Two money apps for tracking, organising and reporting your finances

Liane Cassavoy
19 January, 2015
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App Guide

Between budgets and taxes, it’s time to get organised. These apps will help you track, categorise and report your finances, saving some annoying steps along the way.

Expensify

Expensify’s tag line is “expense reports that don’t suck.” No matter how you phrase it, expense reports do suck, even when they promise to return your money. But Expensify, a web and mobile app, manages to make them almost painless.

It does that by connecting directly to your bank or credit account (with your permission, of course) and importing and categorising expenses for you. Creating an expense report as simple as clicking a few boxes on a screen. You can submit your expense report via Expensify, too, though that process will be streamlined if your entire company is on board with using the service.

Adding expenses via the mobile app, available for Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone devices, isn’t quite as automatic, but if you have to enter expenses manually, it’s almost as pain-free as possible. I like how easy it is track mileage or time using the mobile app, making it a snap to get reimbursed for travel or to bill for hours worked. Its SmartScan feature lets you snap a picture of a paper receipt using your device’s camera, and then it analyses the picture for the amount and date. Note that if you don’t capture the date – a mistake I made a couple of times when trying to scan a long receipt – SmartScan may hang for a bit and then report an error.

When tax time hits, you’ll be glad you have all of your expenses stored in Expensify. It smartly categorised my expenses and it made them easy to search when I needed to organise my paperwork.

Expensify is available as a web app and a mobile app. It’s free to use for individuals, with paid pricing options starting at US$5 per user per month for smaller organisations (non-profits, students, churches) and US$9 per month for most businesses.

iXpensit

The iXpensit iOS app is designed to help you set a budget and stick to it.

To create a budget, you simply set the amount you’d like to stick to, and the time period in question. You then enter expenses and income as you go, by manually entering them using the app. As you spend and make money, you can see at a glance how your budget is holding up.

I wish iXpensit would make things a little more automatic, by syncing with your banking and credit accounts. That would speed up the process considerably. Still, entering things by hand isn’t difficult, and I like that you can set up recurring expenses for items you pay regularly, such as your rent.

iXpensit includes an option for creating an expense report, which is a simple task once you’ve entered your expenses. The resulting PDF is polished and I especially like how it automatically attaches any photos of receipts you’ve snapped and stored in the app. These reports aren’t only for submitting expenses: You can sort them by category and time period, making them useful when you’re organizing expenses for tax reporting purposes.

iXpensit is available in two versions, a free Lite version that’s ad-supported, and a $6.49 paid version. It’s a handy way to create and stick to a simple budget, but tracking expenses feels like a little too much work.

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