three coworkers walking with suitcases
A travel expense management tool helps track expenses, keep itineraries and book lodging and airfare. — Getty Images/aldomurillo

Whether it’s attending a conference, meeting a prospective client, offering an on-site demonstration or visiting a satellite office, businesses often require their employees to travel.

No matter your company’s size, you need to properly track and manage the expenses incurred on business trip. According to a recent Global Business Travel Association forecast, air travel and hotel rates are expected to increase through 2019, so accounting accuracy is more important than ever.

Rather than recording all expenses on paper or in an Excel spreadsheet, the best way to manage business expenses while traveling is with expense tracking software. Here are the four top tech tools to manage your business’s travel expenses.

[Read: How Airbnb is Monetizing the Future of Work in the Sharing Economy]

SAP Concur

SAP Concur is one of the most popular and well-established expense management solutions available. It’s an ideal choice for small-, medium- and enterprise-sized businesses, and offers a suite of products to help you track and manage business travel expenses. With the SAP Concur app, you can manage just about every aspect of your business trip, from booking flights and approving invoices to adjusting your itinerary and inviting attendees to meetings.

One major benefit of SAP Concur is that expense reports can be directly imported from numerous sources, such as credit cards, flights, hotels and transportation, which means your employees will spend less time organizing and filing paperwork later on. Furthermore, the software uses artificial intelligence to audit every transaction and provides near real-time data, so your business can see exactly what is being charged to the business.

Expensify

With individual and group plan options, Expensify is a good choice for solopreneurs and large enterprises alike. This expense tracker app offers numerous features and automation capabilities to eliminate manual data entry. Its patented SmartScan technology makes receipt entry a fast, painless process, giving your employees more time to complete the task at hand when they are on the road. All you have to do is snap a picture of the receipt and the app will capture the pertinent details, such as the merchant, date, time and total amount. Furthermore, the app automatically submits this data so users can view real-time expense reports.

Expensify also can provide travel notifications for upcoming trips, automatically adjust your travel itinerary and track mileage. The app supports next-day direct deposit, which your employees will love, and it can be integrated with popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks.

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Many freelancers, solopreneurs and small business owners don’t need every feature typically included in enterprise-level software.

Zoho Expense

Zoho’s many business tools are some of the most popular on the market, and its expense tracking app, Zoho Expense, lives up to that reputation. It’s best for medium- to large-sized businesses, especially those that use other Zoho tools, such as Zoho Books or Zoho Invoices.

Zoho Expense uses its built-in GPS tracker and Maps to log mileage for employees who regularly travel for work. While on business trips, your employees can record and store digital copies of their receipts as they happen. The app also allows you to pin receipts to reports, which can speed up the approval process.

You can connect business credit cards to the app to automatically import data and manage transactions as they happen. Furthermore, you can create per diem rates for employees and track excessive spending to prevent discrepancies or policy violations.

Shoeboxed

Many freelancers, solopreneurs and small business owners don’t need every feature typically included in enterprise-level software. Rather, they need a simple process of tracking and managing receipts, without emptying their wallets or creating yet another spreadsheet. Shoeboxed answers this need with its three affordably priced plans.

With Shoeboxed, you can quickly scan and organize your receipts, track mileage and submit reports from anywhere. The app removes the pain of manual data entry by extracting information from your receipt pictures. Shoeboxed works with most accounting programs, including QuickBooks, Wave and Xero, but you can also export information into an Excel spreadsheet.

[Read: Balancing Your Business With Online Accounting]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published August 26, 2019