15 Aug Make Tracking Expenses Easier With These Great iOS Apps
Whether your on a business trip or just going about your daily work routine, keeping track of all of your business expenses in a neat, organised way can be tough.
At best, expense tracking and reporting can be frustrating and much harder than it should be. Particularly now that our workforce is much more mobile than ever before, logging your expenses as you go is invaluable to the busy professional, as it saves time and saves you from having to remember where you kept that fuel receipt.
The good news is, your smartphone can help! Check out these great expense tracker apps for your iPhone to get your expenses recorded and reported in a snap!
Receipts Pro ($9.99)
It allows you to separate your expenses into different accounts (i.e. business and personal), in addition to enabling you to divide expenses within these accounts into categories. So for example, you could have categories such as mileage, equipment etc. If you want even more detail associated with your receipts, you can enter up to eight customer fields, including the date, notes and whether the expense is recurring.
The only downfall of Receipts Pro is that while you can add a photo of your receipts, it lacks a receipt scanner, which for many is an essential feature. You can, however, add a voice note or a photo of the receipt, which isn’t available in many other expense-tracking apps.
To get a birds eye view of your expense, the app can also generate graphs of your receipt totals by account, category, units, spending over time and custom currency fields. When generating reports, you can add custom report headers and filter report receipts as well as specify which fields to include. If you want to share your expense report, you can generate an Excel, PDF or CSV report with attachments and share it via email, iTunes, Box, CloudApp, Dropbox, Evernote or Google Docs directly from the app.
Just in case, Receipts Pro also makes backups of your data and settings, which you can restore from email, iTunes File Sharing, WiFi, another device, another app, iCloud, Box, CloudApp, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive.
Currency Conversion and Data Security
A bonus for those of you who frequently travel, the app not only automatically converts expenses entered in another currency into your home currency, but also secures the app with a password (optional).
So, while Receipts Pro does offer a whole range of features to keep you on top of your expenses, its strong point is definitely great organisation.
FreshBooks Cloud Accounting (Free)
More for small business owners and freelancers who deal with billable time, FreshBooks offers an iPhone app to compliment their cloud-based accounting platform.
Admittedly, while this post is about expense apps, the FreshBooks Cloud Accounting is definitively worth a mention. The app offers more than just an app for expense tracking, so if you’re also after a way to manage quotes and invoices, this is the app for you. The iPhone app allows users to track expenses, invoices, client information, log hours in a list or calendar format, manage projects, send price quotes and convert them to invoices and receive expense reports. Great for those wanting to manage their finances in one place.
It offers an easy to use interface, with the steps for tracking expenses presented in a visually appealing, easy to follow way. To track expenses, you simply enter in the amount, attach an optional photo of a receipt (note, once again this app does not offer a receipt scanner) and then add taxes.To store your data neatly, you can then add a category, the client name, vendor, date and any additional notes. Logging hours is easy on the app too. Simply start the timer and when it comes time to bill the customer you can pull in the data from that timer.
If you then want to convert your expenses into an invoice for your client, you can do so once it has been assigned to a specific client.If you forgot to add an expense or something popped up before you sent off the invoice, you can easily add another expense to the invoice, which is refreshed in real-time. You can also customise the receipt to include your logo and specify the fields to be included.
The app offers you the option of sending the invoice either via email, snail mail or view it as a PDF. If you prefer your customers paying with PayPal, the integration allows you to select PayPal as a payment method on the invoice. Once you’ve sent off the invoice, you can see whether it has been viewed by your client, as well as recording whether a client has made a payment the old fashioned way: offline.
Using the expense report functionality, you can filter your expenses by category and vendor making it easy to identify where you’re spending the most money. It also exports all reports to Excel so you can share it with whoever you need to. FreshBooks has also included balance sheets and profit and loss statements so you can get a big picture view of your finances.
While functioning more as a complete accounting service for freelancers and small business owners, FreshBooks Cloud Accounting offers a simple, visually stunning way to manage your expense as well as your income.
Expensify allows you to track purchases made using cash, bank account transfers or credit cards, focusing solely on expenses.
If you need to record mileage in your expense, Expensify allows you to automatically record your mileage via GPS. However, of course, leaving this feature on can decrease your battery life, so make sure you have a charger with you!
While the app can add a card or bank account, it is currently limited to mostly American based financial institutions. However, if you’re with American Express or Citibank, you may be in luck. If you do happen to be with either of the aforementioned banks, to allow the app to add a card or bank account, you have to first register your card’s online ID and password. This will allow the app to automatically import your expenses paid via that account and generate eReceipts.
The app can be used offline, which for many traveling professionals is fantastic as you won’t always be connected to a mobile network or Wi-Fi. However, there are a few features that require an internet connection for the online version, such as deleting a saved credit card/bank account, changing the mileage rate or enabling SmartScans.
Reports And Sharing
The last step, sending off your expenses for approval, is simple in Expensify. All you have to do is pick and choose which expenses should be added to an expense report, the app creates the report as a PDF, and allows you to select the email address you would like to send your copy of the expense report for approval.
Expensify is a great app for those not interested in recording any income with its sole focus on expense recording and reporting.
The app provides the user with a simple and intuitive interface. To enter in a transaction, simply enter in the amount and select whether it is an expense or income, which is visually differentiated with a red button (expenses) and a green button (income).
You can add additional details to your transaction records, including categories, the date and whether it is a repeating transaction. While there is no receipt scanner, you can attach a photo or a note, which considering the ease with which you can add an expense, suffices.
There is definitely an emphasis on visuals, with the transaction details displayed on a paper receipt roll. If you want to delete a transaction, the app gives you a rather fun way to do it: simply pull down on the screen as if pulling the paper off a receipt roll, and the app will then confirm whether you want to delete the transaction.
Once again, this app provides currency conversion for travelers, making it easy to enter in your expenses while overseas.
Your remaining funds are by default always displayed on the home screen of the app. To get an idea of where you’re spending your money, you can sort transactions by most expensive categories, most expensive months and recent transactions. You can also attach selected transactions to an email in CSV format via the Settings button.
Users are not required to access an online service for any features, which for those with simple requirements is a great app. The simple, intuitive interface is great for individual users.
Toshl Finance (Free)
Not only does the app function as an expense tracker, but also offers budgeting, bill organisation and currency conversion features. The different features are organised into four columns, which makes for a clean, easy to use interface.
The expense tracker features quick and intuitive entry. All you have to do is hit the ‘Add Expense’ button found at the bottom, and a new window will appear with a few fields such as amount, tag, due date and description. While other apps allow you to add custom fields, for most users these fields are about all you need. Just hit save and your transaction is added.
The only catch is, you have to assign a tag (e.g. bills, equipment, food, hotels etc) to each and every expense, which while perhaps slightly inconvenient to some, does organize your expenses nicely. You can also set up repeating expenses.
Expense reports can be exported into PDF, Excel, Google Docs and CSV, giving you a heap of options.
Once again currency conversion is a feature of the app, which works with any currency. The app updates the exchange rates for the top 30 currencies daily, making it easier for you to get an accurate conversion. You can also choose to enter custom exchange rates in case the currency you are using is not supported.
In addition to managing your expenses, Toshl Finance allows users to enter in their income, which feeds into the budget portion of the app. If you need to enter in more than one income for the year, you need to purchase a Toshl Pro account for $19.99 a year, however, for most, you could probably just sum up your expected total income from all of your sources of income and manually enter them in. A Pro account also provides you with the ability to assign repeating incomes with options to set the recurrence daily, weekly, monthly or even on weekdays and weekends.
To keep you up to date in terms of what day (whether it’s a weekend or weekday) you can expect your income or expenses to occur, the app also features a sliding calendar. For users, this can be really useful if you want to forecast billing payments or when a salary is expected to be credited to your bank.
Summary Of Finances
To keep track of your running balance, including the total amount of income and expenses for a certain time span, users can navigate to the Sum Up tab. This is essentially a summary of the data entered into the app. If a summary isn’t quite enough, there is also a budget function, which allows you to set a one-time, weekly, monthly or yearly budget and assign it to any expense or to specific tags. As an example, you can set a weekly budget for items that are recorded under the Leisure tag, with the app then informing you when you’ve spent way more than the desired budget. You can also remove remaining funds to the next budget, making it easier to manage your money.
In terms of reporting, you can track changes in your budget by viewing budget history or visualise your finances using infographics. The app automatically backs up and saves your data, so you can rest assured it won’t go anywhere. You can also secure your data using a passcode to lock the app.
For another full featured app focusing on the relationship between your income and expenses, Toshl Finance is not only a great service, but also presents information beautifully simple in the app.