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How Abacus Leverages Algolia for Realtime Expense Reporting

When one thinks of expense reporting, speed is far from the first descriptor that comes to mind. Companies spend a substantial amount of time tracking expenses, while employees linger in paperwork purgatory, wondering when they will be reimbursed for their work-related charges. That’s why Abacus has made it their mission to simplify expense management so that it occurs in real time. Their creative implementation of Algolia helps make it happen.

Abacus is a mobile and desktop application that allows small businesses to track and verify expenses on the go. Employees can upload a photo of their receipt on the mobile app, and Abacus takes care of the rest. “For each expense, we have a lot of data. We have the person who expensed it, the amount of the expense, the time, and where it took place. We also have a lot of metadata. For example, if you went out to breakfast, we pull in the name of the restaurant, the address, the URL of the merchant. There’s tags and categories and so on,” explains Ted Power, Co-Founder of Abacus. “And we wanted to make all of that searchable.”

Abacus Algolia

To make all of that data accessible and interpretable for a financial manager, Abacus turned to our API. “Algolia made it super easy for us to get faceted, advanced search options. If you are the finance person at your company, you can basically say ‘Show me all of the expenses over $50,’ or ‘Show me all the expenses that don’t have a receipt.’ You can look at expenses for one person or one category, like travel. You can even pivot off of 8 of these different things. Algolia makes it super easy to do,” says Power. This accelerates the process of expense verification and approval. “It’s good search. We have tags like ‘car rental’ on auto-complete, for example. That’s all Algolia.”

Power adds that a “great implementation experience” was especially beneficial for the start up. “It’s the kind of thing that would have taken ages to build from scratch.” Co-Founder Joshua Halickman chimed in: “Being able to get up and off the ground really quickly was great. In general, I love the speed. Crazy fast. Really nice.”

Abacus Algolia

Images courtesy of Abacus. Learn more on their website.

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