Your Finance Team

5 Interview Candidate Reimbursement Experiences Only Possible With Abacus

Abacus helps make a great first impression on interview candidates. Here are five reimbursement workflows only possible with real time expense reporting.

Abacus is an end-to-end expense reporting solution that helps teams manage everything from travel booking to corporate card reconciliation. But a few years ago, we noticed some customers—mostly larger companies like Pinterest and Flatiron Health—had decided to start using Abacus in an innovative way: to reimburse the expenses incurred by their interview candidates. 

An Abacus account was so easy to set up, and so easy to control, that the HR or Talent team could manage the whole process apart from Finance. They simply had interviewees download the Abacus mobile app and submit their expenses through it. With that, the Interview Candidate use case was born.


Using real time expense reporting to pay back job candidates has a number of advantages over a manual workflow. It is the only way to:

Collect absolutely zero expense reports

To begin with, Abacus doesn’t require anyone to fill out (or review) expense reports. Real time expense reporting uses automation to capture and organize a continuous flow of expense data, which is far easier for candidates than submitting expense reports.

All your candidates need to do is snap a photo of their receipts with the mobile app and submit the expenses once Abacus parses, verifies, and fills in the data.

Monitor candidate expenses in real time

Since expenses flow into Abacus unencumbered by expense reports, Managers and Admins are able to maintain real time visibility into all aspects of the candidates’ spending: where, why, how much, and more.

The automated rules that implement your expense policy are written in plain English, so you shouldn’t encounter a candidate genuinely misunderstanding how they’re allowed to spend money.

This level of control is an important reason Abacus makes Finance comfortable letting the hiring team manage expenses without having to hover over them. Still, monitoring the candidates’ spending in real time offers an added layer of security—and it’s only possible with real time expense reporting.

Attribute and assign expenses to specific managers

In traditional reimbursement workflows, the candidate is paid back by the Talent or HR team, not the department actually recruiting the role. With Abacus, each candidate can be attributed to a particular department or even hiring manager. This empowers two possibilities.

First, Approval Routing is able to send each and every expense to the right person or set of people based on this categorization. Second, expenses can be attributed and even billed to that team in a very precise way.

If your company has a technical recruiter, for example, you could assign them all Engineering candidate expenses, and additionally route all of those expenses over $100 to be additionally approved by the CTO—and then take the money out of their budget every quarter, backed up by line-item documentation. It’s a powerful way to track and control interview candidate expenses.

Pay candidates back the next day

Once their expenses get fully approved, Abacus pays back the candidate via ACH direct deposit as soon as the next day. Moreover, Abacus doesn’t charge a transaction fee (we have our own ACH processor in-house), so you don’t have to withhold payment for a lump sum reimbursement. 

As long as a candidate has an account at a US bank, they can get money back quickly. It’s a great way to keep your top recruits from having to be out-of-pocket for long.

Onboard easily and deactivate automatically

Lastly, accounts in Abacus are easy to set up and effortless to archive.

When a new candidate gets invited to Abacus, all they need to do is click a link to set up their account, which takes about 20 seconds, and download the mobile app if they want. The Admin setting them up in the system can also schedule, edit, and remove an automatic deactivation date.

Automatically deactivating accounts ensures you don’t have an ever-ballooning number of Abacus accounts as your recruiting efforts scale. And once you find that unicorn candidate, it’s easy to clear the deactivation date for their account—and either recategorize them as one of your full-time employees in Abacus, or move them onto your primary expense management system.

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