2019’s Best Expense Management Software

Did you know that good expense management software can cut down your business’s costs by 75%? Moreover, these platforms save billable hours and restrict expense fraud. However, finding the right product for your needs among hundreds of available options isn’t easy.

To lead you through the process, we’ve listed the best cost management software solutions on the market. Also, this page comes with detailed reviews of all the products mentioned in the table, our ranking criteria, and even a useful buying guide.

Top 10 Expense Management Solutions

Rank Provider Highlights Prices Starting From Website
1
  • Receipt attachment
  • Expense categorization
  • Multi-currency
$15/month Learn More
Say goodbye to manually entering in your expenses. FreshBooks works for anyone, with plans designed for businesses of any size and industry. The platform combines powerful tools for cost management, invoicing, and project management.
2
  • Real-time reporting
  • Revenue recognition workflow
  • Multi-currency reimbursement
upon request Learn More
Streamline processes, simplify revenue recognition, and reduce revenue leakage with this time and expense tracking software. Customers can cut reporting time by 80% and achieve product payback within three months. It works flawlessly for businesses of any size and in any industry.
3
  • Auto-scan expense receipts
  • Automatic card reconciliation
  • Simple multi-level approvals
$2.50/user/month Learn More
Zoho offers multiple business system solutions. This tool tackles anything expense-related, and it’s tailored to both small-sized businesses and large enterprises. From expense report automation to streamlined approvals and policy compliance, Zoho Expense never disappoints.
4
  • Approval workflow system
  • Budget planner tool
  • Custom spend analysis reports
$10/user/month Learn More
The expense management system by Tradogram has four essential functions. It covers approvals, budgeting, monitoring, and reporting. Any type of business can use the broad scope of Tradogram tools, including those in construction, education, and manufacturing.
5
  • Cash-flow management
  • Snap and save receipts
  • Auto-sorts expenses
$5/month Learn More
QuickBooks is a single-stop platform for all your business processes. The brand has multiple solutions to cover invoicing, time tracking, and expense management. With its snap and save receipts feature and mobile apps, QuickBooks makes spend monitoring convenient and fast.
6
  • Automatic compliance enforcement
  • Patented features
  • 99% uptime
$8/user/month Learn More
Certify is primarily a travel and expense management software solution. The company’s cost managing tool comes with the highest levels of reliability and many patented features. You’ll get robust reporting, effortless reimbursements, and seamless integration into all your systems.
7
  • Advanced expense reporting
  • Secure data storage
  • Automatic categorization
$10/month Learn More
For companies of any size, Receipt Bank for Business is the perfect tool for expense management. This app covers essentials such as receipts uploading, data extraction, and online storage. All this provides simple and automated bookkeeping.
8
  • Compliance control
  • Multi-currency
  • Automated credit card integration
upon request Learn More
“Let business flow” is Chrome River’s motto. The company’s solutions fit the needs of any business, from new market players to successful enterprises. Fast, fluid, and user-friendly, it’s the best expense management software for streamlining all cost-related manual processes.
9
  • Auto receipt scanning
  • Flexible user permissions
  • Multi-currency processing
$60/month Learn More
Xero Expenses comes as part of the Xero Established premium plan. A bit more expensive than the other options, Xero Established actually covers several business processes such as billing, expense management, and project management.
10
  • Out-of-pocket expense tracking
  • Configurable cost categories
  • Real-time spending allocation
$12/month Learn More
Small businesses, freelancers, and contractors who need a reliable platform for tackling crucial operations should consider FreeAgent. The software is customizable, robust, and simple at the same time. As a result, it minimizes human error and automates your workflow.

How We Expense Tracking Software

We find the task of choosing the leading market solutions for cost management both serious and challenging. Before adding any product here, we made sure it met the strict criteria in our evaluation methodology.

Targeted Businesses

Most cost-tracking software solutions try to offer features that cover general needs, regardless of the number of employees or specialty. However, some products target specific customers too.

So here we pay attention to both the business size and the targeted industry.

In terms of size, we establish if the expense management solutions are tailored for small, mid-sized, or large businesses. Moreover, we never overlook options created for freelancers and personal use. Regarding industry focus, we divide them into general solutions or options with specialized features.

Before moving on, we want to clarify that neither of these two criteria actually affect the software’s ranking. Instead, we use these to classify the products we recommend.

Expense Management Tools

Anyone on this page needs reliable and useful cost-tracking software. So it makes sense that solutions with tons of expense management tools get a boost in their rankings.

Being able to enter data and automate your workflow are two important features here. A robust database with advanced search functionalities is another helpful tool not to be overlooked. The expense management software for small business that lets users solve duplicates and categorize data definitely ranks better than the rest. Moreover, the ability to tackle deductible vs. non-deductible expenses is welcomed too.

Other must-have features include the auto-scanning of expense receipts, reconciliation of corporate cards, and automatic expense accounting.

Integration and Customization

People often overlook their software’s integration and customization possibilities. This can be a costly mistake since users usually avoid solutions that can’t integrate with their existing platforms. For example, if you have accounting software, it’s a must to be able to integrate your expense report app quickly and easily.

Customization is as vital as integration. You want a flexible product that will let you customize categories, rules, and processes. You need a product that adapts to your business and doesn’t make you modify your company for the software.

Therefore, we always give a higher ranking to solutions that work with other systems and deliver high levels of customization.

Deployment

Deployment is another critical characteristic that helps with classification rather than ranking. Expense management software can be on-premise, SaaS, or cloud-hosted. Again, whichever works best for you depends on your needs and expectations.

For instance, SaaS and cloud-hosted software often come with a faster setup and lower cost. These are highly customizable and generally simpler to use. However, they’re stored at the supplier’s servers and require an internet connection to work correctly.

An on-premise platform tends to be more robust and sturdier. It gives more control to the user, and it’s stored on the business’s servers.

Exporting and Reporting Tools

The best expense tracking software must have filtering, exporting, approval flow, real-time reporting, and one-click report generation. All these aid in straightforward expense handling. In this regard, we favor software solutions that are easy to navigate and come in user-friendly forms.

Besides, we appreciate it when the software reacts fast and provides insightful details about your business’s costs. Moreover, the reporting needs to cover the two most important segments: general management and reimbursement requests. Finally, products get extra points if they support receipt allocation by type, department, or business unit in their reports.

Multi-User and Approval Workflow

Freelancers and self-employed individuals may not find the multi-user functionality especially important. However, businesses with many employees must be able to add multiple users to the same account. In that sense, expense tracking software that enables granular permissions always ranks better.

Additionally, not all employees hold the same status in a company. So, approval workflow is another point we must mention here. This feature creates an automated process of approving expenses on multiple levels via previously defined steps on the approval chain.

Receipts and Reimbursement Management

Receipts management plays a huge role when it comes to spend-control software. Having the option for automated data imports is a major plus for any product listed here. Any solutions with optical character recognition (OCR) get a hike in rankings as well. Basically, you need the best expense report software for your needs to import as much data as possible from a single receipt photo.

Besides receipts management, it’s great for the software to come with reimbursement management too. Automated reimbursement tracking and processing can lead to lower costs by 75%. Moreover, it shortens the process while giving you the necessary control over approvals.

Invoice Management

Invoice Management is a desired feature here too. The focus of this article is software that tracks spending, but most brands offer separate billing software solutions. You can easily integrate this with your cost-tracking system to automate all your crucial business processes. However, certain products combine several different services into a single tool. So any platform that both tracks expenses and provides invoice management will rank higher.

Analytics

Insightful analytics of your business expenses help you get a better picture of where your money goes. Analyze employees’ expenses and get alerts on excessive spending. Monitor travel costs at different levels of your enterprise. Forecast future costs and include them when creating budgets. These are all actions you can take to save money with expense tracker apps that have proper analytics tools.

Free Trial, Pricing, and Exit Policy

Going for cheap solutions often costs more than going for quality products. On a similar note, purchasing the first recommended system you find won’t be good for your business either. Instead, target options that guarantee the best value for their price.

In that regard, we’re dedicated to listing reputable and reasonably priced cost management software. Anything much lower or higher than the average industry pricing is out of the question for us. Furthermore, brands that offer a free trial and a fair exit policy always get a boost in our rankings.

Expense Report Software Reviews

By now, you’ve had the chance to see our table with our recommended cost-tracking platforms alongside our ranking methodology. Yet we’re well aware that making a decision based solely on those two factors is impossible. So we’ve reviewed all the products featured in our table. Scroll down and learn everything you need to know, such as the features, pros and cons, and pricing of the best expense tracking software.

FreshBooks

From self-employed professionals to growing businesses, FreshBooks has the power to cover anyone’s needs. With general cost management features and extra options like invoicing, this tool automates your workflow in a breeze. Thanks to its daily updates and simple reports, your spending will always be accessed.

Pros
  • Tax-friendly categories
  • Remembered vendors
  • Multi-currency
  • Editable expenses
  • Over 80 integrations
Cons
  • Minor glitches

FreshBooks enables users to snap and store receipts directly from their mobile app. It supports tax-friendly categories and the auto-categorization of fees too. The easy assigning, importing, and marking of expenses make it a great personal expense management software option. Those with commonly used vendors can remember them to make expense logging even faster. You won’t have to bother with currency restrictions—FreshBooks supports multiple currencies and currency conversion too.

Interested users can sign up for a 30-day free trial that grants them unlimited access to FreshBooks. No contract or credit card is needed for the testing period. Once the trial is over, you can subscribe to one of three premium expense management solutions or request a custom plan.

The Lite package costs $15 per month and covers five billable clients. It handles the basics of expense management but also helps with invoicing, time tracking, and taxes. Those with 50 billable clients should go for the Plus plan, which costs $25 per month. This option includes the Lite features plus other tools such as client retainers and automated recurring invoices. FreshBooks Premium lets you handle 500 billable clients for $50 per month and gives you access to all the Lite and Plus features.

Finally, any thriving businesses that have over 500 billable clients and want a personal account manager can request the Custom expense report software pricing plan.

Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct creates software solutions that work for any business and industry. Financial services, healthcare, and nonprofits can easily incorporate this product into their daily operations. On average, Sage Intacct customers achieve improved productivity by 65% and an ROI of 250%.

Pros
  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy integration
  • Ability to add expense data to invoices
  • Instant expense alerts
  • Scaled processes
Cons
  • Complicated custom reports

Sage Intacct supports numerous devices and multiple currencies. Both of these features make the platform easily accessible and flexible, as well as great employee expense management software. Add time and expense data automatically into your invoicing or generate project billing within a few clicks. With Sage Intacct, you can post direct and indirect labor costs to ensure accelerated revenue management. By streamlining your project with this product, you save time and maximize accuracy across all sectors.

Sage Intacct doesn’t offer plans that you can simply purchase. Instead, you’ll first complete a form answering some general questions. Once they know how you imagine the best expense report software, the company will respond within 24 hours with an offer tailored for you.

Zoho Expense

For freelancers and the self-employed, Zoho Expense is the most affordable option on the market. Large enterprises, on the other hand, get custom offers to suit their specific needs. This flexibility makes Zoho Expense a great business cost-tracking tool, home expense tracking software system, or personal spending management platform. Its variety of features delivers spotless results, regardless of where and how you implement it.

Pros
  • Receipt capture
  • Policy compliance
  • Automatic expense accounting
  • Trail report auditing
  • Robust and powerful APIs
Cons
  • Limited features in the free plan
  • No auto-categorization

A strong set of features makes Zoho Expense simple to use and incredibly valuable. Among the best expense management software on the market, this platform lets you record and track your spending anywhere and anytime. Users can auto-scan receipts, add and categorize costs, and create per diem rates. Other strengths include merging expenses, multi-currency, and real-time reporting. Zoho Expense will make sure you get insightful data about your spending with its in-depth analytics of your processes too.

The best way to experience all Zoho Expense has to offer is by subscribing for a 14-day free trial. That way, you can see what features make the most sense for your business.

Freelancers and small businesses that need free expense management software can proceed with the Free plan. This package comes with 5GB receipt storage, an automated workflow, and one policy. It also comes with mileage expenses, multi-currency, project tracking, and email support.

Next comes the Premium plan, costing $2.50 per month per user (minimum 10 users) if billed annually or $3 per month per user if billed monthly. Zoho Expense Premium includes 25 policies, 25 automated workflows, unlimited receipt storage, and unlimited auto-scans. The additional features you get here are accounting integration, cost reports automation, card reconciliation, and customizable roles.

Finally, Zoho Expense has a custom-tailored Enterprise plan. This option is for those with at least 500 users and includes unlimited everything. The pricing for the Enterprise expense tracking software is provided upon request.

Tradogram

Tradogram is an award-winning software solution that guarantees easier, faster, and flawless transactions. Flexible and customizable, the system lets users show or hide features, configure access permissions, and create automated workflows. It works equally well for big names and small market players.

Positives
  • Dynamic approval workflow
  • Streamlined project cost management
  • Customizable item master database
  • Multi-currency
  • Easy integrations
Negatives
  • Fixed menu titles
  • No integration in the free plan

Tradogram’s expenses management software provides full spend visibility thanks to its robust budget and project cost-tracking tools. The system’s insights help you identify new ways to save money by generating custom spending reports.

With Tradogram, management can efficiently structure the enterprise’s spending or forecast future costs. No expenses will go unnoticed thanks to the thorough spend analysis reports too. Moreover, the flexibility of Tradogram lets you disable features you don’t use and integrate convenient options such as inventory distribution or delivery management.

If one user and up to 10 transactions per month are enough to cover your needs, you can use Tradogram’s free expense management software. The Basic plan has lots of useful features such as contract management, a responsive dashboard, and invoice matching. It doesn’t even restrict the number of items, suppliers, or categories.

However, businesses that have more than 10 transactions and need at least two users will have to purchase the Premium plan. Premium costs $10 per user per month if billed annually or $15 per user per month if billed monthly. The upgrade comes with a multi-user platform and unlimited transactions.

Established enterprises that need unlimited users can get in touch for an exclusive quote. To get the Enterprise Package, you must contact Tradogram first.

QuickBooks

Without any industry-specific features, QuickBooks works perfectly for any business that doesn’t need unique functionalities. Size doesn’t matter for this expense report software as it can handle small, mid-sized, and large companies. The product comes well equipped with a plethora of financial features, meaning it doesn’t tackle expenses only. Instead, it can automate multiple processes such as accounting, inventory, billing, etc.

Pros
  • Automatic recurring costs
  • Self-reimbursement
  • Receipt scanning
  • Connects to bank account and PayPal
  • Automatic expense sorting
Cons
  • No premium support
  • No industry-specific features

In terms of features, QuickBooks may not be as extensive as other options. For example, it may not function the best as medical expense tracking software due to its lack of industry-tailored functionalities.

However, the platform makes up for this by handling other sectors of your business with a single product. Expense tracking via the easy import of transactions is the main cost-related functionality. Just connect your bank account, credit cards, and e-wallets—QuickBooks will do the rest. Other worthy features are automatic transaction sorting, receipt snapping, and maximizing tax deductions.

Lastly, we must mention the cash flow management tool, which helps users create budgets and predict future costs.

Not sure if the QuickBooks business expense tracking software is the right product for you? No problem! You can claim a 30-day free trial to test all its functionalities. Afterward, you get to choose between five premium plans.

The cheapest option of $5 per month is for those who freelance or are self-employed. It tracks income and expenses, captures and organizes receipts, and estimates taxes. The Self-Employed plan can also run the necessary reports and handle invoices.

For $12 per month or $20 per month respectively, users can buy the Simple Start or the Essentials plan. Both options come with essential tools for handling costs, invoices, income, and taxes. The latter, however, also lets you manage bills, track time, and include three users.

The Plus and the Advanced plans cost $35 per month and $75 per month. These are expense tracker apps for established businesses that let you track project profitability and add extra users. The Advanced plan includes custom user permissions and premium care as well.

You can pay extra $18 per month or $40 per month for the Self-Service or Full-Service payroll option. Both add-ons cost an additional $4 per employee per month.

Certify

Robust, scalable, and usable, Certify seamlessly handles the operations of any business. However, the platform works best for small and mid-sized business. With its long list of unique and patented features such as the ReceiptParse® or the SpendSmart™ engine, Certify brings functionalities that no other company offers. Moreover, the platform can perform equally well as travel expense management software and as an employee cost-tracking system.

Pros
  • Seamless integration
  • Single version software
  • SpendSmart™ engine
  • ReportExecutive™
  • Built-in policy controls
Cons
  • No foreign currency reimbursement

With an intuitive mobile app and customizable features, Certify is a great asset to have. What placed this brand on our list is its numerous patented functionalities. Here, you have the ReceiptParse™ OCR to organize receipt snapshots or the ReportExecutive™ to auto-generate reports. Finally, the SpendSmart™ engine will provide in-depth insights on your spending. Certify, moreover, elegantly handles reimbursements, integration, and compliance.

All Certify plans include an initial set of features for employees and accountants. Some of these are mobile receipt scanning, receipt storing, and auto-generated expense reports. Users can test all these functions for free by claiming a 14-day free trial, no credit card needed.

Companies with 1–25 employees can purchase the Essential expense report software for $8 per user per month. Those who have between 25 and 200 employees will need the Professional plan, which comes with a monthly service fee. The added features here are credit card integration, standard and custom API, and receipt back-up. The pricing for this model is provided upon request.

HMS integration, ERP integration, and multiple languages come with the Enterprise plan. This model is for those with over 200 employees and represents a solution based on individual needs. Available upon request only, the Enterprise plan is paid annually.

Receipt Bank

This expense tracking app is used by over 250,000 companies worldwide. Easy to integrate, mobile-friendly, and secure, Receipt Glance is both trusted and flexible. Allowing you to claim each expense instantly, it will automate all your crucial cost-related processes.

Pros
  • Free mobile apps
  • Accurate data extraction
  • Easy integration
  • Invoice collection from 1,300+ suppliers
  • Automatic employee expense tracking
Cons
  • No internal texting integration
  • No integration with desktop accounting software

Depending on the plan you purchase, you can expect a robust set of features and basic functionalities from this expense management software. Any user can upload receipts, request data extraction, and safely store their data on the cloud. The unique Chart of Accounts provides purchase categorization, whereas the Suppliers tab lets you manage your vendors. CVS or PDF data export is supported too, alongside data extraction from bank statements.

New customers can immediately start their free 14-day trial of Receipt Bank’s expense management software. Later, you can proceed with one of the three paid plans that are billed monthly or annually. Annual prices are 20% lower, so we’ll stick to them here.

The Business plan costs $10 per month. Data extraction, invoice collection, and employee spending control are all features included in this plan. It allows one user and 50 items per month. Next comes the Business Plus, which costs $20 per month. With up to five users and 300 articles per month, this is the perfect expense management software for small business. Additional features from this package are bank statement data extraction, the automatic application of taxes, and instant transaction reconciliation.

Mid-sized enterprises that need 20 users and 3,000 items per month should go for the Premium package. For $40 per month when billed annually, the plan will add extra value to your expense management. This is accomplished via automatic employee cost handling, its boosted extraction speed, and the automatic identification of missing paperwork.

Chrome River Expense

With an annual retention rate of 98%, Chrome River is a company with lots of returning customers. Operating in over 100 countries and supporting 183 currencies and 31 languages, this expense report app is suitable for businesses worldwide. With Chrome River Expense, you can create, submit, and approve costs anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

Pros
  • Automated approval routing
  • Credit card integration
  • Mobile access and approvals
  • Self-service inquiries
  • Automatic cost control
Cons
  • Slow support
  • Reporting needs improvement

HTML5, responsive web design, and its single-page application help Chrome River Expense support virtually any device. This makes the product user-friendly and easy to access.

Moreover, the platform comes with a plethora of features such as automated expense control, automatic approvals, and customizable screens. In-app training and assistance are offered too, alongside simple integration with other platforms. Other functionalities that put Chrome River among the best expense management software systems are its cash advance handling, online dashboards, and enforced billable costs policies.

Those who want to try Chrome River Expense can request a demo to test the product. Also, you must submit a form with some general details about your business and basic demands before the company gives you a quote.

Xero Expenses

Since Xero Expenses comes only with the most advanced Xero premium plan, this option is pricey and extensive. That makes it an excellent choice for established businesses that can afford it. With Xero Established you get a package of three solutions: the billing software, expense management system, and time tracking platform. Together, they give you access to over 700 tools and a robust set of features.

Pros
  • Over 700 tools
  • Expense labeling
  • Real-time reporting
  • 160+ currencies
  • Integrated accounting
Cons
  • Pricey

With Xero Expenses, your employees can capture and manage cost claims. Also, the system automates the processes of receipt scanning and lets you track cost categories. You can monitor patterns to plan future spending and make well-informed decisions with Xero’s real-time reporting. Costs are captured with a single photo, whereas customizable user permissions give you full control over who views, submits, and approves any claims. These functionalities place Xero among the leading employee expense management software options.

Anyone can try Xero Expenses for free via the 30-day trial. Simply add your own claims or run the Xero demo company to test all the features of the product.

Xero Expenses is a segment that comes only with the Xero Established package. This plan costs $60 per month and provides excellent value for your money. The Xero Established plan offers project tracking and management, and it handles invoicing, along with the expense report app.

For an additional $39 per month + $6 per month per person, you can get the Gusto full-service payroll too.

FreeAgent

Over 90,000 companies trust the FreeAgent platform with their cost tracking, invoicing, time tracking, and project management. With a single plan that includes unlimited everything, this software solution targets small and mid-sized businesses. Freelancers and the self-employed will find the vast selection of features useful too.

Pros
  • Snap and upload receipts
  • Simple expense tracking
  • Automatic recurring expenses
  • Flexible permissions
  • Tax liability updates
Cons
  • Only one plan
  • Limited cost management features

As a single-stop business solution, FreeAgent is an excellent choice. The product’s expense management system, however, covers the bare basics only. This means users can snap and upload receipts as well as record upcoming payments. The software incorporates the tracking of both bank payments and out-of-pocket costs for you and your employees. It also automates repeating payments and comes with flexible permissions.

US businesses can test FreeAgent’s expense management software with a 30-day free trial. Then, they get to claim the new customer offer that grants them 50% off during the first six months of their subscription. With the offer, you pay only $12 per month for six months, and then the base rate of $24 per month applies. It comes with unlimited everything and no setup fees.

Another way to save cash on FreeAgent is to pay upfront and get 12 months for the price of five on your first payment. The following upfront payments will get you 12 months for the price of 10.

How to Pick the Best Expense Management Software for You

The process of finding the best product for your needs doesn’t stop at the rankings or reviews. On the contrary, these are, in fact, the first two steps that give you the essential information regarding your options.

You should combine these details with our buying guide, which is explained below, to shortlist the most suitable software for your needs. Scroll down and find the exact steps on how to find your winner among so many great products.

Step 1: Filter Based on Business Size, Industry & Regulations

The first step is easy. Just weed out any software solutions that don’t fit your industry focus and business size.

Products that focus on medical expense tracking software or nonprofit cost control solutions come with industry-specific features that often cost more. The same applies to solutions designed for large enterprises. Therefore, avoid paying extra for features useless to you, and instead, only select options that align with your business industry and size.

Also, make sure to verify if the shortlisted software options comply with the regulations within your industry and jurisdiction.

Step 2: Define Your Needs

It’s time to put together a list of all the essential features you want and then compare it to the shortlisted products from step one.

For example, you can include features such as reimbursement management, real-time reporting, and approval process control. If you seek personal expense management software, focus on the features that help individuals track costs. Business owners, in contrast, should include any industry-specific functions.

Once you have all the crucial tools listed, you can easily shortlist the software that has them. You should have at least a few appropriate options by now.

Step 3: Define a Budget

Finally, we come to the last step, which is all about the pricing.

At this point, you must determine how much money you’re willing to spend on your chosen expense management software. Do you prefer a monthly subscription or annual billing? Is a free trial something you find absolutely necessary?

When you answer all these money-related questions, you can remove any products that fall outside your budget. Ideally, you’ll end up with at least one perfect match.

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