Expense Reimbursement


Want some help paying back your staff? Find reviews, comparisons and pricing of popular software you can choose from to make employee expense reimbursement easier.


Paying back your employees for business expenses should be easy. Unfortunately in some businesses today, expense reimbursement is all tracked in a cumbersome spreadsheet for the payroll manager to review at each pay cycle. They then need to sift through receipts ad nauseum and factor this into the pay run. All the while the employee is uneasy because they’re out of pocket in the interim.

Thankfully, there are lots of online cloud solutions available that simplify this process. We can recommend the following.

Xero Expenses

If you already use Xero, using this functionality will make the most sense to implement. Employees are able to download the Xero Expenses app, take a picture of the receipt, and automatically submit it for approval. After this is approved, the payroll manager need only add this as a line item in the employees’ pay slip to confirm this has been reimbursed. This removes the need to keep paper receipts or a convoluted spreadsheet, both of which will take pressure off the payroll manager or any firm doing the bookkeeping.

For those less phone savvy staff members there is still the ability to add expense claims manually through the Expense Claim tab. Several fields will need to be entered before submission whereas sending receipts via the app completes these fields automatically through artificial intelligence.

Overall this is a very intuitive solution that as a system will have the shortest implementation time for staff to use moving forward if you are already on the Xero platform. Pricing is reasonable at $5 per Expenses user (employee) per month.


The leading software in this space, Expensify is used by market leaders such as Stripe, Pinterest and Atlassian. This integrates seamlessly with Xero and QuickBooks however has had issues in the past with MYOB.

This also has its strength in mobile application form, harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the process from pictured receipt scanning, to recognition and payment in less than 24 hours later depending on your accounting system.

Reviewing the expense report is much more efficient as each organisation configures Expensify to flag items that are outliers – for instance a parameter could be set to review all items below $5 (just in case you have a sales person that keeps charging coffees back to the company).

Once reviewed, expense reimbursement can be made via batch payments uploaded to your bank account and once paid are reconciled automatically back in your accounting system.

A detailed authorisation structure can be applied as well allowing for line employees to be approved by a manager to then be signed off by the finance manager or CEO.

The pricing is also very competitive at $5 per month.

Zoho Expense

Similar to Expensify, this is a great third party software that integrates well with accounting systems such as Xero and QBO.

It has much the same capabilities in terms of photo receipt scanning, expense reports and batch payment capabilities. It also has the capability to create and allot per diem rates for employees in the countries to which they travel. This ensures you are compliant with differing allowances and keeps the tax office onside.

Additionally, if you expense items on behalf of your clients you can bill these directly to your clients rather than issuing as a component of your invoice when the work is completed. This can improve cash flow dramatically whilst long projects are being completed for significant accounts.

The premium plan is reasonable at $2.50 per user per month billed annually with a minimum of 10 users.

Which Expense Reimbursement Platform should I use?

Overall the current people’s favourite for straightforward expense reimbursement goes to Expensify. As time goes on, expect Xero Expenses to become a very close contender.

Should you require assistance to implement Expensify or Xero Expenses please reach out to our team.

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Stuart Reynolds is the founder of Fullstack Advisory, an award-winning accounting firm for businesses leading the future. He is a 3rd generation accountant who specialises in tech & online companies.

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