Expense management software simplifies the process of analyzing, tracking and reporting expenses. Explore our list of 6 best expense management software.
Expense reimbursement and reconciliation processes can be a burden for businesses, especially if they don’t have an expense management software solution. These tools can transform your expense management procedures, allowing for less expense stress.
If you are looking for a solution to help streamline and optimize your business expense management workflows and operations, look no further. This article provides a comprehensive guide to the top six expense management software tools available in 2023.
Top expense management software comparison
The right expense management solution for your company will contain all of the essential features necessary to meet its unique business requirements. Take a look at this comparison table to see how each product approaches these key aspects of expense management software.
Zoho Expense: Best overall expense management software
Zoho provides several solutions for business management optimization, including Zoho Expense, their online expense reporting software. Zoho Expense was crowned as our pick for the best overall expense management software, as it provides a plethora of tools and features that simplify and streamline business expense report processes.
This customizable solution automates many of the tasks and workflows involved in expense reporting, budgeting, auditing, travel management and more. And with its collaboration features, business leaders can easily keep their teams on track and aligned with their expense management goals.
Plans and pricing
- Free: $0 for up to three users.
- Standard: $3 per active user per month billed annually, or $5 per active user per month billed monthly. It requires a minimum of three users and supports unlimited users.
- Premium: $5 per active user per month billed annually, or $8 per active user per month billed monthly. It requires a minimum of three users and supports unlimited users.
- Enterprise: $8 per active user per month billed annually, or $12 per active user per month billed monthly. It requires a minimum of 200 users and supports unlimited users.
- Zoho One: A bundle of all of Zoho’s software products into a single plan that costs $37 per month per employee, billed annually.
Businesses with more than 500 users must contact Zoho Expense for a custom quote. A 14-day free trial is available for the Standard and Premium plans.
- Custom roles.
- Expense importing.
- Expense rules and policies.
- Purchase requests.
- In-app notifications.
- Automatically integrates with Zoho Books, making expense management and bookkeeping a breeze for users of both systems.
- Autoscan feature allows users to scan and import their receipts, creates expense reports for them and even read receipts in 14 languages.
- Users can track their business mileage through four different methods — GPS, point-to-point map locations, odometer readings or distance traveled.
- Travel expense management capabilities are available only through the Premium plan.
- The Free plan only comes with 5 GB receipt storage.
For more information, read the full Zoho Expense review.
Expensify: Best for employee reimbursement
Expensify is a standalone solution that might be the answer to your business’s employee reimbursement needs. This expense management tool lets users process their reimbursements globally, providing tools and features for simplifying cross-border transactions.
The software’s automated reimbursement tools take the pressure off of people to handle currency conversions and exchange rate calculations. Automated workflows can also be established for tasks like approving expenditures and reports. Businesses can even offer their staff the Expensify Corporate Card, which allows them to spend money based on set limits and can provide valuable insight into company spending.
Plans and pricing
Expensify provides a Free plan with limited features. It also offers the Collect and Control plans, which provide more features. These Collect and Control plans start at $0 per user per month with an Expensify Card, depending on the percentage of the company’s spending processed through the card. Companies can get these plans for free by meeting a minimum monthly card spend.
- Receipt capture.
- Expense tracking.
- Mileage tracking.
- Custom reporting.
- Users can ensure compliance by running purchases through the Rogue Agent Detection system and against the businesses custom policy rules.
- Expensify has integrations with many popular software solutions for easy data synching.
- San Francisco users can pay a visit to the Expensify Lounge, the first of Expensify’s work lounges, bridging the gap between software and real-life networking environments.
- The Expensify app provides financial collaboration tools.
- New users may find the technology difficult to master.
- No telephone customer support.
Wave Accounting: Best receipt scanner
Teams on a budget will appreciate Wave Accounting’s forever-free software that makes tracking expenses fast and easy. Businesses can gain access to unlimited income and expense tracking to efficiently record and organize their transactions. From there, the data can be turned into helpful reports that reflect the company’s financial health.
Time and effort are saved thanks to the receipt scanner, a feature of the Wave Accounting app. Users need only to capture and upload images of their receipts and the OCR technology to scan information and import all necessary data into the system.
Plans and pricing
- Wave Accounting is a completely free solution.
- Multi-business management.
- Automated reminders.
- Mobile app.
- Unlimited expense and income tracking.
- Valuable accounting reports.
- Bank reconciliation with double-entry accounting.
- No limits on the number of users on an account.
- Multi-business management capabilities are included at no additional cost.
- Wave Accounting allows for unlimited credit card and bank connections.
- No U.S.-based phone support.
- Limited third-party integrations.
For more information, read the full Wave Accounting review.
QuickBooks Online: Best tax categorization
QuickBooks Online is a highly popular accounting solution. The all-in-one platform lets companies gain control over their expenditures. And while this option may be pricey compared to others on our list, its range of features may justify the cost.
Businesses can get increased visibility into their company spending using the software’s real-time dashboards. Data is automatically synced within the system through bank account connections, credit cards and even PayPal. It also comes with automatic expense categorization, so no transactions are missed come tax season.
Plans and pricing
- QuickBooks Simple Start: $30 per month with access for one user.
- QuickBooks Essentials: $60 per month with access for up to three users.
- QuickBooks Plus: $90 per month with access for up to five users.
- QuickBooks Advanced: $200 per month with access for up to 25 users.
First-time QuickBooks customers receive the option of either signing up for a 30-day free trial or locking in 50% off for their initial three months.
- Mobile App.
- Bill management.
- Automatic expense categorization.
- Cash flow forecasting.
- Bookkeeping and accounting reports.
- Income and expense tracking.
- Will automatically download and suggest categories for business transactions.
- Users can create custom rules for categorizing expenses, saving them time and energy.
- Live assisted bookkeeping and live full-service bookkeeping support through QuickBooks Live.
- More costly than some competitors.
- Enforces user limits on every plan.
For more information, read the full QuickBooks Online review.
FreshBooks: Best project-based expense tracking
FreshBooks is an excellent software tool for businesses looking to track and manage their project-based expenses. With helpful features like bank connection imports, tax categorization and collaborative tools, businesses can easily handle their expense management.
Teams can stay on top of their project spending through the project-based expense tracking features. The solution can even help them gain more profound insights into their projects’ profitability by providing detailed profitability reports with expense and service categories.
Plans and pricing
- Lite: $17 per month billed monthly, or $204 billed yearly. Allows users to bill five clients per month.
- Plus: $30 per month billed monthly, or $360 billed yearly. Allows users to bill 50 clients per month.
- Premium: $55 per month billed monthly, or $660 billed yearly. Includes unlimited billable clients.
- Select: Custom quote pricing for enterprises.
- Project-based budgeting and billing.
- Automatic mobile receipt tracking.
- Collaboration tools.
- Client profiles and account statements.
- File storage.
- Has easy categorization for billable expenses and can automatically transfer these costs onto a client invoice.
- Versatile project management features like file sharing, permission controls and communication logs.
- Supports multi-currency expense tracking.
- Only higher-priced plans gain access to true double-entry accounting.
- Software is more optimized for service-based businesses over inventory-based companies.
For more information, read the full FreshBooks review.
Sage Intacct: Best for time-saving automations
While many of the tools mentioned in this list come with automated features, Sage Intacct takes the cake. This cloud-based business software solution comes with core financial modules that automate various tasks related to expense management, saving users valuable time and effort.
Sage Intacct’s modules work to automate processes and streamline business workflows. For instance, the Sage Intacct Accounts Payable software module uses an intelligent virtual assistant to automate data entry within the system. The Intelligent GL feature also uses AI and automation to scan transactions and flag anomalies, allowing for continuous auditing. And, of course, businesses can also create and define their own workflows that are optimized for their unique needs.
Plans and pricing
- Shoppers are encouraged to contact Sages sales team to request a personalized price quote.
- Real-time data metrics.
- Vast range of integrations.
- Automated multi-entity tools.
- Inventory tracking tools.
- Financial reporting features.
- Automated invoicing and collection processes.
- Multi-entity automation features can allow businesses to establish inter-entity transaction instructions to save time and avoid errors.
- Comes with a suite of reporting features, dashboards and reporting tools to help teams reach deeper procurement data insights.
- Businesses are able to create and customize role-based purchasing dashboards for users.
- Integration options for payroll software solutions are limited.
- No transparent pricing.
Key features of expense management software
Expense management software solutions can automatically sync expense data, significantly reducing the time it takes to process expense reconciliation with the business’s general ledger. This is usually made possible through integrations with banks, credit cards and other third-party solutions.
Tracking expenses is essential to maintaining an up-to-date record of the business’s financial transactions. Many expense management solutions simplify expense tracking by letting users record expenses and income and categorize them appropriately.
Expense management software systems often come with receipt scanning, a feature that uses Optical Character Recognition technology to extract information from images. Users can simply photograph and upload images of receipts using the solution’s mobile app, and the expense information will be automatically recorded within the system.
Approval workflows are the ultimate way for businesses to ensure their expense management tasks are correctly processed. For example, many systems provide customizable approval workflows to businesses, which helps them ensure that all spending is overlooked and authorized by appropriate individuals. This gives companies more control over allotted expenditures.
Compliance tools are vital to maintaining procedures that are aligned with the business’s expense policies and regulatory requirements. These features can pertain to custom rules and guidelines established by the company or to taxes and auditing. An example of a compliance feature would be a system that automatically flags expenses that do not adhere to policy rules.
How do I choose the best expense management software for my business?
Expense management software solutions can help your business in many ways, from providing insightful expenditure reports to reducing the risk of errors. Of course, an expense management tool’s usefulness for your company depends on how well its features and capabilities can address your business needs.
Consider your business’s current expense management processes to identify the best software to meet these requirements. If there are any pain points or inefficiencies in your existing workflows, try to determine which features could improve them.
For example, if your company tracks its expenses based on transactions for each project, a tool with project-based expense tracking, like FreshBooks, could be ideal. On the other hand, organizations that have employees who often make business expenses could be better off with a solution with automated reimbursement tools like Expensify or robust receipt scanning technology like Wave Accounting.
Once you determine the features that will be most helpful to your existing business expense management processes, you can better understand which tools can meet these requirements. After this, you can consider other important factors, like how the solution would fit in with your existing software stack and whether it would fall within your business’s budget price range. Analyzing your business’s requirements and aspects will help you narrow down the best possible expense management solution.
This is a technical review using compiled literature researched from relevant databases. The information provided within this article is gathered from vendor websites or based on an aggregate of user feedback to ensure a high-quality review.