Expense tracking may seem to be an afterthought, especially if you travel frequently. (I know I’ve crammed my share of receipts into my wallet on business trips, only prolonging the agony of having to collect and record them all once I’m back home.) Yet it may be a necessary part of owning a small business, if you want to take advantage of tax laws and avoid potential trouble with the IRS.
Here are 10 business expense apps that may help make expense tracking much less painful.
If you’re looking for a catchall app, you may want to consider Evernote (iOS, Android, OSX, Windows, Web). Available on virtually every device across desktop, tablet and mobile, Evernote does well with image capturing and receipt tracking, among other things.
If you travel often by car for your business, Mileage Log+ might be a helpful app for tracking your mileage and expenses. The iOS app was designed with IRS compliance in mind, and does some nice things for quickly entering frequent trips. You can also sync and backup your data with Dropbox.
Expensify is a popular iOS app for tracking business expenses that captures receipts, tracks time and mileage, and quickly creates expense reports. The app has built-in SmartScan technology that, like Evernote, is able to find text in pictures. Taking a picture of your receipt means that Expensify can read the image as well, quickly creating the expense.
Concur (iOS, Android, Windows) is a comprehensive time tracking and travel app that allows you to capture, manage and track business receipts, approve expense reports, itemize hotel charges and approve travel requests, to name a few features.
The app also boasts some nifty features for managing travel: You can book airfare and hotels, check in on car and flight itineraries, check flight status and more.
EasyBiz Mileage Tracker Lite
The EasyBiz LITE Mileage Tracker strips away as much of the complexity of mileage tracking. By using GPS pin-dropping (instead of lengthy manual fields), the iOS app can quickly find and track routes that you’ve used.
Unlike the other apps covered thus far, EasyBiz LITE Mileage Tracker is only a mileage tracker, but may still be handy for road warriors.
MoneyWise is more of a universal money management application for Android. Create budgets, monitor cash flow and track expenses on the go. While it’s not a business-only app, it may still be a handy expense and cash flow tracker.
Cashbook may not win any awards for the prettiest app in the world, but it gets the job done for many Android business owners. It’s actually quite robust in terms of features offered. Some notable features include tracking mileage by GPS, backing up to Dropbox, making expense charts and graphs, filing reports, a timer, calculator and more.
Expense Manager is an Android app that not only tracks expenses and budgets, but also provides a clean interface to quickly add expenses. It has some other useful bells and whistles like the ability to add payment reminders, take pictures of receipts, schedule payments and more. The app uses Google Drive to back up data for peace of mind.
FreshBooks Expense Management
FreshBooks (Android, iOS, Web) is cloud and time tracking accounting software for businesses. If you already use FreshBooks—and many small businesses do—then the FreshBooks app has expense tracking already built in. Users can quickly assign expenses, as well as track time and send invoices, all from the convenience of your phone.
Shoeboxed (iOS, Android, Web) collects receipts. With Shoeboxed, you can easily snap pictures of receipts and the app extracts the vendor, total amount, payment method, date and also categorizes into the most common tax categories.
These digital scans are IRS-accepted, and can be exported to Quickbooks, Excel and other tools.
For more tips to help you stay productive on your next business trip, access Business as Pleasure: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Travel.
Read more articles about digital tools.
This article was originally published on October 12, 2015.