Ash The Great | Oct 31, 2017 | 0
To cut a long story short, there is not much wrong with Expensify. The biggest problem you are going to have it deciding if this service/software is compatible with your needs, and if it will help to solve any of the problems you are having within your company.
The price of an Expensify subscription is rather high unless you have a very small team of staff members, and even then, it is still a little too pricey for my liking. Your job is to figure out if this software is going to pay for itself. It can pay for itself either by making your accounting process even more efficient, or by reducing errors and delays to the point where it saves you money.
If you cannot discover a way in which Expensify saves you money, then you may like to own a subscription to use it as a convenience tool. However, I still think it is too pricey for a convenience tool, though if you only have a small number in your team, then a subscription would probably cost you less than hiring a new employee.
What Does Expensify Do?
Expensify automates your expense reporting process. Expensify allows you to do things such as manage your receipts, log multi-currency payments, manage your invoices, and all that other niggling detail that goes into creating your expense reports. The aim of Expensify is to make expense tracking more efficient and maybe make it easier, which in turn makes it easier to create your expense reports.
Fees And/Or Charges
There is a team price, a corporate price and a custom price. The Team price is $5 per month and per active user. This may not sound like much, but even a small team of five people will cost you $300 per year. The corporate subscription is $9 per person per month, which comes to $540 per year, which again is a rather high amount for an expense tracker.
All of their policies include a free trail that gives you full use of all their software functions, and there are no credit cards and such. They add the “No Credit Card” required bit to show you it is not one of those deals where you have to opt out of the free trial before you are charged. The trail goes for seven days, and goes for 30 days in some countries.
Each type of membership also gets PDF and Spreadsheet export, bulk report processing, and automatic global currency conversions. The website also advertise that you get unlimited smartscans and invoicing, but that should be standard anyway, otherwise they are like an ice cream parlor that demands you only take ten licks of each ice cream.
What And Which Software Does Expensify Integrate With?
How well the Expensify software integrates seems to depend on the software in question. For example, with Revel, people are able to sign for their purchases while in a store with the use of a touch-screen device. The information is then sent to that person’s Expensify account.
In many cases, integration with Expensify means you are able to connect your Expensify account with another account. For example, if you use Xero, then it is possible to go to your Expensify account, connect with Xero, and then have the relevant information sent from your Expensify account to your Xero account. At the time of waiting, Expensify has integration with the software below.
- Sage Intacct
- Microsoft Dynamics
- Practice Engine
- Thomson Reuters
I am aware that Expensify has integrations with other pieces of software and with other services, but the Expensify website doesn’t promote their integration. Maybe this means that other services are integrated unofficially, or that the integrated features need to be installed the hard way…I am not sure. The Receipt Burner function is also able to import receipts from these companies/services.
- ScanSnap by Fujitsu
- The Parking Spot
- Revel Systems
The Functions Or Benefits Of Expensify
- Expensify allows you to take a picture of your receipt, which it then turns into an expense report. It draws information from the photograph and adds it automatically to an expense report. You should check its work after taking the photo, but even if you have to change a few things, it is still going to save you time.
- The information entered and the changes made within your accounting system are synchronized in real-time. The aim is to help reduce mistakes and errors that cost your accounting department money to find and fix.
- Just like paper receipts that are photographed, your card transactions are populated into the Expensify system too. They are added into expense reports automatically. Transactions are also reconciled against any paper receipts too.
- Expense policy rules may be customized by account administrators, which means certain expenses under certain conditions may be automatically approved. This also means that any expenses that need to be reviewed may be flagged by the system.
- Expensify allows multi-level approval workflows, which helps to give users control over their expenses while enabling users to speed up the process.
- There are numerous workflow enhancements that are present in the Expensify system. In an ideal world, you could have your own expense reporting/tracking software in which you may build your own workflow-enhancing elements. Yet, even in that case, it may be worth trying Expensify just to see what they have done that you may copy.
- I am adding their GPS mileage capture as a benefit because in essence it is a good thing. For example, if your driver has to take a diversion, then he or she gets reimbursed for the mileage. On the other hand, I don’t like the idea of drivers getting paid more mileage money because the GPS tracked them while they took the long and scenic route.
- Even in a simple way, the Expensify system acts like a backup for your expenses, which means a little lost information here and there will not affect your bottom line because the information has been entered into the Expensify system.
The Downsides Of Expensify
- We are always looking for ways to improve our service and become better and more impartial reviewers, yet we still have holes in our infallibility (yeah, that’s what I said). I say this because we tested the customer service department with our standard set of questions and everything seemed fine. Yet, we have read a few user reviews that claim Expensify has the worst customer support ever. It may be that our questions are not difficult or probing enough. Or, there may be account specific problems that we are not testing for.
- Expensify doesn’t allow you to see information based on spending habits or things of that nature. In addition, you cannot narrow things down so that you may see how much was spent on things such as food, drinks, etc. This is why I suggested that you create your own accounting/expense tracking system and software so that you may add such functions as you require.
- If you wish to gain full the full benefit of this software, then you need to become an expert at customizing it. Obviously, this is not something that everybody is willing to do. Plus, the software doesn’t have a great deal of tutorial videos or user-friendly instructions, so getting to know every part of the program is tricky.
- The smart scan function has problems from time-to-time. There is no real reason for this. We tried it with different devices and different operating systems and the problems we had were sporadic. Sometimes it decided to work correctly, and others it decided not to scan or to make the process take an overly long time.
Is Expensify Right For Me?
It does take a while to get the hang of their user interface. I only add this in as a negative because I have seen more user-friendly version expense reporting programs. Yet, I should mention that every piece of accounting software worth its salt is tricky to learn. There was a time when staff members used to have take training days to learn how to use software, so the fact that this piece of software “Takes a little getting used to” is no big deal.
Personally, I think each company should have its own accounting system, its own tracking system and its own bookkeeping system. I think each company should create its systems from scratch to be sure that each is fully customized for the company’s needs. This is, in my opinion, the only way to create the most efficient set of systems. However, some companies cannot afford to have their own systems built, and some are so big that they wide lose a lot of money during the transition and buggy phase.
If you are looking for a straight answer as to if you should have Expensify, I say you should give it a try with a free trial to see if it does the job for you. If you cannot have your own systems built, then try package systems such as Expensify. As I wrote in the introduction, you should use the free trial to see if Expensify will save you money through making your processes more efficient, or by helping to avoid errors and delays. As ever, a post-trial cost-benefit analysis will help you decide if Expensify is the one for you.