Keeping track of your expenses is an important part of running a business. Not only does it make tax time less stressful (and less expensive!) it allows you to make better business decisions.
You know it’s important but almost no one enjoys keeping track of these things. Thankfully, there are a lot of great business expense tracker apps that can make this arduous task a little less painful. We’ve done the research for you on this one so that you can spend less time trying to figure this out and more time running your business.
6 Business Expense Trackers
For our list, we’ve included six of the best business expense trackers available today. Read on to see the reasons that each app made the list and learn what they have to offer.
1. QuickBooks Self-Employed
Did you know that QuickBooks has their own expense tracking software built-in to their QuickBooks Self-Employed product?
Here are a few of the things that you can do once you have a QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription:
- Track mileage
- Sort expenses
- Organize receipts
- Send invoices
- Estimate taxes
- File taxes
While all of QuickBooks features are top-notch, where they really separate themselves from the pack is the tax tools and advice that they offer their customers.
Taking The Hassle Out Of Self-Employment Taxes
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that QuickBooks Self-Employed focuses a great deal on the tax help that they can offer their subscribers. They are owned by the same company (Intuit) that owns TurboTax.
So with their vast knowledge of the tax laws and how to best take advantage of them, QuickBooks Self-Employed can help you:
- Separate your business and personal expenses properly
- Maximize your Schedule C deductions
Calculate your quarterly estimates
All this is offered with their basic plan. But if you choose to go with their Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle subscription, you get additional benefits, including the ability to:
- Pay quarterly estimated taxes online directly from QuickBooks
- Easily transfer info to TurboTax
- Talk to real CPAs for help and advice all year
- Have a CPA do a final review of your return
If it’s important to you that get the biggest tax deduction you can for your business expenses, then QuickBooks may be the right fit for you.
This is another area where QuickBooks shines. Out of all the apps on our list, QuickBooks by far has the largest number of partners.
So if you’re looking for a business expense tracker that works with a specific small business service, there’s a good chance that QuickBooks is one of their partners.
QuickBooks Self-Employed has three pricing tiers:
- Self-Employed: Regularly $10/month
- Self-Employed Tax Bundle: Regularly $17/month
- Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle: Regularly $24/month
For more information, check out their pricing page.
Tracking your mileage seems like an easy thing to do, but I know from experience that it’s easy to let this task get away from you. And it’s almost impossible to figure out your miles after the fact, which means you let those precious tax deductions slip through your fingers.
The main focus of MileIQ is to make sure you deduct every single mile you drive for business. And as such, they really take things to the next level.
If you’re primarily looking for an app that can help you keep track of the miles you trek for work, you may want to give MileIQ a try.
Here are some of the ways that they help you take full control of your business mileage tracking.
If you’ve tried to use mileage trackers before, you’re probably are all too familiar with the awful feeling of realizing halfway throughout your trip that you forgot to turn the app on to record your miles.
That should happen a whole lot less with MileIQ. The app runs in the background and automatically tracks your miles and creates records of your trip.
Easily Classify Trips
Once you’ve completed a drive it’s simple to classify it as a personal or business trip. Just swipe right for business trips and swipe left for personal.
Add Extra Details
Once you’ve classified a trip as a business trip, you can add in extra expenses like parking or tolls or write a description of the purpose of the trip.
Owned by Microsoft, MileIQ works great with Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions.
And when it comes time to send in your mileage data with your tax return, MileIQ will create custom reports that integrate with Xero, Freshbooks and Concur.
MileIQ is absolutely FREE for up to 40 drives a month. If you want unlimited drives all month long it will set you back $5.99/month or $59.99 when billed annually (a savings of $12).
If you want a business expense tracker that takes receipt scanning to the next level, look no further than Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed offers all of the receipt scanning and reporting tools that the other trackers offer, but has a few additional services that could save you time and hassle.
Use the “Magic Envelope”
When you’re running a small business, you have to wear a ton of hats. In fact, you may have to switch between wearing the salesman, contractor, and bookkeeper hat on a moment-by-moment basis. When you have that much going on, the last thing you may want to do is eat up an hour or two of your precious time scanning and categorizing receipts.
With Shoeboxed, you don’t have to. They will send you a pre-paid “Magic Envelope,” that you can stuff your paper receipts into and send to their facility. Then, Shoeboxed will take care of scanning all of your receipts and putting them into the proper expense categories. Pretty awesome!
Import Email Receipts
If you get a lot of your receipts via email, Shoeboxed could save you a lot of time. Their Gmail add-on makes it possible for your email receipts to be automatically imported into your Shoeboxed account.
Don’t use Gmail? That’s ok. You can simply forward all your email receipts to your own dedicated Shoeboxed email address.
Here are a few of the partners that Shoeboxed works with:
- Wave Accounting
Check out Shoeboxed partners page for a more complete list of the companies and services that they integrate with.
Shoeboxed has three plans to choose from:
- Startup (up to 25 receipts per month): $29/month
- Professional (up to 75 receipts per month): $69/month
- Business (up to 100 receipts per month): $99/month
For more information, check out their pricing page.
4. Zoho Expense
It’s easy to keep track of your receipts with Zoho Expense. You can simply upload a photo of your receipt using your phone or computer.
When you using a computer, you can upload your receipt from the device itself or your favorite cloud storage system like Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, Box, and others.
Once your receipt is uploaded, Zoho Expense will scan it and will automatically break the receipt down into the appropriate expense categories.
But if Zoho Expense miscategorizes certain items, you can change it manually. You can even choose to skip Zoho Expense’s categorization feature altogether and just manually categorize all your receipts yourself.
Sync Zoho Expense With Your Debit Or Credit Card
If you use a credit card or debit card for your business purchases, you can connect it to your Zoho Expense account. Then, when transactions hit your card statement, Zoho Expense can automatically convert them into expenses.
Once you’ve recorded your expenses, you can group them together to create an expense report. And if you have employees, they can submit these reports to you for approval.
Zoho Expense has applications for iOS, Android, and Windows. But don’t fret if you use a Mac. Zoho Expense is cloud-based so you can just use your preferred browser to upload receipts and create expense reports.
Zoho Expense allows you, as the small business owner, to create policies that determine the limits that every employee should stay within when making business purchases.
When you create a policy, you can set: expense amount limits, receipt required limits, and can even set category-specific rules.
For example, you could give your inventory manager a larger monthly expense limit than your receptionist. And you could give your sales team higher travel expense limits than your inventory manager.
You can also set up a “Travel Document” that specifies all of your business expense rules and limits. And this policy will be accessible from the dashboard of the Zoho Expense app for all your employees.
While Zoho doesn’t offer nearly the amount of integrations as other apps that we cover, such as Expensify or QuickBooks Self-Employed, but they’re no slouch in this area either. Here are the other small business services that they work with:
- Accounting and Finance: Zoho Invoice, Zoho Books, QuickBooks Online and Desktop
- Human Resources: Zoho People
- Productivity: Zoho Cliq, Slack
- Cloud Storage: Zoho Docs, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, One Drive, Box
- Receipt integrations: Uber and Lyft
Like Zoho Expense, Expensify allows you to upload receipts from your phone or computer and it will automatically create expense reports.
But there are a couple of unique features that Expensify offers as well.
This a great feature for employees who use personal cards for their business expenses. Once they’ve submitted their receipt and it’s been approved, the money gets delivered to their bank account via ACH direct deposit within 24 hours.
Automatic Approval Workflows
Expensify will flag expenses for your approval that are outside of the parameters that you’ve set. But smaller purchases are automatically approved.
Expensify has built-in receipt integrations with many of the most popular travel providers, car and parking services, food delivery services, catering companies, and point-of-sale systems. Receipts from these companies automatically import into Expensify, which then will convert them into expenses.
Here are a few of the companies that have receipt integrations set up with Expensify:
- Hotel Tonight
- Spot Hero
It should be noted that Zoho Expense offers receipt integration for Uber and Lyft. But for now, those are their only receipt integration partners.
Travel Partner Integrations
Expensify also has partnered with many of the most popular travel platforms to automatically import your flight and hotel expenses. Some of their travel partners include:
- Travelport Locomote
Travel booked through Expensify’s partners is automatically reported, giving you total cost-of-trip visibility in one place.
You can also get travel updates like upcoming trip reminders, flight delays, and changes to your itinerary are sent directly to your phone.
In addition to the receipt and travel integrations that we’ve already discussed, Expensify connects with other business services and apps that could make your life as a small business owner easier.
- Accounting and Finance: Bill.com, Financial Force, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, QuickBooks, Sage, and Xero
- Human Resources: Green House, Gusto, TSheets, Workday, Zenefits
- Tax: Global VaTax, Taxback International
The number of companies that Expensify has developed partnerships with over time really is impressive and is one of their best features.
Individuals can use Expensify free for up to five scans a month. For unlimited scans, you’ll need to pay $4.99/month.
For groups, Expensify charges $5/month per user for unlimited scans and $9/month for companies that need expense reporting, card management, approvals, or reimbursements. For more information, check out their pricing page.
Certify aims to be an all-in-one solution for your business travel and expense needs. As a Certify member, you can book travel through their portal and keep track of all your business expenses in one place.
And Certify works with all the established Travel Management Companies (TMC) and travel agencies so you can choose whichever ticket provider that you want.
When it comes to business travel services, Certify really has all the bells and whistles. Here is a list of some of the other travel perks that Certify offers its users:
- Free cancellation up to 24 hours
- Track unused tickets for use on next trip
- Domestic and international travel services
- Easy single sign-on process for employees
- Desktop and mobile booking capability
- Phone, chat and email support available 24/5
- Policy controls and pre-trip approvals
- Corporate rates for air, rail, hotel, and car
- Full reporting on travel spend
If you are mostly looking for an expense tracker to keep track of your travel expenses, Certify may be your best choice.
Certify Invoice And Certify Payments
With these services, vendors can send you their invoices and Certify will scan them. Using their “Receipt Parse” technology, Certify will capture the vendor, due date, and purchase order numbers.
Certify will then try to match the invoice with an existing PO. It will also either automatically approve the invoice or send it to an administrator for approval.
But if Certify is able to match the invoice with an existing PO and approvals are complete, the invoice is sent to your ERP for immediate payment.
Certify says that it has a lot of integration partners, but it encourages interested customers to request a demo to get specifics about what those integrations are.
The partners that are publicly listed on their site include: Oracle, QuickBooks, PeopleSoft, Sage, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics.
Certify’s pricing page says that they charge $8/month for groups with 1-25 employees, but doesn’t give any specific pricing information for their Professional and Enterprise tiers that accommodate bigger teams.
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Wrapping It Up
You can’t really go wrong with any one of the apps on this list. Figuring out which one is best for you depends a lot on what you plan to use your business expense tracker for.
But whether you’re looking for a receipt scanner, a mileage tracker, or something else, there are business expense trackers out there that could save you time, money, and a lot of frustration.
Still feeling overwhelmed by business expenses? The accountants here at Cloud Friday are here to help. Our full-service accounting plans start at just $199 per month. Check out the services we offer here.