We are an expense management software company, and we are always looking for what people are searching for in the market. To our surprise, in this age of automation, people are still searching for expense report templates, expense report forms, and other manual methods of managing expenses.
Some enterprising accounting professionals are searching for things like “free expense management software.” From our understanding, these professionals do realize the benefits of using expense management software. They are either low on budget for a dedicated system or are not sure about the returns of such an investment.
In this article, we try to find out the real cost of using free expense management software.
Limitations of a free expense management software
There are no free lunches. There is a cost we pay for everything. And, it is especially evident in the case of an expense management software. Though most good expense softwares do give a free trial as opposed to a free version of their software. There are limitations to both free software and free versions of premium software.
Number of expense reports
Expense management software claiming to be free often cap the number of expenses you can create in a single report. Other times there are also upper limits on the number of expense reports that an employee can submit. Most free expense reporting software will cap the number of expense reports to one. This situation is uncalled for when there are multiple trips in a month for your employees.
Number of receipt scans
Most expense management software comes with receipt scanning apps. These receipt scanning apps help employees scan a receipt and instantly report the expenses incurred. Free expense report software will often limit the number of automatic scans your employees can take in a month. This number is usually limited to around ten scans a month. Most employees end up having more than ten expense items a month, which makes such a solution obsolete.
No ability to implement expense policies
With free expense management software, there is often no way for you to enforce any expense policies. Even if you can, these policies are limited in their functionalities. For businesses with more than 100 employees, we have seen that the policies can be a little too complicated to enforce with a manual system. A free system doesn’t provide for complexity, which can lead to leakages in your reimbursement process.
No support for integrations and credit cards
Many companies with more than 100 employees often issue corporate credit cards for their traveling employees. If your business falls into such a category, then a free expense management software can pose a problem. Moreover, most free software doesn’t come with integration with other accounting software. Without a system to manage credit card statements and post expense items to your accounting software, free software is as good as no software.
Why should you pay for your expense management software?
You might have realized that opting for a free expense management software will end up costing you more in the future. If you still aren’t convinced, let us change your mind!
Flexible pricing structure
Unlike other software installations, expense management software doesn’t cost your business a fortune. With prices as low as $5 per user per month, you can ensure that you are on track right from the beginning. Cloud-based software even make sure that you pay only for what you use.
It means if you are a 100 employee company, but only 20 employees submit expense reports regularly, you can buy a subscription for just 20 people. Such a pricing structure brings flexibility to the process and makes sure that your spends are optimized.
Did you know studies indicate that the cost of manually processing an expense report can be up to $58? The same come down by a third when managed using the software.
For any investment in software, you are probably going to be asked the expected ROI from such an investment. Luckily, the returns from an investment in an expense management software can range anywhere from 200% to 500%. The savings with automated policy checks and reduction in expense frauds far outweigh the costs of subscribing to an expense management software.
Helps with your taxes
If your company is operating under an accountable plan, you will have to keep records of receipts and expenses. In a manual system, it can be challenging to track receipts, once you cross the threshold of a certain number of expense reports. With a paid subscription of expense management software, you can get unlimited storage for receipts. Thus, with as little as $100 per month for 20 employees, you can always stay audit-ready.
Leverage your expense data
With a paid subscription, you can unlock the real power of your employee expense data. Firstly, you can connect your expense reporting software with your accounting system. This helps you centralize your reporting. This further results in you having a clear picture of your expenses. With expense analytics, you will also get to understand the impact of your employee expenses on the company’s bottom line.
We believe that paying for an expense management software will bring you benefits that you haven’t thought of. More importantly, it will give you and your team the peace of mind to focus on more critical and strategic tasks. Most expense management software will be happy to provide you with a free trial or show you a demo of the product so that you can make your mind. We hope you give Fyle a shot to automate expenses for your employees!