Best Expense Report Software Shortlist
Here’s the shortlist of the best expense report software tools that I’ll cover in this article, with detailed summaries below:
- SAP Concur - Best for global enterprises
- Expensify - Best for companies with broad financial needs
- Zoho Expense - Best for hassle-free expense management
- Navan (Formerly TripActions) - Best for simplifying travel expense tracking
- Brex - Best for startups and small businesses
- Emburse Certify Expense - Best for project accounting
- Airbase - Best seamless approval workflows
- Divvy - Best always free option
- Paycom - Best all-in-one HR and expense management
- Pleo - Best expense management in Europe
- Fyle - Best real-time reporting
- Spendesk - Best for monitoring and managing budgets
I know it can be hard to find expense report software that matches all your needs. Whether you’re a small startup, a global enterprise, or somewhere in between, these are the best options for reporting, tracking, and controlling expenses. I’ve curated a list of software that will cater to your organization’s size and industry, so you can know for sure your expense report needs are covered.
What Is Expense Report Software?
Expense report software is a tool to help companies document and analyze expenses and reimbursements. It allows employees to create and submit expense reports for approval by the human resources or finance team, who can then reimburse expenses as needed. You can also use expense software to identify out-of-policy purchases or limit team or individual spending.
Moreover, expense report software streamlines the monitoring and management of business expenses. With data in one place, companies can more easily identify trends and any unnecessary expenditures.
Overview of the 12 Best Expense Report Software
Let’s dive into these expense report software tools. We’ll cover key features, strengths, weaknesses, and pricing.
1. SAP Concur - Best for global enterprises
Concur is the expense reporting software offered by SAP, which makes enterprise software ranging from supply chain management to customer relationship management. SAP Concur combines travel details, expenses, and invoice management and allows you to build and enforce your spend policies.
Why I picked SAP Concur: With the resources of SAP behind it, Concur has advanced capabilities and integrations with many of the major vendors that enterprises count on all over the world. I was impressed by its AI-driven data analysis, which can uncover valuable savings opportunities, and is valuable for large companies with a lot of incidental expenses.
SAP Concur Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include automatic calculation of exchange rates and value-added taxes when users are traveling internationally. A feature I’d really like to highlight is that with the app, employees can take pictures of receipts on their mobile devices, which Concur can read to extract relevant data. It also automatically populates data from electronic receipts.
Integrations include United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Lyft, Uber, Hertz, Hyatt Hotels, SpotHero Parking, Avis, and American Express. There are hundreds of other integrations with travel, hospitality, and technology partners.
Pricing: Starts at $82.90/user/month
Trial: 15-day trial
- 24/7 live support
- Surrogate submissions
- Administrators can proxy to troubleshoot
- Steep learning curve
- Inflexible mandatory fields
2. Expensify - Best for companies with broad financial needs
Expensify is an expense management software that can be used for both personal and business purposes. Like many on this list, Expensify uses optical character recognition (OCR) to read pictures of your receipts and automatically populates expense reports and reimbursement requests. Reimbursement typically happens within 3–5 days.
Why I picked Expensify: I picked Expensify because it isn’t meant to be used by just executives. Expensify provides an easily navigable tool for casual users, which is more necessary now than ever with remote work and at-home payments needing to be made.
Expensify Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include the ability to not just categorize expenses by type (travel, food and beverage, etc.), but also by which project or job the expense is tied to. I also want to highlight Expensify Cards, which you can use to manage employee expenses from one place and set limits to each card (plus, you get a discount for using their cards).
Integrations include Quickbooks, Xero, bill.com, Workday, Greenhouse, Uber, Lyft, Delta, Parkwhiz, Kayak Business, Zenefits, and Oracle. Expensify also offers API credentials to connect with other tools.
Pricing: From $10/user/month
Trial: Free plan includes 25 receipts per month
- User-friendly interface
- GPA mileage tracking
- Global currency compatibility
- Custom reporting only for top plan
- Lack of customer support
3. Zoho Expense - Best for hassle-free expense management
Zoho is a company that makes a wide range of business tools, beginning with their customer relationship management (CRM) system. They work primarily with small businesses in the IT and software industries and even offer a free plan for up to three users and 20 receipts per month.
Why I picked Zoho Expense: For Zoho users who want a simple way to add expense management to their toolset, Zoho Expense is, in my opinion, a natural choice. Plus, if you’re already using Zoho Books for accounting, the direct integration can save a ton of time and effort.
Zoho Expense Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include the ability to upload a batch of receipts that are then automatically matched when you create the associated expenses. I also liked that you can also either connect your financial accounts, import bank, or credit card statements.
Integrations include Zoho products, Quickbooks, Xero, Sage Accounting, Lyft, Uber, Slack, Dropbox, G Suite, and Taxback International. You can also build with the Zoho Expense API.
Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month
Trial: 14-day free trial
- Automated reminders
- Policy compliance management
- IRS-compliant travel logs
- Lack of reporting customization
- Premium support is an add-on
4. Navan (Formerly TripActions) - Best for simplifying travel expense tracking
In 2023, TripActions rebranded as Navan and combined their travel planning and expense management tools into one system. The mobile app, instead of being a partially functional supplement, offers full access to Navan’s features.
Why I picked Navan: Travel is one of the top reasons for expense reporting, and I picked Navan because it sets itself apart by allowing you to search and book flights and hotel rooms within the app. This means you never have to transfer data from those expenses to Navan. Of course, you can also log meals and other expenses, but Navan streams booking and reporting travel expenses into one process.
Navan Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include preventing unauthorized spending with custom policies tied to Navan corporate cards.
I also liked how you can also view all of your business’s travel expenses in one customizable dashboard, with useful metrics like average spend per user, spend by category, etc.
Integrations include Slack, Quickbooks, Netsuite, ADP, BambooHR, Okta, Hibob, Namely, Sage, Workativ Assistant, and G Suite.
Pricing: Priced per user
Trial: Free plan available
- Book flights and rooms from app
- Rate comparisons
- Links to rewards programs
- Limited roles and permissions
- Doesn’t display all flight options
5. Brex - Best for startups and small businesses
Brex is a technology company that offers a suite of financial management and service tools, including travel management, pill payment, financial forecasting, corporate credit cards, and expense management. It’s most popular among software and IT services organizations.
Why I picked Brex: Brex provides a comprehensive financial management toolset for startups and enables small businesses to implement corporate cards without impacting founder credit. Combined with the sophisticated admin control, I think it’s a good choice for companies that want to start their expense management on the right foot.
Brex Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include the ability to create custom spend policies that automatically deny out-of-policy expenses. I especially like how spend policies can be tailored by department, employee level, or location. Administrators not only control spend limits, but can block (or require approval for) purchases in certain categories or from certain merchants.
Integrations include Quickbooks, Xero, TriNet, BambooHR, ADP, Microsoft Teams, Okta, Zapier, 1Password, Slack, and WhatsApp.
Pricing: Brex customizes plans and pricing to the customer’s needs
Trial: No free trial
- Auto-approval of designated expenses
- Auto-enforced spending policies
- Detailed admin control
- Lacks travel management
- Less functionality in mobile app
6. Emburse Certify Expense - Best for project accounting
Certify is an expense management software from Emburse, which also offers tools for purchasing, accounts payable, and compliance. Certify emphasizes minimizing data entry and manual tasks so that finance (and other) teams can focus on more strategic decisions.
Why I picked Emburse Certify: Certify is designed to not only track how much your company spends, but also how that money is spent, which I think is important in expense report software. Basic details are auto-filled and employees or finance teams can easily link expenses to specific projects and analyze return on investment.
Emburse Certify Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include virtual and physical corporate cards, each with designated spending rules. Emburse Certify also impressively has travel booking capabilities, simplifying travel management.
Integrations include Lyft, Uber, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Deem, Paycor, Sage, and Oracle. They also offer APIs for you to build with or can build custom integrations for you (at an additional charge).
Pricing: Starts at $8/user/month
Trial: No free trial
- Library of how-to videos
- Automatic report creation
- Time tracking
- Travel management and other features cost extra
- Difficult to make corrections
7. Airbase - Best expense approval workflows
Airbase is a financial services solution that offers expense management, accounts payable automation, corporate cards, and guided procurement. Their customers are primarily mid-market technology companies, although they also serve many in the financial services and automotive industries.
Why I picked Airbase: Most expense software allows you to designate individuals to approve expenses, but Airbase stands out because it has multilayered approval workflows that consider department, expense category, location, and more. This saves a ton of time and confusion at matrixed organizations. You can make the rules as complex as you like.
Airbase Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include automated reimbursement for approved expenses, with expenses paid out each night. And along with spending limits, I liked how Airbase lets you set expiration dates on company cards to control subscription renewals. The drawback comes when dealing with semi-regular vendors who you use more than once but not every month.
Integrations include Netsuite, Sage, Quickbooks, Xero, American Express, Jira, Slack, Okta, BambooHR, and Rippling.
Pricing: Starts at $8,500 per year
Trial: No free trial
- Approval groups for speed
- Email and Slack integrations
- Mileage tracking
- Cards are either “one-time” or ”recurring”
- Too complex for small businesses
8. Divvy - Best always free option
Founded in 2016 and acquired by BILL in 2021, Divvy is an expense management and corporate credit card solution primarily for small businesses. They are able to offer the software for free to users because they collect a fee from the merchant. Consequently, they incentivize the use of Divvy cards over reimbursements.
Why I picked Divvy: With business software, “free” usually means that the tool still charges transaction fees. Divvy’s merchant fee model makes it truly free to the businesses that use it, which is why I’m impressed by it. This is how small organizations can move expense management out of spreadsheets without breaking the bank.
Divvy Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include rule-based auto-categorization and automatic receipt matching to produce instant expense reports. I also appreciate that when you use Divvy cards, the transactions are also automatically reconciled for you. You can set budgets and spend limits, but if something changes, updating them is easy.
Integrations include Quickbooks, Sage, Netsuite, Slack, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and TravelPerk.
Pricing: Divvy is free to users
Trial: Divvy is free to users
- Quickly edit credit lines and budgets
- User-friendly app
- Physical and virtual cards
- Inconsistent notifications
- Slow reimbursement process
9. Paycom - Best all-in-one HR and expense management
Paycom is a comprehensive human resources and payroll solution that offers expense management and reimbursement. Most popular with nonprofits and healthcare providers, Paycom users can upload pictures of receipts to auto-fill reports and to identify any repeat charges.
Why I picked Paycom: Expense reports are just one piece of the payroll and human resources puzzle. I chose Paycom as an option for businesses that want an all-in-one system instead of a stack of different tools.
Paycom Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include sending approved reimbursement requests directly to payroll and the ability to implement your company’s expense policy within the technology. I was also impressed by the fact that Paycom also automatically allocates expenses within your general ledger, saving time and minimizing human error.
Integrations include 7Shifts, Nowsta, SpotOn, TravelBank, Adora POS, and TimeClock Plus. Most of Paycom’s integrations are HR-related.
Pricing: Starts at $21/user/month
Trial: No free trial
- Full HR and payroll system
- Easy reimbursements
- Credit card linking
- Limited integrations
- High price if you only need expense software
10. Pleo - Best expense management in Europe
Pleo is a European spending solution that handles expense management, invoices, and reimbursements. Businesses can automate expense reporting by issuing Pleo cards and get real-time notifications when they are used.
Why I picked Pleo: Based in Denmark, Pleo was created with the unique expense management challenges of Europe in mind, making it perfect for European companies or companies that do business in Europe. This means quick and easy currency conversion, value-added tax calculation, and international compliance standards.
Pleo Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include easy card management, where you can create, freeze, or edit limits on your team’s cards. I also liked that within Pleo, you can process invoices and schedule payments.
Integrations include Gmail, Outlook, Odoo, Slack, Sage, Xero, Zapier, Uber, Netvisor, FreeAgent, and Dinero. You can also request an integration or build your own with the API.
Pricing: Starting at $56/month for 3 users
Trial: Free trial available
- Easy to onboard and implement
- Card limits by month or transaction size
- Auto-attached receipts
- Difficult to dispute charges
- Card limits aren’t transparent to users
11. Fyle - Best real-time reporting
Fyle is an expense management tool that records transactions and notifies stakeholders in real-time. Unlike others on this list that encourage you to use their cards, Fyle promotes the ability to connect with and use credit cards you already have.
Why I picked Fyle: While Fyle is relatively easy for employees to use, it stands out to me because it’s designed to help finance teams learn and make better decisions. It includes spend analytics (like average spend and categories), as well as operational analytics that help you monitor turnaround time and identify process blockers.
Fyle Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include automatically created digital audit trails, which store receipts, approvals, and other data in an audit-friendly format. It’s impressive to me that finance teams can also create multiple organizations within an account to simplify budgeting and accounting.
Integrations include Teams, Slack, Gmail, Sage, TravelPerk, Xero, Netsuite, Quickbooks, and Outlook.
Pricing: Starts at $8.99/user/month
Trial: No free trial
- Real-time transaction texts
- Mature email integrations
- Intuitive interface
- Two-step process (upload expenses, then submit)
- Clunky expense splitting
12. Spendesk - Best for monitoring and managing budgets
Spendesk is a spend management and budget tracking tool that offers company cards, invoicing, and accounting automation. It aims to give finance teams overall spend visibility while allowing functional teams to do their jobs without red tape.
Why I picked Spendesk: I like that Spendesk takes a two-pronged approach to expense management. They give finance teams the power of the purse, enabling them to monitor and manage overall spending. But they also let teams access and manage their individual budgets.
Spendesk Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include budget overviews that allow approvers to make informed decisions based on what has already been spent and earmarked. I also like that Spendesk automatically accounts for transactions in your real-time budget, which means no surprise spending.
Integrations include Slack, Netsuite, and Xero. While these are the only advertised integrations, Spendesk has an integration request form and says they will work with you to export data to your accounting tools.
Pricing: Spendesk only offers custom quotes
Trial: Free trial available
- Quickly issue virtual cards
- Easy subscription management
- Ease of use
- Limited integrations
- Spendesk cards not universally accepted
Other Expense Report Software Options
Here are some other expense report software choices worth considering that didn’t make the list:
- Ramp - Best digital receipt manager
- Webexpenses - Best for European mid-market businesses
- myBiz - Easiest to set up and implement
- Paylocity - Best comprehensive HR solution
- Center - Best for construction businesses
- Dext - Best automated accounting solution
- Egencia - Best for managing air travel
- Rippling - Best advanced integrations
- Rydoo - Best for international compliance
- TravelPerk - Best for mileage tracking
Selection Criteria For Expense Report Software
Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best expense report software for this article:
Naturally, I considered how easy it is to create and process expense reports. I looked for tools that have these core features:
- Allows you to upload pictures of paper receipts as well as digital receipts
- Artificial intelligence and optical character recognition (OCR) to extract and auto-fill data from receipts
Some important features I searched for are:
- Approvals and approval workflows: This feature allows you to control who has the power to approve expense reports and how approvals move through the process.
- Expense categorization: Employees should be able to tag their expenses in different categories (food, travel, hotels, etc.). Better yet, some software offers automated categorization.
- Expense policy enforcement: Modern expense report software allows you to set rules and limits on expenses. For example, you might automatically accept food expenses under $25 or require multiple approvals for expenses over $1,000.
- Physical and virtual company cards: The ability to issue physical or virtual credit cards to employees can simplify expense processing.
- Mileage tracking: Employees should be able to track driving mileage that is eligible for reimbursement. Some tools use GPS to automatically calculate mileage.
- Travel management: Many expense reporting softwares now have tools for purchasing and managing reservations with airlines and hotels.
- Budgets: Along with individual limits for transactions or employees, some software allows you to set and track team budgets.
Expense reporting and management requires cooperation from your team. That’s why ease of use was always top of mind as I researched these expense management solutions. I considered both the experience of employees reporting expenses and the finance teams reconciling and monitoring them.
For each expense reporting tool, I evaluated what customer service channels they offered and whether it was included in all plans. I read numerous user reviews to get a sense of whether the support was actually helpful.
Whenever possible, I uncovered how each software is priced and what you can expect to pay. I also considered what value you receive for each price point. There are free options, all the way up to elite enterprise technologies, which can cost upwards of $700 per month.
What is the best way to manage expense reports?
How do I make an expense report?
How much does expense management software cost?
What is the difference between an invoice and an expense report?
Which Software Works Best For You?
These top expense reporting tools each have pros and cons, so your task when deciding which is best for you is to identify what features are most important for meeting your organization’s needs.
For more rundowns of top tools and to stay on top of the latest financial tips and strategies, subscribe to The CFO Club.