Back the occasions when a lot of people managed their expenses in Excel, we couldn’t believe we used to work with paper and calculators in the past. The times they’re changin ‘, and nowadays, spreadsheets are outdated as much as paper and calculators were back then. Although spreadsheets remain relevant for a lot of things, there are more effective solutions in the marketplace for expense management.

Professionals like representatives, contractors, sub-contractors or technicians are likely to submit expenses to get reimbursed. Expenses may include, amongst others, traveling fees (e.g. lodging, food, flights or gas), material, cellular phone or Internet expenses or PR fees (e.g. trade show booths, advertising or conference tickets). Such expenses in many cases are reimbursed, but should be recorded somewhere and get justified. This really is where the cost management system comes in.

With respect to the tool you choose, expenses can be tracked in various ways, with different parameters. The absolute most basic tools enables you to give the cost a title and an amount, period. This can be sufficient if your boss isn’t the analytical type and only wants to understand “That which was it?” and “How much did it cost?” However, if you need to supply additional information regarding your expenses leave management system, there are more elaborate tools that allow you to submit them with many details. Some products also permit you to associate a record to justify every expense (e.g. invoices in PDF format). Furthermore, reporting capabilities vary from one tool to a different, and exactly the same goes for integration with third-party software.

When you make your decision, it’s advisable to ask yourself what else you have to do from an accounting standpoint. You are able to select a simple expense manager that does exactly that, but you can choose tools that a great deal more. For instance, tools like Quicken or Mint connect to your banking accounts. Tools like FreshBooks allow you to do some invoicing and integrate with other solutions. Some tools tend to be more time tracking, payroll, sales or collaboration oriented.