How are active users calculated in expensify ?

sep Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

Are all users invited treated as active users ? or only those users who actually have financial transactions in a billing month ? How about users who might just login, to generate a report ?

Best Answer

  • Sheena Trepanier
    Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team
    edited August 2022 Answer ✓

    Hello @sep, happy to help here!

    An active user is anyone who has chatted, created, edited, submitted, approved, reimbursed, or exported expense data tied to your company policy.

    Please note: When your team is under an Annual Subscription, you will be billed for your subscription amount each month. The number of active users in your subscription can be filled by any combination of policy members, and the same active user slot can be filled by a different employee the following month.

    Let's use a subscription amount for 10 active users as an example.

    • In February you have 10 active users and see a charge for $90
    • In March you have 12 active users and see a charge for $126
    • In April you have 9 active users and see a charge for $90

    In February you used all 10 active user slots in your subscription and will pay a charge of $9 per active user totalling $90.

    In March you used all 10 of your active user slots, but also had 2 additional active users you elected to pay for with Pay-per-use pricing. You see a $9 charge for each of the first 10 users (on your subscription) and an $18 charge for each of the Pay-per-use users. $90 (Annual Subscription activity) + $36 (Pay-per-use activity) = $126.

    In April, you used 9 out of 10 active users, but since you're on an Annual Subscription, you've committed to paying for 10 active users each month for 12 months. Your charge would be the minimum of 10 active users x $9.

    I hope this helps but am here for any clarifying questions you have!


  • Urayamu
    Urayamu Expensify Customer Posts: 2

    Hello Sheena, thanks for this information. In your example, since account went beyond their allotted user cap of 10; will it trigger a new annual contract wherein the new user cap goes from 10 to the next level (e.g. 20 per month) ?


  • Nicole Trepanier
    Nicole Trepanier Expensify Team Posts: 498 Expensify Team

    Hi @Urayamu! If you go over your cap of users, all additional users are charged at the pay-per-use rate. If you set your subscription size to automatically increase when you go over, it will trigger a new annual contract at the new number of users.

  • Lasers
    Lasers Expensify Customer Posts: 2 Expensify Newcomer

    Does anyone else find the contract policy very customer unfriendly? As a small business, the number of employees I have varies as we grow. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down. If a new contract is triggered every time you grow with a new employee, you can never get out of your contract or reduce the number of licenses. You always have 12 more months. No other SAAS business I work with does this (Salesforce, Cirrus Insight, etc). If you need another license, you add it and it runs with your current contract timing. If your business has shrunk when your contract runs out, you can reduce your licenses. This policy is very client unfriendly. Really making me rethink whether Expensify is the right partner for us.

  • Victoria O'leary
    Victoria O'leary Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 110 Expensify Team

    Hi @Lasers

    You're not the first one to have brought this up and we totally agree there are better ways to do this! We're looking at our billing model at the moment and you can expect to see some updates to this in the near future, so keep an eye out!👀

  • Lasers
    Lasers Expensify Customer Posts: 2 Expensify Newcomer

    You should really allow a 10% overage at the contract rate. So if you have 10 users in contract, but one month have 11, it bills all 11 at the contract rate. That would be Customer Focused.

  • Ashlea_Synertec
    Ashlea_Synertec Expensify Customer Posts: 6 Expensify Newcomer

    @Vic_O It really doesn't need to be this complicated. You know how many active users we have for the month, simply charge us for the number that were active within the month. Especially when you define active as "created, edited, submitted, approved, reimbursed, or exported expense data", I'm sure you could afford to take a more customer-friendly approach to billing which would align with your expense simplification and BS elimination ethos!

  • Christina Dobryzynski
    Christina Dobryzynski Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 268 Expensify Team

    Hi @Ashlea_Synertec, thanks for taking the time to join this Community conversation! You’ve provided some really great information that I think is beneficial to other Community members!  

    I'm sure you could afford to take a more customer-friendly approach to billing which would align with your expense simplification

    This is monumental feedback. Do you have an example of a company that you think does a good job of providing a customer-friendly approach to billing? Or can you tell me a little more about a specific experience you've had with another company that was a positive billing experience?

    You know how many active users we have for the month, simply charge us for the number that were active within the month. 

    We will always provide the number of active users in at Settings > Account > Payments > View Activity in the billing owner’s account.

    At any time, a billing owner can view our pricing options and reach out to us with questions on a specific bill or ways to change the current billing plan.

    Because the Expensify Community is a public forum, it's best to reach out to us with any billing questions in a private email sent to [email protected]. This will allow us to send you specific details about your account.

  • JackB
    JackB Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer
    edited March 2020

    I completely agree with @Ashlea_Synertec. Each month, just charge us per active user - simple as that.

  • Ashlea_Synertec
    Ashlea_Synertec Expensify Customer Posts: 6 Expensify Newcomer

    @Christina Dobryzynski the reason I chose to express my feedback on a public forum was in the hope that momentum might gather behind a changed price structure. Billing doesn't need to be complicated, where customers are forced to forecast their usage, when the service knows it perfectly well. I think Expensify is ahead of the curve on many of its innovations but not when it comes to pricing. It does feel like gouging.

    At a minimum, if you pre-pay for a fixed number of users, you should be able to change it at any time and not pay double. This is the model Float resource forecasting uses but I think Expensify can do even better with all the investment in its platforms.

  • Sasha Kluger
    Sasha Kluger Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 127 Expensify Team

    @JackB - If you'd like the flexibility to pay just for active users on a month by month basis, you can choose Pay Per User subscription.

    @Ashlea_Synertec - Thanks for the feedback! Regarding your comment on decreasing your Annual Subscription, I'd like to clarify that you're not paying double. Even though you are committing to full year with the Annual Subscription, you don't have to pre-pay for the full year. And so if you downgrade or cancel early, we don't make you pay for the rest of the year, but any users who were active above your new subscription size will be charged as if they had been on Pay Per User the entire time. I hope that helps clear up what's going on!

  • rvrinsea
    rvrinsea Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    Dear Expensify:

    I must agree that your billing policy is obtuse, and causes me to believe that my company is being shortchanged. The fact that it requires paragraphs to explain and multiple examples in these forums, should be proof enough to support my point (and that of many other users).

    Quite frankly, it feels much like the "refuel option" at a rental car agency. You know -"(1) sure you can bring the car back full and pay $3 per gallon local price, or (2) you can take the refuel option and we will charge you $2.50 per gallon, but we are going to charge you for a full tank of gas (assuming a 20 gallon tank), $50, regardless of how full the tank happens to be or (3) if you do not take the refuel option, we will charge you $9.99 per gallon for however many gallons it takes us to fill the tank." And I am thinking, my company does over 200 rentals per year with this company and this type of approach is presented to me. I suppose it maximizes revenue, but does not make me like your company any more. How about you charge me say $0.50 per gallon over market price - you would have 100% of my refueling business after that.

    I believe the same thing applies in this case, I have no quarrel over my monthly bill, the amount is fair. Expensify saves considerable time and adds further value by weeding out many duplicate expenses. However, your billing policy leaves me cold and disturbed.

    My suggestion for billing:

    (1) there is a base user fee of $x per month regardless of whether there is activity or not

    (2) an activity fee of $y per month only charged to active users.

    (1) and (2) alone would be great, with my wish list #3 below

    (3) there is a suspend feature that can only be used twice per year per user that leaves the user account intact but allows the account to be resumed (we have a considerable amount of seasonal work & travel that only occurs in the spring and fall, many of our employees are only on payroll during these two seasons.

    Regardless of (3), within reason I do not care what x and y happen to be, and I suspect that your marketing and pricing department could match or exceed the revenue (and profit) generated by your current pricing policies, or even exceed it since more users may be attracted to the simpler policy.

    Summary, your pricing policy as constituted goes against everything your brand stands for. Both Expensify and your customers would both benefit from a less complex pricing model.


    Richard von Riesen

    Seattle, Washington

  • Kadie Alexander
    Kadie Alexander Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 113 Expensify Team
    edited April 2020

    Hi Richard!

    I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback. I have shared this with the Expensify team to take into consideration with any pricing adjustments. The idea of a "pause" functionality is intriguing and I'll definitely raise this internally!

    I wanted to explain our billing a bit further as I believe our annual subscription fulfils the structure you laid out in points 1 and 2.

    With the Annual Subscription, you are charged monthly based on your Subscription Size. This is a set number that you are committed to paying for at a reduced monthly rate (regardless of Active Users) and represents point 1 ($X).

    Any additional Active Users are then charged at the Pay Per Use rate, similar to the Active User charge in point 2 ($Y). The only difference is that you are not charged for the Active Users covered by your Subscription Size.

    I also wanted to specify that we don't inflate any prices when cancelling the annual subscription, as is the case with your analogy. When you cancel your subscription you are breaking the annual contractual obligation you have with Expensify, not returning Expensify in a certain condition after agreed use like a rental car.

    To break this commitment, we will reverse the subscription and charge the difference between what you paid on an Annual Subscription so far, and what you would have paid at a Pay Per Use price for the months you had the Annual Subscription. It's as if the annual commitment never took place!

    I hope this helps to make things simpler! Thanks again for your honesty and taking the time to share your thoughts. 😊

  • aborabieamohamed311
    aborabieamohamed311 Expensify Customer Posts: 20 Expensify Newcomer

    هل انتهت فترة التحربة وبالتالي يمكنني تحرير الصفحة الرئيسية والتواصل مع المجتمع


  • Jason Li
    Jason Li Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 231 Expensify Team

    Hi @aborabieamohamed311 - if your free trial is over, you'll be prompted to add a billing card, otherwise you'll lost functionality of your account.