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February 1, 2023

Overview of the Expense Management Industry, Trends and Top Companies

David Ongchoco
,
Growth Lead @ Rutter
at Rutter
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Expense management is a crucial aspect of any business, as it helps companies keep track of their spending and ensure that they are operating within their budget. With the rise of technology, there are now many companies that offer expense management solutions to help businesses streamline their financial operations.

Expense management software companies have been around for several decades. The earliest examples of expense management software were developed in the 1980s and 1990s by companies like Concur, which was founded in 1993 and later acquired by SAP in 2014. Other early players in the space include Chrome River, which was founded in 2004, and Expensify, which was founded in 2008. In the 2010s, a number of newer companies, such as Zoho Expense and Fyle, also entered the market. These companies all offer software that automates the process of tracking, approving, and reimbursing employee expenses.

Our team at Rutter has been spending a lot of time digging into the expense management industry in the last few months as we’ve built our new Universal Accounting API product which helps power several expense management workflows.

Some key trends in expense management we’ve seen the last few months:

  1. Mobile apps: Many expense management software companies now offer mobile apps that allow employees to easily submit expenses and receipts from their smartphones.
  2. Integration with accounting and ERP systems: Many expense management software companies have developed integrations with popular accounting and ERP systems, such as QuickBooks and SAP, to make it easier for businesses to track and manage expenses alongside their financial data.
  3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based automation: Some companies are now using AI and machine learning to automate the expense report process, automatically categorizing expenses, detecting fraud and providing real-time insights.
  4. Virtual cards: Some companies are also offering virtual cards as an alternative to physical cards, which can be used to make purchases and track expenses online.
  5. Compliance and security: With increasing regulations and data breaches, companies are looking for expense management software that can help them comply with data protection laws, such as GDPR and HIPAA, and secure financial data.

We also wrote about trends we're seeing in the accounting automation space here.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the expense management software market size is expected to grow from USD 4.5 billion in 2020 to USD 8.5 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.6% during the forecast period. Another report by ResearchAndMarkets, estimates that the global expense management software market size was valued at USD 7.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9% during the forecast period 2021 to 2028.

Some of the top expense management companies and up and coming players we’ve seen most frequently mentioned in the industry capturing this growing market include:

  1. Concur: Concur is a leading provider of expense management solutions and offers a wide range of features, including expense tracking, reporting, and reimbursement. The company was founded in 1993 and has raised over $180 million in funding. Concur's unique feature is its end-to-end solution that covers everything from expense report creation to reimbursement.
  2. Expensify: Expensify is another popular expense management company that offers a variety of features, such as receipt scanning, policy enforcement, and real-time expense tracking. The company was founded in 2008, and it has raised over $170 million in funding. Expensify's unique feature is its ability to integrate with other financial systems, such as accounting software and travel booking platforms.
  3. Zoho Expense: Zoho Expense is a cloud-based expense management solution that offers features such as receipt scanning, policy enforcement, and real-time expense tracking. The company was founded in 1996, and it has not disclosed its funding. Zoho's unique feature is its integration with other Zoho software, such as Zoho CRM and Zoho Invoice, to provide a seamless workflow for businesses.
  4. Chrome River: Chrome River is a leading provider of expense management solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company offers features such as receipt scanning, policy enforcement, and real-time expense tracking. The company was founded in 2008, and it has raised over $60 million in funding. Chrome River's unique feature is its ability to support multi-language and multi-currency, making it suitable for companies with global operations.
  5. Airbase: Airbase is a newer player in the expense management space, it offers a platform that automates and streamlines the process of paying bills, expenses, and employee reimbursements. The company was founded in 2018 and has raised $14 million in funding. Airbase's unique feature is its ability to integrate with accounting software, such as QuickBooks, to provide real-time expense tracking and reconciliation.
  6. Brex: Brex is a fintech startup that offers a modern approach to expense management by providing company credit cards and real-time expense tracking features. The company was founded in 2017 and has raised $315 million in funding. Brex's unique feature is its ability to provide virtual credit cards and the ability to have multiple cards per employee.
  7. TripActions: TripActions is a business travel and expense management platform that offers features such as booking, tracking, and reimbursement of business travels. The company was founded in 2015 and has raised $452 million in funding. TripActions unique feature is its ability to integrate travel booking and expense management into one platform.
  8. Ramp: Ramp is a newer player in the expense management space, it offers a platform that automates and streamlines the process of paying bills, expenses, and employee reimbursements.

In conclusion, expense management is essential to the success of any business. The companies mentioned above offer a variety of features to help businesses streamline their expense management process. By using these tools, businesses can easily track their spending and ensure that they are operating within their budget. Each company has its own unique feature that differentiates it from others, businesses should evaluate their expense management needs and choose the company that best fits their requirement.

We're excited to be seeing the rapid growth of the expense management industry. We see it first hand at Rutter with all the exciting expense management products being built using Rutter's Universal Accounting API. If you're interested in learning more about these trends, reach out here.

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