We present to you a list of the top 10 expense management tools from our in-depth analysis of 50+ market players. It comes with a comparative table and we deep dive into each software, its features, pros, and cons to help you make the right choice for your company.
Top 10 best expense management software: Comparative table
|Expense Management Software||Market segment||Automatic GST Calculation||Smart Audit||24*7 Support||Integrated Payments, expense & travel||Expense capture automation||Integrated Petty Cash Module||Pricing|
|Happay||Small, Mid-market and Enterprise||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Fully automated*||Yes||Contact for pricing|
|Expensify||Mid-market||No||No||No||No||Partial automation||No||Basic-$5/ user per month, Advanced-$9/ user per month|
|Zoho||Small Businesses||No||No||Only 5 days||No||Partial automation||No||Premium plan- $5/active user per month, Enterprise plan- $8/active user per month|
|SAP Concur||Mid-market and Enterprise||No||No||Yes||No||Partial automation||No||Starting at $8 per report|
|Webexpenses||Mid-market||NA||No||Only 5 days||No||Partial automation||No||Starting price- $7/active user per month|
|Fyle||Mid-market||No||No||Yes||No||Partial automation||No||Standard– $4.99/active user per month, Business– $8.99/active user per month, Enterprise– custom|
|ITILITE||Mid-market||NA||No||Yes||No||Partial automation||No||Expense reimbursement:
Monthly-$4.99, Yearly- $7.99
|Rydoo||Mid-market||No||No||Yes||No||Partial automation||No||Essential– €8.00, Pro- €10.
Enterprise – custom
|TripActions||Mid-market||No||No||Yes||No||Partial automation||No||Contact for pricing|
|Zaggle||Small Businesses||No||No||Yes||No||Partial automation||No||Contact for pricing|
* Happay is the only expense management software that has a complete automated Expense Capture module with receipt capture, corporate card, auto SMS capture, and email plugin.
A quick pick of the top 10 expense management software
- Happay – Best for complete integration, in-app booking experience, fare freezes, and one-click approvals
- Expensify – Best for expense claim auto-creation and tracking
- Zoho – Best for multi-level approvals, advanced payment tracking
- SAP Concur – Best for expense reporting, 24×7 service availability
- Webexpenses – Best for process automation, instant expense claim building
- Fyle – Best for real-time credit card reconciliations, effective user-interface
- ITILITE – Best for expense tracking dashboards, automated audits for fraud detection
- Rydoo – Best for expense capture, self-booking mobile platform
- TripActions – Best for self-booking tool, mobile accessibility
- Zaggle – Best for employee benefits, multi-wallet Zaggle corporate cards
Expense management affects your organization’s bottom line, and expense management software gives companies the tools needed to track and control business expenses. Let’s understand more about the software.
What is expense management software?
Expense management software is an end-to-end solution to manage expenses. From filing an expense, and faster reimbursements to making data-driven decisions, it’s a boon for employees, finance and accounting teams, and CFOs.
Here are 5 things that expense management software can do for your company:
- Eliminate manual errors and paperwork
- Enhance employee experience with faster TAT
- Ensure transparent approvals across the organization/Set up complex approval workflows easily
- Improve compliance and complete control over expenses
- Integrate all processes namely, filing, reporting, approvals, reconciliation, ability to transfer between ERP and HRMS
- Fetch accurate data from policy violations to category-wise expenses, and make the right decisions
The best expense management tools ensure businesses can efficiently process employee expense claims, track business expenses, and approve employee reimbursements/payments.
There are several expense management software vendors in the market and choosing the right one for your organization may be challenging. That’s where we come in as we take you through the options, features, prices, and other things that truly matter.
Also, Read: Expense Reconciliation
10 Best expense management software for your business
Offering a complete integrated platform that covers travel, expense, and payments, Happay stands out as one of the best. It delivers true value to enterprises by offering a complete system that aims to bring the entire ecosystem together.
The features that distinguish Happay from the others on the list
- An intelligent mobile app for expense filing on the go
- Identification of policy violations with the help of the Smart Audit feature
- Integrated multi-level approval workflows
- Real-time spend visibility offers tighter budget controls and agile decision-making
They offer not only complete systems but also provide prepaid and post-paid credit cards and a robust mobile app. Apart from plugging cash leakages and complete policy compliance, the sophisticated product offers complete and real-time visibility into spending behaviors.
Intelligent business analytics dashboards offer the advantage of customizable MIS reports, allowing finance chiefs and teams to make critical business decisions effortlessly.
End-to-end expense management solutions make it easy for enterprises to manage business expenses and reimbursements, petty cash, payments, credit cards, and so much more. The cloud-based solutions offer complete control over the processes, easy integration, and absolute security.
- End-to-end business expense management system
- Cloud-first, mobile-first platform
- Corporate/business expense management software
- GST capture and input features
- Best-in-class implementation and support
- Built-in compliance and expense analytics
- AI-powered expense report and filing
- 256-bit SSL encryption to ensure complete data security
- Seamless integrations with enterprise systems
Pros of Happay
- Happay’s Xpendite is an integrated engine that records expenses at the source (from credit card bills, emails, SMS, WhatsApp, Uber, etc.). This singularly takes care of accuracy and minimizes employee efforts
- Happay’s Route Tracker automatically calculates mileage expenses for field staff, ensuring policy compliance
- The Smart Analytics feature is another pro in the long list of impressive features. It offers real-time views of expenses, policy violations, and budget utilisations
- One of the most significant plus points with the Happay software is the GST compatibility, where you can capture state-wise GST details, saving the finance team a lot of time and effort
- Happay saves data on the cloud for seven years, giving you access to a complete audit trail of everything, all the time
- Regarding expense capture (on the go), Happay offers WhatsApp Integration and can intelligently capture expense data from multiple sources
- Happay’s high travel partner penetration in India makes it a market differentiator
Cons of Happay
- The app has trouble supporting languages such as Chinese and Japanese
Suitable for: Small, Mid-market, and Enterprise
Quick Read: 10 Best Travel Management Software
Expensify is another tool in the market that helps organizations to automate their expense and travel management. The user-friendly expense software offers an app available for Android and Mac.
You can use the mobile app to take pictures of business expenses as receipts or handwritten bills with your mobile phone. You can compile and submit an expense report with just one click. Not only does this make the process hassle-free for employees, but companies can save costs by lowering the use of paper.
Expensify offers several plans that suit small, medium, and large firms. However, they are more suited for larger companies that require bespoke solutions.
Image Credit: techcrunch.com
- SmartScan feature
- Customized business expense management software
- Integrates across all Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPs)
- The convenience of delegated access
- Relevant GL codes may be imported so they can be tagged
- Accurate foreign exchange rates
- Detecting duplicity
Pros of Expensify
- A categorized and automated business expense management system
- Users of this product rate their mobile app (iOS and Android) highly
- Some categories of businesses can take advantage of the free plans they offer
Cons of Expensify
- A user review on G2 indicates that the software could do with improvement in the “per diem” section. The user claims that the app does not include an option for HST (harmonized sales tax in Canada). users must enter it manually.
- As per a user’s review on G2, there seems to be a learning curve as the technology may be sophisticated for many. Also, first-time users may take more time to understand the process as there is no visual guiding tool to walk them through it.
- Free trial version – Under the free trial, users can use the Expensify Card, Reimburse travel expenses, Pay bills and send invoices.
- Expensify collect – Starts at $5 per month (depending on features). With everything in the free version, users can take advantage of SmartScans (automatic receipt collection), auto-export to accounts systems, and automatically categorize expenses.
- Expensify control – Starting at $9 a month, Expensify control offers all the features in Collect. Additionally, you get the advantage of expense reporting, card management, approval automation, and reimbursements. The reconciliation capabilities improve significantly with this option.
Suitable for: Mid-market
Quick Read: What is Capital Expenditure (CapEX)?
Zoho is another expense software that automates the travel expense management process. The goal is to help businesses avoid manual expense claims and employee reimbursement processes.
While the software allows employees to quickly scan and store images of receipts and other proof of travel, expense approvals and reimbursements are where enterprises find the most benefit. The Zoho advantage is that they also feature accounting software allowing both systems to communicate efficiently.
Image Credit: zoho.com
Zoho Expense features
- Automation of employees’ business expenses
- Syncing of credit cards with expense software
- Integrates well with Zoho’s CRM
- Swift approval process
- Travel-friendly expense management
Pros of Zoho Expense
- Tracking the travel expenses of employees is easy and practical
- The expense tracking software works excellently with Zoho accounting software
- The dashboard is highly interactive and user-friendly
Cons of Zoho
- As per a user review on G2, when expenses may be slightly similar, the software throws up notifications of a compliance issue.
- Free plan: Their free version is available for up to 3 users. Small businesses can easily use this version to track their business expenses and mileage claims. You may also use the mobile app to capture and track costs in this version. Some of the features available in the free version are:
- Mileage expenses
- Customer tracking
- 5GM receipt storage
- Integration with existing accounting software
- Premium Plan: This plan is available for $8 per month and per active user (minimum of 3 users). For larger businesses, apart from essential T&E management software, the premium plan offers robust controls, efficient workflows, advanced functions in approval, corporate cards, automated per diem, and advanced customizations.
- Enterprise Plan: Available at $12 per month per active user (minimum of 500 users), this plan is built for businesses that need bespoke solutions to integrate with existing software. Some of the program’s features include everything offered in the free and premium plans, integration with ERP systems, single sign-on (SSO), and a dedicated account manager.
Suitable for: Small business
Also, Read: 7 Best Zoho Expense Alternatives and Competitors
4. SAP Concur
SAP Concur offers a business expense management tool that allows you to streamline manual expense tracking and management systems. These software systems give businesses better control over finances as complex processes are executed seamlessly.
A business management software system saves time and effort, improves compliance with travel policies, and results in a better employee experience.
Apart from offering a time-efficient way to record and process employee spending, you can track expenses even before they incur. The software gives finance teams access to extensive analytics, which can lead to valuable insights.
Quick Read: 5 Best SAP Concur Alternatives
Image Credit: concur.com
SAP Concur features
- Automated receipt management
- Intelligent categorization
- Foreign currency conversions
- Great integration for credit cards
- Itinerary management includes more straightforward booking and travel notifications
- The mobile app features mileage tracking and travel updates
Pros of SAP Concur
- Software is intelligent and flexible to create itineraries based on bookings
- Booking for trips is easy and integrates with calendaring systems for notifications
- The mobile app is intelligent as it captures, parses, and categorizes it into the appropriate expense report
Cons of SAP Concur
- According to a user review on G2, if an expense report does not match exactly, the transaction is rejected without any specific error message
- A user review on G2 seems to feel that when bills are attached to any report, it only allows a single bill per entry and a pdf must be created for multiple pages
- Free trials: The free trial offers prospective customers an opportunity to experience the SAP Concur expense management software for a limited period
- Automate: At an average charge of $9 for each report, Automate offers features such as dashboard reporting, corporate and personal credit card integration, and quicker travel expense reimbursement
- Insights and optimization: Price varies for these products as it depends on the features signed up for, the level of customization, and the customer
Suitable for: Mid-market and enterprises
Also, Read: 10 Best Receipt Scanner Apps
Webexpenses is Signifo Ltd.’s flagship expense management software and offers invoice processing and expense management software. It eliminates the error-prone, manual, time-consuming expense recording and tracking process. With a global presence, Webexpenses provides cloud-based travel and expense management software.
They also feature a mobile travel and expenses app that not only eases expense recording but benefits finance teams as they now have better control and visibility over expenses. They also feature other solutions such as audit, invoice processing, and payments which may be used in conjunction with the expense management system.
Image Credit: webexpenses.com
- An integrative expense management software system
- Their mobile app allows you to record, track, and manage expenses on the go
- Travel expense policies are built into the software system
- The intelligent technology matches receipts with the correct credit cards
- They feature a user-friendly petty cash management system
- Carbon tracking features track your travel carbon footprint
Pros of Webexpenses
- The workflow and compliance management platform is easy to use
- Digital receipt management offers several ways to capture and sort receipts into appropriate expense reports
- Employee reimbursements are quick and convenient. The credit may be posted to the appropriate bank accounts or the employee’s payroll
- Offers easy compatibility with most finance, payroll, HRMS, and CRM systems
Cons of Webexpenses
- One of the users on G2 seems to feel that the mileage tracking map is not intuitive. For instance, where users must cover several pin codes and choose to cover them optimally, the information must be keyed in manually to avoid red flags
- Users on G2 feel that the app asks you to repeatedly key in some information that must be made default. Such as the person filing the report. Further, saving and using the addresses often visited is impossible
Customers interested in Webexpenses products may choose from a bundle or stand-alone pricing from small businesses to large ones. Starting at $7 per active user per month, the pricing may vary depending on the complexity of the solution that you require for your business.
Suitable for: Mid-market
Also, Read: 10 Best Accounts Payable Software
Fyle is an expense management platform that offers an entirely automated solution to manage travel and expenses. It empowers finance teams and employees with an intuitive and flexible platform, as it accommodates expense submissions through regular apps such as Outlook, Slack, Teams, or Gmail. On the other hand, you could use their mobile app which prevents policy violations even before they occur.
Supplemented by their credit card capabilities, Fyle offers real-time automatic reconciliations when transactions are processed.
Image Credit: fylehq.com
- Offers real-time report updates and notifications
- Allows approval/rejection of expense reports
- Software completely automates policy checks and compliances
- Advanced analytics offers benefits for finance teams
- The software supports and ensures a secure login
- The mobile app offers access on the go, speed, and an intuitive user experience
Pros of Fyle
- Expense reports can be put together by picking up information directly from Gmail, Slack, Text Messages, or Outlook
- Even as expenses are submitted, they may be approved/rejected on the go
- It is easy for finance teams to monitor and act on expense reports through digital audit trails
- Bulk reimbursement payments to different banks are possible
Cons of Fyle
- As per user reviews posted on G2, users cannot edit a report before approval has been given
- According to a user review on G2, the email import feature is a hit or a miss. There were instances when incorrect transactions were associated with receipts forwarded by email
- Standard: At $4.99 per user per month, the standard version of the product is excellent for small, growing companies. The features include unlimited travel receipt scanning, Unlimited expense tracking, and personal credit card management
- Business: The price of the business version of the product costs $8.99 for one active user per month. This product is perfect for medium-sized companies offering features such as approvals at multiple levels, corporate cards, and their management, and a policy engine to overlook complex expense policies
- Enterprise: This version suits large businesses with complex/dynamic requirements. Apart from several customized features, the software can be scaled up so up to 2,50,000 users can use it
Suitable for: Mid-market
Quick Read: 10 Best Billing Software
ITILITE offers an integrated travel and expense management platform that hopes to enrich the employee travel experience while eliminating the human element in processing travel expenses. Promising a substantial improvement in the financial productivity of your business, ITILITE reduces the time taken to file the costs; track and process them.
The Travel and Expense (T&E) software system also enhances analytical capabilities while enabling automated audits on receipt compliance and submission of proof of travel. The ITILITE mobile app claims to help you manage everything- from recording and tracking expenses, travel booking, expense filing, and claiming reimbursements.
Image Credit: itilite.com
- Incentivized cost predictors for your business travel
- Trip approvals are based on integrated dynamic policies
- The software accommodates booking multi-stop trips and personalized bookings
- The mobile app allows users to book upgrades and self-fund the same
- Conveniently manages complete travel bookings.
Pros of ITILITE
- An integrated approval matrix provides a great way to reduce complexity in travel operations.
- Business trips are customizable, making it easy for users to plan a trip according to their preferences.
- Users appreciate the convenience of complete travel booking (hotels, airlines, and cabs ) within a single app
- The tailored reports and advanced MIS Analytics offers insights into vital areas such as segment and vendor spend
Cons of ITILITE
- According to a user review on G2 users are unable to book expenses in an excel format so the approver can see all related expenses on a single page
ITILITE offers two plans that cost
- $4.99 (₹ 360 approx.) per month where users can submit an unlimited number of reports per active user per month. This price is when you pay in advance for a whole year
- $ 7.99 (₹ 575 approx.) per month where users can submit an unlimited number of reports per active user per month. This rate is valid when you pay month-on-month.
Suitable for: Mid-market
Quick Read: 8 Best ITILITE Alternatives and Competitors
Rydoo originally started under the name of Xpenditure Small Business. It has gained recognition as an expense management software that functions as an expense tracker and a travel service. For instance, you can use the service to book flights, hotels, and cabs, simultaneously putting together your expense report.
Rydoo’s expense tracker app has been well-received as it integrates well with third-party accounting software and ERP. The easy adaptability of the software makes it popular for small and medium-sized firms.
Image Credit: rydoo.com
- It works great for those who prefer a detailed expense management app
- It supports and works great for companies that have expenses in multiple currencies
- Organizes expenses based on several categorizations so you can conveniently view, access, and analyze the information
- Offers real-time approval flows
Pros of Rydoo
- The app has several features that make expense management and processing and travel easy
- It is designed to record mileage and Per Diems
- It integrates well with other accounting and ERP systems
Cons of Rydoo
- Some users that reviewed the product on G2 feel that the expense status (whether it is awaiting approval or settled) is not visible in the mobile app. They must check a pdf version saved on the desktop to track the status of an expense claim
- According to a user on G2, the app has an interface issue with QuickBooks (the accounting platform)
- Essentials: Rydoo offers a free trial for customers. The basic plan called Essentials starts at € 8.00 ($7.75) for a minimum of 10 users.
- Pro: Their Pro Plan costs € 10.00 ($9.75) for a minimum of 10 users, including features available with the Essentials plan and additional advanced features.
- Enterprise: This is their top-level plan which includes all the above features and any customization required by the customer.
Suitable for: Mid-market
Quick Read: Petty Cash Book Format
TripActions began in the year 2015 after the founders were frustrated by legacy travel solutions. Using data science, a user-friendly design, and exceptional services, they began to create better travel experiences for customers and their employees.
The launch of TripActions Liquid and Lemonade saw them enter into the big leagues of expense management software. Offering corporate cards and integrated expense and travel management solutions, TripActions combines technology and a great user experience.
Image Credit: tripactions.com
- The TripActions software offers an intuitive dashboard that gives finance teams and users a clear and complete picture of expense data
- The expense reports are intuitive allowing employees using TripActions to create expense reports effortlessly
- The software makes it possible for you to reimburse their employees directly to the bank
- TripActions offers the convenience of using physical and virtual cards that come with in-built controls
Pros of TripActions
- The booking options offered by TripActions include prices and rewards. This makes it a great experience for personal travel too
- What makes this software solution a popular choice is the support system. Customers and their users can seek help and get prompt services
- The policy check at booking time saves employees and employers time as most policy violations are addressed at the earliest
Cons of TripActions
- Most users say that calls to airlines to confirm the booking is an inconvenience
- Users also claim that adding companions to mobile apps is difficult
- Travel: You can sign up for their travel management solution for free. Some of the features that are included in this free package.
- Travel booking and management
- Rewards for booking airlines and hotels
- customizable travel policies
- 24/7 live agent support
- upto 50 monthly active users, and more.
- Travel and Expense: If you would like to sign up for travel and expense solutions, then you must schedule a call for customized pricing options.
Suitable for: Mid-market
Also, Read: 10 Best Accounting Software
Zaggle is a travel reimbursement software designed to relieve you from the hassle-filled, time-consuming, and error-prone traditional processes of recording travel expenses. Zaggle’s expense management software hopes to ease the conundrum of the travel expense process.
The software can help record, track business expenses, and submit expense claims while eliminating non-compliance with travel policies. Zaggle hopes to tackle the most common issues of tedious workflows; no real-time visibility of business expenses and the number of man-hours required to process expense claims.
Image Credit: zaggle.in
- Zaggle expense management tools help in data extraction (printed receipts and bills) and expense report submission
- Zaggle Save offers mobile phone compatibility, ensuring that expense reporting and approval are seamless
- The expense management software offers complete and easy centralized access since the information is stored on the cloud
- Zaggle’s well-designed platform checks for policy violations in real-time
Pros of Zaggle
- Real-time analytics offers visibility about expenses based on custom categories such as projects, geography, past expenses, currency, etc
- Offers an intuitive analysis of overall spending, submitted and unsubmitted reports, and unreported expenses
- The software is capable of making intelligent recommendations to compile a travel expense report (based on previous data)
- Integration with TMCs so you can easily pull expenses into the report
Cons of Zaggle
- The platform architecture- customization capabilities, UI, and configuration is limited
- Integration with accounting software and HRMS is limited
- The TMC integration is limited, not offering too many options for users
- Zaggle Save Pricing: If you would like to sign up, then you must schedule a call for customized pricing options.
Suitable for: Small Businesses
Also Read: 6 Best Zaggle Alternatives and Competitors
Ways to track expense management
Organizations worldwide use different ways to manage their expenses. It could be broadly classified as follows:
1. Traditional, paper-based tracking
Don’t you recognize this method of tracking expenses?
As employees travel, they bring back receipts and other handwritten notes as proof of expenses. Then, you put them together and submit the expense report to the accounts department periodically (per the company’s policy) for reimbursement.
Studies suggest it takes 30 days for a single expense report to go from filing to payment! There are numerous enterprises that are still stuck in this archaic way of managing expenses.
An image that pops up when you say spreadsheets is the finance team switching between sheets, analyzing them to identify that single error that seems to be taking up hours!
Spreadsheets become popular since computers came in and accounting systems were adopted. Most finance professionals are partial to maintaining and using spreadsheets for numerous calculations (including travel expenses).
While this may be an improvement over the earlier method, it still is tedious and prone to human error.
3. Expense management software
Estimates suggest that the expense management software market size will be valued at $10.56 Billion by the year 2027, growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 12.8%.
An integrated and automated expense reporting software system simplifies the entire travel and expense management system, from recording expenses to the final reimbursement.
Also, Read: 7 Steps to Track Your Business Expenses
Why use expense management software?
Expense management software can help move your organization to the next level. Removing errors, digitizing the expense management process, and making your firm cost-effective, it promises to improve control over your expenses while offering financial insights.
Simplify your expense management process by completely automating the reporting, approval, tracking, analytics, and reimbursements.
You have the best ERP, CRM, and HRMS software across your organization. So, doesn’t it makes sense to switch to a completely automated expense management system?
Benefits of expense management software
Among other things, automating your expense management software
1. Cost efficiency
Cost is always one of the most significant factors in automation. In this case, sticking to traditional managing methods may cost your business even more. While the cost of automation is a genuine concern, the benefits will undoubtedly outweigh the expense.
You can choose from several versions of such management software to suit your business needs and budget. Some simple versions will even offer features without needing an IT team (where the vendor offers online support whenever required).
While most of the benefits come in the form of better employee experience, better analytics, and smoother workflows, the cost of processing does come down quite dramatically (manually to complete automation).
2. Spend visibility
Specific departments spend more than others, and visibility will allow finance leaders and teams to budget more effectively. In fact, with the correct data, you can increase the efficiency of your organization and optimize business processes such as vendor management, procurement, or travel expense management.
Automation of expense management in your company will give you that advantage of visibility.
Robust analytics can give you a quick/detailed breakdown of buying and spending activities, department-wise spending, sector-wise travel numbers, and so much other information that will make perfect sense to your finance teams.
3. Management of risk and fraud
In a study conducted on business expense fraud, 48% believed that it is alright to over-expense or ignore company expense policies
This is one of the most significant disadvantages of manually processing expenses. Wouldn’t you want to address this at the earliest?
Additionally, data entries, manually collating information from handwritten notes and receipts, and verifying the report are also prone to errors.
Expense management software removes the guesswork and the possibility of human errors by ensuring that systems cross-verify information against other data (For instance, information in expense reports is cross-verified against credit card bills/statements linked to the data).
4. Ensure compliance
Irrespective of how complex or multi-layered the policies and approval processes are, policies and rules can be easily built into the architecture of the expense management system.
For instance, if you operate in multiple countries with employees traveling to and from such places often, you are bound to be worried about the regulations related to the same. Automated expense management systems can remove this stress by ensuring adequate checks are in place, so employees can only claim what is well within the rules.
5. Flexible and scalable processes
Growing organizations must consider moving from traditional business methods to automated expense management processes as soon as possible. Cloud-based software will support your business growth and ensure the security of your data.
Further, since these systems are flexible and can scale up easily, it gives your organization the freedom to scale up effortlessly.
Quick Read: A Guide to Expense Auditing Procedures
How to choose the best expense management software?
Let’s say you have decided to buy a new car. Would you buy the first car that impresses you? It is obvious, you must do some background work to understand the features, mileage it offers, and other factors that will influence your decision.
Expense management software is the same. There are numerous vendors, but you must pick what suits your organization.
Let us help you with some pointers on what to look for in the best expense management software for your business.
1. Existing challenges
What challenges should my firm address? This should be the starting point for anyone beginning this journey.
Putting together a list of potential problems may help you find the ideal solution.
- Expense frauds
- Ease of travel for employees
- Man-hours spent in processing travel expenses
William Feather said, “A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it does not keep us from buying it.”
Based on your business needs, size, growth rate, and availability of funds, you must decide if you would like to consider a cloud-based system or any other option. However, this will depend on the kind of budget you have.
So, bring all stakeholders together and arrive at a number that will allow you to include features that you need.
Generally, smaller and mid-sized companies prefer to stick to SaaS-based applications as they are easy to work with, customizable, and scale up quite well. There is no need for hardware setup; they integrate seamlessly with all your existing third-party apps.
Similarly, larger enterprises may consider customized systems as this will allow them to design something that suits their requirements.
3. Technology and mobile capabilities
“Investing in tomorrow’s technology today is more critical than ever” – Bill Gates
It is almost impossible to imagine functioning without mobile phones, so it is essential to consider those options that offer mobile compatibility. Understand how your employees travel while learning about the conveniences that would improve their experience while making the process simpler for you.
Mobile-based, cloud expense management systems make it easy for employees to scan their receipts and compile their expense reports on the go.
This not only elevates their travel experience but also leads to better productivity at work.
Also, Read: What is Spend Analysis?
How to implement an automated expense management platform?
1. Study your existing process
Understanding your existing process and identifying issues you want to address is essential. This will also help you to pick solutions that will handle all the significant problems you may highlight at this stage.
Here are a few ideas on how to go about it.
- First, ensure you get data to understand your problems. This could be the number of travelers in a certain period, the number of expense reports filed, the kind of expenses claimed (fuel, per diem, etc. ), a record of fraudulent behavior, travel desk issues such as multi-currency claims, and turnaround time for reimbursements
- Think about the security of your data and information. Understanding the existing setup, make sure you ask how it may improve the safety of your information while preventing the risk of fraud, cyberattacks, etc
- Functionality is an important consideration. Always ensure the solution you are considering works well with your existing applications and workflows
- While budgetary considerations are a must, the two most important questions are: How much will you spend on automating the expense reporting and management process, and what do you expect to save from the process?
Also, Read: 9 Expense Management Best Practices
2. Get your team onboard
Before you move your company from the traditional ways of handling your expenses to an automated system, you must prepare the employees in your company. The four teams that will be affected most by such as automation are
- Accounting/finance teams
- HR Team
- IT Teams
- Traveling employees
While the actual implementation stage will require some more coordination, use frequently used channels of communication (emails, messaging boards, word-of-mouth, and any other means) to prepare employees for the change.
3. Evaluate and shortlist the most suitable products
Finding the perfect solution for your expense management woes may sound challenging. However, it does not have to be so.
All you need to do is present your challenges to your vendor and allow them to give you a product that works for you. What you can do is come up with a list of categorized requirements.
- No-compromise features
- Added features that would be a plus for your growing company
Based on what the vendors offer,
- Compile a list of vendors that satisfy your criteria
- Come up with questions you and your stakeholders may have about the product (scalability, integrations, security, and so on)
- It is a considerable cost, so it may be worthwhile to entrust someone with the responsibility to compare and rate important features of shortlisted vendors
- Most vendors will be more than happy to give you a demo of the product. Ensure all critical stakeholders are present for such demos
- Testing the product and talking to existing customers (of shortlisted products) may help make the right choice
Several factors determine how long the implementation stage lasts. For instance, the size of your company and the complexity of expense policies play an essential role in this stage as they will determine the scale of operations during this stage.
Proper and planned communication with employees, vendors, and stakeholders will ensure that the implementation is hassle-free.
A review post-implementation allows you to analyze and evaluate the decision objectively. It is typically undertaken about three-six months after such an implementation. The goal is to understand if the solution addresses your business challenges effectively.
Some questions that the review must answer:
- Does it address all the expense management-related challenges?
- Do you see improvement in expense submissions, approval, and turnaround times?
- How does the system work with your other existing applications? If there are issues, can the vendor address these?
- What is the feedback on the analytics from the software?
Also, Read: Top 10 Expense Management Tips for Your Business
Top 7 features to look for in the best expense management software
There are a whole host of options regarding the best expense management software. However, before you begin scouting for the best option, you must learn and understand the available features. List your requirements and then, evaluate them against the attributes.
While individual needs may differ from organization to organization, here are some features you must ask about before you sign on the dotted line.
Remember the image of Captain Kirk from the Star Trek series sitting in front of his console? A dashboard can make you feel like that.
In simple terms, a dashboard is a visual display of all relevant data. In this case, the more intuitive your dashboard is, the better it is for you. Intuitive dashboards will help managers and finance teams to sort through piles of information quickly and effectively. For instance,
- You can categorize expense receipts under each report on a single screen as you reconcile those numbers.
- To help establish better expense budgets, you may choose to access real-time data on expenses constantly on your screen
- You may customize a set of reports detailing a particular department’s expenses or deep dive into specific spending in a particular project.
Finance teams must look for dashboards as they are a vital weapon for fighting inefficiencies, identifying areas for tighter controls, and so on.
2. Mobile app
By far, claiming travel expenses is one of the most painful tasks for any employee. The sheer amount of work involved in saving receipts, creating an expense report, submitting the claims, and waiting with bated breath for the reimbursement can put anyone off.
While the overall employee experience suffers, there is always the problem of several man-hours lost in processing these claims.
Look for automated expense reporting software that offers intelligent and intuitive mobile apps. They can automate the capturing process and dramatically speed up the review, submission, and approval process.
If you choose wisely, the app may be ‘smart’ enough to offer custom reminders and notifications.
3. Stay on top of your compliances
You must stay on top of your internal control regulatory requirements in a dynamic business environment. Well-designed and customized expense management software can answer all your worries.
Based on data recorded by the software, you can quickly respond to changes in the business environment by making appropriate policy and process changes.
Customized software can take care of regulatory requirements, including the vendor’s GSTIN as expense entries are being made, HSN/SAC codes of goods and services during classification, and setting up GSTINs(based on the states you operate in) that may apply to your business.
4. Always ask about integrated corporate credit cards
Ask about prepaid corporate credit card options in the best expense management tools. Your employees can access prepaid spending cards that may be integrated into your system. This helps prevent fraud or misuse of corporate funds and removes bottlenecks.
These cards offer several benefits such as budget tracking, control over issuance and usage of cards, spend visibility, online payments, and easy integration with your accounting platforms.
5. Compatibility with other platforms
Make sure you ask about compatibility with your existing software and platforms. If the expense management system offers hassle-free and easy integration, it will further streamline your process.
While most challenges may be overcome with the best expense management software, you may have to understand how it will work with your existing setup, so all your concerns are addressed.
6. Does it tackle foreign currency?
If there is much overseas travel, you may want to know how the automated expense software handles expenses in foreign currency.
7. Categorisation and allocation of cost-centers:
The best expense management software and tools provide options to ensure that expenses are categorized automatically. Approval hierarchies, multi-level approvers, and other unique policy requirements can be easily incorporated into the system’s architecture.
This offers you better control over the expenses allowing you to make quicker and more effective decisions.
Relevant Read: A Guide to Spend Management
How much does expense management software cost?
On average, prices of expense management software start from $4.99 per user per month. However, this will vary based on what you need from the solution. The price for the product will increase with customizations and the features you need.
You must contact the vendors for demos and free trials that will give you a clearer picture of the features you will need in the product.
Why Happay is the best expense management software?
Happay offers a complete, integrated, end-to-end platform that takes care of your expense report management effectively and efficiently.
Bringing people, processes, data, and technologies into one place, the Happay software is scalable and integrates seamlessly with your existing system. Whether it is employee experience, spend visibility, or agile processes, Happay has you covered.
Our cloud-based storage solution is secure and reduces your paperwork by almost 95%. It is managed on a secure and dedicated cloud server eliminating storage and courier costs completely. Furthermore, access to documentation is instant and in real-time.
Some of the benefits of using Happay’s expense management system
- Your employee experience improves dramatically as Happay’s system provides a seamless and easy interface.
- An important advantage is a significant improvement in the efficiencies and accuracy of your financial team. You can save hundreds of man-hours as you settle claims faster, increase compliance, and reduce fraud.
- CFOs will see a positive change in the predictability of business spending and will undoubtedly appreciate the 100% visibility of expenses that the system offers.
Also, Read: Invoice Management Process and System
Investing in automated expense management software is the best way to track business expenses. It will save your business cost; time and streamline your processes seamlessly.
Small, medium, and large businesses can benefit immensely from the expense management software. Companies can lower turnaround time for reimbursement claims, the number of errors, and a dramatic improvement in employee experience.
There are three ways that businesses manage expenses. First, entries of manual expenses are done in ledgers (cross-verified against physical documents provided by employees). The second method is the use of spreadsheets to record and process expenses. Finally, there are automated expense management systems that process everything automatically.
Automated expense recording and approvals on the go; integration with ERP, HRMS, and CRM applications, digital audit trails, and advanced analytical functions are some of the most common features of expense management software.
Small, medium, and large businesses with expenses and employees claiming business expenses regularly use expense management software.
The biggest challenges with expense management software are the budget, finding the right solution for your business process, and seamless implementation of such automation across your business.
There are several expense management software vendors. Make a list of challenges with your existing process, review and shortlist vendors, ask for a demo, and finalize the vendor.