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Managing business travel expenses

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Best expense tracker and business travel management apps 2021

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Do you often find yourself saying “my system works for me”, while in reality, you’re drowning in excel sheets and tears? Well then, to quote every millennial, there’s an app for that! 

It’s increasingly important to retain agency of your finances by recording, budgeting, and tracking spending habits accurately. But this process often translates to wasted time and resources, not to mention frustrating back-and-forths. 

Expense tracking and management apps are your pocket-sized personal accountant. They’re virtual employees created to monitor your company’s business expenses, travel costs, billable time, and even mileage allowance

Before we delve into our top candidates’ specific strengths, we´ll discuss the common features of expense tracking and management apps and what they do.

What’s an expense tracker app?

Keeping thorough records of your company’s expenditure can mean the difference between profit and loss. Expense tracking apps automate this process efficiently, leaving little room for human error and fraud by archiving manual-data-entry. These are now an integral part of most expense management processes in the corporate travel management world. Just as doctors’ tools monitor your physical health, these tools digitally monitor your organization’s financial health.

Their main purpose is to save money and time and streamline processes. They act as channels through which you can manage current and recurring budgets, and virtually upload and organize receipts– all on the go! 

The customized approval flows and spending policies let you track and approve business travel management expenses quickly. These apps also automate expense processes such as currency conversion, mileage tracking, and employee reimbursement. 

A once painstaking task best left for the end of the month for both business travelers, finance teams, and travel managers can now be completed in real-time with minimal effort. To help find the right fit for your company travel program, we’ve assembled the top-tier applications for your review.

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What are the best expense tracker apps overview: 

Expensify

Expensify’s automated features and user-friendly interface make it the winner for start-ups, SMBs, and large-scale businesses. 

Popular features:

  • Expense reporting
  • Corporate card product 
  • Live travel schedule updates 
  • Mileage tracker 
  • SmartScan receipt upload/storage
  • Credit card importing
  • Auditor access
  • Automatic approval flows
  • Same-day reimbursement 
  • Multi-currency support 
  • Free training webinars
  • IOS/Android compatibility

Markets: USA, UK, Europe, Australia, and Canada

Supported language: English

TravelPerk’s integration with Expensify

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense’s streamlined approval process makes it the runner-up for SMBs and large-scale businesses.

Popular features:

  • Simplified approval hierarchy
  • Expense recording 
  • Mileage tracker
  • SmartScan receipt upload
  • Multi-currency support
  • Credit card importing
  • Employee reimbursement 
  • Integration with Zoho CRM/ Zoho Invoice
  • IOS/Android compatible 

Markets: Central and Southern Americas, UK, Europe, Australia, China, Africa, India, and Japan.

Supported languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, German, French, and Portuguese.

Rydoo Expense

Rydo Expense’s smooth integration process with other expense managing services is tailored to medium and large-scale companies 

Popular features:

  • Integration with Enterprise Resource Planning packages 
  • Approval processes
  • Mileage tracker
  • Multi-currency support
  • Digital receipt/invoice upload 
  • Reimbursement management
  • Supports external services, ie. DropBox 
  • Credit card statement analysis 
  • IOS/Android compatibility

Markets: Central and Southern Americas, UK, Europe, Canada, Middle-East, and Mexico

Supported languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish

Xero Expense

Xero Expense’s modern and cloud-based software is specific to small businesses and employees.

Popular features:

  • Payroll processors
  • Automated tax adjustment
  • Financial reporting 
  • Digitized billing
  • Multi-currency support
  • Expense reporting
  • IOS/Android compatibility

Markets: Central and Southern Americas, UK, Europe, Canada, Middle-East, and Mexico

Supported language: English

Webexpenses 

Webexpenses builds claims instantly from a scanned receipt and is suitable for businesses of all sizes across more than 70 countries. 

Popular features:

  • Google Vision-powered optical character recognition (OCR) technology 
  • Expense policy compliance management 
  • Drag-and-drop real-time reporting
  • Digital receipt capture 
  • Petty cash management
  • Corporate card management
  • Currency converter
  • Custom spend categories
  • Duplicate claim checker 
  • Intelligent card matching
  • Mileage tracking and verification
  • ERP integrations
  • IOS/Android mobile apps

Markets: UK, USA, Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Middle-East, and Africa 

Supported languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese 

Click here to see how you can integrate Webexpenses with TravelPerk

Expensya

Expensya is an expense tracking software used by all types of businesses––from freelancers, mid-market businesses, and large corporations.

Popular features:

  • Digital receipt management 
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) technology 
  • Automated expense validation
  • Duplicate claim detection
  • Multilingual and multi-currency management
  • Real-time centralization of data
  • Digital receipt capture 
  • Mileage allowance management
  • Integrations with HR, payroll, accounting, and travel solutions
  • Virtual individual credit cards 

Supported languages: English, Spanish, French, and German 

Click here to see how you can integrate Expensya with TravelPerk

Fyle

Fyle’s easy-to-use solution is best suited for companies with over 100 employees and under 5,000 employees. 

Popular features:

  • Automated credit card reconciliation
  • Real-time expense analytics 
  • Mileage tracker 
  • Digital receipt management 
  • Automated reminders
  • Expense approval workflow
  • Centralized dashboard
  • Automated expense and compliance approval
  • Fraud detection
  • Multiple tax groups
  • Mileage and per diem rates

Markets: Is available in 20 countries, but these countries aren’t specified on the product’s website

Supported language: English  

Click here to see how you can integrate Fyle with TravelPerk

ExpenseIn

ExpenseIn’s low pricing point makes it an excellent business travel expense tracker for smaller businesses, while also offering robust features for medium to large companies in any industry.

Popular features:

  • Digital receipt scanning
  • Real-time reporting 
  • Currency converter
  • IOS, Android, and Windows compatibility
  • Receipt data extraction
  • Automatic mileage calculations
  • Purchase, mileage, and time expenses
  • Management of corporate travel policies
  • Flexible approval routing
  • Customizable CSV exports
  • Import card statements 

Supported language: English 

Click here to see how you can integrate ExpenseIn with TravelPerk

Shoeboxed

As well as many other business travel expense features, Shoeboxed’s “Magic Envelope” feature allows organizations to mail their business travel expense receipts to them in a prepaid envelope to be digitized.

Popular features:

  • Digital receipt capture
  • IRS-accepted receipt images
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) and human data verification
  • Automatic archiving of receipts from Gmail
  • Receipt and mileage tracker
  • Employee expense reporting
  • PDF report generation

Supported languages: Catalan, Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Finnish, French, Croatian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Chinese

TripLog

TripLog is a mileage, time, and business travel expense management solution that’s suitable for self-employed individuals, mid-sized businesses, and enterprises. 

Popular features:

  • Centralized web dashboard
  • Real-time location monitoring
  • Travel policy application
  • Digital receipt capture
  • Bank and credit card integration
  • Classification of business/personal trips 
  • Established “Frequent Trip Rules”
  • Tax-compliant mileage reports

Supported language: English

What’s the best free expense tracker? 

If we’re talking about saving money, it follows that this is the first question and Expensify is your answer. Expensify has won numerous international awards as the best expense tracker app. Its clean and intuitive user interface, customizable features, streamlined approval policies, and extensive automation capabilities are even more attractive because they’re free! 

The free features include unlimited SmartScans of receipts and invoices, automatic mileage tracking, and automated expense claims. Expensify also grants a gracious six-month free-trial period, which is ample time to revitalize your accounting system. 

Of course, like any product that knows its worth, there’s an option to upgrade and gain unrestricted access to exclusive features. Not only is the pricing model affordable, but you can try personalized pricing plans based on your accounting needs. 

What’s the best expense management software for admins?

Zoho Expense offers increased visibility on spending patterns and policy violations. You can set up budget limits and monitor employee spending through customized approval policies. 

This app lets you receive digital receipts and invoices automatically and arrange for mileage allowance payments. Reject or approve expense reports in bulk with a swipe of the finger. 

The transparency offered by Zoho fosters shared responsibility for the company’s financial well-being. When everyone shares information and liability, they stay engaged and committed through a collective sense of success. 

There are more comprehensive alternatives such as Quickbooks, which are all-encompassing accounting and administrative software. However, if you are looking for just an expense solution, then Zoho remains a good choice.

What’s the best expense tracker for the employee?

Xero understands that sometimes you need to spend money to make money. Whether you need to claim expenses for a business trip or lunch, your company will be chasing you for those pesky little papers. 

Rather than digging around every pocket for last month´s crumpled receipts; reach into your pocket, pull out your phone, snap a picture of the receipt, and watch the expense report literally write itself.

This app is quick, simple, and designed to be used on the move. You can request reimbursement for travel and HMRC subsistence expenses and have them approved that day. Feel confident about reporting your expenses and watch the friendly-reminder emails dramatically decrease in your inbox. 

How can an expense tracker app detect expense fraud?

The UK alone loses approximately 190 billion GBP per annum to business expense fraud. Expense tracking apps’ automated features combat intentional fraud, such as falsified or inflated expense claims, and fraud that occurs due to oversight. 

Expense fraud costs companies money as well as having an adverse impact on their reputations. Digitalizing expense reporting massively lowers the risk of doctored numbers as receipts and invoices are SmartScans of the primary documents. 

As your business continues its digital evolution, why not profit from the possibilities afforded by new technologies? Let the apps focus on the paper so you can focus on the work.

See our guide on identifying and preventing expense fraud for more information.