Expense management comprises all the boring things—manual filing of reports, tons of paper, and time-consuming organization. Because manual filing causes many cons including consistent errors, losing project profits can also be a huge problem. Thanks to Fyle, expense management doesn’t have to be this way. Made to get rid of manual expense management, Fyle was established to help companies scale by managing billable expenses, keeping track of receipts, extracting data automatically, and making auditing ready. To add the cherry on top, businesses don’t have to spend a dime on paper-based management—making things easier and cost-friendly.
In this article, I caught up with Fyle to talk about the ins and outs of the software—and why it’s considered the best expense management tool in the market.
Fyle was founded in 2016 by Yashwanth Madhusudan and Sivaramakrishnan Narayanan to end the frustration that came with manual expense management. Fyle helped companies automate their expense management end-to-end to ensure they had complete control over their business expenses. And now, we’re the first company to bring real-time visibility to credit card spending in the U.S. We will be talking more about this under how our product works.
Fyle enables a business to gain end-to-end control of its expense management process while giving the user a superior experience. It blends enterprise-grade software with user-grade experience to provide employees, approvers, and administrators, thus, giving them control, flexibility, and the ability to automate their expense reporting process in any way they want.
Our Visa integration will enable Fyle’s AI engine to instantly code spend information, reconcile the card transaction, and push the data to an organization’s ERP or cloud accounting software, thereby reducing a ton of follow-ups and manual work for accountants. In this way, we enable businesses to remove the inefficiencies of manual work from expense management and gain access to enhanced spending data that lets accountants close books promptly.
We started with a basic version of the chrome extension, the web app, and the mobile app.
Users could create an expense, generate a report, submit it, and that was all. There weren’t any paying users at this phase, just test users. The idea was to take a customer-centric approach, only build something they wanted, not create something because we wanted to. We spoke to many people, and if we noticed that a large part of them talked about the same problem, we built it and tested what we created with them. We ensured we always asked them, “Hey, will this make your life easier? Or is this helping?” This approach is something we’ve followed to date, even today.
Initially, CS teams would follow up with customers monthly to know what problems they were facing with the application online and offline. How does this help? For instance, if customers were doing something related to accounting offline, which Fyle did not have support for, CS teams, after a follow-up, can try to come up with how we can offer the same solution in a better way. Again this would be if many customers had the same need. Now, this follow-up happens every quarter.
So we first build a beta version of a new feature, have 1-2 customers we spoke to earlier, try it out, get repeated feedback, and improve. There will be some friction when you’re building something that nobody has tried with our Visa integration; Fyle is becoming the first spend management platform to handle direct and real-time card transactions for Visa. So we didn’t release it to everybody at once. Instead, we had a beta version which has now been given to 17 customers for testing.
Regarding our team, everyone today who owns a significant chunk of development started as an intern. We always bring in someone who takes ownership of what they’re doing and cares about the product as much as we do. We build not just for its sake but to see how customers can turn things around with what we’ve made. Eventually we’ve seen, that’s just how a startup succeeds.“
- Abhishek Jain, Director of Engineering
How does Fyle work?
Fyle uses OCR technology to extract information from receipts and auto-fill expense reports. It ensures accuracy and policy compliance as every submitted expense is automatically checked against company policy. Fyle also enables automatic CCC reconciliations to improve financial productivity. It provides more transparency by using live feeds of bank statements and personal, and business card spends tracking.
Now, Fyle has launched a real-time spend management solution for customers who use corporate and SMB VISA cards in the U.S. With this, Fyle has become the first spend management platform to offer direct and real-time transaction feeds to users of any Visa-powered credit card from any bank.
This means businesses can see card spending as and when they happen, gain granular levels of control over card spending, and know when credit cards are lost or stolen as users will get to see their transactions in real-time and can notify the admin about any unusual purchases.
Why Fyle is the best expense management software in the market
- For employees: Enables easy submission and tracking of receipts from everyday applications like G-Suite, Slack, Teams, Outlook, etc.
- For approvers: Enforces compliance efficiently by automating pre-submission checks.
- For admins: Easily reconcile credit card statements. Fyle reconciles every card expense automatically. Manage multiple card programs from providers like American Express, VISA, Mastercard, and Diner’s Club centrally.
- Flawless integrations: With G-Suite, and other accounting platforms.
What the future looks like with Fyle as an expense management software
- Real-time spend management: Fyle’s integration with Visa is a ‘ bring your card approach’ that enables users to use their business cards to support their spend management platform. This means any SMB or mid-market company can now access the software without changing their cards. A cardholder can connect their existing Visa card to Fyle and receive text notifications each time the card is swiped in minutes.
- Admin spend overview: Organization-wide spending will be shown with comparison charts across various merchants, projects, categories, and employees. Finance teams can use this information to optimize budgets and save on business expenses. This will be live by the end of this quarter.
- Microsoft Teams bot: Approvers will now be able to approve expense reports from within the teams app, and spenders will get notified of their expenses from within the app. This feature is already live.
- Slack bot: Approvers will now be able to view a detailed view of expense reports from within Slack. This is already live.
- Spenders will be able to create expenses from within the Slack bot and will be able to add new expenses into an expense report from within Slack: This will be live by the end of this quarter.
- Automatic report submission: Employees can add expenses and Fyle takes care of submitting them automatically at regular intervals, which reduces the manual effort on users. Finance teams can set up the time for automatic submission.