expense management tools
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 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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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’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.”
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.
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 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).
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:
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.