Tallie Talk: Jordan Estreito, Product Marketing Manager

Depending on who you ask, Jordan Estreito was either the seventh or the eighth employee to join our company. (He maintains he was the seventh.) What’s for certain is that Bear, as we call him, has been invaluable to our team since the moment he arrived. As skilled in marketing as he is with support, Jordan’s enormous talent, passion, and sense of humor have helped shape Tallie’s award-winning expense report software into the product it is today. You may also recognize him from our weekly webinars! Now he’s here to share his story.

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What do you do here at Tallie?

I am the utility man! I help out in a lot of different areas, whether it’s marketing, sales, support, product or training. I’ve had a couple different roles in the organization over the years. I started by managing the product expert team, then I moved over to roadmapping the product, and now I’m more of a teacher and trainer. We’re continuing our education and training for clients who really get the most out of Tallie’s integrations, to make their expense report workflow easier and more efficient.

How did you first start marketing Tallie’s expense report software? You used to want to be a teacher, right?

Yeah, I got a degree in Literature and started substitute teaching right off the bat. Unfortunately, this was in the middle of California’s teaching crisis, and all the teachers I subbed for said, “Don’t become a teacher right now!” So, I started looking for a more stable career, and took a job as a junior content writer. Then I applied to Virtual Software (which later became SpringAhead) in a support role. I had previously been an Operations Senior at Best Buy, which basically meant that if someone had a problem and asked to see the manager, they’d see me. I did hiring and interviews as well, but I mainly did customer service. So I applied for a position at Virtual Software and I was able to write guides, provide support and eventually told Chris Farrell, our CEO at Tallie, that I wanted to build a support team. Now I’ve moved on to more product and training related areas.

What does a typical workday involve for you?

Well, it always starts the same: I come in and make sure there aren’t any fires! As long as there’s no fire in the morning, I’m good. My role used to be more reactionary when I was working support. I was there to help people be successful and I would go to a lot of scheduled meetings. But my role is more project based now. I still have to be available to help people out if they need it, of course, but overall, my day-to-day changes based on whatever project I’m currently working on.

What makes Tallie different from other companies? Why do you work here instead of somewhere else?

Tallie has always been unique in the sense that we empower people to think of ways to improve not only their own jobs or their personal careers, but the product. We want everyone to bring great ideas to the table, regardless of their position. Every voice is heard, there are no walls, no cubicles, and everyone collaborates with each other. If someone has a really good idea they can work with anyone else to flesh it out and make it a reality. We’ve also always had a very casual attitude in terms of dress code. Our CEO once said if you wore a tie into the office he’d cut it off. [Laughs] The dress code has relaxed a bit now–you can wear a tie if you want to. You can work from home, too, if it means you’ll be more productive. The main thing behind every aspect of our company culture is, “Are you getting done what you need to get done? Are you getting your projects finished? Are you ensuring that our clients are happy?” Titles are immaterial to that, people know what they’re responsible for, and they get it done.

I really respect that we started out as a small, hard-working group of individuals and that we’ve managed to maintain those same values even as we’ve grown. We kept our culture of driving new ideas, working hard because we believe in what we’re doing, and hiring people who are incredibly passionate about the same things we’re passionate about. We all work collaboratively, like a family, even though we’re not as small as we once were.

We hear you’re pretty good at karaoke. Do you have a favorite song?

It goes in phases. Right now my specialty is Friends in Low Places, even though I’m not even that big of a country fan.

Do you have a motto?

As Nell says, “Tay in da wind.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Back when I did support at SpringAhead, our team first achieved a 99.5% positive Smiley rating. Smilies are a tool we worked together as a team to create. The idea is that we’ll send out emails to customers asking how our support session went, and they can give us a positive rating, a neutral rating, or a bad rating. Eventually, we reached a point in our service where we received 99.5% positive ratings – meaning we helped a 100 people in a row and received nearly a perfect rating from each client. Providing quality support is so vital for customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction is incredibly important to us here. So I’m very proud of that!

Guilty pleasure?

None, I’m not embarrassed by anything.

What about a favorite food?

Mexican.

Ready to say “goodbye” to manual data entry and “hello” to seamless, deep integrations with your favorite accounting systems? Use Tallie’s powerful expense management software FREE for 14 days – no credit card or commitment required. Give it a try by signing up today. Care for a walkthrough by a trained expert first? Contact us to schedule your free Tallie product demo now.

Tallie Talk: Jules Carman, VP of Business Development

Her fiery personality, enchanting confidence, and sage wisdom are only the beginning of what makes Jules Carman so special to us. As Tallie’s new Vice President of Business Development, Jules brings fresh insight and unmatched industry experience to the table. To celebrate her recently joining the Tallie family, we’ve asked Jules to sit down and share her Tallie story with us.

How Jules Carman started at Tallie:

I worked with the Tallie team for many months before I accepted a position at the company. Because of Tallie’s strong integration business plan and team, I was introduced to the product while working with other companies that had integrated with Tallie. When you work in the tech industry for as long as I have, you know the recipe for superior software when you see it. As it stands, Tallie has all the ingredients. I first became a user, and then a fan– and because I’m a really lucky girl, an employee.

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Her favorite part of day-to-day work life:

The Tallie Team. I get to come to work everyday and do what I love. I love my work because of who I am surrounded by – lovely, salt of the earth people who are as wicked smart as they are hilarious. We have total respect for each other, which allows us to agree to disagree. We are direct and don’t pull any punches. You know exactly what you’re dealing with, and it’s this authenticity that allows us to amplify productivity. The Tallie culture is the true “work hard, play hard” environment.

What does Tallie’s future look like for the VP of Business Development?

If we continue building, innovating, and perfecting at our current rate, the sky’s the limit! We have a highly functional expense management product that performs the way we say it does. This breeds trust. For a biz dev department to be successful, a company actually needs all the attractive human elements – trust, love and kindness. If people don’t like you, they will not do business with you. It’s pretty simple. And, because we are also building a company, one needs unrelenting positive energy.

The secret to staying motivated in your career when things get tough:

Although it’s not really a secret, my first thought is having a competitive streak due to my background as a trained athlete. In track, they say “If you’re going to try to take me down, you’re going to have to beat me to the finish line.” That challenge motivates me in both my athletic passion and my professional life. Additionally, you must have courage. You must be able to “go for it” and roll out the intuitive strategy that YOU believe the market is telling you it wants. I’d rather crash and burn and completely fail by doing what I think is right, versus winning by playing it safe, and fading away without a bold move.

Her advice for women interested in pursuing a career in tech:

Hurry up, we need you! There are tons of women ahead of you that want to scoop you up and get you on the on ramp.

My secret guilty pleasure:

The Green Bay Packers minus the guilt. There is no guilt.

A typical Friday night for me looks like:

Relaxing with my boyfriend who also happens to be my beloved husband, our two children, our dog, our cat, and lots of red wine. Come on, I’m a mother – motherhood + red wine = happy family. HA!

If you share Jules’s love for building a successful business, have cool ideas to share or are Tallie fans with stories to tell, we would love to hear from you. Email your thoughts to info@usetallie.com.

You can start your own Tallie journey by signing up in 2 seconds flat. Use Tallie’s powerful expense management software FREE for 14 days – no credit card or commitment required. Give it a try by signing up today. Care for a walkthrough by a trained expert first? Contact us to schedule your free Tallie product demo now.

While You Waited for the WWDC Bathroom: Closing the Technology Gender Gap

Imagine a world where women can easily find an empty stall in the public restroom, but men must wait in a very, very long line. Sounds pretty unlikely, right? Sadly, at popular Silicon Valley tech conferences, it’s the norm. Women are vastly underrepresented. So, while Apple held its WorldWide Developers Conference last week, and yet another image of the mens’ bathroom line was tweeted out into the universe,  I traveled down to Santa Clara to attend the 25th Women in Technology International Conference alongside our Director of Marketing Communications, Sylvia Esmundo.

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The Challenge of Bias in Technology Today

There are three common themes that generally develop across start-ups. When multiplied together, organizations can develop with a distinct bias in favor of white men.

1) It’s all about building a viable product.

Startups are, by their very nature, product-led businesses with a direct focus on growth & adoption. This lean business model requires minimal overhead, making talent the most critical component to growth.

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2) Fast growth means little time for recruiting.

A technology company must prove its growth capability early and often. Every employee is responsible for producing – whether it’s code, content, sales or otherwise – from C-level to individual contributor. Hiring becomes a passive process, reviewing resumes that come in from one or two job postings.

3) Fast growth means little time for management.

With each employee focusing on producing, a sink-or-swim approach to career development emerges. In order to guarantee that the new hire will succeed at your startup, most founders initiate a “culture-fit” interview process, assessing the individual for personality traits that will mesh well with the existing team. This is where a more subjective bias can come into play.

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What We, As Women, Can Do About It

When the Women in Technology International (WITI) Conference first convened 25 years ago, technology in business was focused on IT. This served a critical, yet auxiliary, role in corporate structure. While the unique challenges of today’s startup culture outlined above did not apply, women were struggling for recognition and promotion in these technical fields. What remained consistent, however, is that women continue to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math fields, both then and now, making bias-reduction quite a challenge.

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While “curing” our industry of its gender biases will require a cultural paradigm shift larger than any person or event, we’d like to share with our readers some wonderful nuggets of advice we gathered from this year’s conference that aim to help individual women in the tech field today. Here are my favorites:

1) Convene your personal board of directors

While this was mentioned by quite a few panelists and speakers, Marie Gutgesell (Global Watch CIO at Nielsen Research) explained it the best. Corporate decision-making is made under the guidance of a board of directors who can objectively coach the executive through challenging problems and decisions, providing insight based on knowledge and experience. Each woman in technology should seek out mentors and sponsors who can challenge and encourage her throughout her career.

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2) Take risks

A recent article entitled “The Confidence Gap” in The Atlantic reveals a startling trend: men are more likely to apply for promotions despite having a skill deficit, while women will wait until they believe they have achieved all the skills necessary for the promoted position. Two panelists, Sheleen Quish (recently CIO of Ameristar Casinos) and Theresa Wilson (EVP & CIO of Consumer Lending Technology at Wells Fargo) spoke of career opportunities offered to them despite their own uncertainty relating to their qualifications. Both accepted the risk and flourished in their role, leading them to greater growth. Sheleen encouraged others to take on that kind of risk earlier in our careers.

3) Recognize that a winding career path is a strength

Puja Jaspal(VP of HR at Visa) regaled the audience with stories of her career journey, which began in mechanical engineering, transitioned through management consulting, and finally specialized in human resources. Not only did she credit her current position to this varied background, but she noted that the constant introspection required of making leaps and redirects on one’s career is a major asset.

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Are you interested in encouraging the development of women in technology? Learn more about Women in Technology International here. Men and women are welcome to join!

For more thoughts on women in tech, follow Claire and Sylvia on Twitter.

 

Tallie Team Celebrates Winning CPA Practice Advisor Innovation Award

Our team is excited to announce that Tallie has been awarded the Tax and Accounting Technology Innovation Award by CPA Practice Advisor. This award is a tremendous honor and one that we are proud to accept. With over 150% growth in customer base over the past 6 months alone, Tallie’s mobile expense app and cloud-based management solution continues to deliver the quickest path from receipt to balance sheet for small to midsize businesses nationwide.

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When asked what this award means to Tallie, Chris Farrell, CEO, affirmed, “Just as we have built Tallie to deliver accounting-savvy automation and back-end synchronization, we are committed to steadily raising the bar for cloud accounting solutions. Tallie looks forward to deepening our partnership with the CPA community as we advance and optimize the accounting workflow together.”

CPA Practice Advisor commended Tallie for being a mobile-enabled solution that simplifies and accelerates the painfully manual expense report process by automatically capturing, categorizing and processing expense transactions, and integrating seamlessly with leading accounting systems. Our native integrations with QuickBooks, Bill.com, and SmartVault were honored for meeting the growing need by companies, accounting firms, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services for a system-wide cloud-based ecosystem.

We’ve worked tirelessly to deliver a premier product that is powerful, purposeful, and easy to use. It’s a tremendous honor to receive the Technology Innovation Award from CPA Practice Advisor, but we’re not stopping here. Tallie’s VP of Product Strategy, Demid Potemkin, looks forward to the future of Tallie, including new features, integrations, and partnerships with key industry partners. “We continuously collaborate with our partners to provide the best expense management product available today. I am thrilled and humbled to see the industry agrees with our product vision. Working closely with all of Tallie’s partners enables us to be successful, and we are excited to continue working with them to create award winning software that truly saves time for both end users and finance departments.”

The Tallie team is thrilled and honored to receive the Technology Innovation Award from CPA Practice Advisor, the definitive resource for information to tax and accounting professionals in public practice. If you’d like to see how our award-winning cloud-based expense management solution can work for your business, schedule a personal Product Demo by clicking here or giving our Sales Team a call at 800-592-5144.

Read the full article on CPA Practice Advisor’s website by clicking here. 

If you’re ready to begin Tallie for free, create a free 14 Day Free Trial by clicking here.

Tallie Introduces Expense Report Community Spotlight Program

At first glance, one might assume that Tallie’s powerful features and integrations are exclusively engineered for the accounting community. We understand that expense reports and accounts payable aren’t the most exciting topics out there. But upon closer look, it’s clear that Tallie’s core purpose can be applied across diverse industries and organizations. Here’s how: Tallie streamlines backend accounting processes for a vast array of industries ranging from government, non-profit, professional services (not just accounting firms!), staffing, and technology, and beyond. From a number of mom & pop shops to 500+ employee organizations, there is no “one-size fits all” mentality for the customers we aim to help. tallie-community-spotlight-expense-report Taking an even deeper look, we celebrate a diverse array of accounting systems including Great Plains, Intacct, QuickBooks, Xero, and some companies even using Tallie as a standalone tool. That same diversity can be seen in payroll/reimbursement methods (accounting system, ADP, Bill.com, Paychex, etc.) and hosting networks (Cloud9, RightNetworks, Swizznet). Over the past 6 months, Tallie experienced over 150% growth in customer base. With a continued vision for diversifying and growing the Tallie Community, we feel inspired to shine the spotlight on our unique and different clientele. We invite you to follow our new recurring “Tallie Community” series and learn more about our clients’ stories. Keep an eye out as they will be coming your way soon! Are you a current Tallie client that would like to be featured in our Tallie Community Spotlight? Email us directly at news@tallie.com to apply!

Tallie Talk: Milan Korsos, UI Ninja

Every Team Tallie member is awesome in their own way. When it comes to our resident UI Ninja, Milan Korsos, we can’t get enough of his refreshing product perspective, inspirational discoveries, crazy collaboration skills, and  unwavering commitment to the Tallie vision. He’s our thrill-seeking, bright-eyed builder and he’s here today to share his Tallie story with us.

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A Tallie UI Ninja’s Mission:

To build the next generation of business products that are beautiful, easy-to-use, and provide breakthrough value.

BUD-BRC-SFO (My Tallie Journey):

After too many years working on consumer facing products in T-Mobile Hungary’s innovation lab, I was craving a change of pace. So I bought a ticket to California.

I kicked off this west coast adventure with my first trip to Burning Man. After that crazy week, I landed in San Francisco and began a wild ride. I made new friends, worked for a startup, couch surfed, survived on Burger King when said startup shut down, stayed with a fun group of stand-up comedians, and spent a lot of time interviewing with tech start ups looking for the next cool gig.

Just before my return flight to Budapest, I met Chris Farrell – our Tallie CEO – who sold me on an ambitious plan to build an automated expense management software from the ground up. The night before my return flight, I had to make a decision – do I head back to Hungary and resume my familiar and comfortable life? Or do I listen to instinct and embark on a new adventure with Tallie?

I cancelled my flight. The following week, the life of the Tallie UI Ninja began, and I haven’t looked back since.


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My TedxYouth Experience:

In 2010, I received an invitation to speak at TedxYouth in Budapest. Yeah, that TED. In front of a packed theater of curious eyes, I shared my passion for “building” and discussed the limitless opportunities on the internet for us creative, forward thinking “builders”. Even today, I firmly believe talented and determined dreamers can launch a successful web product no matter what corner of the world they live in.

My Definition of Awesome UI:

Square, Uber and Airbnb. Not only do they have beautiful products but every aspect of their user experience is outstanding. They’re also doing an amazing job of redefining legacy workflows in their respective industries, which is our primary mission here at Tallie, too.

Tallie’s Freshest Product Features:

We’re always improving Tallie by adding new features and fine-tuning the existing aspects of our product. We just released a new version of our Tallie iOS App that’s smoother, sturdier and easier. We’re also working hard on a long list of really exciting stuff on our whiteboards, all leading to an even more streamlined and swift product. From improvements to our auto-calculated mileage feature, to a simpler Expense Report page, to new impressive software integrations –  please stay tuned!

A Peek Into My iTunes Playlist:

My playlist contains many different personalities – from Thievery Corporation, MSTRKRFT and Beastie Boys to Grimes and Pretty Lights. Growing up in Europe, I listened to Pete Tong’s famous weekly BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and was influenced by this late 90s UK electronic music scene – mainly trip hop, drum&bass and house.

For writing code, electronic music is still my go-to, but I’m more on the happy and sunny side of house music these days. My Soundcloud list has sets from Wolf+Lamb, RobotHeart and Distrikt crews as well as the new shining Hamburg based Diynamic label.

The Go-To Surf Spots:

I have a love-hate relationship with Ocean Beach. There are days when I have epic moments out there, but when the waves get mean, I stay away and opt for the Pacifica waves instead.

The Board:

My recent favorites include my 6.6″ thruster and 6.4″ fish. You need to paddle hard with these guys but once you gain some speed they’re super fun.

The Traveling Man:

Having the luxury of living in two different countries has shown traveling as a remarkable way to discover more about myself and the world around me. And it’s super fun! Whether it’s a quick weekend in the Sierras or a month in an exotic location – if given the chance, I always hit the road. As for my next adventure, I will get the Indonesian stamp in my passport – I’ve heard too many incredible stories about their endless perfect waves, exquisite islands and heavenly food. I can’t wait to see, surf, and explore it for myself.

3 Reasons I Love Working on Team Tallie:

Of course, our product. Additionally, we have a passionate team that believes Tallie is changing the way companies work by reducing back-office time so they can focus on what’s most important: the front office, strategic part of their business. Last but not least, we have a keg at the office. What more could you ask for?

Over the last two years we’ve worked hard to build the Tallie product and establish a growing, loyal user community, but I feel like the real journey is just about to start.  It’s an exciting time for us.

The UI Ninja Mantra:

“Keep it simple, make it fast!”

If you share Milan’s love for building, have cool ideas to share or are Tallie fans with stories to tell, Milan would love to hear from you. Email your thoughts to info@usetallie.com!