Expense management is the second hardest operational cost to control. And majority of businesses don’t have a robust expense management platform in place. Emburse’s survey of 585 finance professionals shows that:
- 33% don’t track cost-to-process expense reports
- 94% of CFOs said digital transformation is critical to the organization’s future success.1
If you want to scale and grow your business, you should use an expense management software to track employees expenses. But, Tallie’s survey shows that between 2013 to 2019, the percentage of respondents who used an expense management software stayed at 35%. Lack of vendor marketplace familiarity can be one reason most companies’ entire expense management process hasn’t yet been automated.
Today, we are exploring the top 5 expense management software so you could pick the one suitable one. We will explain the main features, benefits, negatives, and price of each expense management software.
How did we select the top 5 expense management software?
The original list had +300 expense management software vendors. We used 4 publicly-verifiable metrics to create a 5-vendor-shortlist. Those metrics are:
- Employee count of +950:
- Review score of at least 4.5 on G2
- Enterprise references from least one company with +1B valuation/funding, per CrunchBase
The market landscape for expense management software is changing. Before, the established accountancy firms released traditional expense report software that still required manual data entry. Today, fintech companies have one flagship product (like a virtual credit card) and build all their other features around it, such as:
- Tracking all employee expenses from the card
- Allowing travel planning from the app
- Setting spending limits to control expenses, and more.
1. SAP Concur Expense
Backed by large resources of SAP, SAP Concur Expense software is the largest company on our list in terms of employee count, references, and funding. In terms of reviews, they are ranked first on G2 and Gartner, and 2nd of TrustRadius.
SAP Expense management software allows users to submit expense reports, manage their payments through the expense management app, and monitor their travel related expenses.
To get an exact price from Concur Expense, you need to contact them for a personalized quote depending on your industry, use case, expense report volume, etc. Unverified reports suggest that they charge $8 per report per ~250 transactions. That will be $994 per year, or $83 per month.
1.2. Benefits of using SAP Concur Expense
- Booking travel directly through Concur Expense
- Easy to use interface
- Travel accommodation by allowing employee expense submission through the app
- ERP integration with SAP products, Grab and Tibco
1.3. Negatives of using SAP Concur Expense
- Has an initial steep learning curve
- Lack of integration with some travel and hospitality apps such as Uber
- False positives in automated categorization of duplicate payments
Targeted primarily at travel expense management, TripActions offers:
- One-stop-shop for all bookings through 24/7 live agents
- Smart, virtual credit cards with in-built controls fir expense policies that automate the entire approval process and streamline reimbursement management
- Real-time notifications of employee expense reports to improve spend management
- Instant expense record reconciliation and employee reimbursements after submitting expenses
TripAction’s pricing model is quote-based, where customers have to get in touch with reps, discuss their needs, and would then be recommended the most suitable package. They do not offer a free trial, as the majority of their revenue comes with flight bookings and a free trial would mean lost commissions.
2.2. Benefits of using TripActions
- Employees can book their hotel rooms and other accommodation, such as car rentals, airport pickups, etc. all through their app
- TipActions has a specific focus on tracking loyalty points and suggesting upgrades and speciality deals automatically
- Its Per Diem feature entices employees to book cheaper rooms and be rewarded for the savings2.3 Negatives of using TripAction
2.3. Negatives of using TripActions
- Users claim it’s too much of a travel app and lacks the nuances of a hardened accounting software like SAP Expense
- Bookings can sometime not go through until TripAction’s partners approve a reservation.
- Because all reservations are done through them, in case of issues you can’t contact the airline agency directly
It’s more difficult to track the submitted expenses if transactions are done with different credit cards belonging to different banks. Brex has solved this issue by optimizing their virtual and physical credit card. One of their unique features is as an employee onboards/offboards, by having integrations with the ERP solutions, the software automatically creates a new credit card/cancels an old one.
We found no specific pricing amount for Brex. But its product lines fall under 4 categories of:
- Bill pay
- Expense tracking
- Corporate credit card
- Business account
Where each have specific sets of features, and whose price should be directly enquired from Brex.
3.2. Benefits of using Brex
- Their virtual and physical credit card transactions enable business expenses to be paid based on governance rules
- The app is user-friendly and enables users to submit and manage expenses on the go, where purchased items automatically get submitted on the account
- Foreign payments are processed with no additional costs3.3. Negatives of using Brex
3.3. Negatives of using Brex
- Regionally limited to US and Canada
- Limited to Mastercard which is less popular and accepted than other platforms
- As the solution is an expense management platform and not an investment software, its forecasting features are lacking.
Zoho’s expense management software’s APIs integrate with accounting tools, ride-sharing, banking, and other collaboration apps to streamline expense management. Some specific use cases of Zoho includes:
- Receipt management
- Expense management
- Mileage tracking: This is a unique feature which other vendors do not mention. Especially when using car rentals, this feature helps with mileage breakdown.
Zoho has four pricing plans:
- If you have +500 users, you can get in touch with them for a customized quote.
4.2. Benefits of using Zoho
- It has an easy to use interface, especially when it comes to receipt scanning
- They have a host of difference applications within the Zoho Expense suit
- They are optimized for small business owners, as most reviewers are from companies with
4.3. Negatives of using Zoho
- Even though the platform is tailored for SMEs, users find it that the more advanced features are in the Enterprise edition, which is costlier and targeted at companies with higher employee count
Emburse offers three pricing packages:
5.2. Negatives of using Emburse
- Users claim the website or the application user interface isn’t friendly
- Integration with ERPs and other accounting software is limited
- Uploading receipt photos takes time and isn’t seamless
For more on fintech
To learn more about fintech, read:
- Purchase Order Automation: How It Works & 8 Benefits
- Payment Automation: How It Works & Its 6 Benefits
- Top 13 Automation Use Cases in Private Equity
And if you want to automate one of your financial processes, visit our financial services hub to find data-driven lists of vendors for different use cases.
We will help you through your vendor selection journey:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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