Simplify Expense Tracking with Xpenser

Last Updated Dec 9, 2008 2:25 PM EST

xpenser.jpgXpenser aims to take the hassle out of expense-tracking. The free service lets you submit expenses via e-mail, instant message, text message, Twitter, and the voice-driven Dial2Do service we've mentioned before.

After configuring Xpenser for use with your various external accounts (e-mail, SMS, etc.), you simply transmit expenses as they occur. For example, after a lunch meeting, you could send a text message like this: "Lunch $27.50 with Widgetco reps." Xpenser collects all your data in a Web-based interface, then lets you generate reports you can export to Excel, FreshBooks, Microsoft Money, or Quicken.

In addition to support for Dial2Do, the service recently added the option to tag expenses. Thus, you could add the words "deductible" and "Visa" to indicate a tax-deductible expense paid for with your Visa card. Other new features include search, expense importing (from QIF files), and an overhauled home page.

Xpenser still doesn't let you create categories; it's really designed for basic expense-tracking. But once you learn the syntax, it's extremely simple to use and quite handy for small-business users who want an easy way to keep tabs on where the money's going.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.