Expense management software - Benefits, features, and working

A dedicated expense management software can breathe new life into your legacy financial systems. Volopay is a revolutionary expense software for business operations that streamlines your corporate spending and lets you earn incredible cashback on international transactions.

What is expense management software?

A majority of companies all over the world rely on traditional legacy systems for expense tracking and reporting, such as spreadsheets, paper-based invoicing and receipt tracking, and manual data entry for expense control. As companies continue to scale, these processes get harder and costlier to control using outdated travel and expense management platforms.

The solution? Expense management software that allows innovative processes such as automated expense reporting, invoice capture, receipt management, smoother accounts payable (AP) workflows, and company expense cards for faster and safest payment processing.

How do businesses handle their expenses?

Petty cash fund

A portion of company capital that’s allocated for daily business operational expenses is known as a petty cash fund. It is generally a fixed amount that’s refilled as expenses occur. Usually, petty cash is managed either using paper logs and receipts, or spreadsheets that act as a digital version of paper logs.

Traditional company credit cards

Another popular way to manage expenses is by using business credit cards that are linked to the business bank account. Since there is no way to check who is responsible for a particular expense, traditional company credit cards are reserved for C-suite executives or senior management, along with the office administrator.

Employee expenses with cash advances

Whether it is for office supplies, client meetings, or traveling as a company representative, employees are either provided cash advances or allowed reimbursement to be paid later. In both situations, employees must furnish necessary documents such as receipts or airline tickets for travel expense reporting.

Traditional vs automated expense management

Traditional expense management systems require manual expense tracking and reporting, along with manual data entry, and a heavy reliance on paper documentation and human assistance. These processes are time-consuming, inefficient, and costly to the business in the long run. Traditional travel and expense management gives way to exaggerated reimbursement claims and false receipts and leaves your business vulnerable to fraudulent activities.

On the other hand, automated expense software for business provides many benefits. It increases efficiency, provides real-time updates with minimal employee assistance, and lowers operating costs as multiple functions such as vendor payouts and subscription payments can be scheduled for autopay for as long as you need. An expense management software provides 100% accuracy in spending data with a customizable expense approval system for seamless expense control.

Traditional vs automated expense management

  • Expense tracking
  • Expense reporting
  • Approval process
  • Reimbursement processing
  • Policy compliance
  • Audit and compliance

Types of expense management systems


Cloud-based expense management systems

Cloud-based solutions offer accessibility from anywhere, seamless updates, and easy scalability. They are cost-effective, require minimal IT infrastructure, and provide high data security.


On-premises expense management systems

On-premises software is installed and hosted locally on a company's servers. While providing greater control over data, it may require more significant upfront investments and maintenance efforts.


Integrated expense management solutions

Integrated solutions are part of larger Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or accounting software suites. They offer a seamless flow of data between different business processes.


Standalone expense management software

Standalone solutions focus solely on expense management, providing dedicated features and functionalities tailored to efficiently manage expenses.

Optimize your financial processes today!

What are the benefits of using expense management software?


1. Faster employee reimbursements

Expense reimbursement software can facilitate speedy compensation for out-of-pocket employee expenses. We offers an all-in-one spend management solution with OCR technology to capture and categorize receipts for faster expense approval workflows. Paperwork becomes a relic of the past as receipt management becomes cloud-based.

2. Improved expense visibility

Unlike traditional financial systems where you get to know about total company expenditure after the expenses are made, expense management software provides a real-time update about every single transaction, from the person who made it to when and where they made an expense. This brings the expense control back into the hands of the business owner.

3. Streamlines AP process

Using expense software for business can streamline your accounts payable (AP) process with a live expense tracking dashboard and automated expense reporting.

We provides the fastest cross-border B2B payments in over 130+ countries, making international payments an effortless process.

You can schedule recurring expenses through our unlimited virtual cards for quick and easy payments.

4. Reduce delays and errors

Expense management software with automated expense reporting eliminates the need for manual data entry. Every transaction is recorded automatically and instantly synced onto your existing accounting system to ensure no data gets lost.

We also offers to spend analysis and insights to reduce any payment delays and even surfaces early payment discounts to the vendors on its own.

5. Increased compliance

Expense management software offers seamless compliance with expense policy and tax rules with a rule-based expense approval system.

We have customizable approval workflows with up to a 5-level approval system that can be modified with built-in expense rules to automatically reject or pause non-compliant requests. We creates automatic barriers to safeguard company funds so you don’t have to do it on your own.

6. Prevent expense fraud

Expense management software also comes equipped with a fraud detection system to alert cardholders and administrators to any suspicious activity taking place.

For example, our corporate cards come with block and freeze features to avoid fraud. Unlike business credit cards that are directly connected to your business bank account, our cards are preloaded upon request, so your company funds are always safe and secure.

7. Better cost control

Expense management software allows businesses to track and monitor expenses in real time. This visibility helps identify cost-saving opportunities and prevents overspending, ultimately leading to improved cost control.

8. Improved cash flow

By streamlining the expense reporting process and reducing reimbursement cycles, businesses can accelerate the reimbursement process, ensuring better cash flow management.

9. Prepares businesses for internal and external audits

Efficient expense management software maintains organized and accessible records, making audits smoother and more transparent.

10. Promotes data-driven decision-making

With accurate and up-to-date expense data, businesses can make informed decisions based on insights gained from expense reports, helping to optimize budgets and resources.

11. Time and resource-saving

Automated expense management reduces manual data entry and approval processes, freeing up employees' time and resources for more value-added tasks.

12. Accurate financial reporting

Expense management software provides detailed expense data that can be integrated with accounting systems, ensuring accurate financial reporting and reducing errors in financial statements.

13. Efficient vendor management

Expense management systems can help track vendor payments, negotiate better terms, and maintain positive relationships with suppliers.

14. Improved operational efficiency

Streamlined expense processes lead to increased efficiency in the finance department and across the organization, enabling better productivity and faster decision-making.

Streamline expenses with cutting-edge expense management software

How does expense management software work?

Using expense software for business is a surefire way to save time and money. By removing the need for manual processes, you too can set up an efficient travel and expense management system.

Here’s how employee expense management works in the Volopay application:

● The employee makes an expense and pays it using their funds.

● The employee takes a picture of the receipt as proof of purchase, which immediately gets captured, collected, and categorized automatically.

● They submit one or more expense claims together through automated expense reporting.

● Our push notifications alert the first-level approver of the expense report. After necessary checks, they approve it, reject it, or ask for more information.

● In case the claim is rejected or halted due to insufficient information, the concerned employee is immediately notified.

● In case the claim is accepted, it moves on to higher-level approvers such as the finance team.

● The finance team analyzes the report for any non-compliance and use receipt management for faster reconciliation.

● All approved claims get reimbursed immediately or are scheduled to be paid at a later date directly to the employee’s bank account.

Also, check out our comprehensive article on the best expense management software to know the handpicked selection of the top expense management software solutions available in the market. Whether you are a small business owner, a finance manager, or an entrepreneur, this article provides valuable insights to help you make an informed decision about the right software for your organization.

Features of expense management software

Submitting and approving expenses

Say goodbye to the painful burden of storing month-old receipts for reimbursement. With expense management software, your employees can easily submit expense claims and invoices for automated expense reporting. It streamlines your expense approval system with real-time notifications sent to the relevant approvers for super fast approvals.

Managing reimbursements

Expense management software simplifies the reimbursement process through OCR technology that captures and categorizes expenses automatically. So, approvers can approve and reject expense claims or request more information within spend management apps like Volopay without the need for separate expense reimbursement software.

Reporting and analytics

Business expense tracking becomes hassle-free with a live dashboard with real-time updates and automated expense reporting. Furthermore, expense management software such as Volopay provides spend analytics to exercise better expense control and streamline your AP workflows significantly.

Documentation and support

At their core, expense software for business runs on the principle of fact-checking. Simply put, without proof of purchase, any transaction cannot go through unless permitted by approvers or the administrator. Every transaction is validated by necessary documentation, creating audit-friendly AP processes from the get-go.

Accounting software synchronization

Spreadsheets and manual data entry was a tedious task, but using expense software for business can automate bookkeeping like never before. Elite expense management software offers accounting integration with most of the leading accounting systems in the world. Volopay can seamlessly integrate with top accounting software such as Netsuite, Quickbooks, Xero, Deskera, MYOB, Zoho, and Tally with real-time updates.

Expense policy compliance

Legacy expense approval system are backlogged, thanks to language-based expense policies that pose a higher risk of misinterpretation and rulebreaking. Expense management software offers rule-based expense policies configured within the system, to stop any non-compliant employee expense from being processed. This further saves your company from any approval delays and expense policy non-compliance.

Manage all your business expenses on a single platform

Choose the right expense management software

Determine your needs and goals

Choosing the right expense management software is an important decision. Therefore, ensure that you are investing in particular software for the right reason. What needs are unmet by traditional expense management systems that software can fulfill? Do you want to reduce the time it takes for employees to submit expense reports?

Do you want an in-depth analysis of your employees’ spending patterns? Do you want to prevent fraud or streamline payment processes? Narrowing down your goals and needs will help you assess your options wisely.

List out features you need from expense management software

With so many nifty features available in the market, it is natural for you to get tempted by something that you might never use in exchange for the facilities you needed. Create a list of all the features your ideal expense management software should possess. This can help you prioritize the features an expense software for business must have for your company to run efficiently.

Keep in mind the 3 considerations

Once you have a hold of the features you would want your spend management software to possess, it’s prudent to take stock of three of the biggest factors in business operations. First, ensure that the software you choose falls within the available budget set aside for this particular expense. Second, make sure that the technology you are going for can be easily implemented.

Not every employee possesses the same technical prowess so being considerate here would be beneficial in the long run. Lastly, any new system needs time and patience to be implemented by the company and adopted by its employees. Therefore, ensure that you have the time needed to revamp your AP processes smoothly.

Involve key people in your organization

Even though you are the decision-maker, expense management software is largely used by the employees of a company, rather than its board of directors or a business owner. Include people from middle and lower management levels who will ultimately be working closely with the software. Their user experience will give you key insights into the complexity of a particular software and decide accordingly.

Evaluate your need for the solutions available

An expense management software is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While one company may require a specific use out of an application, it is not at all necessary for you to want or need it for that use case. Therefore, be mindful of your needs versus what is available and choose that which fits your goals, not that which is popular.

Implement the right software

Once you have decided on the expense management software of your choice, it is time to introduce it into your technological stack. This can be a learning curve for your employees therefore be patient and allow some time for your employees to adapt to the new technology.

Choosing a financial tech stack for your business is a crucial decision, therefore be 100% sure that the software you’ve chosen can seamlessly integrate itself into your existing processes. If you want expense management software that is simple, scalable, and streamlined, then Volopay is the right choice for your business.

Factors to consider when choosing an expense management system

1. Scalability and flexibility

Choose a system that can accommodate your company's current needs and scale as your business grows.

Flexibility in customizing expense policies and workflows is essential for adapting the software to your unique requirements.

2. Integration capabilities

Ensure that the expense management software can integrate seamlessly with your existing accounting and ERP systems, enabling smooth data transfer and reducing manual data entry.

3. Security and data protection

Data security is paramount when dealing with sensitive financial information.

Opt for a system with robust security measures, data encryption, and compliance with industry standards like GDPR or HIPAA.

4. User-friendly interface

An intuitive and user-friendly interface reduces the learning curve for employees, encourages adoption, and streamlines the expense reporting process.

5. Cost and return on investment (ROI)

Consider both the upfront costs and ongoing expenses associated with the software. Evaluate the potential cost savings and ROI the system can bring to your organization in terms of time saved and improved expense control.

6. Customer support and training

A responsive customer support team and comprehensive training resources are vital for the successful implementation and smooth operation of expense management software.

Simplify tracking, approval, and reporting of expenses

What are the challenges in expense management system implementation?

1. Resistance to change

Employees may resist adopting new systems, especially if they are accustomed to manual or traditional expense reporting methods. Proper training and clear communication about the benefits can help overcome resistance.

2. Data migration

Migrating data from existing systems to a new expense management solution can be complex and time-consuming. Ensuring data accuracy and integrity during migration is crucial.

3. Cost and return on investment

The initial cost of implementing an expense management system can be a concern for some businesses.

However, it's essential to consider the long-term cost savings and improved efficiency that the system can bring.

4. Customization needs

Businesses often have unique requirements that demand customizations to the expense management system. Balancing the need for customization with adherence to best practices can be a challenge.

5. International operations

Organizations with multiple locations or international operations may face additional complexities in standardizing processes and compliance across different regions.

6. User experience

The success of an expense management system largely depends on its user interface and overall user experience.

An intuitive and user-friendly interface is vital for encouraging employee adoption and minimizing training time.

7. Employee training and adoption challenges

Training employees to use the new system effectively is essential for its successful implementation.

Some employees may struggle with adapting to the new technology, necessitating ongoing support and training.

Best practices for using expense management systems

1. Establishing clear expense policies and guidelines

Develop comprehensive expense policies that clearly outline acceptable expenses, spending limits, and submission procedures. Communicate these guidelines to all employees to ensure uniformity and compliance.

2. Encourage employee compliance and adoption

Promote the use of the expense management system among employees by emphasizing its benefits and ease of use. Providing incentives for timely and accurate expense submissions can encourage adoption.

3. Regularly review and update expense policy

Expense policies should be reviewed periodically to align with changing business needs and industry standards. Regular updates ensure that the policies remain relevant and effective.

4. Leveraging analytics for expense optimization

Expense management systems generate valuable data insights. Leverage analytics to identify spending patterns, trends, and areas for cost optimization. Data-driven decision-making can lead to more efficient resource allocation.

5. Ensure data accuracy and audibility

Consistently monitor the accuracy of expense data entered into the system. Implement auditing features to maintain data integrity and easily track expense details during audits.

6. Monitoring system performance

Regularly assess the performance of the expense management system, including its response time, reliability, and user experience. Address any issues promptly to ensure a seamless expense reporting process.

7. Integrate with accounting software

Seamless integration between the expense management system and accounting software streamlines financial processes, reduces errors, and provides a holistic view of financial data.

8. Enforce timely expense submission

Encourage employees to submit expenses promptly to prevent delays in reimbursement and maintain up-to-date financial records.

9. Regularly monitor expenses against budgets

Track expenses against budget allocations to identify potential overspending or deviations. Monitoring expenses in real time enables proactive cost-control measures.

10. Conduct a periodic review of the system

Perform regular assessments of the expense management system's effectiveness and employee satisfaction. Solicit feedback from users to identify areas of improvement and address any arising concerns.

Achieve better financial control and efficiency

Why choose Volopay expense management software?

Why choose Volopay expense management software?

1. Create business budgets to manage company spending

Creating and following a budget is difficult. You can do both of these things easily with our platform.

Our departments feature lets you create multiple budgets for each department or function in your company. Assign members and allocate budget via our Bill Pay feature and corporate cards.

2. Get accurate company spending reports

When you have multiple payment methods for different vendors, it can be particularly difficult to get a clear insight into your company's spending as a whole.

You can streamline all your company spending on a unified platform and get spending reports to identify cost-cutting opportunities.

3. Real-time visibility of all your business spending

Our alert feature lets you see the number of pending requests you have, along with action items (approve, decline, ask for more information), and unread notifications in your taskbar. You can easily access your alert taskbar through desktop and mobile devices.

4. Control spend before it happens

Do you wish to enforce some expense control? Volopay’s rule-based, customizable expense policy feature can be configured right into the software.

With company expense cards, you can set a spending limit that automatically declines any transactions that violate the rules.

Furthermore, you can dedicate the card to particular vendors so that the money allotted for SaaS tools isn’t being used to buy a cup of coffee!

5. Send instant reimbursement to employees

Your employees never have to wait for months to get compensated for out-of-pocket expenses. You can assign different reimbursement roles such as admin, accountant, and members and set approval workflows.

Your employees receive their reimbursements directly in their registered bank accounts. You can pay them either instantly or schedule them for month-end payments.

6. Make expense reporting a breeze for employees

If your employees have been with slacking with their business and travel expense reporting, it could be because they have to do it manually. But not anymore! we brings you the ease of automated expense reporting.

Upload invoices, make payments through our platform, and we instantly records the transaction. Or simply upload the proof of purchase along with the value for reimbursement.

You can also unlock the secrets to efficient travel and expense management with our comprehensive guide! If you're looking to streamline your business travel processes, optimize expense tracking, and gain valuable insights, this article is a must-read. We cover everything starting from setting of travel policies to selecting the right expense management software for managing receipts, navigating reimbursement process and much more.

7. Set approval policy for fund requests and reimbursements

Need funds but can’t find your fund approver? Stop running around in circles! Volopay simplifies fund requests and expense claim processes with a customizable approval policy.

Create approval workflow up to 5 levels and receive real-time request updates through our push notifications feature.

8. Manage recurring payments with unique subscription cards

Paying for different SaaS tools using different payment methods? Create a virtual card for each subscription, set a recurring limit, and that’s it! You never have to worry about going over budget.

All our cards are pre-loaded with limited amounts for easy fraud prevention. With a real-time view of all your subscriptions, manage all your SaaS spends and avoid duplicate SaaS costs across departments and functions.

8. Audit expenses and stay compliant

We helps you to stay on track for audit compliance with our 3-way matching reconciliation feature. Every transaction is accompanied with necessary information (invoice, bill generation, proof of payment) and instantly synced with your accounting system for an auditing and compliance check. You can facilitate all your AP processes and export it all for audit season.

How do subscription payments work with Volopay virtual cards?

Companies today are relying on SaaS-based tools to run their business. These SaaS-based tools are often offered on a subscription model. As a business owner, it is important to spend money on these subscriptions wisely as they can rake up quite a big expense. Furthermore, if your teams are building their tech stacks with duplicate subscriptions, that is quite frankly, an expensive waste of time and money.

Volopay solves your SaaS problems with effortless subscription management. By bringing all your subscription payments onto our platform, you can experience a holistic view of all current subscriptions, eliminate duplicate or unused subscriptions and simplify your tech stack.

Want to use SaaS on a trial basis but don’t want to share your business credit card information? Volopay’s unlimited virtual cards offer burner cards for those one-time expenses that expire after use. For your regular subscriptions, use recurring cards that get replenished with a set limit each month for as long as you need them.

Eliminate duplicate costs by assigning one card to one vendor with a dedicated cardholder. All our cards are VISA-powered and 3DS secure so all your payments are safely processed. In case of suspicious fraudulent activities, you can easily block or freeze your card to prevent it from being used.

What is approval policy on Volopay?

To provide a robust structure to company operations, an approval policy is an essential aid in request management. It helps to organize different types of requests as per the expense approval system laid down by the company.

Depending on the request, you can chart out an approval policy with multiple approvers on each level to maintain a healthy workflow.

Our policies streamline the request structure for you and help you budget your expenses better. By removing the obstacles that hinder traditional approval policy such as ambiguities and complex work hierarchy, we offers a crystal clear multi-level approval for transactions that require compliance.

As an admin, you can set up 5 levels of approval workflow for requests and reimbursement.


Pre-approval policy

Under this policy, when the request owner is one of the first-level approvers, the request gets automatically approved, but only for the first level. The request then goes to second-level approvers and so on.


Auto approval policy

Under this policy, the request owner can get their request approved only if the amount required is less than the limit set in the approval policy. So if Alex from the sales team requests $50 on a card with a spending limit of $100, their request gets auto-approved.


Multi-level approval policy

For proper compliance, we offers a multi-level approval policy. When a member puts in a card request or an expense claim, the first-level approver gets instantly notified. After the first approver approves the request, approval is triggered for the second level, and so on.


Maker checker policy

We offers an additional layer of security with our maker-checker policy. In this, if the request owner is the only approver, the request will not be approved as there should always be another approver. This policy helps in reducing instances of fraud within a company. Maker-checker policy can also be disabled, according to your needs.

How does approval policy work in Volopay?

Our approval policy feature is used by companies that juggle a lot of teams and cost centers. It is particularly beneficial for businesses that require different approvers for different spending limits within different teams. The approval policy can be customized in two ways:

You can create an approval workflow specific to a particular team. For example, if you are creating an approval workflow for the marketing department, then you can set multi-level approvals with dedicated approvers. This ensures that only valid requests reach the final decision-maker that is worth their time.

Another way to create an approval workflow is the spend-centric approach, where you can set different approvers for different amounts of spending. This way your teams don’t have to worry about going over the budget. This feature is useful for mid-market and large companies where a lot of flexibility is required when creating approval workflows.

Here’s how you can use these workflows for different kinds of approvals:


You can set the approval policy at a global level for reimbursement. Under this, only one approval policy will work for all kinds of reimbursement claims. Approvals on a team level cannot be set for reimbursement.


Card fund requests can be set on two levels - global & team. Under global, only one approval policy will work for all kinds of card fund requests across teams and departments. Under team, you can set the approval policy as per individual departmental budgets.

Bill Pay

Bill Pay approvals can also be set on two levels - global & team. Under global, only one approval policy will work for all kinds of bill payments made in the company. Under team, Bill Pay approval policy can be implemented as per individual departmental budgets.

What are submission policies on Volopay?

Is your finance team tired after running around employees for missing receipts and information on a reimbursement claim or a card expense? Our submission policy easily solves this pertinent issue and allows admins to set mandatory validation fields on any card expense, claim, or payment made by employees.

Using our policy, you set permanent conditions such as receipts, notes, accounting, and other custom fields. Having a submission policy saves time and money. It ensures that no incomplete claim or expense gets processed without fulfilling all the necessary details in every single transaction. This also makes for a smoother auditing experience later.

Submission policy on Volopay can be divided into two:

1. Cards

Any expense made by an employee using our corporate expense cards must be accompanied by mandatory details such as receipts and notes to complete and verify. To set submission policies on cards, they must be attached to their respective departmental budgets to be properly enforced.

2. Reimbursement

A reimbursement claim can be submitted only until all the mandatory fields are filled by the employee. Note that for reimbursement, you only need to attach one single submission policy.

Looking to streamline your reimbursement processes, ensure accuracy, and maximize efficiency? Discover our ultimate guide to travel expense reimbursement to understand how to effectively track and report expenses, and avoid common pitfalls.

Get the best expense management software

Volopay is a modern expense software for business leaders. From automated expense reporting to sleek company expense cards and smart expense tracking, we offers a host of pragmatic solutions to streamline your accounts payable processes and recalibrate for efficient expense management. Experience the smoothest expense management software for your business.


What are the most effective ways to keep track of your business expenses?

Without expense management software, you can keep track of your business expenses by tracking your bank and credit card statements, storing paper-based and digital receipts for reimbursement and audit purposes, and maintaining a dedicated spreadsheet for all your accounts payable. Or you can automate your entire AP workflow using Volopay and save precious time and money wasted using traditional expense management practices.

What are multi-level approvals in Volopay?

Multi-level approvals in Volopay allow you to create an approval policy for various requests and claims such as card fund requests, reimbursement, and bill payments. You set up a multi-level approval policy with multiple approvers in each level, up to 5 levels. While members can put in requests for approvals, only administrators can create multi-level approvals. You can also appoint members as approvers but a member cannot be the sole approver of their own requests.

How does receipt management work with Volopay?

Unlike traditional expense management practices, you do not have to safely store countless paper-based and digital receipts on our platform. Volopay lets you upload an image or PDF of your receipt and attach it with the necessary transaction for efficient receipt management. Once approved, you can also export the transactions along with the necessary documents for a smoother auditing process.

How can I enforce my expense policy?

Volopay offers rule-based expense policy enforcement that allows you to configure it into the system through submission and approval policies. This prevents employees from processing payments and claims without surfacing the necessary documentation needed for verification, such as invoices, receipts, and notes.

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