace of mind knowing you have absolute data integrity, and winning you extra time to focus on strategy and growth.

To learn more about the Oracle NetSuite Integration for Tallie, click here.

3 Expense Management Trends You Need to Know

Expense Management Trends Report 2018

You may be surprised to learn that 49 percent of companies still rely on a manual expense management process. This data point comes from the recently-released 2018 Expense Management Trends Report by Certify, Inc.

Since 2013, the Expense Management Trends Report has helped organizations of all sizes stay informed of industry trends and best practices from their peers across North America. Tallie is part of the Certify, Inc. Family of Brands—and this year’s report offers valuable insights into the industry.

1. Manual methods are sticking around
Enterprise companies are leading the way in adopting technology according to the report, with 39 percent of companies surveyed using a web-based expense solution, and 32 percent relying on an ERP or accounting package for expense management. These companies are seeing the value in automating timely manual processes—letting their employees focus on other value-added activities.

Surprisingly, 11 percent of enterprise companies surveyed are still using a manual process. (A manual process is defined here as any process that uses Excel spreadsheets, pen and paper, homegrown systems, or any combination thereof.) At a company of this size, the risk and lack of spend visibility would likely make a CFO’s head spin. And without having visibility into expenses, the finance team is left in the dark when strategizing for the years ahead, or negotiating better contracts with vendors today.

2. The biggest pains stay consistent
Expense management pains haven’t evolved much since Certify launched the survey in 2013. For the 2018 report, Certify collected and analyzed responses from 546 CFOs, controllers, and other finance professionals outside its customer base to offer a snapshot of the industry, and where it may be headed. With technology becoming so engrained in our lives, some readers may find it shocking that so many moments of struggle persist in the world of finance.

The biggest pain points for finance teams were losing receipts or submitting reports without a receipt, tying employees failing to submit reports on time cited by 50 percent of respondents. It’s easy to see why finance teams would be frustrated with a minor task holding up reimbursements and accurate reporting—yet this pain persists.

Time spent reconciling, reviewing, and approving reports was the second biggest pain, cited by 31 percent of respondents. With the average number of expense reports being 25-50 percent of the full-time employee workforce, manually reviewing and approving expense reports is a business activity that needs a streamlined process.

Another long-standing pressure on finance teams were errors on expense reports, with 30 percent of respondents citing this ongoing issue. Considering that employees should be submitting completed reports on-time and within policy, finance teams certainly want to spend less time “expense policing” and more time on strategy.

3. The leading pressures and top areas for improvement
Top organizational pressures on finance teams have stayed consistent with previous years. The top pressure driving organizations to improve T&E management was the need to reduce expense reporting costs cited by 27 percent of respondents. Improving the expense management process was cited by 34 percent of respondents as the most critical to improve in 2018.

Poor visibility into travel and expenses was the second biggest pressure (26 percent) driving change with finance teams across North America. Without finance teams having complete visibility into T&E spend, they can’t make informed strategic decisions that will help move the organization towards their goals. With the right integrations, an automated expense solution can provide nearly real-time expense data finance teams can budget against with confidence.

Travel booking was the third biggest area for improvement in 2018. Interestingly, according to the 2018 survey, 90 percent of companies had a travel policy in place, but only two percent of companies used technology to enforce policy—putting the company at a huge risk for overspending with manual policy checks or employee enforcement.

Having business travelers booking itineraries with any number of online services leaves a company at risk for overspending. With a travel book solution that is friendly for employees, travel managers, and everyone in between, you can provide a foundation for self-service bookings that fit within company policy and budget.

Did any of the struggles or organizational pressures sound familiar to you? How often does your team run up against some of the inefficiencies we mentioned above? If you want to make sure your team stays ahead of the pack, be sure to download our complimentary report and stay current with the T&E trends driving the industry.

How Corporate Consolidation Could Affect Business Travel

Over the past 10 years, the U.S. has witnessed a colossal consolidation of American airline companies. Nine major U.S. airlines have consolidated to a mere four. American, Delta, Southwest and United remain as the heavy hitters, controlling 80 percent of the U.S. market. The remainder of the market is made up of smaller carriers, each representing their specific niche and embracing unique strategies to target their customers. 

As airlines go through mergers, acquisitions and swallow each other up whole, consumers are often left wondering how these changes will affect their future travel plans. Unfortunately, with fewer competitors to price match, the remaining airline companies have the power to increase fares and drop unprofitable routes. For employers and business travelers, corporate consolidation could have a silver lining.

By absorbing smaller airline companies that previously dominated regional airports, the big four can add new non-stop routes to their lineup. This allows airlines to open up new destinations, reduce connecting flights and eliminate ever-dreaded layovers. Both United and American Airlines opened up ten new domestic non-stop flight routes just this year. While Southwest plans to add five additional non-stop routes to service the Midwest beginning in October of 2018. Additional non-stop flight availability saves time and produces happy road warriors. Employees report a more positive experience when they’re able to travel to their destination in one leg. Sending in happy employees can raise productivity levels and lead to a more successful business trip altogether.

Non-stop flights are also better for the environment. Takeoff and landing contributes to fifty percent of carbon emissions emitted during flight travel. Taking a non-stop route instead of a connecting flight can cut a traveler’s carbon flight-footprint in half. While employers may fear an increasing spike in price fares from airlines, the overall market price alteration is closer to 1 percent.

Marginal price changes and additional non-stop routes make it easy for employers to see the bright side of business travel.

 

To see how an advanced expense reporting solution could benefit your traveling employees, request a demo of Tallie.

 

 

 

Essential Expense Features for Nonprofit Organizations

In the nonprofit world, every dollar counts. Many local and global nonprofit groups struggle to organize expenses. Expense report software can serve as a vital tool to save nonprofit organizations valuable time and money while providing full clarity of their operational spending.

(Looking for a better expense reporting solution, but not sure where to start? Download the small business’s guide to finding expense reporting software.)

We’ve rounded up six essential features that provide nonprofit groups with the necessary elements to optimize their outreach. 

Mobility

Expense report software equipped with mobile capabilities, such as a smartphone app, gives organization employees and volunteers the flexibility to submit expenses in the field and on the go, anywhere in the world. This accessibility increases user compliance and helps organizations reduce operating costs.

Multi-currency

Currency conversion is as a crucial tool for global nonprofit groups. Programs that encompass a spectrum of global currencies take the burden of currency conversion off of the user. This allows volunteers to quickly capture accurate expenses, no matter where they are in the world.

Mileage Tracking

Mileage tracking allows volunteers to track their movement at the touch of a button. Standard IRS reimbursement rates can be applied to record an accurate reimbursement amount in half the time. 

Seamless Integration

Volunteers often pay out of pocket for the bulk of their expenses. As a result, the reimbursement process is vital to the longevity of an operation. Direct accounting software integration allows administrators to approve and export data instantaneously, ensuring nothing slows down your team. 

Accessible Analytics

Nonprofits are annually rated on how they spend their funding. Organizational expenses are broken into three categories:

  • Program Expenses: Expenses that are necessary to complete a nonprofit’s task at hand (for example, pencils and papers needed for a classroom).
  • Administrative Expenses: Expenses related to managing the nonprofit (for example, accounting and legal fees).
  • Fundraising Expenses: Any expenses that contribute to fundraising.

Nonprofit groups receive a higher rating if they put more of their budget towards Program Expenses. Expense report software with built-in reporting facilitates a simple way for organizations to audit their spending behavior in each category.

Activity-Based Pricing

Every dollar of funding counts. Software with activity-based pricing allows nonprofit groups with seasonal volunteers to save immense time and money. With activity-based pricing, organizations are only charged for users who submit expenses on a monthly basis. This relieves organizations from having to regulate active and dormant volunteers.

To see how an advanced expense reporting solution could benefit your organization, request a demo of Tallie.