Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

Product review: Top smartphone expense reporting applications

Smartphone expense reporting applications from Concur and Expensify simplify expense tracking for road warriors. Standalone mobile expense reporting tools from iXpenseIt and ExpenseManager are comparable apps for smartphone devices.

Smartphone expense reporting applications from Concur and Expensify simplify and expedite expense tracking for road warriors and accounting departments. Standalone mobile expense reporting tools from iXpenseIt and ExpenseManager also streamline expense reporting for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and other smartphone devices.

If I’m like other corporate employees who spend lots of time on the road, many of us are wishing for an easier way to enter, categorize and document expenses -- a mobile expense reporting tool that should be simple to use during downtime at airports, on planes or between meetings. Even better would be a smartphone expense reporting application that could capture expense information at the point of the transaction -- less paperwork and less administrative time entering data.

I’ve scoured the latest crop of smartphone expense reporting applications and discovered a few that meet some of these challenges for users of iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Android handheld devices.

Concur Mobile

If your company is a subscriber to Concur’s expense and travel platform -- there’s an app for that: Concur Mobile.

It’s a lot easier to snap a photo of a Starbucks or taxi receipt than to carry around [receipts] that may or may not make it into an expense report at a later date.

Rik Ahlberg

Since Concur integrates with Microsoft’s Dynamics accounting system and allows corporate policy settings to be pushed to users, it has a lot of finance-departments fans. Concur offers wireless versions of its expense and travel reporting software for iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile smartphones. These apps require a mobile license from Concur, and your account needs to be provisioned by your expense administrator.

Each version includes a huge number of features, including on-the-fly travel bookings for companies that use those features. For users who just need to record expenses on the go, Concur Mobile can capture photos of receipts and submit them along with expense data. 

It’s a lot easier to snap a photo of a Starbucks or taxi receipt than to carry around a folder of miscellaneous receipts that may or may not make it into an expense report at a later date.

The Concur app for iPhone is available from Apple’s App Store, while BlackBerry and Windows Mobile versions need to be downloaded directly from Concur once your account has been provisioned. Will there be a version for Android users?

Standalone smartphone expense reporting applications

Stepping away from the large, integrated mobile expense reporting systems like Concur and Expensify, there are a few apps that look promising for mobile users.

On the iPhone, iXpenseIt ($4.99 from the App Store) is a fantastic standout, with fast data entry, support for taking photos of receipts (though they tend to get lost in export), and really simple export of reports in either CSV or HTML format via email. You can even transfer files over a Wi-Fi connection directly between your computer’s Web browser and iPhone.

For BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, ExpenseManager from TWiSTSoft is a complete, simple-to-use data-entry reporting application. There’s no receipt photo support, but the export to HTML or CSV files is simple enough, allowing you to pull data into an MS Excel template without rekeying your expense data.

Free trial versions of these apps are available, so you can kick the tires before entrusting your expenses to any of these programs.

Rik Ahlberg

Free trial versions of these apps are available, so you can kick the tires before entrusting your expenses to any of these programs.

In the Android world, I found a number of expense apps, but nothing with the depth or flexibility of iXpenseIt or ExpenseManager. If job postings at Concur’s website are any indication, they are looking to hire programmers for Android, so I’d expect an Android app to show up on Android Market (Android’s app store) at some point in the near future and bring some mobile expense reporting tools to the Android camp.

About the author:

Rik Ahlberg is a principal and co-founder of Empiric Partners, LLC, a proactive technology management firm focused on clients with highly mobile professionals who have little patience for downtime.

This was last published in April 2010

Dig Deeper on EMM tools | Enterprise mobility management technology

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchNetworking

SearchUnifiedCommunications

SearchSecurity

Close