Abacus Labs: Real-Time Expense Management

Abacus Labs: Real-Time Expense Management

Back when Omar Qari and Ted Power were a part of Foursquare, the duo were perturbed by a particular quandary they observed every day— small businesses complaining about tracking payables! The organizations used spreadsheets to record expenses and write checks to employees, and the process wasn’t any better than the old-fashioned method of putting all receipts in an envelope and mailing it to an accountant.

With the simple idea of making reimbursements simple for organizations as well as employees, Omar, Power, and Josh Halickman founded Abacus Labs in 2013. By replacing expense reports with a real time expense management system, Abacus assists businesses to provide finance teams with the tools and data that enable them to become a strategic pillar in their organization.

Employees can submit transactions by snapping a picture of the expense receipt with Abacus’ iOS or Android app or by adding a credit card slip. The expenses incurred can be then approved by the managers immediately which are synced to cloud-based accounting software like Quickbooks Online or Xero. Further, the Abacus solution deposits the reimbursements each night into employees’ bank accounts automatically. Thus, the tedium of inputting individual expenses into payroll software or making separate checks can be avoided.

In addition, the previous expense reports are taken into consideration by Abacus and this data is used to program expense policies into the software to automatically approve certain expenses. “Imagine, as an employee, that instead of having to manually submit expense reports, Abacus could take all the sources of data—receipts from emails, your CRM data, your corporate and personal credit cards—and use that, as well as previous expensing behavior, to suggest pre-completed expenses,” elaborates Omar Qari, Co-Founder and CEO of Abacus.

Now that we have the data in Abacus, the next iteration is to have Abacus build custom objects inside of Salesforce

With an intelligent expense management solution, using data and behavior analytics to make recommendations and automate expense creation and approvals, Abacus processes next-day reimbursements, enforces the expense policy, reconciles corporate cards, and syncs with an organization’s accounting software. And with its recent integration with Salesforce, Abacus is hoping to take its payment technology insights to a new level. “In the past, finance teams would find it very difficult to associate the expenses they were incurring in relation to a specific opportunity or marketing campaign,” mentions Qari. By leveraging the Salesforce platform, the firm can combine employee expenses with data from marketing campaigns, events, and sales to enable marketing managers to receive a clear view of all the money going into certain leads and projects.

Qari further hints at integrating with other CRM systems in the future, taking the Salesforce integration even deeper and providing insights for the C-suite. “Now that we have the data in Abacus, the next iteration is to have Abacus build custom objects inside of Salesforce,” adds Qari. “So, the sales team can push that data back into Salesforce, so even the VP of sales can see in real time what costs are generated to lead to deals.”