Expense management

Best spend management software solutions for 2024

Aug 31, 2023

Managing your business spending is key to maintaining successful business operations. But the truth is the more expenses you make and the bigger your business grows, the more complicated it gets to manage the way you spend your money.


Spend management software allows you to solve this problem, helping you and your finance team accurately track and control your spending in less time.

What is spend management software?


To put it simply, spend management software is a tool designed to help businesses manage their money. This could be anything from travel and entertainment expenses to utility bills, to even vendor payments.


Traditionally, businesses manage their spending manually. This involves a lot of paperwork and requires employees to chase down approvals from desk to desk. A lot of things may get lost in translation. A spend management solution fixes that by centralizing all your processes, allowing you to easily view, track, and manage your expenses on a singular platform. 

10 best spend management software



1. Volopay


As an all-in-one expense management software, Volopay is the right partner to help you take care of all kinds of business expenses. Vendor payments, employee reimbursements, online subscriptions, travel expense management, and many more can be easy and uncomplicated with Volopay. No more time wasted when you have automation tools like real-time transaction updates and notification alerts for approval requests.


You can easily upload invoices by simply snapping a picture, allowing optical character recognition (OCR) technology to do the work for you and extracting all the necessary information you need. On the same platform, employees can also submit reimbursement claims and attach expense receipts. 


Schedule and create payments, automatically routing them to your multi-level approval before the payment is settled. You can also opt for using prepaid corporate cards to control your employee expenses. Not to mention the accounting integration capabilities you get with Volopay. Everything you need to manage your day-to-day business expenses is centralized and available at your fingertips!


2. Spendesk


Automate your expenses with Spendesk, making recurring expenses and invoice management easier. You’ll get a handful of features to help you with your spend management, starting from OCR capabilities to virtual credit cards for online purchases and subscriptions. 


Spendesk is one spend management software that enables you to tailor the way you use its platform to match the way you’re already managing your spending. You can create spend categories and assign cards to each employee if you choose to equip every employee with a physical corporate card. Similarly, you can also generate as many single-use virtual cards as you need.


With the ability to integrate Spendesk with a number of accounting tools, you can do most of your spend management on a single dashboard.


3. Freshbooks


Freshbooks is more commonly known as an accounting platform, but it does have tools that can help businesses record and track expenses. If a smaller business is already using Freshbooks as its accounting software and doesn’t need complex spend management features, Freshbooks’ capabilities may be handy.


While Freshbooks won’t have features that other dedicated spend management software have, being an accounting tool means that you can guarantee that your expense tracking and records are directly integrated into the way you do your accounting. The features are also easy enough to use, allowing your employees to easily record transactions for automatic expense tracking.


For growing businesses that don’t yet need to commit to a more dedicated solution, expense tracking and accounting with Freshbooks can be beneficial spend management tools to start.



4. Wave


Smaller businesses or solo entrepreneurs just starting out may want to consider Wave as the spend management software for them. Wave is marketed as a bookkeeping tool, specifically one that is easily accessible for those who don’t have the financial expertise to manage spending and bookkeeping effectively.


You can get started on the Wave platform for free, which will allow you to track expenses, create and send invoices, and stay up to date with your accounting needs.


By paying a processing fee, Wave also lets you receive credit card payments from customers. You can pick and choose paid plans that will give you access to additional features such as the ability to scan payment receipts on your mobile phone and process your payroll with Wave.



5. Expensify


Expensify allows its users to import existing card expenses to its platform, making it easier to track past and present transactions alike. By using the platform for expense tracking, you’ll also get the ability to generate expense reports easily, letting the software filter through your expenses and automatically compile the data that you need. You won’t have to worry about missing or inaccurate data.


Positioned as the solution for freelancers and small businesses, Expensify is also relatively easy to use. All your expense information can be readily available to you in just a single screen.


Another useful Expensify feature with businesses with smaller teams is that you can also automate your recurring payments easily, meaning that you won’t have to spend hours each month manually making payments.


6. Coupa


The Coupa business spend management software boasts features that allow you to manage your spending better while also focusing on your growth as a business. As your business needs change over the years, Coupa is flexible enough that you should be able to grow on and with the platform. 


By using Coupa, you can centralize your spend management processes and take care of those needs on a singular platform. Coupa’s spend management features, such as batch processing for your payments, are helpful to improve your current processes while you think about your future business needs.


Paired with integration capabilities with plenty of ERP systems, Coupa is one of the best spend management software available for growing businesses, ensuring clarity, control, and compliance.


7. SAP Ariba


Get access to a procurement solution to make your processes simpler and faster with SAP Ariba. With a series of tools including expense reporting, automated procurement, and enhanced analytics, SAP Ariba encourages you to collaborate and communicate with your suppliers better.


This allows you to centralize the entire process, starting from sourcing all the way to paying invoices. You can even manage your supplier contracts through SAP Ariba, saving you time and resources by eliminating physical paperwork.


SAP Ariba is marketed toward enterprise businesses and is especially useful for those with plenty of suppliers and spending to manage. This cloud-based solution can be accessed from anywhere by multiple employees, enhancing collaboration within your procurement team and making the whole process more efficient. 


8. Happay


Happay is the platform you may want to look at if you’re in need of managing your travel and expenses. Positioned as a travel and expense management tool, you can allow employees to easily upload expense reports and capture receipts with their mobile phones.


You’ll also be able to process invoices and employee reimbursement claims through Happay. As your spend management software, it allows your employees to book a flight, file a report, and add that to your ledger within just a few clicks of each other. Not to mention that Happay has integrations with many different tools, starting from your ERP to travel management solutions.


AI-powered technology helps you automate expense reporting and management when you use Happay. Get better spend visibility and accuracy in less time.



9. Airbase


Regardless of size, any business looking for a spend management solution will be able to benefit from using Airbase. The platform offers a comprehensive set of tools that helps you take care of everything from accounts payable to employee reimbursements. You can even get access to a corporate card program if you wish to use it to manage your expenses.


By combining all the different tools that Airbase has to offer you, you’ll be able to streamline your expense-related processes, making spend management much easier.


When used effectively, Airbase’s many features will give you the results that you want without wasting your time. It’s fairly easy to set up Airbase for your business, making it a good option for your employees to get started with as soon as possible.


10. Sage Intacct


Sage offers a suite of many different tools that are helpful for businesses of all sizes, one of them being business spend management software Sage Intacct. In conjunction with its other tools like accounting software and ERP, you’ll have most of your bases covered.


Get access to a built-in dashboard that you can use to view all things related to your spending. You’ll get more than just real-time expense reports; use Sage Intacct to manage projects and its accounting—all in one platform. Your accounts payable and cash management systems are all at your fingertips in just a few clicks. If you have multiple business entities around the world, you can also consolidate expenses easily through Sage Intacct. 


With an endless list of features, you’re bound to find what you need with Sage Intacct, though make sure that you keep in mind which of them exactly you need.

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Functions of spend management software for businesses



1. Expense tracking


Using spend management software will help you track your expenses. Instead of having to manually chase down every expense detail, most solutions available on the market will have a function that centralizes all your expense tracking. You can even get automatic expense updates.


Related read: Guide on expense tracking software for businesses


2. Budgeting and planning


One of the objectives of spend management is to be able to budget and plan more optimally for future expenses. It’s only natural that you’ll want a function to help you do this more smoothly. Input your budget into your software to ensure you don’t overspend.


3. Purchase order (PO) management


Often managing your purchase orders can be complicated. Luckily, most spend management software will have functions that can track and store all purchase orders in one place. You can also get features that allow you to match purchase orders to their respective invoices.


4. Vendor management


Get a centralized platform to view, track, and manage all your vendor data with your spend management software. This function enables you to easily add, remove, and edit information about each of your vendors, including their addresses and bank accounts.


Related read: Guide to vendor payment automation for businesses


5. Invoice processing and accounts payable (AP) automation


With access to features like automatic invoice matching, OCR technology, and automated approval workflows, processing your invoices will be much faster. Approval workflows, for example, allow you to quickly get payment requests reviewed without having to go from desk to desk.


6. Expense policy compliance


Another benefit you get by using spend management tools for your business is that enforcing your expense policies can be easier. Many software providers will have features that automatically approve or deny expense requests based on whether or not they comply with your policies.


You might be interested to read: How to ensure expense report compliance for your business?


7. Reporting and analytics


The best spend management solutions will allow you to get enhanced financial reports and analytics more easily. With all your spend data laid out to you in one place, you can get a better visual of what your spending patterns look like.


8. Integration with financial systems


While your spend management software will be key to managing your finances, it likely won’t be the only tool you use. This is why you’ll want integration features with other tools such as your accounting software, which will allow you to work with multiple systems seamlessly.

Benefits of using spend management software



Improved spend control


You can enforce control and compliance without having to jump through hoops when you have an automated spend management solution.


By implementing an approval workflow and allowing your software to help you automate the whole process, it’s much easier to control what expenses get approved. Set a budget and allow your software to automatically calculate how much of it you have left.


Enhanced efficiency and productivity


Many of the features that you get from your spend management software will improve your overall efficiency and productivity. This is because you’ll have access to automation tools, making data entry and paperwork much simpler.


Waste less time doing the administrative manual work while getting better visibility and insights, allowing your team to turn their attention to other tasks.


Suggested read: Paperless expense reporting to streamline expense management


Cost savings


By managing your expenses better, it’ll be much easier for your business to save money. Using the best spend management software allows you to not only set budgets but also to track the expenses that you’ve made.


With everything collated in a single platform, you’ll be able to pinpoint where your biggest expenses are happening and curb overspending before it gets out of hand.


Accurate reporting and analytics


You won’t have to worry about getting inaccurate expense data, which could negatively impact your decision-making and make tax and audit seasons more difficult. A spend management solution will help you automatically record transactions in real-time and prompt employees to fill out details before the reports are routed to approvers. Everything in the system will help you get accurate reporting and analytics.


Streamlined procurement processes


The procurement process is notorious for being complex, especially when you have to constantly evaluate what your business needs and doesn’t need.


With a spend management platform, however, you’ll be able to identify spending trends and pinpoint anything you have too much of or are lacking. This makes determining what you need to procure easier.


Additionally, invoice management is also much simpler.


Also read, 7 step procurement process and how to simplify it using virtual cards


Enhanced supplier management


Many spend management software will allow you to store all your supplier information in a centralized location, which can also be accessed from anywhere on the cloud. This makes it much easier to view what pending supplier payments you have, as well as where the payments need to be made. Details like bank accounts and invoice deadlines are easily available to you.


Increased transparency and accountability


The more expenses your business makes, the more difficult it can be to make sure that you have accurate data on all your spending. Luckily, using a spend management solution solves this issue.


Automation tools such as real-time updates will ensure that you’re not missing anything. It also becomes easier to hold employees accountable when you know who is making what expenses.


Enhanced strategic decision-making


Having all your data at your fingertips will help you make more well-informed decisions. You’ll also get better reports and analytics when you use spend management software, making visualizing and detecting spending patterns easier.


With better spend tracking, you can pinpoint where you’re potentially overspending. Knowing the full picture will allow you to be more strategic in deciding what the next step should be.


Improved compliance and risk management


You can integrate your existing expense policies with your spend management software. By doing this, enforcing policy compliance will be simpler to do.


With the help of in-built spend controls or automated request approval workflows, you can automatically ensure that only expenses that comply with company policies are made and approved.


Better visibility of your expenses also reduces the chances of fraud attempts.



Suggested read: Understanding spend management and its best practices

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Factors to consider when choosing a spend management solution

1

Meets business needs

Any spend management software is only as effective as the problems it solves. You’ll want to carefully consider your business needs.


From there, you can look at which business spend management software is the best suited for you and can meet your business needs.

2

Scalability and flexibility

What your business needs now and what it will need a few years down the line may differ. As your business grows, you want tools that will enable and support you in this.


When you pick your spend management solution, make sure that it’s flexible and will be able to scale accordingly with your business.

3

User-friendliness

It’s important that the tools you use to manage your spending are user-friendly, especially if many of your employees will be using them.


Look for a spend management solution with a user interface that is easy to understand. Submitting expense reports and viewing transaction data should not confuse your employees.

4

Integration capabilities

The fact is that managing your finances will require a number of different tools. While spend management software is one of them, you’ll also likely use other software, such as an accounting platform.


The best solutions will have integration capabilities to help streamline your team’s processes and make finance management even simpler.

5

Reporting and analytics

While it’s great that you’re getting automatic and real-time spending updates with a spend management solution, you want to take it a step further with reporting and analytics.


Your software of choice should be able to identify spending patterns and help you visualize your data to help with decision-making.

6

Cost and pricing models

While a spend management platform will do wonders for your finance team, getting one does come with a cost.


When you’re shopping around for a software solution, make sure that you keep the pricing model and costs for each one in mind. You’ll want the benefits you get to justify the costs.

7

Mobile accessibility

As many businesses move toward hybrid or remote working models, it’s not uncommon that you and your employees will be constantly on the go.


With this in mind, it should be a priority to find a spend management software provider that gives you mobile accessibility. Employees and managers alike can manage expense reports and requests from anywhere.

8

Security and compliance

Considering that you’ll be trusting a lot of sensitive data with your provider, the best spend management software providers will need to guarantee data security.


Check whether or not a provider has all the industry-standard security certifications. Be sure to ask what measures the vendor takes to ensure that your data is secure.

Best practices for implementing spend management software



1. Assessing your organization's needs and requirements


Before you start looking for the perfect spend management software for your business, you’ll want to take some time to analyze your current processes first. This will help you determine what your pain points are and what you want to solve.


Looking for a software provider that is right for you will be easier when you have a better understanding of your organization’s needs and requirements.


2. Planning the implementation process


Implementing your spend management solution will take time. Your employees will also have to familiarize themselves with new tools and processes.


To ensure that you’re making the most of your tools, you’ll want to properly plan an implementation process. This helps you figure out how to fully integrate your software with your existing processes and allows employees to understand it better.


3. Data migration and integration


Considering that you likely will already have existing processes by the time you implement your spend management software, you’ll need to migrate your data to the new software and integrate processes such as workflows and vendor databases.


Take some time to speak with the customer support team from your software provider to see if they can help you migrate your data and set up integrations easily.


4. Training and change management


It’s important that you provide adequate training to all staff that will be using or impacted by the implementation of your new tools. Host sessions to educate employees on how to use spend management software effectively.


Make sure that you’re also allowing employees to ask questions and resolve any issues they may have. Let your employees know who they can contact if they have problems.


5. Monitoring and continuous improvement


The fact is that implementing a spend management solution isn’t just a one-time training plan. Even after the system has been successfully integrated into your processes, you’ll want to keep monitoring it.


Employees may have additional feedback once they start regularly using the new software. As your business needs change, you’ll also have to adapt. Do regular reviews and make continuous improvements when needed.

Future outlook for spend management software solutions


During the height of the pandemic, plenty of businesses started implementing remote or hybrid work models, with many still sticking with them even after the restrictions have been lifted. These models have proved to work well for many organizations, often even encouraging productivity and improving employee morale. 


However, a hybrid or remote work model also emphasizes how important communication and collaboration are, as well as how that can be done without every employee being in the same physical location. This is why it’s more important than ever now that businesses equip their employees with the right tools to support them—one of these being a spend management solution. 


The spend management software market has been gradually increasing in size over the past few years and will continue to increase, with a projection of USD 46.62 billion by 2030. This indicates that it’s not a trend that will go away anytime soon.


If anything, there will be more spend management software providers and those already on the market will keep on making improvements to their product. With AI and machine learning technologies, there will undoubtedly be bigger and better things you can achieve with your spend management tools in the future.

How Volopay can help businesses!


Considering how important it is that businesses manage their spending effectively, you’ll want access to the best tools to help you do it. While traditional spend management processes can be tedious and eat up plenty of your finance team’s time, using modern automation solutions will make your processes simpler and more streamlined. There should be no more wasting time, inaccurate expense reports, or overspending. 


Join more than 1,500 businesses in using Volopay to improve the control you have over your business spending. Trusted by many, Volopay is committed to helping you reduce the amount of time you have to spend chasing down the right people and information in order to maintain accurate reports of your expenses.


With automatic real-time expense updates, for example, you can easily see how employees are spending your money. All you have to do is hit refresh to view the newest expenses! Paired with a handy mobile app, you’ll be able to access your expense data from anywhere.


Employees can send expense reports or payment requests on the go, while managers will be able to review claims as soon as they’re alerted. To top everything off, Volopay’s accounts payable automation features will make managing your supplier payments much easier, especially with automated payment creation and approval.


Not to mention the access you’ll have to corporate cards to manage employee expenses. All your business expenses can be tracked and managed easily with Volopay, giving you confidence in your organization’s financial performance.

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