A recent study suggests the expense management software market is expected to have significant growth in the years to come. It also indicates that there is a considerable demand for a solution that helps put an end to a company’s expense management woes.
But, what happens when the expense management tool you trusted your data with, tries to impose its political views on you?
This is what:
As a prominent player in the expense management landscape in the US, Expensify has millions of paid subscribers. Sending a very radically political email in support of one candidate was viewed as a breach of privacy by many.
Now, there is a scramble among Expensify users to find an alternative expense management solution that will not tell them who to vote for :)
The expense management industry is booming because the need for a truly automated and connected system is more urgent than ever, now that the world has gone remote. But, this brings you to the million-dollar question. Which software can you trust your data with? And, we are not talking about just emails and passwords, but important and explosive financial data.
Below, are some points to urge you to look for an Expensify alternative - if you are not looking for one already. We have also compiled a list of features that your next software should come with, and some top alternatives that you should consider.
Why should you look for an Expensify alternative?
Expense management has been one of the significant challenges for enterprises to combat. With multiple options available in the market today, customers/users spend time choosing the best for their business. They want a software that does exactly what it promises and also cuts down on chores and not the other way around.
Expensify was launched in 2008 and has been one of the critical players in the expense management eco-space. They’ve helped organizations in their expense management process by providing automated solutions. In addition to streamlining and automating the process, they’ve also introduced features to assist them in the tedious process further.
‘It was Concur vs Expensify, and we didn’t want to get stuck with an age-old software.’
‘We had a company mandate to go digital and Expensify was the cheapest of its times’
These are quotes from real Expensify users who told us why they chose the tool in the first place.
While this worked in the beginning, they have, at times, fallen short of providing a seamless experience to their users. This has garnered some negative attention towards the expense management software. Below, we discuss some of the problematic areas they have failed to resolve or answer.
Leakage of expense receipts
One of the essential and primary functions of an expense management software is to automate as much as possible. This means cutting manual chores such as inputting receipt details.
Expensify has marketed its software as a fully automated system in place to do the tasks over the years. But Expensify came under fire after their receipt scanning method wasn’t exactly “automated” or done by machines.
It also raised concern as other human workers outside the company did the inputting of receipt details. This exposed the private information of users to the workers of Mechanical Turks. This meant any random person involved in the process could access the private data of users provided by Expensify.
Missing or duplicated records of credit card expenses
Enterprises and businesses know how time-consuming and tedious corporate credit card reconciliation can be. Businesses have tried different systems from pen and paper to spreadsheets to tackle the task of reconciling their credit cards.
Expense management software such as Expensify promise to ease out the process. But it can raise more concern and waste more time when customers have to chase down missing or duplicated records of their expenses.
From missing transaction details to duplicate entry of transactions, Expensify users have complained of improper reconciling of their credit cards. This means they have to manually do the chores they hope to get rid of in the first place. This can render the function of automatic matching of expenses to transactions useless.
Lack of timely customer support
Having an active customer support team helps the company build a strong relationship with its customers. Some newly-established softwares also offer live chat support. This ensures timely support. It also helps address the grievances and complaints of their users promptly.
Recent reports suggest Expensify is facing challenges in managing a growing customer base. For Expensify users, they can reach out for a query or help via email, chat, or forum only. This has caused considerable frustration among customers who need urgent help or immediate assistance. This has further resulted in customers demanding a customer helpline number for instant support.
One common complaint that most customers of Expensify have is about the constant in-app promotions where users are constantly bombarded with ‘reminders’ to ask admins about the Expensify card. This leads to a broken user experience, where 100 promotional tabs need to be closed before a single expense is submitted.
Understandably, users are annoyed by these disruptions, and more so by the fact that they can’t turn these adverts off. Administrators of the Expensify app have to further deal with their users complaining of irritating banner ads that ask to donate to Expensify’s charity or add to their bank account.
Customers like to know what they’re paying for. Expensify users have spoken against the software for charging them with more than they signed up for. In an app reviewing site, users can also be seen complaining about the software charging the users for months of zero usage. The provider’s lack of timely support and additional charges for no usage caused a few customers to leave.
Adopting or integrating software that randomly charges for service that you did not sign up for can incur additional costs for your business. Ensure the expense management software only charges for when you’ve used the service. It did not help when the CEO sent a lengthy email in April 2020. The email went on to justify their recent price change, while the rest of the world was reeling from an unexpected pandemic.
How to choose your Expensify alternative?
As discussed earlier, there is a bunch of expense management software available in the market today. There is also intense competition among software companies to provide the best services at the best price. Below, we discuss the features that you should pay attention to while looking for an alternative.
Responsive support system
Adopting a new expense management software, can be a daunting task. You may have a lot of questions regarding the functions and the way it works. Ensure the customer support team is easy to reach to troubleshoot if you encounter any problem. Make sure they have an active and responsive customer support team to answer your queries and help with your problem. Also, if the software provider can provide online training or a demo for the users, it can be a huge plus. Here, users can see how the software works to get their doubts cleared instantly.
Accuracy in data extraction
An expense management software offers a receipt management app and receipt scanner to help users with filing their expense reports. Ideally, the data from the receipts are accurately extracted and stored by the software. But some expense management softwares may inaccurately extract data results. In such cases, users need to manually input details such as name, amount, date, etc. When the employees have to enter data manually, it reduces the functionality and purpose of the application/ software. Therefore, make sure the software uses OCR technology to extract data with good accuracy safely.
Ability to integrate seamlessly
We know that quick sharing and easy collaboration between teams is vital to get business done these days. An easy-to-integrate software can simplify and streamline your entire expense management process. Look for an expense management software that makes it possible to integrate with your preferred ERP and other accounting software. Easy integration with other softwares can simplify complicated workflows and help address specific process-related challenges.
Accurately reconciling corporate credit card transactions
Corporate credit card reconciliation is one of the significant challenges of the account and finance team face. Not only is it time-consuming and tedious, but it also requires excellent accuracy.
Having an expense management software that can read and transport all transactions into one centralized system can save a lot of time and effort. Further, the expense management software should also be able to match expenses to their respective transactions accurately. Lastly, while transporting data from one point to another, it should not duplicate or miss expense details.
Easy approval workflows
No matter how complex your company’s approval workflow may be, it can be made easy with the right expense management software. It is suggested that you pick a software that provides a dedicated dashboard for both admin and employees to view the progress or activity of an expense report.
Further, with the help of a simple expense management dashboard, expense reports, trip requests, or advance requests can be easily viewed and approved. This can decrease the turnaround time of the process drastically.
Real-time expense policy checks
Companies spend hours creating travel and expense policies, but if poorly enforced, it can lose its effectiveness. Manually going through hundreds of expense reports for policy violations can also waste hours of productive hours.
Businesses should look for an expense management software that has the tools to enforce your company policies. Modern expense management softwares have eradicated manual policy checking to a large extent. Additionally, they help sync expenses with company policies in real-time. They also ensure flagging of any policy violations. This allows finance teams to identify and correct violations quickly.
Cost of ownership for the software
While implementing an expense management software, it is important to consider the financial side as well, in addition to its functionality and usability. The company should calculate the sum of all the direct and indirect costs to be incurred by the expense management software. This is a crucial part of the ROI calculation. You must also consider set-up and operational costs like software, hardware, implementation, data migration, training, and customization.
You need to rest assured that the data you input into your expense management system is safe from any potential breaches. You deal with sensitive information like card details, bank transactions, employee information, and other passwords.
Any leak of this information, whether internal or external, can be crippling for your business. Choose expense management software that lets you control who has access to which data, and where they can access it from. Also, you need complete ownership of your data, so that you needn’t worry about losing it when you move out of the platform.
Popular alternatives to Expensify
Here we compare some of the popular expense management software with Expensify
Fyle vs Expensify
* The Fyle pricing mentioned here is for US customers. For others, please refer here.
Concur vs Expensify
Certify vs Expensify
Get your closure
Expensify has been a key player in the expense management ecosystem for some time now. They are one of the most widely used expense management software with plans to further scale. They are also the first in the industry to get a fully functional mobile app up and running. But a few technical issues have negatively impacted their overall user experience and customer satisfaction.
Further, the company has been widely criticized for using MechanicalTurks to aid their receipt scanning. This potentially risked personal data of some of their customers, drawing serious concerns. The lack of enough customer support further also weakened their relationship with some of their customers.
While there are numerous options out there, look for an expense management software that suits your business needs. Additionally, ensure there are no hidden costs and you are well aware of what you are signing up for.
Fyle comes with no hidden costs and an honest product made to ease out your expense reporting process. Don’t take our word for it! Here are the links to our customer reviews on G2 Crowd and Capterra. Schedule a quick demo with us, and let us help you address your expense management woes.