Deep Dive: How does the Annual Subscription billing work?

Stevie LaFortune
Stevie LaFortune Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 241 Expensify Team
edited August 2022 in Deep Dive Docs

For the best price and experience, the recommended setup is to use the Expensify Card for all purchases and configure a 12-month annual subscription. 

You can start on The Free Plan which will allow you to Set up an Expensify Card workspace and manage your card spend and reimburse cash expenses! On the FREE plan you can get: 

  • Expensify Cards for all employees!
  • Invoicing
  • BillPay
  • Unlimited receipt scanning for everyone in the company!
  • Next-day reimbursements!
  • Up to 1% cashback!
  • Free corporate travel booking!

All you need to get this FREE plan is a US business checking account!

Whenever your needs grow you can upgrade to a Control plan for just $9 per user per month for the number of users you set and you can get access to the following features: 

  • Accounting sync to automatically categorize expenses directly into your chart of accounts, and then export them nightly to your accounting package of choice
  • Advanced approvals for multi-level routing workflows
  • SmartLimits to automatically reduce card limits based on outstanding expense reports
  • 2% cashback on every category on months where card program spend is over $250K
  • Third-party corporate card or travel feeds, in case you'd prefer not to use ours
  • HR, recruiting, payroll, CRM, PSA, and other integrations for advanced coding and automatic employee provisioning
  • SAML/SSO and other domain-level security controls

Setting Initial Subscription Size

When you first create a subscription, best practice is to set your Subscription Size by entering the average number of active users you expect to have each month for the next year. This is set in the Subscription Size field by going to Settings > Policies > Groups > Subscription page:

If you don't set a specific subscription size, this will be automatically updated based on your past activity: 

  • If you’ve never had activity in Expensify, your Subscription Size is set after your first month. 
  • For existing policies switching to a Subscription, the Subscription Size is set to the number of active users on your last month’s billing history. 
  • Keep in mind, if Auto Increase is not selected and after the first month you have more users, you will be billed for those at the Pay-per-use rate.

Planning your Subscription Size

This is really important for managing your costs. If you expect to have an average of 10 users each month, even if they are not always the same users, set your Subscription Size to 10.

If you know some months you’ll have 12 or 13 or 15, as long as you think this will be for fewer than 3 out of 12 months, you’ll pay less by keeping your subscription at 10 users. If you expect this to be for more than 3 months, it’s most cost-effective to set your Subscription Size to be higher.

If you go over your 10, you will pay the full unbundled pay-per-use rate for the extra users, so being proactive is key.

An ‘Active User’ is anyone who chats, creates, submits, approves, reimburses, or exports a report in Expensify. This includes Copilots and automated settings.

Increasing your Subscription Size

If your company is growing and your original Subscription Size ends up being too small for the entire year, you can add users to your subscription at any time. Whenever your subscription size is increased, you will start a new 12-month subscription at that new subscription size.

You can increase your subscription size manually or automatically. To manually increase the size, just update the number in your Subscription settings.

You can also do this automatically by enabling Auto Increase Subscription Size. This feature manages your subscription by automatically increasing the count whenever there is activity that exceeds your Subscription Size.

NB: Once you have increased your subscription size, you cannot decrease it within the next 12-month period, so if you know your numbers fluctuate you may want to leave this disabled so that you only pay for the additional active users in the month they are active. Increasing the subscription size will re-start your 12-month subscription period.

Auto Renewal

By default, your subscription is set to automatically renew after a year. To disable this, just click the toggle from your Subscriptions settings before the current subscription ends:

If Auto Renew is disabled then the last bill at the annual rate will be issued on the date listed under the Auto Renew settings. For example, if your subscription expires on March 1, 2021, then February 2021 will be the last month billed at the annual rate. March activity will be billed at the Pay-per-use rate if you don't set a new subscription.

We recommend that you review your user count annually, on a proactive basis. Set a reminder now to review your numbers a month before your subscription expires! 

If you need to decrease your number of users, you can do this in the first billing month, before you are billed. Using the example above, this would be during the month of March 2021.

Advanced: Using Expensify without the Expensify Card

If you cannot or choose not to use the Expensify Card, we’ve still got you covered. You are welcome to use Expensify in an ‘unbundled’ fashion, which means using the Expensify website and mobile app, without using the Expensify Card. This configuration isn’t recommended for a number of reasons, the most significant being that you will miss out on the best possible experience such as an unbreakable card feed connection, instant transactions, no need to SmartScan receipts for small items, daily or monthly settlement, and so much more. 

If you use Expensify without the Expensify Card, you will miss out on bundled savings, equal to the amount of the optimum normal subscription. To save 50% on your monthly bill, simply adopt the Expensify Card for at least 50% of your USD spend (or if less, a proportional fraction will be saved on a ‘sliding scale’). 

Note on Billing Currencies - We also have billing available in GBP, AUD, and NZD. You can see the rates on our Pricing page.