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The easiest way for a small business to lose money is through sloppy time and expense reporting. In our fast-paced always on the run world, spreadsheets and shoeboxes just won’t cut it anymore. If you’re using either to collect information on these two key business metrics, then you should check out this list of time and expense tracking apps and solutions below.

Available online or on your mobile devices (and often on both), these apps and solutions streamline time and expense collection as well as reporting. Some even include workflow features for expense approvals and invoicing functionality so you can bill your clients directly for time spent and expenses incurred.

Because so many project management, accounting and HR/benefits solutions offer time and expense tracking functionality, we slimmed down our list by focusing on the ones that stand on their own. Rest assured however, most offer robust integration with the rest of your systems.

Benefits of Time and Expense Tracking Apps for Small Businesses

Time and expense tracking apps offer a multitude of benefits for small businesses, streamlining operations and enhancing financial management. These apps provide an efficient way to monitor and record time spent on various tasks, enabling better project management and productivity analysis. Additionally, they simplify the process of tracking business expenses, ensuring accurate and timely financial records. This leads to improved budget management and can significantly reduce the risk of financial discrepancies.

Key benefits include:

  • Improved Efficiency: Automated tracking saves time compared to manual methods, allowing employees to focus on core business activities.
  • Enhanced Budget Management: Real-time expense tracking helps in maintaining budgets and preventing overspending.
  • Accurate Invoicing: Reliable data on time spent on client projects leads to more accurate and fair invoicing.
  • Better Project Management: Insight into how much time is spent on each project aids in resource allocation and project planning.
  • Financial Transparency: Clear records of expenses and time promote transparency and accountability within the business.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Analyzing time and expense data can inform strategic business decisions and highlight areas for improvement.
  • Tax and Compliance Benefits: Accurate records support compliance with tax laws and make tax preparation easier.
  • Employee Time Management: Helps in tracking employee work hours, aiding in payroll processing and performance evaluation.

time and expense tracking apps

Choosing the Best Time and Expense Tracking Apps for Small Businesses: Our Methodology

Time and expense tracking apps are essential tools for small business owners and entrepreneurs to efficiently manage their operations and finances. When choosing the best apps for these purposes, several key criteria should be considered. Here’s our methodology for evaluating these apps:

  1. Accuracy and Reliability (Scale: 10/10)
    • Precision in tracking time and expenses.
    • Consistency and dependability of the app’s performance.
  2. User Interface and Ease of Use (Scale: 9/10)
    • Intuitive and user-friendly design for easy navigation.
    • Minimal learning curve for new users.
  3. Integration Capabilities (Scale: 8/10)
    • Compatibility with other business software (accounting, project management, etc.).
    • Ability to seamlessly integrate data across platforms.
  4. Customization Options (Scale: 7/10)
    • Flexibility to tailor features to specific business needs.
    • Customizable reports, categories, and tracking settings.
  5. Mobile Accessibility (Scale: 9/10)
    • Availability and functionality of mobile apps for tracking on-the-go.
    • Cross-platform support for both Android and iOS devices.
  6. Data Security and Privacy (Scale: 10/10)
    • Robust security measures to protect sensitive business and financial data.
    • Compliance with data privacy regulations.
  7. Reporting Features (Scale: 8/10)
    • Comprehensive reporting tools for detailed insights.
    • Options for custom reports and data analysis.
  8. Cost-Effectiveness (Scale: 7/10)
    • Pricing structures that offer value for money.
    • Free trials or versions to evaluate the app before purchase.
  9. Customer Support and Resources (Scale: 6/10)
    • Availability of responsive customer support.
    • Access to helpful resources like tutorials and FAQs.
  10. Automated Features (Scale: 7/10)
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    • Automation of repetitive tasks (like recurring expense entries).
    • Automatic reminders and notifications.

By carefully analyzing these factors, small business owners can select a time and expense tracking app that not only simplifies their workflows but also provides valuable insights for better financial management.

Time and Expense Tracking: Time Only

time and expense tracking apps

The time and expense tracking solutions in this section offer time tracking and reporting only. If that’s all you need, you’ll find plenty to like here.

Tick

Tick treats your time as your inventory and it shows in all the care they take in tracking your “stock”. The truly handy feature here is the ability to track actual time against budgeted time, a feature that not only alerts you to upcoming budget issues, but also helps you plan the next project better.

Everhour

The standout feature of Everhour is its ability to integrate directly with your project management tools. Here’s an example of their integration with Basecamp:

Hubstaff

Hubstaff also enables you to keep track of what each member of your staff is working on. You can even take regularly scheduled screenshots that show you how they spend their time. One of the unique features of Hubstaff however, is how you can set up automatic payments to your staff based on the time reported in the solution.

Chrometa

Chrometa calls their solution, “passive timekeeping” as your timesheet is created fro you as you work. This is a pretty slick take on timesheets and saves everyone a lot of time.

Feature/ App Tick Everhour Hubstaff Chrometa
Core Function Time Tracking Time Tracking Time Tracking Passive Timekeeping
Unique Selling Point Tracks actual vs. budgeted time Integrates with project tools Screenshots & automatic payments Automated timesheet generation
Special Features – Alerts for budget issues – Direct integration with Basecamp – Scheduled screenshots – Timesheet created automatically
– Better project planning – Seamless workflow management – Automatic payment to staff – Saves time on timesheet management
Target Users – Businesses focusing on budget – Users of project management tools – Teams needing oversight – Individuals seeking automated tracking
Benefits – Improved budget management – Efficient project tracking – Enhanced staff management – Time-saving, hassle-free tracking

Time and Expense Tracking: Expense Only

time and expense tracking apps

Expensify

As you can see below, turning in expenses using Expensify is a snap (of a phone camera). You can also import your credit card expenses directly, a true time saver.

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Neat

Neat uses character recognition to turn your receipt photos into real expense data in its system. From there, they integrate with many other systems where you can communicate, store and invoice your expenses.

ExpensePoint

ExpensePoint enables you to upload scanned receipts as well as import your credit card transactions, but where it really shines is in its approval workflow and auditing tools.

Shoeboxed

As you can see below, you can send your piles of receipts to Shoeboxed and they will scan them in and organize them into neat little categories that you provide. You may worry that the “human touch” will make them more expensive however, their solution is priced competitively against the others on this list.

webexpenses

With the motto, “always exceed expectations”, your sure to expect great things from webexpenses. As you can see by their feature list below, one of the most robust on this list, they don’t disappoint:

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense brings the same solid functionality to expense management as they do to the rest of their business management suite.

Feature/App Expensify Neat ExpensePoint Shoeboxed webexpenses Zoho Expense
Core Function Expense Tracking Expense Data Conversion Expense Management Receipt Organization Comprehensive Expense Management Expense Management
Unique Selling Point Snap & Import Expenses Character Recognition Technology Approval Workflow & Auditing Receipt Scanning & Categorization Robust Feature Set Solid Business Management Suite
Special Features – Photo capture of receipts – Integrates with other systems – Advanced approval workflow – Human-assisted organization – Extensive feature list – Integration with Zoho suite
– Credit card expense import – Automated data extraction – Auditing tools – Competitive pricing – Exceeds user expectations – Reliable functionality
Target Users – Users seeking simplicity – Businesses needing data integration – Businesses with complex approval processes – Users with high volume of receipts – Businesses seeking extensive features – Users of Zoho products
Benefits – Time-saving and efficient – Accurate data capture – Streamlined expense approval – Organized and categorized expenses – Comprehensive expense management – Integrated expense tracking

Time and Expense Tracking Apps and Solutions: Time and Expense Tracking

time and expense tracking apps

ClickTime

ClickTime helps you use the time and expense information you’ve collected to manage your team’s productivity and utilization more precisely. For small businesses looking to manage costs closely, that feature is super-useful.

Timesheets

Timesheets calls it’s solution, “Total Workforce Management” and, as you can see below, they offer a lot of the features and functionality you need to well, manage your workforce:

Dovico

A full-featured solution, Dovico offers solid time and expense management including automated notifications, approval workflows, time lockouts for managing payroll cutoffs and multiple currency support.

MindSalt

A solid entry in the time and expense arena, MindSalt offers everything you need to stay on top of your time and expenses including payroll and QuickBooks integration.

GetMyTime

Despite its names, GetMyTime also offers expense management. Built to integrate directly with QuickBooks, it’s a fine choice if you use that bookkeeping solution.

eBillity

eBillity is sort of a hybrid. At the basic level, it enables you to manage time. As you upgrade your account however, you’ll get expense management and even invoicing.

Feature/App ClickTime Timesheets Dovico MindSalt GetMyTime eBillity
Core Function Time & Expense Tracking Total Workforce Management Time & Expense Management Time & Expense Tracking Time & Expense Tracking Time Management & Expense Tracking
Unique Selling Point Productivity & Utilization Management Comprehensive Workforce Management Automated Notifications & Workflows Payroll & QuickBooks Integration QuickBooks Integration Upgradeable for Expense & Invoicing
Special Features – Manage team’s productivity – Variety of workforce features – Time lockouts, multiple currencies – Comprehensive tracking – Direct integration with QuickBooks – Basic to advanced features
Target Users – Businesses managing costs – Businesses managing workforce – Businesses with complex time & expense needs – Users needing integration with payroll systems – QuickBooks users – Businesses seeking scalability
Benefits – Precise cost management – Total management solution – Enhanced payroll management – Streamlined time & expense management – Simplified expense tracking – Flexible, scalable solution
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Time and Expense Tracking Apps and Solutions: With Invoicing Functionality

time and expense tracking apps

FreshBooks

One of the most well known solutions for freelancers and small businesses, FreshBooks offers an end-to-end solution for managing your time, expenses and invoices.

Harvest

Harvest is a fully loaded time, expense and invoicing solution. Their standout feature is how they enable you to track time from within a whole bevy of solutions.

BigTime

BigTime‘s solid time and expense management features are supported by a robust reporting functionality that truly gives you a view into your business:

Hiveage

Hiveage enables you to manage your billing from estimate to invoice including time and expense reporting in between.

Feature/App FreshBooks Harvest BigTime Hiveage
Core Function Time, Expense Tracking & Invoicing Time, Expense Tracking & Invoicing Time, Expense Tracking & Invoicing Billing, Time & Expense Reporting
Unique Selling Point End-to-end solution for freelancers and small businesses Integration with many solutions Robust reporting functionality Comprehensive billing management
Special Features – User-friendly interface – Time tracking across various tools – Detailed business insights – From estimate to invoice
– Comprehensive financial management – Easy expense tracking – Strong focus on reporting – Includes time and expense tracking
Target Users – Freelancers, Small Businesses – Businesses using multiple tools – Businesses seeking detailed insights – Businesses needing streamlined billing
Benefits – All-in-one financial solution – Seamless integration & tracking – In-depth business analysis – Efficient workflow from estimate to payment

Time and Expense Tracking Apps and Solutions: Apps Only

time and expense tracking apps

XpenseTracker

XpenseTracker is an app for tracking and reporting expenses, mileage and time. You can create PDF reports using one of the over dozen templates supplied or create your own.

Mileage Log+

Mileage Log+ is an app for folks who need to track mileage for tax deduction or reimbursement. They offer predictive input, auto-entry, auto-calculation, and quick access to frequent trips. The app will also create useful data ready to search, sort, and generate email reports.

Smart Receipts Pro

Smart Receipts Pro turns your Android phone into a receipt scanner and expense report generator. All you need to do is take pictures of your receipts and email yourself a PDF and CSV file at the end of each week.

Feature/App XpenseTracker Mileage Log+ Smart Receipts Pro
Core Function Expense, Mileage & Time Tracking Mileage Tracking Receipt Scanning & Expense Reporting
Unique Selling Point Customizable PDF Reports Advanced Mileage Tracking Features Receipt Scanner & Report Generator
Special Features – Over a dozen report templates – Predictive input, auto-entry – Easy photo capture of receipts
– Custom report creation – Auto-calculation, quick access to frequent trips – Generate PDF & CSV reports
– Comprehensive expense tracking – Data generation for reports – Simple and efficient
Target Users – Users needing detailed reporting – Individuals tracking mileage for tax or reimbursement – Users preferring mobile-based receipt management
Benefits – Versatile and detailed reporting – Efficient and accurate mileage tracking – Convenient and quick expense reporting

Conclusion

Whether you need to manage your time, expenses, invoices or all three, there’s an app or solution that will fit your business on the list above.

Expenses Form Photo via Shutterstock


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