No matter how often you file for reimbursement from your employer, expense reports can be tedious and time-consuming.
Employees typically are required to scan all their receipts, log each transaction, itemize any fees and taxes, categorize the type of spending and so on.
If you’re often bogged down by just the idea of having to do an expense report, there is software out there that can do the work for you.
Out of a dozen-plus apps that CNBC Select reviewed for our list of the best expense tracker apps, Expensify stood out for being the best app for business expenses. Its SmartScan technology automatically codes any receipt you scan and logs the expense for you. The app also links to your bank account and company credit card, tracks your mileage and categorizes your spending.
Below, CNBC Select reviews the Expensify app to give you all the details on its features, including the tools, perks, safety, pricing, availability and ratings so you can decide if it is the right app for your expense reporting needs. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best expense tracker apps.)
Information about Expensify has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by Expensify prior to publication.
Free for up to 25 SmartScans of receipts per month. For unlimited SmartScans, pricing is as follows: six-week free trial then for employees, individual pricing is $4.99 per month. For companies, group pricing starts at $5 per user, per month
Individuals can track receipts and submit expenses to their employer. Users scan their receipts and the app will automatically read the receipt then translate it into a logged expense. Also offers mileage and GPS tracking and automatic credit card importing
Categorizes your expenses
Yes, but users can customize
Links to accounts
Yes, bank and personal/company credit cards
Offered in both the App Store (for iOS) and on Google Play (for Android)
Two-factor authentication so users input a generated code when logging in; banking data is protected by world-class security standards and compliant with Privacy Shield and GDPR requirements
The Expensify app makes it easy for individuals to track their transactions and submit expenses to their employer.
With just one click, users scan their receipts through the app and SmartScan will read and automatically log their receipt details including the date, merchant and amount. Users can also email their receipts to [email protected] to have them coded and logged.
For any other transactions, Expensify links to your bank account and personal or company credit cards to automatically import those expenses. And when it comes to your mileage, Expensify connects to your GPS to easily track how much you drive for work.
Expensify automatically categorizes your expenses (but users can customize) and displays a web dashboard that shows your spending by different categories with time references.
Expensify is an app designed to help you get your business expenses done in real time and quickly while on the go. Its website even claims that expense reports done through the app take 83% less time.
The app also offers features that make tracking expenses easy. Users can split their expenses by using the ExpensePoint feature in the app, send and receive money via Venmo, as well as connect to apps like Uber, Lyft and HotelTonight for automatic receipt import and transcription.
Expensify will automatically generate and submit expense reports for as soon as next-day reimbursement, but if you need to meet with your manager to go over your expenses it will also allow you to share or print documents/expense reports from the app for review.
Expensify’s security features include two-factor authentication so users input a generated code when logging in. Users’ banking data is also protected by world-class security standards compliant with Privacy Shield and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements.
Expensify is free to use for up to 25 SmartScans of receipts per month. For unlimited SmartScans (plus more), pricing is as follows: six-week free trial; after that, the price ranges from $4.99 per month for individuals and starts at $5 per user, per month for groups/companies.
Here is a breakdown of the different plan options for individuals and groups/companies.
Two plans offered for individuals:
- “Track” is $4.99 per month, with unlimited SmartScans, automatic mileage tracking and categorizing expenses.
- “Submit” is $4.99 per month and, in addition to the above, automatically submits reports for reimbursement, submits receipts.
Two plans offered for groups/companies:
- “Collect” is $5 per employee, per month and, in addition to the above for individuals, automates receipt collection and reimbursement, auto-syncs to accounting software and offers free Expensify card with auto-reconciliation.
- “Control” is $9 per employee, per month and, in addition to all of the above, manages approval workflows.
With a group/company plan, employers can also integrate with their accounting software, including QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite and others.
The Expensify app is available in the App Store (for iOS) and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It is also available on Google Play (for Android).
Rating in App Store at time of writing: 4.7 out of 5 (over 90,000 ratings)
Rating on Google Play at time of writing: 3.5 out of 5 (over 15,000 ratings)
If you’re ever submitting expense reports for work, the Expensify app is worth looking into you for simple tracking and quicker reimbursement.
By scanning receipts and logging all your transactions for you (including your mileage), you save time that can otherwise be spent on your actual job. The app provides a dashboard that makes it easy to review your work expenses and go over them should you need to with your manager.
If you don’t typically file expense reports for any reason but want an app that tracks your personal spending, consider Mint (it’s free), Goodbudget (great for beginners) and, for those serious about budgeting, You Need A Budget (YNAB).
Learn more: 5 tips on what to look for when choosing a budgeting app
To determine which expense tracker apps offer the best user experience, CNBC Select analyzed over a dozen apps offered by the top companies in this market and looked at their pricing, features, user reviews and ratings.
We narrowed down our ranking by only considering apps that primarily focus on expenses, come with low (or no) cost to sign up, are easy to use and can be accessed on multiple devices so are accessible and compatible for most.
The five apps we selected for this ranking are either free, offer a free version or have a free trial for users to test out before signing up.
All of the apps in our round-up have a sizable number of user reviews and high ratings. The apps on this list have tens of thousands of reviews in the App Store (for iOS) and on Google Play (for Android) combined, as well as a rating over 4 stars (out of 5) on either platform.
Other factors we looked at included apps’ security features, user customization and educational tools offered.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.