Expense reporting tends to be the least favourite activity at every level of a business. Staff, management and directors alike can all agree that it takes up too much time that could be spent on other, more productive, tasks. But, alas, we all know that expenses ARE productive. Staff want their money back, and leaders want to claim their tax deductions come tax time.
The solution then has to be a better, faster way to record and report expenses. For that, software plays a big role.
What about spreadsheets? Is that enough to manage expenses?
In short, no. Probably not. Once your team exceeds a headcount of three, spreadsheets will scarcely remain a constructive means of capturing expenses. Prone to user error, especially once more than one person inputs data, spreadsheets are a risky and inefficient way to manage expenses.
Expense and accounting software is superior because it’s designed specifically for that purpose. It makes it easier to digitise and store expenses, ready for tax time at its most basic. At its most advanced, it can feed into other business software to reflect accurate, up to date accounting and sales reports.
Below are some of our favourites, from basic receipt capture through to comprehensive financial tracking.
Zoho Expenses is but one of the many solutions under the Zoho umbrella, so it may be appealing to organisations that already use Zoho as their CRM or accounting solution. Zoho Expense has all the features of the other platforms mentioned; snap a picture, and it automatically turns receipts into expense entries which can be grouped, imported and forwarded to management or accounting for approval.
Unlike those discussed above, Zoho Expense is a more advanced solution. You can set policies for spending limits and monitor employee expenditure and easily look into policy violations. It also has UK specific features, automatically calculating VAT and mileage expenses are calculated at HMRC rates. It also works with QuickBooks for those who have this platform for their overall financial management.
QuickBooks Online is one of the most comprehensive financial management platforms to help businesses track expenses and feed into the greater QuickBooks suite of solutions. Receipts are scanned and automatically matched to expenses for smoother review and can be categorised and imported with the same convenience as the other platforms above.
QuickBooks steps out in its ability to create invoices, track inventory, receive payments and track all of the business’s financial incoming and outgoing for a comprehensive financial reporting solution that supports better financial management and accounting.
Pleo is a solution that helps manage business spending, with features to make it easier for employees to stay on budget and within company policy. It also offers detailed expense tracking and reporting, so you can stay on top of where your money is being spent. One key feature is the ability to create virtual cards for employees that can be linked to Pleo, so you can track and manage spending in real-time. You can also set spending limits and create approval workflows to help keep expenses in check.
Pleo integrates with a number of accounting solutions, including Xero, QuickBooks and FreeAgent, so you can easily keep track of your finances. It’s also available on mobile, so you can track expenses on the go.
Sage Business Cloud Expenses
Sage Implementation Business Cloud Expenses is part of the wider Sage Business Cloud solution, which offers a range of financial management tools. The expense management module helps you to track and manage business spending, with features to capture receipts, create expense reports and monitor employee spending. You can also set spending limits and create approval workflows to help keep expenses in check.
Sage Business Cloud Expenses links to accounting programs like Xero, QuickBooks, and FreeAgent. It’s also available on mobile.
SAP Concur is a comprehensive expense management solution that helps businesses to track and manage business spending. It offers features to capture receipts, create expense reports and monitor employee spending. You can also set spending limits and create approval workflows to help keep expenses in check.
SAP Concur works with a variety of accounting programs, including Xero, QuickBooks, and FreeAgent, so you may easily manage your money. It’s also accessible on mobile devices so you can keep track of your costs on the go.
Xero is a cloud-based accounting solution that offers a range of financial management tools. The expense management module helps you to track and manage business spending, with features to capture receipts, create expense reports and monitor employee spending. With Xero implementation, you can also set spending limits and create approval workflows to help keep expenses in check.
Xero works with a variety of third-party tools, such as budgeting software and accounting solutions, allowing you to keep track of your finances simply. It’s also accessible on mobile devices so you can monitor your spending on the go.
What’s the best expense reporting solution?
What’s best is what best suits your business. If you’re a small operation, the top platforms will probably be sufficient. Look at free options that can grow as your needs grow and those that integrate with heftier software to have the flexibility to step up your solutions as needed without completely overhauling your processes.
When it comes to tax time, you can simply send your captured expenses over to the team at The MGroup for fast filing of tax returns with maximum results.