One of the things you need to do as a business owner is to keep your finances in order. Not only will it help make tax time easier, but it will also help you track and better understand your spending. While keeping paper receipts in a separate file is a good practice, manual expense tracking can be tedious. As a result, you’re prone to make costly mistakes.
To avoid this, businesses invest in expense tracker apps that help store receipts, monitor your spending, and ensure that you’re staying within budget. It also generates comprehensive reports to help you visualize where your money actually goes. But to maximize the benefits of expense trackers, you need to choose the right one for your business.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of expense tracking, including how it can help your business, factors to consider when choosing an app, and the best options available for small businesses.
How Can Expense Tracking Apps Help Your Business?
Aside from storing receipts and monitoring your spending, expense tracking apps offer more features that make financial management easier for your company. We’ve outlined some of the upsides of using an expense app for your company below.
1. Store documents digitally
With expense tracking apps, you won’t have to burden yourself with keeping a separate folder for your paper receipts. You also won’t have to worry about losing the folder in a pile of paperwork. Expense trackers help minimize the time you spend printing and organizing reports by going paperless.
By downloading the app or software, you simply have to scan or take a picture of the receipt and save it in the cloud. You can access the receipts and reports anytime, anywhere, as long as you’re connected to the internet. You can even organize your receipts by month or in any way you prefer, making it easier to find them when needed.
2. Prevents fraudulent activities
Manually tracking your business expenses can be time-consuming and exposes you to fraudulent activities. The company’s finance team could be dealing with a lot of work and may overlook fake entries or modified receipts, leading to thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent reimbursements. It’s worth noting that once the transaction is done, it can be challenging to get the money back.
With expense tracker apps, you spare yourself this problem. With all the receipts stored in a centralized location where only a few authorized people can access the files, the likelihood of fraudulent activities happening within your company are minimzed. As a result, your business saves a significant amount of money in the long run.
3. Better prepare your business for tax season
If there’s one season that business owners dread, it would be tax season. The act of filing taxes and claiming for returns can be stressful, especially if it requires you to dig through months’ worth of business documents to calculate your taxes and returns.
Most expense tracking apps come with features that recognize which expenses are considered tax-deductible. It could be business meals, telephone bills, travel expenses, home office expenses, rent, gas, etc. Some may also provide an estimate of how much tax you’ll have to pay in the coming tax season. With that, you’ll be able to maximize your tax returns and reinvest your savings back into your business.
4. It makes reporting and forecasting easier
If you’re still using Excel sheets to create graphs and charts for your financial forecasts, it might be high time to upgrade to more advanced software. Most expense tracker apps are equipped with advanced functionalities to generate reports and accurate forecasts based on your spending. Plus, its prediction analysis lets you get some financial insights, allowing you to make better decisions for your business’s financial future.
5. Limits human errors
Perhaps one of the main reasons businesses switch to expense tracker apps and software is to mitigate human errors. Manually handling and calculating expenses can lead to data entry errors. Employee reimbursements can be difficult to track, especially if you have staff. Mistakes can further be compounded as the documents go through and get transcribed in the different departments.
With expense tracking apps, everything is automated. Once an entry is submitted, it goes directly to the authorized person, who then decides if it counts as qualified business expenses and reimburses it. The tool can also flag duplicate entries, preventing incorrect reimbursements to employees or overpayment to lenders and suppliers.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business Expense Tracker
Expense tracker apps come with a different set of features. The key to differentiating your options is determining which combination of functionalities will best serve your business. Here are five factors to consider when choosing an expense tracker app.
1. User-friendly interface
Like any business software and application, your expense tracker should be easy to use, especially if your employees are using it as well. Choosing an app that’s easy to navigate and has a shallow learning curve can save you and your employees a lot of time and effort as you go.
Also, if you have employees or customers from another country, the app should be available in their language. They should be able to submit financial reports or request reimbursements in their own currency. As much as possible, the app should automatically convert the foreign currency to your own.
Your expense tracker app should also integrate well with your business’ accounting software if you’re using a separate one. This will ensure a smooth transfer of information between apps, so there will be no discrepancies during auditing. Many expense tracker apps integrate easily with accounting software such as QuickBooks or Xero
Aside from expense tracking, your expense tracker app should also feature analytics to give you a better picture of where your money goes. It should show the day-to-day expenses and compare financial reports from last week, month, quarter, or year, complete with visuals like graphs or charts. This will give you an insight into your cash flow and pinpoint problem areas so you can resolve them ASAP.
An expense tracker app should help you spend within your means. Choose an app that allows you to create budgets and stick to them. You should be able to assign a value to a specific category to make sure you don’t go over what’s intended for that category.
4. Platform independence
A good expense tracking app should be optimized for all screens – be it mobile, laptops, tablets, or computers and it should be compatible with any operating system (i.e., macOS, Android, etc.). Choosing an app you can use on your phone or tablet should be a top priority if you constantly travel for work.
All expense tracker apps and software must comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Passed in 2002, SOX or the “Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act” protects investors by requiring companies to do a yearly audit and make the results available to the company’s investors and stakeholders. The aim was to protect investors by providing accurate and reliable corporate disclosures.
Moreover, the expense tracking app should comply with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) 7-year data storage requirement. This is to make sure that data is still available if the IRS requests to audit a company’s finances.
Security is always a top concern for cloud storage and other FinTech-related data. You should always choose an app with top-notch security in place. Remember, you’ll be storing sensitive financial data on the app.
Some expense tracking apps employ security measures such as single sign-on (SSO), SSL encryption, biometric app locks, and more. Moreover, the app should also have a solid backup plan in place in case the user’s phone or computer gets lost or stolen. Be sure to ask the company about these.
Finally, consider the price. Expense tracker apps vary by cost. While some may offer the app for free, there’s a chance that you’ll only be able to access the basic features. Premium expense tracker apps usually provide the complete package – from receipt tracking, credit monitoring, and analytics to advanced features like tax preparations.
If you only need the basic features like receipt storage and analytics, you might be better off with the free version. However, if the features you need cost money, you’ll have to consider upgrading. Ultimately, if using the app results in more savings, it might be worth it.
Apps usually offer a free trial, so you can test it out to see if it addresses your business needs and goals before signing up.
Top 17 Expense Tracker Apps for Businesses
We’ve narrowed down our top choices for the best expense tracker app of 2022 below.
1. Intuit’s Mint
Mint is one of the most popular expense tracker apps for businesses for a good reason. It offers a wide range of expense-tracking features for free! Plus, it’s a product of one of the leading financial software in the market, Intuit.
Aside from that, Mint is an excellent choice because it makes tracking expenses easier across a wide variety of banks, credit cards, and business investments. The app automatically syncs data from different accounts: credit, debit, loans, or bills. Once recorded, it arranges the expenses based on your budget categories, making it easier to track your spending. More than that, Mint immediately notifies you if you go over budget in one or a few of your categories.
Mint stands out among its competitors because it helps business owners pay down their debts aside from its expense tracking and budgeting features. It shows the company’s current net worth and credit score, so they know their current standing. It also notifies you when your credit card(s) are closing in on the limit or if a payment deadline is coming up, so you can avoid late fees.
However, like other apps, Mint comes with its own set of disadvantages, which may or may not sit well with the users. Many have reported bugs and glitches when using the app. While these can be quickly resolved with updates on the software, the company has been slow in releasing newer versions of the app. Reviews also say that the ads that can sometimes be distracting.
Mint is available in the App Store and is compatible with iPhones, iPad, and even Apple Watch. If you’re an Android user, you can download the app on Google Play.
2. QuickBooks Online
When it comes to business accounting and bookkeeping software, QuickBooks Online is definitely one of the leading competitors. Like Mint, it’s a product of Intuit, and offers accounting and expense tracking features.
QuickBooks Online allows businesses to track their invoices, receive payments, monitor inventory, categorize expenses, etc. You can also upload a photo of your receipts on the app. It will automatically categorize the expense, so it’s easier for you to organize your financials. You can also link your debit and credit accounts for easier budget tracking. QuickBooks features a comprehensive dashboard that shows updates on your business's financial transactions as they happen.
If you need more advanced accounting functionalities, QuickBooks Online also has a lot to offer. With its basic subscription, you can create customized invoices and sales receipts with your logo on them. You can also set up recurring bills payment or send reminders for unpaid customer invoices. If your business carries inventory, QuickBooks also offers inventory tracking so that if you’re running low on stocks, you’ll know when to reorder.
And it doesn’t end there. The software supports more than 400 app integrations. If you’re using separate apps for customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, and budgeting, you can sync the data into the QuickBooks app to further enhance its functionality. You can also integrate third-party payment solutions like PayPal, ApplePay, and Bill.com.
But like other software tools, QuickBooks Online isn’t perfect. One of its major downsides is its price. QuickBooks is one of the most expensive expense and budget tracking tools out there. The cost can range from $12.50 per month to $75 per month. If you’re only after expense tracking, you might want to consider other options. It also isn’t the easiest to use if you don’t have basic accounting knowledge.
If you’re still on the fence about QuickBooks, you can sign up for its 30-day free trial. This will give you access to all of the QuickBooks features, so you’ll get a bigger picture of how the tool works and decide on the features you’ll need if you do decide to go for it.
QuickBooks Online is available on mobile and desktop.
If you’re looking for an app that can help you and your employees scan, track, and store receipts, Expensify is worth a try. Launched in 2008, Expensify was initially meant to help businesses track and manage receipts and expenses. It offers over a dozen expense tracking and reporting features, including credit card linking, expense tracking, next-day reimbursements, etc.
One of the features that specifically stands out for Expensify is its patented SmartScan technology. It allows you to scan your receipts, and the system will automatically record the details like the merchant, amount, and date, so you won’t have to encode them manually. This is helpful, especially if your business requires you to travel a lot, and you need to keep track of the receipts as you go.
The app can also generate reports from your spending based on the receipts you upload. If you link your credit and debit card to the app, Expensify can automatically record transactions and include them in the report. It also offers mileage tracking through GPS and allows users to enter the details manually.
Expensify integrates well with other apps like Uber, Lyft, and HotelTonight. It will automatically log and categorize the expense immediately into the system for faster reimbursement.
As for the price, the app does offer a free version for users. However, you’ll only be limited to up to 25 SmartScans per month. If you prefer to have unlimited monthly SmartScans, you’ll pay $4.99. For $9, you’ll be able to take advantage of unlimited SmartScans and the app’s advanced features like expense reporting, approval, and reimbursements.
If you want to try out all the features first, they also offer a six-week free trial. The app is available for android and iOs, and you can easily find them in App Store or Google Play.
4. Zoho Expense
Zoho is an Indian multinational company best known for its business-centric web-based tools. If you’re looking for a low-cost, feature-rich expense tracker, their Zoho Expense app should definitely be on the top of your list.
Zoho Expense offers unlimited receipt tracking and storage. You can create categories and sort your receipts accordingly so that it’s easier to track when you need to audit your finances. You can add more fields and fill it up with the details of the expense. It also offers quick approval on costs, making reimbursements easier and faster to process for you and your employees. You can link your debit and credit cards, and the app will automatically import non-cash transactions. Their advanced analytics allows businesses to pull out reports on their spending each week, month, or year to better strategize and maximize their business finances in the future.
The app also allows customization of up to 25 policies and creating per diem rates for each employee. Suppose your business requires a lot of traveling for deals, conferences, and other business-related activities. In that case, Zoho Expense is equipped with a GPS tracker that lets you track mileage for reimbursement.
Zoho Expense lets users modify and edit their entries even when they’re not connected to the internet. The changes are then synced once they’re back online.
If you’re using other apps for storage or accounting, you can easily integrate the app with other software like G Suite, QuickBooks, Evernote, and Dropbox.
The best part is that Zoho Expense doesn’t cost much. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest business expense tracker apps. They offer their free plan for up to three users. They can take advantage of features like 5GB receipt storage, 20 receipt Autoscans, mileage expenses, customer/project tracking, and accounting integration. However, if you need more people to access the app, increase your receipt scanning limit, advanced audit trail report, and other premium features. They also offer paid plans ranging from $3/active user/month to $8/active user/month.
Employees typically incur a number of business expenses on any given day. They usually need to get these expenses flagged as a business expense to claim a deduction. But getting these expenses manually approved can be a tedious process. With Abacus, expense approval and reimbursement becomes a whole lot easier..
Not only that, but Abacus offers different packages tailored to address the needs of businesses regardless of their size. It’s available on desktop, which features a dashboard where administrators handle transactions. Their mobile app is perfect for employees who need to submit expenses as it happens.
Like many expense tracking apps, Abacus offers receipt scanning and card linking. All transactions are recorded directly to the app for easier tracking and reporting.
One feature that really makes Abacus stand out is its expense automation policy and approval hierarchy. With the expense approval automation, the company’s executives can create and customize policies on approved expenses. These policies are then used to automatically filter and flag expenses, preventing violations.
Moreover, business owners can also create policies that indicate the best person to approve the expense. Abacus’ Approval Routing feature ensures that the incoming expense is directed to the designated approver. Once the expense is approved, the app reimburses the cost directly to the employee’s account.
Users can access Abacus on mobile and desktop. It offers three package editions: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. Their Starter package starts at $9/active user/month with a minimum of 2 users. As for their Professional and Enterprise packages, you might need to contact the company directly to get a custom quote.
6. Rydoo (formerly Xpenditure)
Rydoo was formerly known as Xpenditure Small Business. In its new and improved platform, Rydoo offers a train of features that appeals to both employees and employers. They offer three packages, each suited to meet the needs of small and large businesses alike.
In Rydoo’s low-tier package, the Team package, companies can use features like expense tracking, OCR scanning, mileage tracking, and more. You can also create an approval flow, so you’ll know for sure that the expenses are authorized. The package can accommodate up to 50 users, perfect for small businesses.
If you need to accommodate more users (50+ users) and more advanced expense tracking and management features, Rydoo’s second-tier plan, the Growth package, is for you. It offers a second-level approval, Per Diems, built-in expense policy customization, second-level approval, and the features offered in the Team package.
The Enterprise package's third tier accommodates up to 500+ users and is designed for bigger, more established companies. It offers the features in the Team and Growth package plus bank integration, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and more.
Other features of Rydoo include multicurrency conversion, the ability to detect duplicate expenses, and project allocation. It also has multi-language support, making them a good choice if you have offices in other parts of the world.
As for the pricing, Rydoo charges $7/user/month billed annually for their Team package and $9/user/month ($11 if billed monthly) for their Growth package. If you want to go for their Enterprise package, you’ll have to contact Rydoo’s team directly to get a custom quote. You can access Rydoo using your phone, tablet, or computer.
If you prefer to keep a physical copy of your receipts or simply want an easier way to keep track of printed stubs (i.e., fuel receipts, car park, etc.) while eliminating the tedious process of categorizing your expenses, Shoeboxed is for you.
One of the app’s standout features is its Magic Envelope. If you’re having difficulty keeping up with expense and receipt tracking, you can send your printed receipts to the Shoeboxed team, who will then do the manual tracking and organizing process. This is especially useful to business owners who have a lot on their plate on any given day and would want to let go of the tedious process of doing expense tracking themselves. However, for businesses that want to track their expenses themselves, Shoeboxed also allows them to scan and upload their receipts to the cloud.
The tabs uploaded on Shoeboxed’s cloud are also accepted by both the IRS and Canadian Revenue Services, making it easier for you and your accountant to calculate your taxes during the tax season. You can import receipts directly from Google Drive, Dropbox, or Evernote. You can also integrate the app with QuickBooks Online to export expense reports directly to the accounting software.
Shoeboxed’s subscription comes in three tiers. Their Startup plan starts at $29/month ($23/month when billed annually), and it comes with maximum processing of 50 digital scans and 25 physical documents per month. The Professional tier, which processes 150 digital scans and 150 physical scans per month, costs $59/month ($47/month if billed annually). Their Business subscription costs $89 per month ($71/month if billed annually) and processes up to 3,000 digital scans and 300 physical document scans per month.
8. Concur Expense by SAP
Systems Applications and Products, or SAP, is a SaaS company whose goal is to assist businesses and organizations run their operations efficiently through their top-notch enterprise software products. In 2014, the company acquired Concur Technologies. SAP Concur Expense is an expense tracking app designed specifically for bigger, more established businesses.
Concur Expense is especially popular among business owners and employees who travel a lot. Users can easily take pictures of receipts like meals, drinks, or other expenses incurred during business trips and upload them to the cloud through its mobile app. The system will then extract the details, including the amount, date of transaction, supplier, and location. The expense then goes through the authorized person who manages and approves the transaction.
Concur Expense also integrates well with its partner apps like Uber, Lyft, Booking.com, American Airlines, Hyatt Hotels, and more to simplify expense claims made by its employees. The app also comes with enterprise resource planning (ERP) which gives your business an overview of your company’s budget and forecasts.
Concur Expense’s final price can be challenging to determine, considering that the price will be based on the variety of optional services. You’ll have to talk to their customer service representative to get a quote.
9. Dext Prepare (formerly ReceiptBank)
ReceiptBank, now Dext Prepare, offers a streamlined way of storing receipts, so you won’t have to keep a physical file of each. Unlike other expense tracking apps, Dext Prepare offers a straightforward process of storing receipts.
The app offers three ways of storing receipts:
- Take a picture of the receipt. First, you can take a picture of the paper receipt through its mobile app, then click submit. You can also set it to “Multi-Mode”, which lets you photograph receipts one after another, or a single receipt that is more than one-page long.
- Email the receipt as an attachment. The second option lets you email the receipt as an attachment to a dedicated email address. You’ll have the option of customizing the email address, but it must always end in @receiptbank.me. If you have recurring subscription receipts sent to your email, Dext also offers an auto-forward feature that automatically sends the receipt to the email address, so you won’t have to think about it again.
- Upload the receipt directly from your computer.You can also upload the ticket directly from your computer through the app’s web upload tool. To do this, you have to log into your account, and once you’re in, you can start uploading the receipts by clicking “Add Items”. You can also upload several receipts simultaneously, saving you much time.
The best thing about Dext Prepare is that it’s extremely easy to use, which will appeal most to non-tech-savvy entrepreneurs and employees. You need to take a picture of the receipt and then upload it into the system. That’s it. The app’s optical character recognition system will then extract the information from the receipt, so you won’t have to do it manually. Dext Prepare integrates well with the major accounting softwarein the market, including Xero, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Sage One, and Sage 50.
The app is perfect for solopreneurs and manager-owners looking to save time on clerical work. Pricing for Dext Prepare range from $20 to $75 a month.
10. BizXpense Tracker (BXT)
BizXpense Tracker is one of the best expense tracking tools for mileage, expenses, and time. The app was developed by the Silverware Software Company in 2010. The app offers comprehensive reporting on your spending and lets users create comprehensive reports in PDF and CSV format for easy importing.
The main feature that makes BizXpense Tracker stand out is that it’s fully customizable. You can create a template to make it easier to enter and organize the available data. You can also import financial data sent through your email and sort it right at the screen. If you’re traveling, you can take advantage of its live mileage tracking, so everything is recorded as you go.
The app also makes it easier to track and calculate time. You can create customized pricing for hourly or daily rates, and you can also create a custom price per visit. Aside from that, BizXpense Tracker can help keep track of overtime, so you can easily calculate it when it’s time to pay your staff. It’s worth noting that the app supports multiple currencies, making the app more versatile.
BizXpense Tracker starts at $6.99. You can also add additional features to improve the app’s functionality. These in-app purchases range from $0.99 to $3.99. It’s available on both mobile and desktop.
If you’re looking for an affordable, feature-rich expense tracking solution for your small business, ExpensePoint is worth a shot. For $8.50 per user per month, users can take advantage of all its features, including unlimited monthly expense reports, credit card transaction importing, receipt imaging system, policy manager, unlimited expense categories, and more.
ExpensePoint will appeal most to small businesses with low monthly volumes of expense claims. You can take a picture of printed receipts, upload it to the cloud via the mobile app, and store it in the app’s Receipt Wallet. Credit card transactions are stored in the My Transactions folder. Once uploaded, these receipts are processed by real people who then extract the information and store it in the system.
It’s a convenient solution for administrators because it lets them receive expense reports and approve them in real-time. It’s also versatile as it allows multi-device access, allowing you to process receipts using whatever gadget is currently available at your disposal. It also supports multiple currencies, making it easier to process receipts and reimbursements to your employees wherever they may be in the world.
If you’re not sure whether you want to commit to ExpensePoint, they offer a 15-day trial that lets you try out the features. Be sure to check it out and see whether it addresses your business’ needs regarding expense tracking.
Hurdlr is a widely known expense tracker among freelancers, hosts, drivers, and couriers. While solopreneurs and part-timers mainly use it, it also offers an Enterprise subscription, which is perfect for larger companies to keep track of employee expenses.
Hurdlr lets you track your income and expenses manually. You can type in the type of expense and tag it as personal or business. A swipe to the right tags it as a business expense while swiping it to the left tags it as a personal expense. This makes it much easier to separate personal and business expenses during tax time.
The app also offers unlimited mileage tracking on its free version. It also offers tax tracking and estimation based on the IRS standards and mileage recorded. If you upgrade to the premium version, the app will automatically track your mileage, income, expenses, and taxes.
With the app's Pro version, business owners can take advantage of additional features like invoicing and accounting on top of unlimited mileage and tax tracking. You can also give your accountant access to your tax information to make it easier for them to compute your taxable income and tax returns. The Pro version also allows custom rules for employee expense reimbursements.
Hurdlr’s Premium version starts at $5 per month, billed annually, and $8 for monthly billing. Their Pro version comes at $10 per month, billed annually. Their Enterprise version is only on a quote basis. You’ll need to talk with one of their representatives to get an estimate.
The Bottom Line
There you have it. The 13 expense tracker solutions listed above are some of the best apps out there. If you’re still trying to figure out which app is best for you, go back to your goals. What’s the reason you’re using the tracker in the first place? Try to figure out which one addresses your business’ needs.
While most expense trackers aren’t free, some offer a free trial that lets businesses try out its complete set of features before fully committing to it. Be sure to check if your expense tracker of choice offers it.