Purchasing & expenses is a vital part of the day-to-day operations of a business. Businesses have to purchase inventory and supplies to be able to deliver their products and services to clients. Purchases lead to bills that the business has to settle. Since purchasing is an ongoing function, it has to be tracked all the time. Simultaneously, businesses have to track the expenses they are incurring, including the cost of purchasing. Accounting and finance software provide solutions through which a business can keep a complete record of their purchases and expenses. Read the full software guide...
When it comes to the day-to-day operations of a business or organization, purchasing and expenses management is a crucial aspect that requires time and effort. If you’re a retail business, purchasing and expenses management is vital in restocking shelves and refilling inventory so you will be able to provide the products and/or services to your customers.
If you’re not a retail business, on the other hand, purchasing and expenses management is still very important as it allows you to purchase supplies you need for your day-to-day operations and manage the cost to keep it at a reasonable or acceptable level.
However, purchasing and maintaining your inventory levels will lead to bills and expenses that your company has to settle. Now, purchasing is an ongoing process. As supplies get used and stocks get purchased by customers, maintaining inventory is a constant ongoing process that needs to be monitored regularly.
In the same token, the cost of restocking inventory and purchasing should simultaneously be monitored closely as well. This is where expenses management comes in. So, you have purchasing and expenses management working concurrently. You can’t manage one process without the other.
Purchasing and expenses software solutions, otherwise sometimes referred to as accounting and finance management software, are tools that most businesses use to help automate and regulate the purchasing and expenses process. Such systems help companies keep a complete record of all their purchases and expenses.
Purchasing and expenses software solutions come in a wide variety of forms and functions, all of which provide pretty similar solutions for businesses that require a reliable and fully capable platform for monitoring their procurement process and cost.
In the most basic sense, this kind of software solution can be divided into two main types: on-premise and cloud-based services, or SaaS (software-as-a-service). On-premise solutions are programs that you install and run locally in your own in-house servers. SaaS or cloud-based solutions are software systems that are run via cloud servers, which mean there is no installation required. All users have to do to access the service is to use a web browser or a mobile phone app.
Aside from the two types of deployment options or accessibility, purchasing and expenses solutions also come as either a standalone product or as a module or added feature in a much more comprehensive platform. Purchasing or procurement management solutions typically cover the same functions and capabilities as expense report and cost management systems.
Moreover, these types of software solutions are also closely related to accounting and inventory management systems in the sense that they all help businesses manage and automate the procurement and cost management process. They help maintain and store detailed records of purchase history and overall expenses for the organization.
Expense management generally refers to the process of managing pay, auditing, and the reimbursement of personnel-initiated expenses, while purchase or procurement management refers to the process of buying or acquiring inventory so businesses can deliver the products and/or services that their partners and customers pay for.
By that definition, it is understood that both processes—purchasing and expenses—may also fall under accounting and inventory management. This explains why some accounting software solutions come with purchasing and expenses features, which is also the same with inventory management platforms.
Choosing the right purchasing and expenses solution begins by identifying what your needs are as a company when it comes to purchasing and expenses management.
As previously mentioned, these types of software solutions come in many different packages, from standalone software programs to comprehensive suites and platforms that cover a wide range of functions and capabilities. You need to figure out which components you need to make your management process easier and more efficient when it comes to purchasing and expense accounting.
When you know exactly what you need in terms of features, functionality, and capabilities, you will have a better understanding or an idea of what to look for in the software product.
There are many software solutions out there that belong in the purchasing and expenses category. Some have more features and capabilities than others, but all are designed to facilitate specific tasks and processes. If you know what you need or what you’re looking for, finding the right software product shouldn’t be that difficult.
When you’re in the market for a good purchasing and expenses software solution, it’s also good practice to check out the free trial version of the software you’re interested in. Most software vendors and service providers offer a free trial period of their product and/or service. This will enable customers to get to know the software a little bit better before they start paying for it via licensing or on a subscription basis.
You should also check out the main features and tools that come with the product and see whether they are useful or even applicable to your own specific situation. Each business or organization is different when it comes to how they manage expenses and procurement processes, but there are basic features that all businesses require regardless of their size or industry.
A good purchasing and expenses software solution can help facilitate and automate the entire lifecycle of the procurement and cost accounting process for businesses. It helps them save time, money, and effort trying to account for every expense made by employees, as well as the company in general, when filling up their supplies and/or inventory.
Having a reliable and robust purchase management solution will help minimize production cost, reduce and synchronize the lead time, improve cash flow, and increase profitability. In the same token, a good expense management software solution will help streamline expense processing and minimize potential errors in the reimbursement process.
These types of software solutions also help enforce corporate policy with regards to expenses and employee reimbursement. With the ability to keep detailed records of purchase history, such platforms will also help minimize or eliminate altogether fraudulent activities.
Finally, purchasing and expenses software will also provide businesses, especially stakeholders and decision-makers, with valuable insights on the spending habits of the company as a whole and maybe find better ways and/or approaches to minimize unnecessary spending and increase revenue in the long run.
With this kind of platform, users will have a clear picture of how and where the company budget is being spent, and perhaps make a few adjustments down the road to make their procurement and expense processes more efficient to maximize value and ROI.
|2-Factor Authentication||Adds an additional layer of security by requiring an extra step in the login process. Usually external devices are required for this or a text message with a verification code is sent to the user when trying to login.|
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|Balance Sheet||A common financial statement used as a snapshot of a business's assets, liabilities and capital at a particular point in time.|
|Billing/Invoicing||Issue bills and invoices to customers, often combined with tracking capabilities for outstanding payments.|
|Budgeting||Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.|
|Calendar Management||Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.|
|Contact Management||Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.|
|CRM Integration||This indicates whether integrations with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software are supported by a software application.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Dashboard||Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|Data Visualization||Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.|
|Expense Tracking||Track employee travel and other expenses to stay on top of budgeting requirements and reimbursements.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Forecasting||Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.|
|Inventory Tracking||Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.|
|Multi-Currency||Support of different currencies for payments, accounting purposes, taxes, reports and more.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|P&L||Support for Profit & Loss statements in financial / accounting systems.|
|SAP Integration||Integrates with common SAP services.|
|Scheduling||Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.|
|Supplier Management||Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.|
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