expense management tools

Spenmo vs SAP Concur vs Expensify: Which is best for your startup?

January 13, 2020

Expense management platforms come in all shapes and sizes. These tools and apps offer a wide range of features, from receipt scanning and recording and reimbursement management, to end-of-month expense totaling. But aside from pricing, how do they differ? And most importantly—which one is right for your startup?

A massive 82% of businesses fail because of poor cash flow management. To minimize the possibility of failure due to poor finances, companies should develop long-term financial plans and diligently track any and all incurred costs. Business expense tracking tools are readily available on the market, with a variety of features designed to make this job easier for you.

These tools and apps offer a wide range of features, from receipt scanning and recording and reimbursement management, to end-of-month expense totaling. But aside from pricing, how do they differ? And most importantly—which one is right for your startup?

Today we’ll be reviewing three popular financial management tools—SAP Concur, Expensify, and Spenmo—and examining their features, pros, and cons so you can make an informed decision about your ideal spend management service.

SAP Concur

SAP Concur is an American SaaS company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. It was founded by Steve Singh. SAP SE acquired Concur Technologies in September 2014 for a cool $8.3 billion; in 2016, SAP Concur (the new company) acquired Hipmunk, a flight and hotel search website.

Features

Concur Expenses

Employees can snap photos of receipts, wait for the system to process the data from the image, then submit an e-receipt and reimbursement request. From there, a manager can approve or reject requests on their computer or smartphone.

Concur Travel

sap concur

Image courtesy of G2.com

Employees can book flights, hotels, and more through the Concur app. Managers can design workflows with different levels of permissions and create pre-approved travel itineraries, reducing the risk of business travel misspend.

Concur Invoice

An example of an invoice request on SAP Concur.

Image courtesy of SAP Concur.

This feature from SAP Concur seeks to help companies “forecast cash, time payments, and identify additional vendor savings and discounts.” The service can process most types of invoices, including those received on paper, through email, or via payment systems. The company claims that its smart invoice capture processing can reduce costs by more than 80%.

Pros

  • A robust platform that offers every tool a company might need
  • All-in-one solution with incredible customizability and a wide range of features
  • Can be used for more than just business expenses (invoices and travel management)

Cons

  • A lack of pricing transparency
  • Confusing service packages may cause companies to spend on financial management tools they don’t actually need
  • Expense tracking still requires manual review for complex receipts due to somewhat inaccurate Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scan, according to reports
  • Outdated design and technology
  • Requires a connection to work properly

Expensify

Expensify was founded in 2008 by CEO David Barrett. It has received multiple funding amounts over the past 11 years, and has offices in San Francisco, Portland, London, Melbourne, and Michigan.

Features

Expensify’s services are similar to those offered by SAP Concur. Businesses can track any company spending by snapping photos of receipts, which are then processed with artificial intelligence that automatically identifies details like merchants, dates, transaction amounts, and more. Users can download expense reports of their transactions and submit these to their managers.

Expensify has many integrations and a simple interface.

Image courtesy of Expensify.

Expensify’s UI design is cleaner and more modern than SAP Concur. The platform also integrates into Uber, Lyft, and other 3rd-party travel vendors to make reporting as easy as possible. Employees can import transaction data from their business and personal cards, and managers can set up multi-level approval workflows.

According to their website, it’s possible to “confirm statement amounts, review unsubmitted expenses, and manage corporate spend in one place with Expensify’s real-time reconciliation dashboard.”

Pros

  • Sleek and simple UI design
  • Can download expense reports in various formats
  • Integrations with popular accounting software like Quickbooks
  • Sent receipts to the app through a dedicated Expensify email
  • Auto-match uploaded receipts to the correct transaction categories
  • All-in-one price per person includes all Expensify services

Cons

  • Security concerns. In November 2017, the company reportedly exposed customer data to contractors that were manually entering receipts through Amazon's Mechanical Turk service
  • Expensify costs $5 per user per month, so pricing can quickly add up for larger companies
  • Not 100% automated—still requires human diligence
  • Manual resyncing still requires connection to an Internet network

Spenmo

Spenmo is a Singapore-founded startup with a vision to revolutionize the way companies track business expenses. Backed by Rocket Internet, the company is currently in stealth mode.

Features

Services like Expensify and SAP Concur are extraordinarily powerful, but they still leave room for human error. If an employee forgets to snap a receipt, then the system won’t necessarily be able to track the expense. The more receipts a person collects each day, the higher the risk of missing a few grows.

Spenmo is a stylish, robust expense management platform for startups and SMEs alike.

Image courtesy of Abstract Digital.

Spenmo takes all of that guesswork away by providing each employee with a dedicated company spending card. Invoice tracking is truly automatic—every purchase made using the card is tracked and categorized by the company’s linked software suite. Employees can then reconcile transactions by taking pictures of the receipt for proof.

Administrators have the ability to top up individual cards, set or modify limits, allocate funds according to different teams and spending policies, deny or approve top-up requests, activate and deactivate specific cards, and more.

But Spenmo is more than an expense tracking service. Its software _analyzes _the data with machine learning to pinpoint areas where they could save more money, helping them to make better financial decisions. Additionally, because transactions are recorded at the moment they’re made, companies can immediately identify fraudulent behavior and deactivate the compromised card(s).

Pros

  • Real-time spend management tracking is totally transparent
  • Lowers the risk of fraudulent purchases and claims
  • Reduces the need for receipt tracking and snapping
  • More affordable pricing—$99 per month for up to 50 employees, or $199 per month for up to 100 employees
  • Unlimited transactions and receipt capture
  • Automatic categorization of expenses
  • Real-time spend insights with powerful analytics and reporting
  • Top up as much or as little as you want
  • No need for an Internet connection because transactions are recorded through usage of the company card

Cons

  • Purchases made with cash or alternative methods of payments aren’t tracked automatically
  • Employees may not use a single card for all their transactions
  • Not all merchants accept cards
  • Certain cards are not always eligible for promotional discounts on travel, F&B, etc.

Which one is right for you?

Each of these three business expenditure management services offers its own benefits and drawbacks. It’s important for finance managers to review their reporting needs as well as their own employees’ spending behavior to identify the tool that will empower their teams best.

Some other factors to consider:

  • How large is your company?
  • How many receipts and transactions are created each day?
  • How large is your budget for business expenditure management?
  • Do you prefer an all-in-one, done-for-you solution, or would you still like to have more control over accounting, reporting, and other activities?

No two companies are the same, so what works best for one company and its internal company culture may not necessarily be successful in another. When in doubt, review each tool with your team before adoption to ensure the best fit for everyone.

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