Expense management software makes it easier for employees to create and submit expense reports and for employers to track work-related expenses. With easy-to-use interfaces and automatic task managing, this software can improve efficiency in the following ways:
- Generating expense reports
- Automates payment requests
- Timesheet management
- Receipt and record keeping
Top 10 Best Rated Expense Management Software
Founded in 2002, Neat offers document scanning through its sleek InDocument Identification Technology (ID2), which transforms information on paper into digital data, as well as a cloud service and software for document management.
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Certify is a relatively new expense management software. It offers the ability to upload receipts and expense reports from any device; its mission is to help business owners and employees manage expenses on the go.
Concur has been in the news recently for its partnership with Starbucks. This software offers traditional expense reporting services as well as integration with local businesses to make expense reporting easier.
Expense Path has been providing small- to medium-sized businesses with online expense reporting since 2010. It offers receipt and expense report uploading as well as other services for small business owners and employees.
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DATABASICS has been offering web-based business software since 1997 and has moved into cloud-based expense reporting services. It has received the Deloitte Fast 50 Award for a variety of services including its customer service.
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Replicon focuses on time-saving measures for businesses. It tracks time and expenses for companies in five countries around the world, allowing employers to ensure that employees' time cards are accurate and complete.
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Coupa was founded when online shopping was new with the intention of providing businesses with affordable products and a great shopping experience. It offers expense management services as well as business-oriented products.
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SutiExpense is one of several softwares Suti offers to cut down on fraud and other business security risks. It offers integration with business accounting software as well as expense tracking and timesheet tracking.
Insperity began as a brick-and-mortar business consulting company in the 1980s. Today, it offers expense management software and other online business solutions to try to streamline business functions in the online world.
ExpensePoint is an expense management product offered by GlobalPoint, an international business serving companies on five continents. It offers a variety of expense tracking services to businesses all over the world.
What features matter most?
Expense report generation
One of the primary purposes of expense management software is to make the process of generating expense reports easier. Users can submit information online and send the report directly to the manager in charge of authorizing reimbursement.
- Mobile report creation: Users can create and manage expense reports from smartphones or other mobile devices, allowing them to report expenses immediately after incurring them.
- Email alerts: Managers receive an email whenever a new expense report is generated, allowing them to review it immediately.
- Remote documentation upload: Employees and managers can upload or download supporting documents when they generate a report. Mobile access to this feature allows them to send and review documentation right away.
Payment request automation
When employees request reimbursement for small purchases, they need to receive an answer right away. Most expense management software packages automate this process.
- Automatic validation of requests: The software checks requests for accuracy and ensures that there are no duplicate requests.
- Tracks and allocates requests: Most software packages track requests by employee and ensures funds are allocated to the correct entity.
- Automation of codes: The software assigns project, general ledger and other codes based on the information employees provide in their payment requests.
Some expense management software tracks time. Employee timesheet accuracy is vital to ensuring employees get paid correctly and fraudulent practices, such as signing in when not actually at work, are eliminated. Time spent on projects is tracked for accurate client billing.
- Online time reporting: Employees can report the hours worked on a project or spent in the office using an online tool.
- Mobile support: Many timesheet programs allow users to sign in using their mobile phones. Employers can also verify and correct timesheets from their mobile devices.
- Quicker processing time: Submitting timesheets online using automated systems can help speed up the processing time.
Digital receipt management
Employees can submit digital receipts and don't have to carry paper evidence of their expenses.
- Cloud storage of receipts: Digital receipts may be stored in the cloud. Using cloud storage makes it less likely that receipts will be lost and allows managers easy access.
- Instantaneous upload: Users can upload receipts at the same time that they submit expense reports, which can make processing easier and faster. Receipts are created with digital photos, by fax or by forwarding email receipts.
- Better records: Users don't have to worry about losing receipts prior to reimbursement or misplacing documentation needed for a tax audit.
Policy compliance checks
Expense reporting carries the risk of inappropriate or fraudulent payment requests. Automated policy compliance checks help reduce these problems.
- Track limits: If a business' policies include caps on reimbursable travel or other expenses, the software can track these limits and block requests that exceed them.
- Automated approval/denial: Employers can set parameters for expense request approval based on their policies. The software will automatically approve or deny requests based on these limits.
- Expense comparison: When a request comes in, the software can compare budgeted expenses to the actual expenses reported and use this information to create future budgets for the company or the individual employee.
Mobile device support
When choosing espense management software, considering mobile device compatibility is important for many consumers on the go.
- Complete functionality: Employers and employees can sign in and perform the same tasks with their mobile devices that they would do from a desktop, laptop or mobile app. Make sure the mobile platform your company uses is supported.
- One touch approval: Managers can sign in and touch a button to approve expense reports.
- Remote access: Managers and employees can access the software while on the road, making the expense report process easier.
What are different types of expense management software?
Expense reporting software
This software allows users to track and report their expenses. It doesn't offer other expense management functions.
Timesheet software acts as a virtual time clock. Employees can clock in and out, track their hours, check how much vacation time they've accrued and otherwise manage their timesheets. Administrators can see how time is being spent on projects and can accurately invoice clients that are billed for time and expenses.
Integrated expense management software
Integrated software performs a variety of expense management functions. The software is highly customizable to fit the business, to track compliance issues and store receipts and other documentation of expenses. This software automatically sends data to accounting software.
Who's it for?
Employees who travel
Employees who engage in a lot of work-related travel will want to use expense management software to track their travel expenses and request reimbursement.
Independent contractors often find expense management software to be helpful for tracking billable hours and project related expenses.
Accounting department executives
Accounting department executives at large businesses use expense management software to help automate expense reimbursement and generate accurate records for tax purposes.
Payroll departments use timesheet software and other expense management software to ensure payroll accuracy.
Small business owners
Small business owners who handle expense reporting, budgeting and payroll processing often find expense management software helpful.
The Neat Company makes scanners and software for individuals and businesses that can help with organization and management. Their products are available at national retailers, including Staples, BestBuy and OfficeMax.
- Affiliate program: Earn a small commission when you refer sales to neat.com when you put their link on your website. Find out more by visiting Neat’s website.
- Free trial: Individuals and businesses can enjoy a free trial of Neat’s premium software in two ways. They can either try the software free for 30 days or receive a full year of Premium software for free when they buy a Neat scanner. Neat scanners come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Neat scanner bundles: Neat offers several scanner bundling options that all include one year of Neat Premium Software. Choose from NeatReceipts , NeatDesk and NeatConnect.
- Industry focus: Neat scanners and software are helpful for many industries, but they have specific solutions for accounting, construction, legal, real estate, insurance and small businesses.
- Everywhere access: Neat’s software is available on all of your devices, thanks to their mobile and tablet app. You can also log into cloud.neat.com for full access and sharing capabilities of your files.
- Best for Small business owners, payroll departments and independent contractors.
Certify is a comprehensive online expense management software package that offers several services for managers and employees and an impressive feature set for accountants. Pricing starts at $8 per user per month for the essential features for small businesses. The professional version is for companies with 25 to 200 employees and Enterprise for over 200 employees.
- Best for Employees who travel, independent contractors, small business owners and accounting executives.
Concur is a web-based expense management service that focuses on travel related expenses. Concur is a part of SAP, a German software company whose products allow businesses to track customer and business interactions. SAP is especially well-known for its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and data management programs. Customers do not have to use SAP to use Concur. Pricing starts at $8 for a basic set of features. Features can be added like the ability to manage invoices, more detailed reporting, audit service and worldwide use in higher level packages. Expense reports are created by snapping photos of receipts using an iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry mobile device.
- Best for Employees who travel and independent contractors.
DATABASICS Expense is part of a set of three separate but related expense management services: Time Management, Expense Management and Vendor Invoice Management. This cloud-based system can be configured for your business needs and is highly customizable so you only purchase the services you need. Expense reports can be submitted and approved on iOS and Android phones and tablets. Because installations are customized, pricing varies.
- Pre-trip authorization: Use this feature in DATABASICS Expense to ensure that employees who are traveling get required budget approvals. The authorization is attached to the expense report, and spending is automatically compared to approved budgets.
- Receipt EXPRESS: This module uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read the information on receipt images, such as photos of receipts snapped with a smartphone camera. Receipt EXPRESS can automatically fill in date, amount, type of expense and more.
- Expense EXPRESS: This module is ideal for recording and reporting out of pocket expenses and quick one-line expense reports. It can be used directly from a smartphone. Choose from meals, mileage, parking or taxi, enter transaction information and then either take a photo of the receipt or select the photo from your phone’s gallery and tap on Submit.
- Global software: DATABASICS Expense supports multiple languages, utilizes a currency conversion tables and international per diems and offers VAT reclamation extracts, pay rate triggers and more.
- Vendor payment services: Invoice services include the ability to pay vendors and reimburse employees directly from the software.
- Best for Independent contractors, payroll executives and accounting executives.
SutiExpense can be configured to meet the online expense reporting needs of businesses of any size and has a flexible design with a user interface that is easy to learn. Use SutiExpense on an iOS or Android phone to create an expense report and then snap a photo of receipts which are then stored and attached to expense reports.
- Best for Employees who travel and accounting executives.
Established in 1986, Insperity offers expense management, human resource and payroll services to over 100,000 businesses globally with 57 offices in the U.S. Insperity offers bundled business services for small and mid to large business along with individual solutions like Expense Management.
- Best for Small business owners and accounting executives.
ExpensePoint is a global expense management software company that has provided worldwide services since 2000 and has clients in over 65 countries. ExpensePoint seeks to help companies of any size implement a world-class expense management solution. The software is online with Android and iOS mobile apps and cost is $7.50 per user per month. There’s a 15-day free trial.
- Best for Employees who travel, independent contractors and accounting executives.
Xpenditure has grown from a 2011 startup to a large, international service with a presence in more than 22 countries. Pricing starts at $5 per user per month and more features can be added for $7 per user per month. Sign up for a year and pricing is $4.17 and $5.83 respectively. Corporate custom pricing plans are available, and there is a free trial.
- Automated expense matching: Users can upload bank statements from over 5,000 financial institutions, allowing Xpenditure to compare reported expenses and actual expenses. The software will flag and report discrepancies so that users can investigate them.
- Accounting and productivity integration: Xpenditure integrates with all major online accounting and productivity apps like Xero, FreshBooks, FreeAgent, QuickBooks, Evernote, Oracle, SAP and others.
- Easy receipt digitization: Users can upload photos of receipts to their Xpenditure accounts using their iOS, Android or Windows Phone mobile devices, forward e-receipts via email to the account or connect Xpenditure to Dropbox to drop receipts into the Xpenditure folder.
- Online account: Upon sign-up, users get an online account that stores all their receipts, reports and other financial information. The dashboard is used to approve expense reports with access to key receipt data, flagged duplicates, alerts triggered by policy violations and to review expenses in real time.
- Lengthy receipt storage: Digitized receipts are stored for 10 years, and users can access them in the event of an audit or other long-term need.
- Best for Small business owners, independent contractors and accounting executives.
Coupa has been finding ways to help companies save money since 2006. It uses current technology to help users meet their expense reporting and budgetary goals. Coupa Expenses is part of the Coupa Spend Management Suite.
- Cloud-based services: Coupa's software is completely cloud-based, which reduces the risk of data theft or loss and allows users to access it anywhere.
- Easy input: To enter and document expenses using the Coupa Expenses mobile app, use your phone’s geo location and camera to snap receipts and your voice to enter information.
- Automated invoice processing: Coupa processes and pays invoices automatically, which means users don't have to spend a lot of time on accounts payable.
- Automatic expense classification: Managers can easily monitor expenses by looking at the expense classifications on reports.
- Integration with HR, ERP and other systems: HR, payroll, accounting and other departments benefit equally from use of this software.
- Best for Independent contractors, accounting executives and payroll executives.
Replicon is a cloud-based web timesheet and expense management app with time tracking and project costing features. WebExpense is the expense management component of Replicon.
- Expense sheets: Employees enter expenses online using a clearly laid out expense reporting form with drop-down selections for dates, expense type and project. Expenses can be designated to be billed back to clients.
- Workforce productivity analysis: Managers can generate reports from timesheets to examine productivity and labor law compliance issues.
- Accurate tracking: Replicon supports an unlimited number of expense codes for more granular expense reporting and unlimited tax calculations such as airport tax, state tax, VAT, etc.
- Mobile app: Replicon for iOS or Android mobile apps makes it quick and easy to create expense reports on-the-go and includes the ability to snap photos of receipts and attach them to expense reports. Once an expense report is submitted, it syncs seamlessly into the approval process. Projects and tasks and time tracking are also featured in the mobile app.
- Cloud-based expense tracking: Managers can easily approve and track expenses from any Internet-enabled device such a smartphone using a cloud-based solution. Reports are customizable and easy to use.
- Best for Independent contractors, small businesses, payroll executives and accounting executives.
ExpensePath is a web and mobile solution to help small to mid-sized companies easily and affordably manage the processing of expense reports. ExpensePath has been in business since 2010 and offers a free trial.
- Professional setup included: ExpensePath takes care of setting up the software to users' specifications for no extra charge in under two hours.
- Finance features: GL codes, departments, projects, employees and more are mapped completely to ExpensePath to make the software comply with the customer’s accounting standards. Granular policies can be set specific to job function, allowable expenses and more.
- Accounting integration: ExpensePath data integrates directly with Intacct, QuickBooks and Netsuite. Data can be exported into other accounting systems.
- Highlighted policy violations: Reports highlight all policy violations, allowing managers to easily review them.
- Online or mobile app: Expense reports can be created, edited or approved online or on ExpensePath for Android or iOS mobile devices. Users can still access most features in the mobile app even if there is no cell signal or Wi-Fi available. Data syncs when online. Receipts can be captured using the camera on your phone or tablet, and credit card transactions can be automatically imported. Managers get email notifications when expense reports require a review along with details of the submitted expense. Approve or deny expenses with one click.
- Best for Small businesses and employees who travel.
ExpenseOut is a cloud-based solution that helps users automate travel booking, expense claims, approvals, settlement and tracking of all expenses. Developed by Infiniti Software Solutions, ExpenseOut helps corporations and small to medium-sized enterprises manage and control business travel expenses. There is a free trial, and basic through premium packages are priced according to your business needs.
- Receipt management: Snap a photo of your receipt with the mobile app and the smart reader will pull the date, total and other information from the receipt to automatically populate your expense report. ExpenseOut also has an e-vault that stores receipts as JPG or PDF files to be attached to expense reports later.
- Simplifies trip booking: The software has an integrated air, hotel and car rental booking engine with a built in approval process. The engine tracks hotel expenses and monitors the cost of cabs and other transit for competitive pricing.
- Customer support: Employees in several major cities around the country offer 24/7 access to customer service.
- Ensures compliance: Customize ExpenseOut to use your organizational budget and travel policies to ensure compliance among the system's users.
- Reports: Graphical charts and tables show expenses incurred to easily track expenses as they are submitted.
- Best for Managers and accountants in corporations, medium-sized enterprises and those who manage large sales staffs or groups of traveling employees.
Expensify is online expense management software that aims to streamline the expense reporting process. Using a mobile app for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone devices, employees snap photos of receipts and the data extracted from the image populates an expense report. Three price points are available: Individual which is free or $5 per user per month as part of the Team plan, the Corporate plan with robust features for $9 per user per month and the Enterprise plan with variable cost depending on number of users and features. There’s a 30-day free trial.
- Pay only for active users: Users in the paid versions are defined as active users. If an employee doesn’t submit an expense report one month, you will not pay that employee’s monthly fee. Active users submit as many expense reports as they like and edit as often as needed, all for the flat fee. There are no other fees for set up, training, etc.
- Support, syncing, integration: Email and chat support are included with each Expensify plan while Enterprise accounts get a dedicated coach for training and help. Expense data syncs with QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite and other CRM or accounting software. The Enterprise version can integrate with ERP solutions and syncs with Oracle, SAP, Salesforce and FinancialForce PSA.
- Digital signatures: When an expense report is submitted or approved, Expensify adds the signature of the person along with the IP address of the person taking that action. This adds an extra layer of security and provides an audit trail, revealing if any tampering took place.
- Saving and exporting data: Expense report data can be saved as a PDF simply by opening the report and clicking on the save to PDF button. Data can be exported to QuickBooks, Evernote, Freshbooks, Xero, payroll services and more. Expensify exports to any accounting package using a flat file export, including to Sage Accounting, Intacct, QuickBooks and more. The Corporate plan includes an API for automatically pulling data.
- One click administration: Hundreds of expense reports can be processed at once with one click. Company credit cards can be reconciled and records worked with at any time, there’s no additional cost for reimbursements via ACH Direct Deposit, PayPal or payroll and automated controls are in place to eliminate duplicate expenses. Rules can be set for workflow to automate enforcement and compliance.
- Best for Employees who travel, independent contractors, account department executives, payroll departments and small business owners.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
11 – 13 Best Rated Expense Management Software
Xpenditure is a relatively new company that was launched in March 2013 after two years of research into businesses' operations and pressing needs. Its mission is to make business operations easier, smoother and faster.
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ExpenseOut is an expense management solution that leverages technology to cut the clutter associated with the process of reimbursing travel expenses. The program can create custom travel-related reports and charts.
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Expensify is a company with the mission to make expense reports hassle-free. They started in 2009 with a receipt scanning concept, they now have the SmartScan. Expensify has three different pricing options and a free trial.
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