What are the best online tools for managing expenses?

Two of the most significant drains on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) tend to be expenses and employee salaries. So if you find that your business is trading well, but just not making enough profit on those sales, company spending on employee expenses will be one of the items you’ll want to start taking a very close look at.

There are a number of online tools that businesses can use to get on top of the expenses headache. Let’s look at some of the most effective tools available in taking control of the money flowing out of your business.

There’s a little bit of homework first. It’s useful to have a clear idea as to the type of employees you have; are they mostly out on the road or remote homeworkers? This may affect the volume and type of expenses you want to put through your expense management system.

Similarly, some expenses are predictable while others are not. The latter can decimate a carefully worked out cash flow plan. Once you’re aware of the pattern and type of expenses you’re paying, you can select the system that will help you manage them most effectively.

QuickBooks Online

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that apps such as QuickBooks will manage the whole of their finances. But great as QuickBooks may be, it isn’t specifically designed to be an expense management solution for teams. It’s not going to help your employees upload data from receipts.


Expensify is great for taking photos of receipts and extracting the data from them. It can save employees and business owners a lot of time. However it only solves part of the problem… Employees are still having to pay for expenses out of their own wallets.


Xero is a New Zealand company which has revolutionised how small businesses manage their financial administration. They offer a web-based online accounting system that automates everything from invoicing and reporting, to payroll and VAT management.

Whilst Xero itself isn’t set up for sophisticated expense management, there is a huge ecosystem of add-ons for Xero in their app marketplace. There are some great integrations with all-in-one expense management platforms that allow you to completely automate your entire expense management process from start-to-finish.

Sage 50c

Sage is the oldest and biggest player in the accounting software space. It’s trusted by many businesses world-side but has struggled to keep up with the times. It’s the only major accounting software which doesn’t have mobile access.

The 50c package is based on a deep integration with Microsoft 365, which means if you’re a Google and/or Mac-based business you could find yourself in difficulties.


A UK company, Soldo is on a mission to automate the entire expense management process. It allows business owners to hand out company Mastercard cards to all employees and manage each one individually through a sophisticated online admin dashboard.

Employees are always empowered to buy whatever they need to do their jobs properly, with a mobile app for receipt capture, whilst business owners retain full control through the setting of individual or group spending limits. Having all expenses managed through a central account allows for detailed reporting giving business owners highly valuable insights into how they are spending and where they could save.

Learn more about one of the best small business debit cards here.

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