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The hidden cost of free plans in SaaS

October 20, 2021
1 mins
Min Read

For over a year, we've noticed that every time Expensify's CEO sends out an email, we see a spike in our incoming leads and customers. 

Today was no different. I woke up to 3 different people sending me the same email from Expensify. I opened the email with the anticipation of someone unwrapping a Christmas present and wasn’t disappointed. 

It read: [Expensify] We’ve dropped the per-seat fee.

This leads us to the question of whether free is truly free. Let’s figure it out.

One of the first systems businesses put in place either independently or via a bookkeeping firm is an accounting software like Quickbooks or Netsuite. But, the expense management process is riddled with manual work like following up with employees for receipts, to manual verifications, approvals, and processing of payments. And accounting software often don't have powerful expense reporting and management capabilities.

This not only slows teams down but also adds a layer of uncertainty around your expense management process.

No accounting integrations in Expensify’s free plan

Expensify's new free plan is made to look like it's meant to help small businesses. But without offering any accounting software integrations, it makes a mockery of them by offering a product that fundamentally increases their workload. 

Additionally, a plan without accounting integrations is basically unusable for a business where most customers are in VSB (under 10 employee companies) and SMB (9-499 employee companies). As the saying goes, if you are not paying for it, you are not the customer; you are the product. 

And, as history would have it, Expensify have faced a lot of flak from their customers because of slow Customer Support. In fact, an honest review of the Expensify Card on their forum says this:

"The general expensify support is horrible. If I had the time on my hands, I would have transitioned out already. If we don't see an improvement in support, we may transition out this summer."

Couple this with the free plan, and you already know you’d only get support via their forum, where queries often go unanswered for weeks. Not so “free” after all, you see?

TLDR - if you use the Expensify card or their free software, it's going to cost you more than money. Be ready to spend time exporting spreadsheets to your accounting system while receiving politically charged emails every now and then. 

Expense management with Fyle

While Fyle does not have a free plan, we offer the best product that genuinely cares about end-user and accountant experience. Our goal is to ensure you don't spend time on this process. In addition, we deliver an overall great experience with unmatched (and not outsourced) customer support. 

As a growing business, whether you manage the accounting process on your own or via a bookkeeping firm, Fyle has you covered with best-in-class integrations with Xero, Quickbooks Online, Sage Intacct, and NetSuite. Furthermore, we don’t push any cards on you. Instead, you can bring your own cards to Fyle and get the best experience covering the entire spend management chain. 

Additionally, your employees can turn in receipts without leaving Gmail/Outlook/Slack. They can simply click a picture on their mobile phone, and Fyle automatically matches receipts with card transactions and pushes it to the right GL on your accounting system. 

Lastly, over the last six months, hundreds of Expensify customers have chosen Fyle because of the superior experience for both end-users and accountants and, most importantly, because of our customer service. Here’s an example of what you can expect from us. 

Best expense management software - Fyle

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