Google Apps Marketplace, a place for third-party applications developers to share their work with the community of Google Apps users. Currently, businesses can use enterprise versions of Google's popular suite of web apps, and with the new Apps Marketplace, they can integrate outside applications into these services. One of the applications launching in the App Marketplace is Expensify, an online tool for gathering and reporting expenses.Tuesday night Google announced the creation of the
Expensify, whose motto is "Expense reports that don't suck," prides itself on its ability to create detailed and IRS certified expense reports without the need for a single scrap of paper. Users can associate a credit card with their account for automatic tracking of purchases, and Expensify will create electronic versions of the receipt, eliminating the need for paper receipt hoarding.
For expenses like hotel and travel reservations that require special treatment, users can email the confirmation to Expensify and the app will generate the data and include a PDF of the email in the report. If you use the wrong card or pay with cash, mobile applications for iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm devices allow users to snap a picture of the receipt and send it to Expensify.
When sending reports, Expensify makes full color PDFs with tables, charts and graphs of the data. Recipients can accept, modify or reject the expense reports and can even reimburse the expenses from directly within Expensify by printing a check or sending a payment via direct deposit. Or, if need be, the reports can be send to third-party bookkeepers for review. Expensify's CEO David Barrett hopes, however, that small businesses and startups taking advantage of Expensify will be able to cut bookkeepers out of their work flow entirely.
"Expense reports affect everyone of all business sizes, from sole proprietorships to million dollar businesses...Everyone has this problem and everyone hates the current solution," Barrett told ReadWriteWeb Tuesday. "One thing that makes Expensify unique from other applications is it's not built for accountants; it's built for the people actually doing it."
With the new Google Apps Marketplace, companies looking to implement the app into their business can simply add it as an extension of Google Apps. This means that employees won't have to create new Expensify accounts; the application does that automatically in the background when added to Google Apps through the Apps Marketplace. From anywhere within Google Apps, users can click the "More" tab at the top of the screen, select "Expenses" and they are directed to Expensify's site with the help of OpenID.
"We are very excited to have Expensify in the Google Apps Marketplace," said Scott McMullan, Google Apps Partner Lead for Google Enterprise in a press release Tuesday. "Through the Google Apps Marketplace, software vendors like Expensify are helping us build a rich ecosystem of integrated apps that work seamlessly with Google Apps."
One of the large benefits of the app is that it is relatively inexpensive. It is free for users to send reports, but costs $5 per month, per submitter for managers with the first two submitters free. Integration with FreshBooks and QuickBooks makes Expensify a solid choice to track and report expenses for small businesses and startups.
Additionally, Expensify is a great example of how third-party developers can now use Google's new marketplace to build, integrate and market their products. Startups can use and develop on Google apps like Gmail, Calendar and Docs instead of creating their own. This makes it much easier to quickly launch products and features, but running a business built on the shoulders of Google may not necessarily be a long-term solution. The marketplace does, however, provide great exposure potential for apps.