Simon Salt is CEO of marketing communications company the IncSlingers. He writes for www.simonsalt.com and Dad-O-Matic
You use Twitter, email, IM and even your phone to stay in touch with your world. Maybe your office uses services like Yammer for internal communication. But once you are done tweeting, emailing and instant messaging, you have to do actual work.
Wouldn't it be great if you could at least use those tools to help you get some of that work done? Xpenser, developed by Trastr Inc, allows for a number of different tools to be utilized to keep track of expenses. Here is how to use Twitter with Xpenser to track them:
Getting started is simple. Go to Xpenser, create a free account, and add your Twitter account (no password required). Then add Xpenser to your list of following, which will let you send direct messages to that account, e.g. D Xpn Taxi $15.00 #clienttrip. This automatically updates the expenses for the category clienttrip. The same can be achieved through the use of IM, email or SMS.
Track Multiple Clients and Expenses
If you are on a multi-leg, multi-client trip, you might want to ensure that the right client is billed the right expense. To do this you go to the “Reports” tab, enter the name for the new report – ClientABC, ClientXYZ, VegasConference, whatever you decide to name them. You can decide to make one of the reports the “default” report, which means that all new expenses that are untagged will go into this report.
Keep Track of Mileage
Xpenser has a conversion feature which enables you to keep track of your mileage. It can be accessed from the “Keywords” tab, where you can set a pre-determined rate of conversion. Imagine a realtor driving from appointment to appointment throughout the day. Now, instead of having to write their mileage down for each appointment and then get back to the office and calculate their mileage expense, they can simply use their smart phone and Direct Message Xpenser on Twitter with the number of miles for each appointment as they arrive: D Xpn 23 miles Jones house.
As long as the message includes either the word mileage or miles, Xpenser will convert the number of miles into a cost based on the preset conversion rate. It then enters it into the account that you specified, and if you don't specify an account it will go into the default account.
If you're not interested in using Twitter to create expense reports, Xpenser also supports instant messaging, email, text/sms, and voice. There is also an export to Freshbooks feature, and through partnerships with Jott and Dial2Do, voice recording is available in the US, Canada, and 17 other countries, allowing users to simply “call in” their expenses. In addition, the web interface allows you to edit previous entries or make new ones, export to excel, Quicken, MS Money, and Freshbooks.
So, would you manage your expense reports on Twitter?
Simon Salt is CEO of marketing communications company the IncSlingers. He writes daily at www.simonsalt.com and weekly at Chris Brogan's parenting blog Dad-O-Matic, and is also an avid Twitter user. He is focused on dragging traditional marketers into Web 2.0 before the arrival of Web 3.0. He loves to help out and volunteers his time and knowledge whenever asked. He is Director of Technology for the Austin Chapter of the AMA and is currently working on a Twitter guide for all users.