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I know it can be hard to find expense report software that matches all your needs. You know you want to increase efficiency in expense processing, reduce paperwork, improve accuracy in expense tracking, and enhance visibility into spending patterns, but need to choose the right tool. I've got you! I make that decision easy for you, using my experience with expense management and budgeting for large companies to review this curated list of the best expense report software.

What Is Expense Report Software?

Expense report software refers to a digital tool used to optimize business expense management. It allows employees to submit expense reports electronically, automates the approval process, and provides administrators with tools to analyze and control expenses more effectively.

This software typically includes features such as receipt scanning, expense categorization, policy enforcement, real-time tracking, and integration with accounting systems. Overall, it helps automate the entire expense management process, reduce manual errors, and enforce compliance with company expense policies.

Overview Of The 10 Best Expense Report Software

Let’s dive into these expense report software tools. We’ll cover key features, strengths, weaknesses, and pricing.

Best seamless approval workflows

  • Free plan available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.8/5

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Mileage tracking
  • Email and Slack integrations
  • Approval groups for speed

Cons:

  • Too complex for small businesses
  • Cards are either “one-time” or ”recurring”

Best for monitoring and managing budgets

  • Free trial available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.7/5

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Ease of use
  • Easy subscription management
  • Quickly issue virtual cards

Cons:

  • Spendesk cards not universally accepted
  • Limited integrations

Best for simplifying travel expense tracking

  • Free plan available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.7/5

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Links to rewards programs
  • Rate comparisons
  • Book flights and rooms from app

Cons:

  • Doesn’t display all flight options
  • Limited roles and permissions

Best for hassle-free expense management

  • Free demo available
  • From $45/user/month
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Rating: 4.5/5

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • IRS-compliant travel logs
  • Policy compliance management
  • Automated reminders

Cons:

  • Premium support is an add-on
  • Lack of reporting customization

Best real-time reporting

  • From $8.99/user/month
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Rating: 4.6/5

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Mature email integrations
  • Real-time transaction texts

Cons:

  • Clunky expense splitting
  • Two-step process (upload expenses, then submit)

Best always free option

  • Free to users
  • Free
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Rating: 4.6/5

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Physical and virtual cards
  • User-friendly app
  • Quickly edit credit lines and budgets

Cons:

  • Slow reimbursement process
  • Inconsistent notifications

Best for global enterprises

  • Free demo available
  • From $8/month (Approximately 250 transactions per month)

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Administrators can proxy to troubleshoot
  • Surrogate submissions
  • 24/7 live support

Cons:

  • Inflexible mandatory fields
  • Steep learning curve

Best for companies with broad financial needs

  • Free demo + free plan available
  • From $5/user/month

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Global currency compatibility
  • GPA mileage tracking
  • User-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Lack of customer support
  • Custom reporting only for top plan

Best for startups and small businesses

  • Pricing upon request

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Detailed admin control
  • Auto-enforced spending policies
  • Auto-approval of designated expenses

Cons:

  • Less functionality in mobile app
  • Lacks travel management

Best for project accounting

  • From $8/user/month

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).

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Time tracking
  • Automatic report creation
  • Library of how-to videos

Cons:

  • Difficult to make corrections
  • Travel management and other features cost extra
Tools Price
Airbase Pricing upon request
Spendesk Pricing upon request
Navan Pricing upon request
Zoho Expense From $45/user/month
Fyle From $8.99/user/month
Divvy Free
SAP Concur From $8/month (Approximately 250 transactions per month)
Expensify From $5/user/month
Brex Pricing upon request
Emburse Certify Expense From $8/user/month
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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Other Expense Report Software Options

Here are some other expense report software choices worth considering that didn’t make the list:

  1. Paycom

    Best all-in-one HR and expense management

  2. Pleo

    Best expense management in Europe

  3. Xledger

    Best for multi-entity expense management

  4. Paylocity

    Best comprehensive HR solution

  5. TravelPerk

    Best for mileage tracking

  6. Webexpenses

    Best for European mid-market businesses

  7. Dext

    Best automated accounting solution

  8. Center

    Best for construction businesses

  9. Egencia

    Best for managing air travel

  10. Rydoo

    Best for international compliance

  11. myBiz

    Easiest to set up and implement

  12. Ramp

    Best digital receipt manager

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:

Core Functionality

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

Key Features

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.

Usability

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.

Customer Service

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.

Pricing

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.

People Also Ask

Still have questions? Here are answers to some of the most common questions people have about expense report software.

What is the best way to manage expense reports?

The best expense report system is one that gives your finance team the data they need in a usable way. But an easy report creation process also goes a long way. Generally, it’s better to collect data immediately rather than after the fact. Most expense report software now allows you to upload pictures of paper receipts and other files.

How do I make an expense report?

How exactly you create an expense report depends on what expense report software your business uses. Typically, you will document individual expenses (like lunch, fuel, or plane tickets) with dates, transaction amounts, and who approved (or needs to approve) the expense. You can create expense reports for a single expense, but you can also bundle multiple expenses in a single report.

How much does expense management software cost?

Expense management software range in price from free up to thousands of dollars per year, depending on the software and the service plan. Expense software is often priced by the user, so you pay a certain amount each month for each employee that uses the software. Paid expense management software starts at about $5 per user per month. Many tools offer a discount if you pay annually.

What is the difference between an invoice and an expense report?

An expense report is documentation from an employee of money they spent in service of the business. This may be on a company card, or the employee may have paid out of pocket and need to be reimbursed. An invoice is a bill for goods or services. Invoices usually come from vendors or independent contractors.

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.

By Simon Litt

Simon Litt is the Editor of The CFO Club, where he shares his passion for all things money-related. Performing research, talking to experts, and calling on his own professional background, he'll be working hard to ensure that The CFO Club is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to stay informed on the latest financial trends and topics in the world of tech.

Prior to editing this publication, Simon spent years working in, and running his own, investor relations agency, servicing public companies that wanted to reach and connect deeper with their shareholder base. Simon's experience includes constructing comprehensive budgets for IR activities, consulting CEOs & executive teams on best practices for the public markets, and facilitating compliant communications training.