Buyers Guide

Expense Management Software Buyers Guide

What is expense management software? Most businesses will accrue expenses as staff go about their jobs - from picking up coffees to paying for taxis to meetings, buying new stationary for the office to entertaining clients at meals out. These endless receipts can sometimes become somewhat overwhelming, especially as they start to all add up and pile up in overflowing stacks of paper. It can feel a bit like receipt overload as they arrive.

That's where expense management software helps it all become a far more manageable part of any successful and effective business. With this technology, businesses are able to simplify their tracking and management of any expenses. It streamlines the whole process, making expense reporting automated and far less hassle.

From the process of submitting a claim to analysing the business expenses being requested by your employees, you can build a clear report of your expenditure and track expenses in a time-saving, manageable way.

Key features

Not all expense management software is created the same. However, some of the most notable features you will find, and benefit from, include:

- The ability for employees to use their mobile phone to enter expenses, take a photo and submit photos of their receipt, or edit their expense account from their phone.
- A direct deposit link between the expenses software and your employees' bank accounts.
- The option to capture receipts through scanning these in or via e-mail submission.
- Offering the option for automatic expense imports, which are connected to personal or corporate accounts and credit cards.
- A regular analytics report that enables you to budget and forecast expenses, identify any key trends and highlight ways to save you money.
- The option to configure your workflow according to categorising expenses and other variables, and put in place a streamlined approval process.
- Enable you to enforce compliance with expenses by flagging potential expense overages, any duplicates, documents that are missing, and any potential fraud.
- The ability to integrate with other types of accounting systems to export reports easily, and to ensure there is no requirement for manually entering data.

Key benefits

There are some key benefits to tracking expenses using expense report software. Firstly, it helps to create increased visibility of all employee spending. This makes it harder for things to slip through the net and can ensure you have a clear overview of all outgoings. It can also make it easier for you to ensure that corporate policies on spending are being adhered to, and nothing excessive is being allowed.

Through understanding your expenses and having a clear picture of how these have looked for the business over a period of time, it makes it easier for a business to put in place realistic budgets and also to forecast for any future expenses.

When using expense management software for expense reporting, the fact it is all set up for this essential process means it both saves time and reduces the errors that you would usually find when data is inputted manually. The fact it is less time-consuming and demanding to submit and review invoices this way can help your business save on unnecessary costs.

As processing can be streamlined, it is a much quicker way of ensuring your staff get their money back. This can make them a lot happier with the company they're working for, as they won't be waiting for months on end to see their reimbursement.

Current trends

The trends are always changing when it comes to expense management software. However, some of the most popular products on the market (based on customer satisfaction, market share and impact) including Concur, Certify, Expensify, and Unit 4 Travel & Expenses. Users are particularly positive about Abacus, BigTime, Xpenditure, ClickTime, AccountSight, SutiExpense, Nexonia Expenses, Trippeo, Chrome River EXPENSE, Zoho Expense,, Birdly for Slack, and Deem. Less popular expenses management software includes NetSuite OpenAir, TriNet and Workday.

Before investing in any expense management software, it is always important to do your research first and find out as much as you can about the platform you're looking to use. Unbiased user reviews are always particularly helpful, as many people will have been using the software in the same capacity as you are looking to. It's also helpful if you are able to trial the software beforehand. If you contact the sales team, they will usually be able to accommodate this - and draw your attention to any key benefits of working with them.

Why should you use expense management software

Ultimately, there are three key reasons why you should use expense management software. These are productivity, cost and effectiveness.


Claiming back expenses can be a time-consuming process for all involved. From hunting out missing receipts months after the event to having to contact employees because information is missing from claims, to identifying where errors have been made or expense approvals forgotten, it can prove a real drain on both the productivity of staff and their overall satisfaction. Through using expense management software, these issues can be curbed.


Not only does it save time, and therefore money, but expense management software can also reduce costs through identifying potential fraud, duplicate expenses, overpaying for items, and unnecessary spends. Thanks to the analytics software, you will constantly have a clear overview of where you are spending money and how this can be improved to ensure you have more money left at the end of each month.


As a result of the risks, it reduces through being automated, expenses management software is hugely effective. The added productivity and cost-saving elements both add to this efficiency. In addition, the fact it can ensure your company is compliant with any tax regulations, internal company policies or external requirements means you will always be on top of whatever needs to be done without incurring fines or delays.

Will you benefit from expense management software

It doesn't matter whether you are a big or small company, expense management software is there to benefit everyone. Ultimately, it is always going to be most helpful to those with large numbers of employees claiming a wide variety of expenses. However, that's not to say a small company with only a handful of staff won't necessarily have to deal with a lot of expense reporting - and often, they have less time and resources for dealing with the time-consuming process of paying out expenses, and have less budget to deal with any errors or misdemeanours in the expenses process. If anything, it's more important than ever for them to be reviewing their analytics constantly. Therefore, it really is a beneficial piece of software for all types of businesses.