Skip to main content

Zoho Expense budget manager review

Keep an eye on your outgoings with Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense
(Image: © Zoho Expense)

Our Verdict

You’ll find that Zoho Expense is an invaluable expense tracking program that works well for both employees and company administrators, with a stack of great tools and functions aimed at just getting the job done.

For

  • Strong set of features
  • Easy to use
  • Good value
  • Useful integration

Against

  • Free version lighter on features

Zoho Expense is another part of a growing range of software products from the India-based Zoho stable. It recently announced a new version of its Expense reporting software that aims to help businesses recover following the coronavirus pandemic.

Several areas of improvement include increased control and compliance capacity with businesses now able to create and track budgets using a dashboard. Customisable alerts prevent budget overspend and automatically block further applications, while the new rule engine allows finance departments to ensure compliance.

There’s upgraded fraud detection in place that can identify and flag fake receipts or duplicate entries, while approval flows are now fully customisable too.

Along with being potent and easy to use, the software also works nicely alongside Zoho’s other accounting tools, making it an obvious choice if you’re already a convert. Other similar products in this area include QuickBooks, Rydoo, Expensify, Hurdlr and Pocketguard.



Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense is very keenly priced and there's a free version too (Image credit: Zoho Expense)

Pricing

If you’re completely new to Zoho’s products then the 14-day trial of its Expense package is an ideal way to get fully acquainted with the controls. If you’re suitably taken with its raft of power tools then the ongoing costs make it very affordable. There’s actually a free plan that costs nothing and allows up to three users to enjoy the potential of the program. 

Next up is the Premium Plan, which costs just £2.50 per month if billed annually, while it’s £3 per month if you prefer to pay as you go. This comes with a minimum 10-user requirement. 

Zoho Expense also comes in an Enterprise Plan incarnation, which requires a minimum of 500 users and Zoho requires you to contact them directly if you have such sizeable requirements.

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense has a simple but highly effective interface (Image credit: Zoho Expense)

Features

You’ll find that Zoho Expense has a mountain of features and functions that should suit the needs of most users. Even in its base-level edition, Zoho Expense bristles with appeal. In fact, the freemium edition offers 5GB of receipt storage and features multicurrency expenses, the ability to import card transactions, customer and project tracking, VAT tracking, cost allocation and mileage expenses. 

If you go for the Premium version then you can add in cash advances, delegation, expense tags, pier diem expenses, auto-scans and much more besides. All three editions (Enterprise being the other one) offer power tools such as data and receipt backup plus scheduled backups as well as basic form customization, so you can tailor the package to suit your own needs.

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense has an extensive suite of tools for people to keep track of their expenditure (Image credit: Zoho Expense)

Performance

You’ll enjoy zesty performance from Zoho Expense and adding to the usability of it is the way that it’ll also happily integrate with other items in the Zoho portfolio. That includes Zoho Books, while the software (though not the free version) will also work with other accounting tools including QuickBooks Online and Xero. 

All three programs will work with Zoho CRM, Zoho Invoice, Zoho People, Zoho Cliq and Zoho Projects. The software has been nicely designed too, with no problems at all encountered during everyday usage. There are also impressive apps for both Android and iOS too.

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense is also perfect for office administrators who handle reimbursement claims (Image credit: Zoho Expense)

Ease of use

If you’ve got employees who need to keep track and subsequently submit their expenses for reimbursement then Zoho Expense should keep them pretty happy. The ease of use of the mobile apps is second to none, with the capacity for capturing and submitting receipts proving to be a doddle across the iOS and Android software. 

Equally, if you're working on the other side as an administrator then you’ll find that the desktop Zoho Expense software is solid and stable. It might not always be the greatest looking interface out there, but it works, which is all most people ask for. In fact, it works particularly well on the Google Chrome web browser.

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense works great in the app environment both for iOS and Android (Image credit: Zoho Expense)

Support

You get the feeling that Zoho is really trying hard to please with its software efforts and that’s backed up with a fine array of support options too. There’s free phone support, Monday to Friday, plus email and a website that comes brimming over with many different resources. It’s all presented in a clear and concise fashion too, which is very useful if you're a first-time user who is getting to grips with the software.

Zoho Expense

Along with support there's also plenty of online documentation for Zoho Expense (Image credit: Zoho Expense)

Final verdict

Zoho Expense is an impressive package, even if you plump for its slightly less feature-laden free edition. There’s SSL encryption and two-factor authentication, storage for your receipts, a small mountain of features and functions that cover anything and everything in the expense tracking landscape, plus integration with other programs. 

While it’s great that Zoho Expense works with other Zoho products, the way it has been engineered to also function with popular accountancy software such as QuickBooks Online and Xero means that its appeal isn't just for Zoho devotees. 

Tack on the impressive apps and the top value-for-money pricing structure, which can be scaled with ease for lots of users and it’s easy to see why Zoho Expense gets the thumbs up from so many of its fans.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.