What is an expense tracker?

Angelica A.

What hasn't been said about expense trackers is that they can surely be the best business ally for any starting company. Expense tracking software can be one of the greatest assets in a startup's arsenal - when used adequately. 

To ease how we navigate expense trackers, we'll first walk you through a definition of what an expense tracker is. 

What's an expense tracker?

Also known as expense or money managers, expense trackers are typically now online tools that help (and this is their primary goal, as well) keep the order of a company or individual's money in and outflows over specific periods.  

What use is an expense tracking tool? 

Expense tracking software works to order our company or personal expenses. The same way a calendar orders up a year, the famous money managers help manage just that, a company or individual's funds coming in and going out, so to speak. 

Thanks to the above, tracking tools can help combat poor money management skills, for example. And they assist in visualizing precise company spending habits while automating payments with different banking services. Examples of such options are credit cards, debit accounts, and various banking and other online products. 

Also, managers and founders can easily track their hired platforms' usage and efficiency via expense tracking tools. And all this can be done without having to wait for accounting reports. Imagine the number of hours spared from manual labor on expense tracking and reporting! 

About that, we've got 4 steps to tracking monthly expenses that we think can help. Let's pull those up next. 

4 steps to tracking monthly expenses

1. Face the demons

Of course, we mean this as an expression, but we seek to put a name and a face to a ghost that probably lives inside many people's minds. And that's the fear of facing our banking accounts. 

Step number one to tracking monthly expenses starts by overcoming the fear of looking at our financial statements, account balances, and overall accounts' status. Seeing how we're doing when we know well that our budgets are tight can make viewing balances a scary thought - let alone an ordinary act. 

Rest assured habits ease the trouble with seeing numbers in real-time. And that's what we recommend daring to do from the very beginning. Make it a common - and healthy - habit to see precisely where you stand and take the reigns of your upcoming budgets, as well. Take a hard - and even soft - look at your accounting figures. Define how much money you've got where and what the balances are. Use those to establish projections, go back and see how you did over a certain period, or look into the future with more stable eyes. Aside from using software such as Recurring to track these kinds of movement in a blink of an eye, you can also just put the gathered figures in a spreadsheet. And use that for expense tracking, as well.  

Either way, once you complete all this here, we can move on to step number 2. 

2. Automize tracking

Let a tool automatically do the tracking for you moving forward. Find ways to cut back on time needed to furnish the data above and to automatically produce what would otherwise be significant manual time spent delivering accurate results. Make the best use of technology and let a centralized tool record what's happening with your SaaS and other stacks while keeping track of your spending to optimize it. 

3. Categorize

Work through your expenses in a sort of spreadsheet like the one that you just created. Or set up your expense tracking software to do this for you and steadily work how you need it. 

The idea is to be able to go over payment amounts and kinds of expenses quite easily. Have accessible records at hand and seek a clear view of your expenses per category. Doing so can quickly determine where great balance lies or funds are going a bit over or under. 

Of course, spreadsheets such as our financial model template are just alternatives to a cloud-based platform. You can also log in to a platform this way to share and upload what you'd like automatized. 

4. Do the analysis

Once you've gathered data beyond a single occasion and are in the habit of tracking expenses regularly, start asking the most advantageous questions and re-shaping how your finances start. 

Look at your data per category to see which could be reduced or combined and be used more effectively. Check fixed versus variable expenses to see if any are beyond required at this time. 

More importantly, check your balances to see your inflow is still higher than your outflow. Or, at least, where you ideally want it. If you're at your ideal level, then great! If you aren't, here's the perfect shine to re-design! 

5. Draft budgets

If you haven't already, the last step to tracking your business expenses is defining budgets. Especially if the money output is high versus what's coming in, work on new budgets to level your activity in a way that works better for you over upcoming periods. 

Make room for your must-have lists, as much as your ideals. And don't forget incidentals and other costs. But, above all, make sure you communicate your budgets to all relevant stakeholders. The idea of a budget is to set goals that teams can follow. They're clear indications of room for spending and what we can do to take action on diverse fronts. Being clear on these goals at a team level is highly important to reach said targets. 

The best expense tracker app currently out there.

If we had to weigh in with recommendations on an expense tracker app, we'd undoubtedly vouch for our own Recurring software. And we mean so not only because we trust our product as much as to put it out in a competitive market. But we also say so because we know we've put in tons of effort to solve the most common deficiencies in SaaSOps platforms. 

We're a successful startup that's been through dozens of tools and works with a set of SaaS stacks of our own. Using that expertise, we came up with a product that can easily manage tools from a single location as a business grows. We hope you can make the best of what this new service has to offer!

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