There are seemingly countless expense reporting software solutions available, so figuring out which is best for you is tough. You want to enable employees to easily submit expense claims, capture receipts and expense details digitally, and automate approval workflows—but now need to figure out which tool is the best fit. In this post, I make things simple, leveraging my experience as an HR specialist and using dozens of different expense reporting tools to bring you this shortlist of the best expense reporting software overall.
What is Expense Reporting Software?
Expense reporting software is a digital tool designed to streamline the process of recording, tracking, and managing business expenses. It allows employees to input their expenses, attach receipts, and submit reimbursement requests efficiently. Expense reporting tools automate approval workflows, enforce company expense policies, and generate detailed expense reports, making it easier for organizations to monitor spending, ensure compliance, and simplify the reimbursement process.
QuickBooks is a proven accounting solution that does a lot of the hard work of tracking expenses. The software helps you enter bills and purchases, then match them to transactions. You can then view how much you're spending in each expense category from your dashboard.
For small businesses, QuickBooks offers a simple, low-cost expense reporting solution. Receipts are sorted automatically and you can reclassify transactions in bulk. You can keep tabs on your cash flow easily through their dashboard.
QuickBooks online costs from $11/user/month and offers a free 30-day trial. Solo entrepreneurs can also take advantage of a special self-employed plan which costs $7.50/user/month.
NetSuite's PSA expense management solution helps professional services organizations automate business processes. This suite of products is designed to be flexible, easy to implement, and simple to maintain. Additional components can be added as business needs change.
Reducing expenses is an important goal in a billable service organization. The NetSuite expense management component optimizes expense reporting accuracy and enables better monitoring. It also ensures timely submission and automates the entire expense management process.
Oracle offers customized pricing upon request. A free product tour is also available.
I chose Emburse because it offers a seamless and efficient way to manage expenses. With Emburse, users can easily create, submit, and approve expenses anytime, anywhere, on any device. What makes Emburse stand out is its ability to streamline expense management processes, making them more manageable for everyone. The tool is best for streamlining expense management because it simplifies complex processes, increases policy compliance, and expedites reimbursements.
Key features include virtual and physical cards with spending rules, mobile receipt capture and reminders, role-based permissions and approval flows, automatic expense categorizations, world-class fraud protection, and Apple Wallet and Android Pay integration. These features work together to improve accuracy, enforce spending policies, and provide businesses with better control and visibility over their expenses.
Emburse provides important integrations with NetSuite, Sage Intacct, QuickBooks, Xero, Salesforce, Chrome River, and Certify. These integrations allow users to seamlessly connect their expense management processes with other essential business systems, enhancing efficiency and data accuracy.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software that businesses can use to report their expenses. This software is designed to help small businesses and self-employed individuals manage their expenses through its dashboards and reports. FreshBooks is primarily known for its time-tracking and invoicing features, but it also offers expense reporting features that can help track a business’s billing and expense information and view them through a dashboard or reports.
The platform tracks expenses automatically when users connect their bank accounts or credit cards to FreshBooks and scan receipts using a mobile device. Scanning receipts ensures that businesses won’t lose a single receipt if they scan all the paper receipts they get when they don’t pay using a debit or credit card that’s connected to FreshBooks. Using the software, businesses can have an easy time with tax time, mark expenses as billable, keep track of overall spending, and monitor the company’s budget.
FreshBooks also has other features useful for expense tracking, including multi-currency expenses, auto-categorization, tax-friendly categories, easy recurring expenses assignment, automatic imports, a mobile application for snapping pictures of receipts, and secure receipt storage in the cloud. Using FreshBooks allows users to track their expenses on the go since users can use the FreshBooks mobile app to snap a picture of the receipt and access the receipts through the cloud or the dashboard.
Zoho Expense offers a full range of customizable expense reporting features. These include conversion of receipts to expenses claims, report submission approval, and corporate card reconciliation. In addition, this SaaS software also supports multi-level approval, spending rules, budgeting, and analytics.
You can also manage all stages of employees’ business trips and make bookings for flights and accommodation. Other features include setting pre-travel approvals, reimbursing on time, and facilitating the reporting of expenses anywhere.
Zoho Expense costs from $45/user/month. A free plan for up to three users is also available, as well as a free demo.
Happay is a cloud-based expense management system designed for larger businesses. This expense tracking software uses AI and machine learning to automate expense claims management, employee reimbursement, and compliance monitoring.
Their expense management software also includes several useful features for tracking travel expenses. Employees can capture and submit expenses, plus track fuel purchases and toll payments automatically. The system also supports mileage tracking using a Google Maps-based route tracker.
Happay's expense management system helps with workforce management by highlighting errors or inaccuracies to facilitate better spend management. This means no more unauthorized travel bookings, late submission of expense reports, or deviation from expense policies. As a result, management gains greater control over costs, and team members are reimbursed faster, creating a better employee experience.
Happay offers customized pricing upon request. A free demo is also available.
ITILITE is a SaaS-based integrated travel and expense management platform. Employees can scan paper receipts and file expenses wherever they are using the mobile expense tracker app. The automated receipt reading using OCR scanning also ensures accurate expense filing.
Expense policy violations and duplicate bills are easily identified, while customized dashboards give managers access to over 100 spend management reports. They also offer over 50 easily configurable multi-level approval flows and complex policy checks so you can stay on top of your employee spending.
ITILITE uses a rewards-based approach that incentivizes employees to choose lower-cost travel options. The software gives employees access to affordable rates through integrated supplier relationships.
ITILITE costs from $4.99/user/month and offers a free 7-day trial. A free demo is also available.
Projectworks is a resource management software that combines expense reporting with time tracking, invoicing, and forecasting. The software helps users manage expenses in the context of the projects, people, and clients they're related to. This centralizes the management of human, time, and fiscal resources.
The software allows employees to enter their costs while employers access to up-to-date records in real time. Features like automated currency conversion and flexible tax rules facilitate expense management across locations. Users can connect costs like hosting fees, contractor invoices, and travel expenses directly to the relevant projects, and link expenses with invoices. The tool's approval process enables managers and other stakeholders to review each expense submission before approval.
This system offers a variety of reports that give insights into spending across departments and projects. Dashboards give businesses an overview of all their expenses, helping them identify trends in spending and set budgets accordingly. The automated categorization feature lets users identify and classify expenses into relevant categories for easier tracking and organization, and reduces human error by automatically sorting out ambiguous or inappropriate categorization entries. The platform allows users to set up recurring payments and bulk upload data into the system, so they don’t have to manually add every entry each time they make a purchase or payment.
The platform integrates with other software like Azure DevOps, Hubspot, Jira, MYOB, QuickBooks, and Xero. Additional integrations can be accessed through a paid Zapier account.
Pricing is available upon request, and users can access a free trial via the website.
ProjectCompanion is a project management tool that has the flexibility to be used for a wide range of purposes. Features include a time & expense tracker, budget management, Gantt charts, milestone tracking, and portfolio management.
This is a Windows-based tool with an interface that millions of users will find familiar and easy to understand. It offers a traditional approach to project management and has all the features most organizations will need to track expenses.
Projects are based on templates, so it's easy to set up a structured process for reporting expenses. The expenses module is integrated into the overall suite, so that managers can quickly check progress on expense reporting.
ProjectCompanion costs from $8.25/user/month. A free starter plan is also available.
Gorilla Expense is a 100% online PCI compliant solution for managing all business expenses.
The receipt box feature means employees don't have to clutter their phone gallery with receipt images. The credit card feature allows travelers to import transactions from credit card purchases to complete their expense report quickly.
Gorilla Expense is designed with simplicity of use in mind. Images in the receipt box can be merged with the related credit card transaction, with both then attached to an expense report. The report dates are automatically set to match the dates of the credit card statement.
Gorilla Express costs from $12/user/month. There is no free trial, but a free demo is available.
Best accounting software for small business owners or self-employed professionals
30-day free trial
Best employee expense tracking software for billable service organizations
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for streamlining expense management
|Pricing available upon request||Website|
Best expense reporting software for small business and individuals
30-day free trial
Best expense management software for end-to-end travel management
Free demo available
Best expense management software for spend management
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best expense software for encouraging cost-conscious booking decisions
7 days free trial
Best expense reporting within a resource management platform
Free trial available
|From $370 /month (for up to 10 users)||Website|
Best Windows-based expense management solution
Free plan available
Best expense software for automatic expense report creation
Free demo available
Best for synching expense reports to accounting software
Best free productivity platform for mobile expense reporting and accounting
- ABUKAI Expenses
Best for automatic expense categorization
Best expense software for flexible approval workflows
Best accounting tool for automated expense data entry
Best expense reporting software for global companies
Best expense management software for automatically generating expense receipts using smart matching technology
Best for a unified work management solution
Best for an easy-to-use system
Best for detecting fraud with AI
Selection Criteria for Expense Reporting Software
Wondering how I selected the best expense reporting software for this article? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): I've chosen software with a straightforward expense reporting process built-in to save time and improve productivity for busy executives and other frequent users.
- Usability: I've selected expense reporting software that all levels of users - from employees to accounts payable staff and other finance team members - will find intuitive and easy to use.
- Software Integrations: I look for easy integration with everyday business tools such as email, accounting software, and project management tools.
- Value for Price: My priority here is finding expense reporting software that packs in a wealth of features at an affordable price.
Expense Reporting Software: Key Features
I also assessed these key features when making my final selections for this list:
- Receipt scanning or receipt capture: 48% of finance professionals note that this is one of the most compelling features for expense management software.
- Direct deposit capabilities: 36% of finance professionals note that this is one of the most compelling features for expense management software.
- Mobile expense reporting: An easy way for employees to report business expenses and upload receipts from their mobile devices while on the go.
- Compliance management: Helps companies stay compliant with the latest rules from local, state, and federal tax agencies.
- Automated tax calculation: Features for including taxes such as GST or VAT where required.
- Integrated corporate credit card management: Built-in control of credit cards issued to employees.
- Multi-currency capability: Useful for dealing with travel expenses from overseas business trips or billing from foreign suppliers.
- Categorization of expenses: The ability to allocate receipts into a designated expense category in accordance with your company's expense policy.
What is expense reporting software?
What is the best accounting system for small business?
What Do You Think About These Expense Reporting Software?
What’s hot and what’s not in the world of expense reporting software? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. And if you’d like to hear our thoughts, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. You’ll get illuminating insights from the biggest brains in the business. Don’t miss out!