Three Ways to Keep Your Data Safer Online, for Expense Management and Beyond

Sometimes the Cloud can seem like a scary place. Luckily, protecting your data is of the utmost importance to us, and we take pride in designing and implementing security mechanisms around Tallie. We use best-in-class firewalls, secure public servers, and private servers that operate within a Virtual Private Cloud. In short: your expense reports and personal information are safe with us.

However, we recognize that the internet plays an enormous role in the average person’s everyday life. And with the prevalence of social media, Cloud storage, and online banking, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself wherever you go. But don’t despair! Below you’ll find three simple, but effective, ways to keep your data safer online.

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1.  Use smarter passwords.

In order to prevent users from creating passwords that are easily compromised, Tallie’s most recent release includes a password strength meter. But when it comes to choosing a password, know that the strongest options contain multiple words or fragments of words. While including numbers and special characters certainly can’t hurt, the longer your password, the better. Avoid using guessable words or phrases that contain your personal information. For example, a password like “FidoSanFrancisco” won’t protect you for long after posting snapshots of your pup on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Be sure to never use the same password for multiple accounts. It may make things easier to remember, but once a single account is cracked, it leaves the others defenseless. And don’t forget to change your passwords often—at least once every 1-6 months.

2. Encrypt your most important files.

If you need to store or share data that you’d rather keep confidential, you always have the option of encrypting it first. This essentially renders your file unreadable by everyone without the corresponding passkey. To do this, we recommend using an encrypted file-sharing service like SmartVault. SmartVault allows you to store, encrypt, backup, and share your business’ confidential documents with ease. They also provide seamless integration with other business and financial applications, such as QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, and, of course, Tallie.
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If you ever find yourself uploading or transferring sensitive information elsewhere (say, through a browser,) be sure to look for the small lock icon in the address bar. If you don’t see the lock, or the protocol “https,” then it’s not secure! We know that expense reports contain confidential information vital to your business. That’s why Tallie uses secure SSL connections to encrypt your data while it’s in transit, as well as for absolutely all of our web services.

3. Answer your security questions with lies.

In theory, security questions are a great idea. Sometimes we forget our passwords, and need a simple, painless way to reset or recover them. But if the only thing standing between a hacker and your Cloud account is knowing your mother’s maiden name, then you might be in trouble. Maiden names, birthplaces, and favorite pets are all easily found via Google or social media. So what can you do?

Well, when it comes time to pick your security questions, don’t be afraid to tell a few lies.

It may sound strange, but it’s one of the best ways to protect your password against social engineering. There’s no reason you can’t make it something easy to remember: perhaps your mother’s name is Skywalker, and you have fond memories of playing with some pet droids at your birthplace of Tattooine. The key is to choose something you can remember (or safely record,) but that can’t be searched out by prying strangers. Of course, if you’re on record as a die-hard Star Wars fan, you may want to invent something else! You can also protect your security answers even further by breaking up the words with numbers or special characters. Every extra measure taken makes it that much more difficult for a hacker to access your information.

Remember that you can always trust that your expense reports will be safe with Tallie. And armed with the above advice, you can much better keep the rest of your accounts safe and secure. If you have any questions about these or any other internet safety tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Ready to experience Tallie’s award-winning expense management software? Give us a try, FREE for 14 days – no credit card or commitment required. Would you prefer a walkthough from a trained expert? Schedule your free Tallie product demo now.

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.

Closing the Audit Loop: Expense Report Integration

Quality integration is an essential ingredient to SaaS.  The proliferation of SaaS solutions is hard to keep up with, the specialization of SaaS solutions, impossible to ignore.  Our solution as a SaaS company is to go deep, not broad, and find companies that share that philosophy in essential and complementary competencies.  And integrate as deeply as possible with them.  Together creating a seamless product experience that eliminates data entry, sign in and synchronization redundancies.

The first example combines expense report automation with cloud-based data storage. We’ve teamed with SmartVault to put expense report documentation directly into QuickBooks.  The workflow starts with Tallie’s receipt gathering, data entry and accounting review process. As transactions are exported to QuickBooks, Tallie concurrently pushes the expense report receipts to SmartVault. The receipts are accessible directly from the SmartVault toolbar in QuickBooks. This not only eases the document retrieval burden but also eliminates the need for accounting to scan, upload, or file documents.

The end-to-end document workflow supports IRS Publication 463 recordkeeping requirements. Each document is collected by the employee at the point of purchase, captured by Tallie and approved within the company’s expense report approval structure. The documents are then stored in electronic format within the accounting system, ensuring their ability to be retrieved on demand. For U.S. companies, the Internal Revenue Code stipulates 3 years from the date of filing. Certain exceptions apply as noted in Publication 583.

You can view the SmartVault integration video here.