Expensify Playbook For US Based Bootstrapped Startups

This playbook details best practices on how Bootstrapped Startups with less than 5 employees can use Expensify to prioritize product development while capturing business-related receipts for future reimbursement.

Who you are

As a bootstrapped startup, you have surrounded yourself with a small handful of people you trust, and are focused on developing your concept to officially launch and possibly take to outside investors. You are likely running your business with your own money, and possibly a small amount of funding from friends and family. You are either paying yourself a little, or not at all, but at this stage, the company isn’t profitable. And for now, you are capturing receipts so that you can reimburse yourself for startup costs when you either take on investment or start to turn a profit.

Step-by-step instructions for setting up Expensify

This playbook is built based on best practices we’ve developed after processing expenses for tens of thousands of companies around the world. As such, use this playbook as your starting point, knowing that you can customize Expensify to suit your business needs. Every company is different, and we’re always one chat away with any questions you may have.

Step 1: Create your Expensify account

If you don’t already have one, go to new.expensify.com and sign up for an account with your business email address.

Step 2: Create a Free Plan Workspace

There are three plans (Free, Collect, and Control), but for your needs, we recommend the Free Plan for the following reasons:

  • You are looking to capture receipts, but you don’t need to submit expenses to anyone for approval or reimbursement
  • You are a small, highly collaborative group and project-oriented Chat functionality can help you stay organized
  • When your business produces enough cash that you can pay yourself, you might want to reimburse yourself for the expenses you’ve captured

To create your Free Plan Workspace:

  1. Go to new.expensify.com
  2. Select New Workspace
  3. Select the avatar in the top left corner
  4. Click on the workspace name and rename it
  5. Express yourself by adding an avatar image, preferably an image of yourself

The Free Plan also gives you direct access to lightning-fast 24/7 support via Concierge. Within new.expensify.com, you can start a direct message (DM) with Concierge anytime.

Step 3: Invite Your Team

As a bootstrapped startup, you communicate with your team all day. Similarly, if you are a co-founder, you will have multiple people that will need to capture receipts for your project.

  1. Click on your avatar
  2. Select Workspaces
  3. Click on your workspace
  4. Select Members
  5. Click Invite, and enter each team member’s email address

By inviting your team, all members of your team will have access to unlimited receipt capture via SmartScan, and you’ll all have access to our free chat tool, which makes it easy to chat about your project and the expenses you’ve captured to help accelerate your project.

If you have a business bank account at this stage, congrats! You might be better suited to check out our Seed Stage playbook. If you are located in the US, you can unlock many great features by linking your US-based business bank account such as paying bills via Expensify, along with the Expensify Card.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Click on your avatar
  2. Select Workspaces
  3. Click on your workspace name
  4. At the bottom, select Bank account
  5. Select your bank and enter your online login credentials

Once this is done, you are all set to begin the process of enabling the Expensify Card. Not just for you, but if you have a co-founder, you can also issue them a card.

Step 5: Get the Expensify Card

If you linked your business bank account in the previous step, you are immediately eligible for the Expensify Card. The Expensify Card is included with your Free Plan workspace, it earns you up to 2% cash back, and they are all stored in your team’s workspace. It’s easy to apply, and it takes minutes!

Here’s how to enable the Expensify Card:

  1. Click on your avatar
  2. Select Workspaces
  3. Click on your workspace
  4. Select Cards
  5. Next, you’ll be redirected to expensify.com
  6. Set a SmartLimit > $0
  7. We’ll also ask you for your mailing address to send you a physical Expensify Card

You’ll be issued a virtual card that you can use immediately, and in 1-3 business days, your Expensify Card will arrive. You can use the Expensify Card anywhere Visa is accepted.

In addition to physical and virtual cards, you can issue Unlimited Virtual Cards with a fixed or monthly limit for specific company purchases (ex., Marketing purchases, Advertising, Travel, etc).

Step 6: View and Pay Bills

Whether it’s online services or vendors you work with to grow your project, you likely have bills to pay. And now that you have your business bank account linked, you can easily pay bills directly from Expensify. Seeing as these are project-related expenses, we’ll capture them for you for future reference directly within your project’s workspace.

There’s no actual setup required. Your free plan comes with a yourdomain.com@expensify.com email address. Just have all of your vendors send bills to that email address.

To view and pay bills:

  1. Click on your avatar
  2. Select Workspaces
  3. Click on your workspace
  4. Select Bills

When you have bills to pay you can click View all bills under the Manage your bills box and we’ll keep a neatly organized list of all of the bills you can pay via ACH directly from your Expensify account.

You’re all set!

Congrats, you are all set up! If you need any assistance with anything mentioned above, reach out to either your Concierge directly in new.expensify.com, or email concierge@expensify.com. Create a Collect or Control Policy, and we’ll automatically assign a dedicated Setup Specialist to you.

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