New features in Turbine July 2016

New Turbine features and improvements including: two stage approval, improved reporting and filtering and better performance. Read the article for all the release notes.


The most recent update to Turbine has added a raft of new features.

  • Improved filtering and reporting. We moved the search box from the top menu to the top of the listing area, alongside other filtering options. We also broke out the old filter menu into three submenus: status, teams and periods and added a toggle to switch between your own requests and all requests. The periods menu now includes more time periods. And, to make reporting easier, we now show the total of all the currently-selected items.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 13.12.28
  • Added a ‘save for later’ option on requests. Now if you get half-way through filling out an expense claim or a purchase request but run out of time or you need to get more information, you can save the request for later.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 13.16.10
  • Simple two-stage approval. Historically, approving a request in Turbine only required a single approver. Now there is the option to require two approvers – they can be any two people who are authorised to approve the request. To switch this on, you need to be an admin user and select Features on the Settings menu.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 13.20.05
  • Support for new, longer TLDs in emails. If you want to use email addresses with new-style top-level domains such as .wales or .marketing, now you can.
  • Improved help functionality. We’ve upgraded to the latest version of ZenDesk and the help button lets you search the FAQs before submitting a support request.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 13.22.02
  • Add custom fields to purchase orders and expense claims.  Now you can additional, custom text fields to your requests, including drop-down menus. This allows companies to customise the POs and expense claims, for example by adding teams or locations to each request. Admin users can add custom fields on the Purchases and expenses page on the Settings menu.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 13.29.46
  • Made it easier to delete uploaded attachments on requests. We added a little ‘bin’ icon by each attachment. Click to delete. Easy!
  • Rename approval states. Most of our customers are happy with ‘Approved’ ‘Rejected’ etc. but if you want to rename these states for different requests, you can now. Just select States on the Settings menu.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 13.32.55
  • Rename field labels on request. Some of our clients need to rename the fields, for example to change the label of the ‘cost centres’ drop down menu to ‘Location’ or something like that. Just select Custom attribute names on the Settings menu.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 13.36.46
  • Improvements to admin roles. We had a few cases where clients fired the person who had originally signed up for Turbine and this meant they couldn’t update their credit cards without a lot of additional security checks and paperwork. So now we have created a separate role on the Roles and admins page of the settings menu for people who are responsible for credit cards and payments on Turbine and we have added a check that won’t let you fire the last one without appointing a new one. You can also add multiple people to this role.
  • Improved email deliverability. We used to send emails from our own mail server within the Turbine infrastructure. We are sending out nearly 300,000 a month and many were getting trapped in spam filters. It was also slowing down the applications performance. Now we use Sendgrid, the same email firm that Uber, Airbnb and Yelp use. We’ve seen deliverability shoot up and it’s now much easier trace the handful of emails that do go astray. Also, we change the way Turbine sends emails so that it doesn’t halt the application while the email is going out. This make it feel much faster.
  • New payment methods. We switched from PayPal to Stripe for payment processing. This means that (finally!) we can take American Express. Also, we now have the ability for UK clients to pay by Direct Debit. If you’d like to set that up, contact us via the Help button to request a setup email.
  • Change notification. We now have the ability to notify users in the app about changes and new functionality.
  • Option to hide the PO number prior to approval. In some companies, the very existence of a PO number is a sign that a request has been approved. Historically, Turbine used to allocate every request a number, whether it was approved or not. Now you have the ability to switch this off and only see the PO numbers for approved requests. Admins can select this option on the Purchases and expenses page of the Settings menu.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 13.42.52
  • Actual time and date. The comments and audit trail under each request now shows the actual time and date for each change and update.
  • HubSpot integration. We have started to use HubSpot for marketing automation and now we can track site visitors as they sign up for the trial and begin to use it. This will help us improve our onboarding process for new clients.
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements. We have spent a lot of time over the last few months optimising Turbine and making it more responsive. We also squashed a number of small but irritating bugs.

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