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What’s the best expense tracker for my business?

Expense tracker apps and software can help you to keep on top of your spending and save time when it comes to managing your accounts. We’ve looked at the main considerations when picking the best expense tracker app for your business.

What is meant by expenses?

Expenses are all the costs you incur for wholly business purposes. This can cover everything from your regular monthly utility bills to paying for a cab on the way to a business meeting.

Whether you make the payment via direct debit, as a card transaction, or in cash, it’s still a business expenditure that needs to be recorded and accounted for. 

Why do I need to track expenses?

Expenses are important to keep track of because you may be able to claim tax allowances on these costs. For example:

  • Travel and accommodation costs
  • Business premise costs
  • Advertising or marketing costs

More fundamentally, keeping on top of your income and expenditure is essential if you want to have an accurate picture of the financial health of your business.

As your business grows and you have more employees, who may have their own spending needs, this becomes an even more challenging task.

In some cases, a free business bank account  isn’t enough to provide a full picture of your budget expenditure.

How can expense trackers help?

It’s one thing keeping track of your direct debits and standing orders, but another thing to keep a record every expense going out of the business over an entire year.

In the past, this was one of the great headaches for business owners and accountants – especially during tax return season. Much time could be lost digging around for old receipts. That’s before you get on to the process of recording expenditure as part of your regular bookkeeping.

Expense tracker apps and software have helped to relieve this admin burden. Many of the best tracker apps include the following benefits:

  • Accessible via your smartphone
  • Scan receipts on-the-go and upload as a digital image
  • Access real-time data on your financial transactions
  • Auto-categorisation of your expenses
  • Keep track of employee expenditure
  • Sync with your accounting software

Ultimately, using expense trackers can help you to save time, pay less tax, and keep more of your profits.

Four of the best expense tracker apps

Expense tracking comes in a variety of forms. Accounting software providers often include expense tracking solutions. There are also standalone apps which can plug into your wider business systems. Another option is to manage your business expenditure from the outset through the use of pre-paid company cards, using apps to keep track of your day-to-day spending. As always, the solution be based on your particular business needs: the size of your business, how many employees you have, and your financial processes and systems. 

We’ve picked out four of the best expense tracking solutions

  • Best for cost-effectiveness… Quickbooks
  • Best for larger businesses… Expensify
  • Best for managing employee expenditure… Pleo and Soldo

Continue reading below for a more detailed overview of each expense tracker. 

Quickbooks

Quickbooks is one of the most well-known accounting software providers and claims to be “trusted by 4.5 million small businesses” on its UK website. With software packages tailored for businesses of all shapes and sizes, Quickbooks is a cost effective accounting solution with a host of expense tracking features. 

Price: 

Quickbooks offers 50% off for the first six months. 

  • Simple Start: £12 per month
  • Essentials: £20 per month
  • Plus: £30 per month

Key selling points:

  • Cost-effective
  • Fully fledged accounting software solution – not just expense tracking
  • Strong customer reviews – 4.5/5 score on Trustpilot
  • Connects to your authorised bank accounts and credit cards
  • Automatic categorisation of expenses to save time on your tax return
  • Mobile app to track car mileage
  • Snap receipts on the go
  • In-app messaging feature allows you to collaborate easily with your accountant

Support:

Quickbooks offers a UK-based phone support team open 8am-7pm Monday to Friday. 

Customer review:

“Excellent platform. Intuitive, good connectivity with bank account. Excellent desktop and mobile versions which are event more convenient than the online site. Makes invoices, expenses and VAT returns so easy. Excellent customer service when ever I’ve needed to ask a question or fix a glitch.”

 

 

Find out more about Quickbooks.

Expensify

Expensify is an automated mobile app that enables receipt and expense management. Based in San Francisco, it claims to be the ‘World’s leading application for expense management, receipt scanning, and business travel’. Expensify scores 4.7/5 on App Store (Apple) and 4/5 on Google Play (Android). 

Price: 

  • Track (best for individuals): £3.99 per month
  • Submit (best for employees and small businesses): £3.99 per month
  • Collect (for teams): £8 per user/per month
  • Control (for large companies): £14 per user/per month

Key selling points:

  • Scan receipts and log your outgoings through the app
  • Company card reconciliation
  • Great for saving time through automation
  • Data integration with Xero and Quickbooks
  • Easy-to-use interface and walkthrough for new users
  • Automated reimbursement and GPS mile capture available
  • More geared towards larger businesses

Support:

Customer service is in the form of a ‘Concierge’ instant chat function, available 24/7. 

Customer review:

“I started using Expensify to track my solo expenses for tax purposes. It’s such an easy to use product that I have been able to toss out all the paper based work that took up a large amount of time every month.”

 

 

Pleo

Pleo aims to help you “stay on top of company spending, in one place, in real-time.” Whilst not a bank account, with Pleo you’ll get company cards for you and your employees which you’ll need to load with funds. You can then track and manage your business expenditure in real-time through the app or your web browser. 

Price: 

  • Essential: £6 per month/per user
  • Pro: £10 per month/per user
  • Premium: speak to Pleo for a tailored quote

Key selling points:

  • Great reviews – 4.8 on Trustpilot
  • Get multiple prepaid company cards for you and your employees
  • Set spending limits easily
  • Easy to top up online
  • Capture receipts using the app
  • Spending categorisation to help you organise your tax return
  • Get automated expense reports and view real-time dashboard
  • Integrates with Xero, Sage and Quickbooks
  • Entirely cash-free

Support:

Premium users get a dedicated account manager but Essential and Pro users are limited to live chat support. 

Customer review:

“We got Pleo during the height on the pandemic and honestly I wish we found them so, so, so much sooner We had endless issues with engineers bringing back receipts BUT with Pleo, the process has never been easier. It’s super easy to use and Pelo has saved us so much time and energy (nagging) during these uncertain times. It truly has helped streamline our reconciling.”

 

 

Soldo

Launched in 2015 and headquartered in the UK, Soldo offers pre-paid company cards and software to help you manage your business expenditure. Similar to Pleo, Soldo is not a bank account. Nor is it solely an expense tracker as it allows you to control your business expenditure from the outset. However, the app will help you to manage all your expenses in one place. 

Price: 

  • Pro: £5 per card/per month
  • Premium: 9 per card/per month
  • Enterprise: contact Soldo for a tailored quote

Key selling points:

  • Simplify spending with multiple Mastercard prepaid cards for you and your employees
  • Set spending limits easily
  • Easy to top up online
  • Capture receipts using the app
  • Spending categorisation to help you organise your tax return
  • Get automated expense reports and view real-time dashboard
  • Integrates with Xero
  • Export data
  • Entirely cash-free

Support:

“Need a hand? Our friendly customer success team is at your service, providing support whenever you need it.”

Customer review:

“Soldo has been a great addition to our functionality in the finance team; we’re able to empower trusted users to make spending decisions whilst maintaining oversight and control.”

 

 

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