What are the Best Apps to Track & Submit Business Expenses?

In the modern business landscape, efficiently managing expenses is crucial for maintaining financial health and operational efficiency. For small businesses, in particular, keeping track of every dollar spent can make the difference between profitability and financial strain.

There are numerous applications and software available that simplify the process of tracking and submitting business expenses. This article explores the top ten apps in this space, detailing their features, benefits, and how they can help small businesses streamline their accounting and finance operations.

1. What is Expensify?

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    Expensify is one of the most popular expense management tools available today. It’s designed to simplify the process of tracking receipts and expenses, making it an excellent choice for small businesses.

Key Features

  • Real-Time Expense Reporting:

    Tracks and reports expenses in real-time.

  • Policy Compliance

    Ensures all expenses comply with corporate policies.

  • Integration:

    Integrates with major ERP and accounting systems.

  • Receipt Scanning

    Allows users to scan and upload receipts instantly

  • Mobile App

    Offers full functionality on mobile devices.

What are the Benefits of Expensify?

SmartScan Technology

Expensify revolutionizes the way small businesses handle expense management, providing a seamless, efficient solution to traditional manual processes. One of its standout features is SmartScan Technology, which drastically reduces time spent on data entry. By automatically scanning and capturing receipt data, this technology allows users to quickly and accurately record expenses without the need for manual input. This leads to significant time savings and minimizes the risk of human error, which is crucial for maintaining accurate financial records.

Automatic Categorization

Another major benefit of Expensify is its automatic categorization feature. Leveraging machine learning, the app can intelligently categorize expenses, further streamlining the expense management process. This automation not only speeds up the recording process but also ensures that expenses are accurately classified, facilitating easier and more precise financial reporting.

Corporate Cards

The support for corporate cards in Expensify is another significant advantage. By synchronizing with corporate credit cards, the app provides real-time expense tracking, allowing businesses to monitor spending as it happens. This feature not only helps in maintaining financial control but also ensures timely and accurate expense reporting.

2. What is QuickBooks Online?

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    QuickBooks Online is a comprehensive accounting solution that includes robust expense tracking features. It is well-suited for small to medium-sized businesses.

Key Features

  • Receipt Scanning:

    Allows users to scan and upload receipts.

  • Multi-Currency Support:

    Manages expenses in multiple currencies, ideal for international businesses.

  • Expense Policies

    Customizable expense policies and approvals.

  • Integration

    Integrates with Zoho Books, QuickBooks, and other accounting software.

  • Mobile App

    Full-featured mobile app for expense tracking on-the-go.

What are the Benefits of QuickBooks Online?

Provides a Complete Accounting Solution

QuickBooks Online offers a comprehensive solution for small to medium-sized businesses, combining robust accounting features with efficient expense tracking capabilities. One of the key benefits of QuickBooks Online is that it provides a complete accounting solution. Unlike standalone expense management tools, QuickBooks Online integrates expense tracking with other essential accounting functions, such as invoicing, payroll, and financial reporting. This integration ensures that all financial data is stored in one place, making it easier to manage and review.

Receipt Capture

QuickBooks Online’s receipt capture capability is another major advantage. Users can simply snap photos of receipts with their mobile devices and attach them to transactions within the app. This feature not only simplifies the process of recording expenses but also ensures that all receipts are stored electronically, making it easier to retrieve and review them when needed.

Bank Feeds Feature

The bank feeds feature is particularly useful for maintaining accurate financial records. QuickBooks Online can automatically import and categorize transactions from linked bank accounts, reducing the need for manual data entry and minimizing the risk of errors. This automation ensures that your financial data is always up-to-date, providing a real-time view of your business’s financial health.

3. What is Zoho Expense?

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    Zoho Expense is a key component of the Zoho suite of business applications, offering a cost-effective solution for managing business expenses. Designed to simplify and automate the expense management process, Zoho Expense caters to businesses of all sizes, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in financial management. This tool integrates seamlessly with other Zoho applications and various third-party tools, providing a comprehensive solution for expense tracking and reporting.

Key Features

  • 1. Automated Expense Recording:

    Zoho Expense automates the recording of expenses through features such as receipt scanning and automated data extraction. Users can snap a picture of their receipts using the mobile app, and Zoho Expense will automatically capture and categorize the relevant information, reducing manual entry and minimizing errors.

  • 2. Streamlined Expense Reporting:

    Creating and submitting expense reports is straightforward with Zoho Expense. Users can compile their expenses into detailed reports, which can be submitted for approval with just a few clicks. This streamlining of the expense reporting process saves time and ensures timely reimbursement.

  • 3. Policy Compliance and Approval Workflows:

    Zoho Expense allows businesses to define and enforce expense policies, ensuring compliance with company standards. Approval workflows can be customized to suit organizational needs, ensuring that expenses are reviewed and approved efficiently. Notifications and reminders help keep the process on track, reducing delays.

  • 4. Integration with Accounting Systems:

    Zoho Expense integrates seamlessly with various accounting software, including Zoho Books and other popular accounting systems. This integration ensures that expense data flows smoothly between platforms, facilitating accurate and up-to-date financial records.

  • 5. Real-Time Expense Tracking:

    With Zoho Expense, businesses can track expenses in real-time. The software provides dashboards and analytics tools that offer insights into spending patterns, helping businesses identify areas for cost savings and make informed financial decisions.

What are the Benefits of Zoho Expense?

Zoho Expense offers a cost-effective and comprehensive solution for managing business expenses, particularly benefiting small businesses. One of the primary benefits is its affordable pricing, making it accessible to small businesses with limited budgets. Despite its affordability, Zoho Expense does not compromise on features, providing a robust set of tools for expense management.

The full-featured mobile app provided by Zoho Expense is essential for businesses with employees who are frequently on the move. The mobile app allows users to track expenses, capture receipts, and manage approvals from anywhere, ensuring that expenses are recorded promptly and accurately. This mobility enhances the overall efficiency of the expense management process.

4. What is FreshBooks?

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    FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software designed specifically for small businesses, freelancers, and service-based professionals. Known for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive feature set, FreshBooks simplifies various accounting tasks, making financial management more accessible and efficient for users without extensive accounting knowledge.

  • 1. Invoicing and Billing:

    FreshBooks offers customizable invoicing templates that allow businesses to create professional invoices quickly. Users can automate recurring invoices, accept online payments, and send reminders for overdue payments, streamlining the billing process and improving cash flow management.

  • 2. Expense Tracking:

    The software enables users to easily track and categorize business expenses. Receipts can be uploaded and attached to expenses directly through the mobile app, ensuring that all expenditures are accounted for. FreshBooks also allows for the creation of expense reports, simplifying the process of tracking and managing business costs.

  • 3. Time Tracking:

    FreshBooks includes a time tracking feature that lets users log billable hours, which can then be linked to specific projects or clients. This functionality is particularly useful for service-based businesses that charge clients by the hour, ensuring accurate billing and better project management.

What are the Benefits of FreshBooks?

FreshBooks offers a cloud-based accounting solution tailored for small businesses and freelancers, with expense tracking capabilities. One of the primary benefits of FreshBooks is that it simplifies accounting for small businesses. The app provides an easy-to-use interface that makes managing finances straightforward, even for those without an accounting background. This simplicity is particularly beneficial for small business owners and freelancers who may not have extensive accounting knowledge.

FreshBooks’ automated data entry is a significant advantage. The app can auto-categorize expenses, reducing the need for manual entry and minimizing the risk of errors. This automation streamlines the expense recording process and ensures that financial records are consistently accurate. Automated data entry saves time and enhances the overall efficiency of financial management.

Choosing the Right Expense Tracking App

When selecting an expense tracking app for your business, it’s important to evaluate various factors to ensure that the chosen app aligns with your specific needs and enhances your financial management processes. Here are some key considerations:

1. Integration with Accounting Software

An expense tracking app should seamlessly integrate with your existing accounting software. This integration ensures that expense data is automatically synchronized, reducing the need for manual data entry and minimizing errors. For example, if you are using QuickBooks or Xero, choose an expense app that supports direct integration with these platforms.

2. User-Friendliness

The app should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface. This ease of use is crucial for ensuring that employees can quickly adopt the system and consistently use it to track their expenses. A complicated or cumbersome interface may lead to low user adoption and incomplete expense reporting.

3. Mobile Accessibility

In today’s mobile-first world, having a mobile app is essential. Employees should be able to capture receipts, submit expenses, and manage approvals directly from their smartphones. Look for apps that offer robust mobile functionality without sacrificing features available on the desktop version.

4. Policy Compliance and Customization

The ability to enforce company policies through the app is vital for ensuring compliance and controlling costs. Choose an app that allows you to set custom expense policies, approval workflows, and spending limits. This feature helps in maintaining control over expenses and ensuring adherence to corporate guidelines.

5. Reporting and Analytics

Detailed reporting and analytics capabilities are crucial for gaining insights into spending patterns and identifying areas where costs can be optimized. The app should offer customizable reports that can be easily generated and analyzed. This functionality is essential for making informed financial decisions.

6. Security and Data Protection

Given the sensitive nature of financial data, it is imperative to choose an app that prioritizes security. Look for features such as data encryption, secure cloud storage, and compliance with data protection regulations (e.g., GDPR). Ensuring that the app provider has robust security measures in place is critical for protecting your business’s financial information.

7. Cost

While many expense tracking apps offer a range of features, it is important to consider the cost and ensure that it fits within your budget. Some apps, like Wave, offer free versions with basic features, while others may have tiered pricing models based on the number of users or advanced functionalities. Evaluate the cost against the benefits and features to determine the best value for your business.

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