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Best expense tracker apps and software of 2021: keep tabs on your spending

An image of calculator and sheet of figures for expenses.
(Image credit: Pexels)

The best expense tracker apps can help you keep track of your spending anytime, anywhere. 

One of the biggest challenge of running your own business can be keeping on top of your accounts, but don't fret - the best expense tracker apps can simplify how you record your income and spending.

Even with the use of accounting software, it's one thing to keep up with your billing and invoicing, but another to manage irregular expenses such as store receipts and travel tickets.

Worse still is that those small expense receipts can become easily misplaced, not least by getting mixed up with your files of normal invoices and end up in the wrong date range, or even thrown away in the trash. 

Luckily, there are a number of software and apps available for managing your expenses, and we've picked the best expense tracker apps here.

Some of these are cloud-based, and allow you to use an app on your smartphone or other mobile device to  not only enter the amount but also scan the receipt to create a digital image. This makes it much easier to keep a copy and file it away in case it's needed by your accountant or even someone from your tax office, plus in just using your phone you can do this on the move.

Additionally, the ease by which document scanning can now be done by an app means that you can keep on top of deductible expenses, helping ensure you bank the profit due to you and pay less on taxes.

This becomes an essential concern the more employees a business has, as lost receipts are literally money thrown away. Software that allows businesses to keep a proper record of expenses isn't just more efficient, it's also more profitable.

So read on to see our list of the best expense tracker apps and software to help manage your expenses.

(Image credit: QuickBooks)

1. QuickBooks

Affordable expense accounting

Reasons to buy
+Mobile support+Won’t damage your wallet
Reasons to avoid
-Core accounting focus

QuickBooks is one of the most popular and effective accounting applications for businesses of all sizes. Available on a variety of platforms, the app aims to keep all aspects of your accounting process running smoothly. There’s a big emphasis on expense tracking here.

There are real-time dashboards so you can keep up-to-date with all your financial transactions as they happen, and you can download bank account data automatically. That way, you won’t have to waste time typing information into spreadsheets.

You can also track invoices to ensure you get paid on time and chase them up when a client’s payment is overdue. The app even provides sales tax tracking compliant with tax standards, and you can capture all your receipts on your mobile device. Perhaps best of all for smaller firms, this is one solution that won’t break the bank.

And it's getting better all the time. You can also get QuickBooks Self-Employed, QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) and QuickBooks Assistant.


(Image credit: Rydoo)

2. Rydoo

A simple app for tracking expenses

Reasons to buy
+Mobile support+Handy integrations
Reasons to avoid
-Won't be powerful enough for some-Basic expense tracking

Formerly known as Xpenditure, Rydoo positions itself as paperless expense reporting app for growing business and enterprises. It aims to streamline the way you track expenses, and allow you to do so without having to spend money on an accountant. 

The app saves you lots of time in this respect, avoiding manual input and paper-based expense reporting. In terms of capabilities, you can upload receipts via the app or email. Once you’ve done that, it’ll extract the most important data and order all this based on projects and categories.

Within the app, there’s the option to log cash advances and mileages, and you can set up offices, branches and groups to organize how you use the software and to improve your financial policy. For your records, you can generate reports in the form of XML, PDF, CSV and XLS files.


(Image credit: Expensify)

3. Expensify

Automated app for tracking expenses

Reasons to buy
+Automated features+Smart reporting and integrations+Free individual plan
Reasons to avoid
-Some may prefer manual tracking

Expensify is an automated business app that aims to manage your expenses in real-time. The app wants to cut out all the hassle in accounting and ensure your books are kept up-to-date, letting you worry about other things.

Through the app, you can scan your receipts and log your outgoings. It’ll then generate reports and submit them to you for approval. And because Expensify analyses your company policies, it knows exactly what to send. 

What’s also useful is that the software sports an automatic reimbursement system. The latter will rapidly deliver money to employee bank accounts based on your accounting reports. Because the app is cloud-based and real-time, all changes are remembered. You needn’t worry about losing important financial data.


(Image credit: SAP Concur)

4. SAP Concur Expense

Enterprise-grade expense tracking app

Reasons to buy
+Streamlines expense process+Tax compliant
Reasons to avoid
-May be too advanced for SMEs-Lack of integrations

Concur Expense is a business finance app that covers a number of areas, from invoicing to expense management. Positioned as an ecosystem and open platform, the app will help you stay compliant with regulations and optimize expense performance.

With the expense side of things in mind specifically, there’s an app that lets you take pictures of receipts and submit them to make expense claims. Bosses can quickly manage and approve them with the software, and everything is tightly organized. 

You can add as many business bank cards as you want, and there’s also integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) to give you a complete view of your budget and forecasts. The software analyses all your data and ensures it’s fully compliant with tax rules and regulations, plus Concur is protected by corporate-grade security, too.


(Image credit: Hurdlr)

5. Hurdlr

Integrated tracking app

Reasons to buy
+Automated tracking+Integrate with accounts+Tax filing included+Free tier

Hurdlr is an expense tracking app that aims to make the whole process simple, automated, and more efficient, helping to increase your tax deductions.

Specifically developed for freelancers, realtors, hosts, drivers & couriers, Hurdlr offers to auto-track mileage as well as every expense, so that you can claim for every deduction due to you.

The software can also provide real-time status updates of your profit before and after tax, on top of tracking your income and expense streams in a single place.

You can also link the app to your financial accounts, and the app can even be used to automatically send your tax filings to your CPA.

Altogether, Hurdlr offers a comprehensive range of features along with expense tracking, and their recent acquisition of Deductr can only help increase their list.

Even better is that there is a free tier available.


(Image credit: Zoho)

6. Zoho Expense

The easy tracking app

Reasons to buy
+UK-specific features+Works with QuickBooks
Reasons to avoid
-Text heavy-Little data visulisation

Zoho Expense comes from business software specialist Zoho and is an expense tracking app aimed at small to medium sized businesses (SMB).

The application can automatically turn receipts into expense entries and several can be grouped together into a single report. There’s also the possibility to import card transactions and forward expenses from your inbox.

Receipts are stored in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about receipts fading or getting lost.

For organizations, it’s possible to set policies about spending limits and to monitor an employee’s expenditure or any policy violation. The addition of instant approval makes life easier for both the business and employee.

Finally, there are UK specific features. VAT is automatically calculated and mileage expenses are calculated at HMRC rates.


(Image credit: Pocketguard)

7. Pocketguard

Stay on top of spending with Pocketguard

Reasons to buy
+A doddle to master+Great Mac and Android apps
Reasons to avoid
-Only for more basic money matters

Pocketguard is perfect you’re often in the position where you’re feeling a little bit nervous about just how much you're spending. This is a financial management app, for both Mac OS and Android, plus there’s a desktop edition too. 

However, if you're looking for a handy quick reference guide to your finances at any time of the day, or night, then the mobile edition of this package is certainly one to try. 

It’s available for both the US and Canadian markets and allows you to get all of your incoming and outgoings into one convenient place and subsequently get budgeting much more efficiently thanks to its central In My Pocket star feature.

Pocketguard comes in a basic edition, which is still pretty well stacked, that comes with no cost attached. If you’re suitably smitten with what it does then you may want to boost the usability by plumping for the Pocketguard Plus model.

Best of the rest

The marketplace for expense trackers has grown a lot in recent years, with many other options available depending on your requirements. Take a look our reviews of Chrome River, SalesTrip, Yordex, Webexpenses, Spendesk, Declaree and Pleo. Other packages worth investigating include ExpensePoint, Abacus, ReceiptBank, ExpensePath, Certify, Divvy and Sweep.