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7/96 Reviews SW: Quicken ExpensAble 2.0

Listing of July 1996 Reviews

Three Genies Grant Expense Report Wishes

By Rich Castagna

Sixty thousand miles ago, I took Intuit's Quicken ExpensAble 2.0 on a business trip and a day or two later, I was hooked.

ExpensAble gives you trip envelopes into which you "stuff" your receipts. You type in each expense item using smart pull-downs that remember your past entries. ExpensAble's Hotel Genie also makes it easy to divvy up all your hotel bill charges, such as room, phone calls and meals. The only drawback is its limited reporting. You can pick a report from a short list, but you can't customize it to look like your company's.

If you use one of the sample reports, you'll have some basic-make that very basic-customization options. You can change the forms' text by replacing the program's labels with your own, you can rearrange entries and you can redefine the expense types associated with a label. You can't, however, radically alter the form. But if you work for one of the Fortune 1000 companies, you can get a template that matches your company's expense form from Intuit's Web site. If your company is too small to register as one of the elite 1000, Intuit will re-create your form for $150 or at no cost if you buy three or more copies of ExpensAble.

ExpensAble's Trip Genie may turn out to be your best friend, especially if you didn't use it on your trip and stuffed your receipts into a real envelope. It steps you through the entire expense report process, prompting for each expenditure and offering point-and-click pull-downs for quick entries. The Currency Genie makes figuring foreign exchange rates a snap-it even considers fees.

ExpensAble's analytical reports, which show expenses by type, merchant, payment method and so forth, can now be customized to exclude extraneous information. And you can pop up a pie chart that shows you where your travel expense dollars are going.

ExpensAble is now e-mail enabled (VIM and MAPI), and you can use scanners such as Visioneer's PaperPort to scan receipts and attach them to trip envelopes. There's also a credit card reconciliation function that makes it easier to match credit card bills to expense entries.

As soon as I can download my company's expense form, I expect a few genies will be with me the next time I hit the road.

Info File
Quicken ExpensAble 2.0
Pros: Data entry; Genies
Cons: Form customization
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x
800-816-8025, 520-295-3110
WinMag Box Score: 4.0

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