If you’re an events professional, you no doubt have a mountain of receipts and expenses to track. From large expenses like space rental and travel to smaller details like décor and linen, this quickly rises into an overwhelming mountain of numbers.
Fortunately, there are several SaaS companies that have recognized the need for tools that simplify the tasks of tracking, sorting, and submitting all of your expenses. They also integrate well with popular accounting software like Quickbooks and Xero which can save you time both over the course of the year and during tax season.
One of the biggest challenges for an expense reporting tool is that, in order to be effective, they need to serve both the manager and the employees (or in this case, the event organizer and their team members).
Here are a few tools that are able to do all of the above and much more:
Expensify is the most popular expense reporting option available today. The app allows you to quickly and easily scan receipts with “SmartScan” and create expense reports with the click of a button.
Once an expense is reported, your unique company policy determines whether or not it needs to be reviewed by a manager. If a review isn’t necessary, the expense can be automatically reimbursed to the employee’s account the very next day (this is incredibly useful in those cases where an unexpected charge comes up and needs to be handled right away).
Reviewing reports and sifting through the expenses that need to be reviewed is a breeze. Managers have a devoted inbox where they are able to see each expense, what it is for, and the total amount. Should they need a closer look, a single tap displays additional information.
This feature-rich tool can also be integrated with popular accounting, ERP, and travel software. From Quickbooks and Xero to Intacct and FinancialForce. Expensify allows users to save, sort, and transfer information with ease.
With clientele that includes major brands like Yahoo!, Uber, Evernote, and Pinterest, you would be hard pressed to find a tool that is more reliable and simpler to use.
Price: $5/Month per Active User for Team Plan – $9/Month per Active User for Corporate Plan
If you have an abundance of paper receipts, this is the platform for you. Shoeboxed has a feature called The Magic Envelope in which you receive one or more postage paid envelopes every month that you then fill with receipts and drop into your mailbox. Within a few days, the receipts will be Shoeboxed into expense reports for you.
Shoeboxed is not only for expense reporting, but also to digitize personal expense tracking, tracking tax write-offs, and business card management. There is a guarantee that all of the receipts are verified by actual people and accepted by the IRS and CRA.
Price: from $15/month Lite plan for fifty digitized receipts each month
For event professionals that tend to spend a large portion of their year traveling or have a team of people who do, Certify might be the way to go.
Just as with the two options above, Certify is able to auto fill receipt data and create custom reports for managers to review anytime and anywhere.
While it’s not quite as convenient as Expensify and Abacus when it comes to expense approval, admins are able to create a schedule for when expense reports are due. Unfortunately, the tool doesn’t allow managers to automatically approve specific reports or expenses. Managers must instead manually approve each report.
Integrations with QuickBooks, NetSuite, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics are all available.
Certify’s travel features* are what makes this tool shine. Admins are able to search for the best possible travel rates and even find carrier sales when available. While team members or speakers are traveling, the tool provides full reporting on travel spend and allows managers to create custom travel restrictions based on custom policies.
For those that regularly setup events with speakers whose travel is paid for, these features could be highly beneficial.
Price: $8/Month per Active User
*Travel features offered at additional cost
Concur is likely the biggest expense tracking tool with an automatic Quickbooks and NetSuite integration. The app itself is available on all mobile platforms, including Windows and Blackberry and is easy to use. Users can photograph and save receipts to their account where they can sort and categorize them in order to create expense reports.
Something that is unique about Concur is that it has an additional integration with TripIt. Users can save their flight and travel expenses from TripIt and turn them into an expense report for each specific trip. This cuts down on the shuffle of managing travel expenses when you’re traveling to multiple events or going on site visits.
Price: Concur charges per transaction. Click here to get a quote.
Like, Expensify, Abacus allows users to quickly snap a photo of their receipts. From there, the geo-location and auto-categorization features do the rest, organizing and saving the receipt data to the app. When expenses are reported, managers can easily access these reports and approve expenses as they see fit. Additionally, Abacus will automatically send reimbursements to employees.
The tool is compatible with major accounting software including QuickBooks, Xero, and NetSuite. When integrated, the Abacus and your accounting software will stay synced continuously; so you never have to worry about manually syncing your data.
One of the unique features that Abacus provides is custom accounting mapping. This allows managers are able to track expenses by department, client, employee, etc. and then have it automatically sync with their accounting software.
Overall, the ability to break down expenses and manage company cards make it a good option for some planners.
Price: $9/ Month per Active User
In conclusion, if you’re looking to save yourself hours and hours per year of tedious work and cut down on the number of paper receipts running across your desk, we definitely recommend giving one of these expense reporting tools a try. Happily, all three options offer a free trial, so you have very little to lose.
Do you have a favorite expense reporting tool or accounting software? Comment below and let us know!
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