Teampay Review & Alternatives
Teampay tackles spend management by restricting the expense approval process. The problem is, their solution increases admin on your finance team to handle approvals. Lola leverages a better model which empowers employees with software-enabled cards with granular yet flexible controls to control spend before it happens.
Teampay promises to help you fall in love with your purchasing process.
How? By automating both ends of the expensing process—so employees can spend with ease, and managers can control every dollar spent.
If you want to find out how well Teampay delivers on this promise, and discover other alternatives that can streamline your spend management and enable finance to regain control, you’re at the right place.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How Teampay promises to transform your spend management and procurement
- How Teampay matches with your expensing needs, and
- Better alternatives to consider instead
What is Teampay?
Teampay aims to channel all your organization’s spend management into one source of truth. This way, your finance team can manage the entire expensing process end-to-end and eliminate leakage of funds.
Using conversation AI built on Slack, Teampay creates a system where employees can request controllers to authorize the funds they need for every transaction.
Teampay focuses on spend management with an emphasis on managing the purchasing process. So, if you’re shopping for either purchase control or spend management software, you’re on the right track.
Let’s dive deeper into Teampay’s offering.
Does Teampay help you control spend?
Teampay empowers finance teams to control spending with approvals for every single transaction. But the byproduct of such control is additional work that might prove too much for your team to handle.
Does Teampay control spend before it happens, or after-the-fact?
Managing spend with legacy tactics (think email approval chains) can be a nightmare to navigate. It’s impossible to control expenses after they’ve been made. On the flip side, requiring manual approvals prior to each transaction occurring creates a major bottleneck.
Teampay uses a policy engine where you can specify which transactions get auto-approved and which ones get passed across for controllers to manually approve. This means every transaction is vetted before it occurs.
Is Teampay easy to use for employees, or will they avoid it?
Employees are not issued purchasing cards but rather, have to request one for every transaction. This might not be a particularly effective approach. Employees might just default to using their personal funds to make expenses and seek reimbursement, which creates more admin for your finance team.
The interface itself, however, is user-friendly. Employees can make payment requests via the Teampay web app or a bot hosted on Slack. Finance controllers can either manage spend via the Teampay web app or in Slack where they receive and approve expense requests.
Does Teampay give you visibility into spend?
Controllers can leverage Teampay’s suite of tools to monitor expenses as they happen and intervene before the money is out the door. Teampay routes expenses to finance’s control dashboard and lets you filter data to capture the trends you need at each stage.
Is reporting in real-time or after-the-fact?
After-the-fact reporting doesn’t help to control spend. Mistakes get made and all you can do is fix them next time. But Teampay collects data as transactions are made so you can track trends and determine what needs to change in your expense management strategy in real-time.
Real-time visibility brings all your expensing data into a simple, easy-to-use dashboard where controllers can watch expenses as they’re made and intervene instantly.
Are the built-in reports helpful, or not?
Teampay offers customizable reporting for filtering data and tracking transactions down to the owner, vendors, and transaction volume.
Compared with its major competitors, Teampay’s reporting appears to be a lite solution to a complex problem and may not deliver the granular insights you’d expect.
Alternatively, finance can export raw data to Excel or any other accounting tool for financial planning and analysis.
Does Teampay help you analyze spend?
Using a combination of budget-to-actual reporting, automated reconciliation, and detailed reports, Teampay enables businesses to analyze where budget dollars are being spent and devise tactics to be more efficient.
- Budget-to-actual reporting: Provides insight into how budget dollars are getting spent vs. your projections so you can make adjustments down the line and keep your accounting watertight.
- Automated reconciliation: Teampay routes expensing data right away to your accounting ledger so you always have a single source of truth across your accounting operations.
- Reporting & analytics: The Teampay dashboard serves as your finance team’s HQ for all things spend management. There you can get a detailed breakdown of spending, filtered under as many variables as you’d like.
Does Teampay work well with the rest of your software?
Expense management is just another branch of your financial operations that needs to sync with the rest of your accounting systems. So, while choosing a spend management software, keep an eye out for how many tools in your accounting stack it integrates with and how extensively it does so.
- Accounting & ERP integrations: Whether you manage your accounting from Xero, NetSuite, or QuickBooks, Teampay’s got you covered. Teampay automatically reconciles spend management data to your accounting stack, saving hours of manual admin work.
- Other integrations: Employees can make expense requests and controllers can approve transactions via Slack—with both ends powered by Teampay’s conversational chatbot.
- Raw data exports: With raw data exports built in, the possibilities with Teampay are endless since you can either review data in a spreadsheet, upload it to your accounting software, or even export it to your on-premises software.
Does Teampay offer any other features & benefits?
What other functionality would you expect from a spend management tool?
Travel management is one huge slice of the spend management pie that businesses of all sizes have to worry about. Given that business travelers spend over 100 hours annually booking and organizing trips annually, you would expect spend management solutions to automate travel to save time and costs, right?
Unfortunately, Teampay doesn’t offer a travel management functionality, nor does it intend to. So, if you have frequent travelers and you want a solution that simplifies business travel, then sorry, Teampay isn't for you.
Unlike a few other spend management solutions that offer a line of credit alongside their spend management offer, Teampay doesn’t offer business credit. Your expenses are funded right from your business debit card or bank accounts.
The Teampay Card
The Teampay card provides the payment infrastructure that makes the entire spend management system work. It’s a debit MasterCard linked to your Teampay balance and issued by the finance team to employees on demand.
Unlike conventional expense cards you can issue to employees to spend at will, Teampay leverages a more controlled system where employees have to get authorization for every payment before they’re issued a card for it.
Here’s a breakdown of how Teampay’s expense control flow works:
- An employee wants to make a purchase and requests a card via Teampay web or the Teampay slack bot
- A designated controller receives the notification in Slack, reviews, and authorizes the transaction
- Once the transaction is authorized, the employee is issued a virtual card limited to the supplier and amount requested
- The employee uses the card and submits a receipt via the Teampay app (in-person purchases; Android & iOS supported)
- For recurring transactions, employees follow the same pattern and specify the value and frequency of the subscription needed
How does the Teampay card help you control spend?
Teampay cards can only be issued by a controller, to be used on a transaction that’s either auto-approved through the rule engine or routed for manual approval.
Unlike conventional expense cards that are issued to employees to charge as they need to, employees have to first request to make an expense and get it approved, before receiving a single-use card. Teampay attempts to simplify manual admin but ends up complicating it further.
Does it eliminate the need for expense reports?
Transaction data for every purchase made using Teampay’s expense cards flows right into your control dashboard
But, given the lengthy process involved in requesting and issuing these cards, there’s the possibility that employees will avoid using Teampay, charge purchases on their cards, and just send in expense reports later.
Can everyone have a physical or virtual Teampay card?
For some inexplicable reason, Teampay doesn’t offer physical cards and expects your employees to simply make do with Apple Pay. Totally unreasonable given that employees aren’t even issued virtual cards to keep in their possession, but rather have to manually request a card whenever they need to make any transaction.
Is the Teampay card a credit or a corporate card?
The Teampay card is a debit expense card that’s funded from your business debit card or checking account.
Does the Teampay card offer rewards?
If you’re looking to get cashback on your day-to-day business expenses, then Teampay isn’t for you since it doesn’t offer any such rewards.
Teampay’s PRO plan is priced at $250/per month which is $3,000 annually. This is a significant figure if you’re a small or medium-sized business. Teampay doesn’t offer any free tier.
Long story short: if you’re on a tight budget or just looking to get your feet wet with spend management, Teampay’s pricing says to look elsewhere.
Users can access support via live chat, email, and phone.
All in all, Teampay offers a revolutionary approach towards spend management that puts extensive controls over every dollar into your finance team’s hands.
But that control increases admin workload significantly, defeats the aim of spend management, and makes it hard to recommend Teampay.
In short, don’t do it.
Consider the workload when tens or even hundreds of your employees are requesting new virtual cards for every transaction they make daily. Your finance team uses a very complicated tool but ends up manually assessing too many purchases.
In summary, Teampay’s emphasis on control puts a stranglehold on the entire spend management process.
Who should use Teampay?
Teampay might be a (but not ideal) spend management system for your organization if:
- You have enough headcount down at finance handling the stream of approvals needed to manually authorize transactions, or
- You have a very small business where you make relatively few expenses
- You don’t have any or much use for physical expense cards
- You’re a growing business that can shoulder $3,000 in annual spend management costs
But, if none of those fit your business’s current situation, then it’s better to shop elsewhere. Stay away for Teampay if:
- You’re a small business or a startup looking to get started with a free spend management solution
- In-person payments are a significant part of your expenses
- You don’t use Slack for your collaboration—it’s so built into Teampay’s fabric that it may be hard to succeed without it
- You prefer a distributed system where employees are issued cards by default while finance controls in the backend
- You’re a larger team making too many expenses for just a few finance controllers to manage, and
- You’re looking for a solution that makes it easy for employees to stay compliant and avoid leakage
Instead of trying a solution whose key feature increases your finance team’s workload (the irony) and limits your employees’ initiative, here are better alternatives to Teampay to consider instead.
Bill payment automation that empowers you to manage accounts payable invoicing at scale? Check.
Bill.com offers a powerful solution for processing invoices and settling them across numerous payment channels and currencies. So, if you’re looking to improve the payment part of the AP process, or if your expenses are primarily invoice payments, then Bill.com is for you. But if you need a solution that enables employees to make flexible transactions within expense policies, keep looking.
Spendesk offers a full-stack spend management system for companies looking to bring their payments, reporting, and spend controls into one source of truth.
Using Spendesk, you can equip employees with payment cards, have your finance team watch expenses as they’re made, eliminate fraud, and get detailed reporting on your spending footprint at all times.
However, at $150 (mid-tier plan) per month, Spendesk might not be the best option for a growing team looking to get the most bang for their buck.
Here’s a detailed review of the Spendesk product.
Ramp offers an extensive spend management product built on corporate cards with custom controls and maximum visibility into the expensing process. It offers finance teams a way to entrust cards to employees without losing control.
On the downside, the reimbursement feature is charged at an additional premium. Ramp’s Slack integration is also reserved for paying users and limits physical cards to just one per employee.
A great alternative to Teampay, but not your best bet overall.
Teampay tries to solve out-of-policy or over budget spending by restricting the spending process. The problem is, their solution increases admin on your finance team to handle approvals.
Lola leverages a better model which empowers employees with software-enabled cards that your finance team can manage in real-time. Unlike Teampay that chains everyone to approvals from finance, Lola lets you issue unlimited physical and virtual cards that can be tracked and authorized from a user-friendly dashboard. Managers still retain control, without slowing your entire expensing process to a crawl.
Lola enables you to create and assign budgets by person, category, or vendor to govern how much can be spent. Enforcement of spend policy is customizable to suit your company’s needs, from setting limits on transaction sizes or spend categories at company level down to every card.
In a nutshell, Lola combines flexible expense cards, granular controls, real-time visibility, and cutting edge security into a spend management platform designed for freedom. Freedom for employees to spend without being micromanaged and for managers to control without admin overload.
Learn how Lola can transform your spend management here.