Tom Petrocelli's take on technology. Tom is the author of the book "Data Protection and Information Lifecycle Management" and a natural technology curmudgeon. This blog represents only my own views and not those of my employer, Enterprise Strategy Group. Frankly, mine are more amusing.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Getting My Due

The company I work for is really good at handling expense reimbursements. Despite the hard time I give the people in Accounting about expense reports, they turn these puppies around pretty quick with minimal hassle. The biggest hassle is on my end. Compiling and tracking expenses is a pain in the tookus. Tracking which expenses were paid and which are outstanding is also a chore.

Now, there are lots of software packages to do this for you. Some are expensive, some cheap, some even free. The failure of all of them is the inability to record an expense with your computer off or when the package is not loaded. In other words, when you are actually incurring the expense you likely don't have access to the software. I probably could buy something for my cell phone or purchase a PDA to do this but I'm doomed if I drop it in the toilet.

Enter stage left: Xpenser. Xpenser is neat little web service, available for free, that allows you to record your expenses, then organize and track them. Neat! Even better is that you can interact with Xpenser via e-mail and even IM.

What makes Xpenser really cool is its connection with Jott, the previously blogged about voice transcription service. So, I can now record expenses from IM (via cell phone or laptop), e-mail (via same) or voice. I call Jott, tell them to send a jott to Xpenser and - voila - it is recorded on the site.

As all things with Jott, it's not perfect. The way Jott pronounces Xpenser (which is supposed to sound like ex-pen-ser) is comical. It sounds like Chinese when they pronounce the X and P together. Still, it's functional and getting better.

So now I can record and manage my expenses anywhere I am through whatever means is convenient. This is the real promise of the next wave in Internet services. The tethering of the 'Net is over and it is now time to truly go mobile. The 'Net is not its own place anymore. It's where I am wherever that may be.

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