How Much Does Expense Management Software Cost?

For many organizations, travel and expense (T&E) spend is ballooning and difficult to rein in. Patchworks of old legacy management tools and manual spreadsheets are inefficient, don’t prevent overspending, and hamstring overall visibility into T&E spend. Now there is a new breed of all-in-one T&E management software that optimizes T&E spend, improves employee compliance, and helps leadership reassert control. Here’s what expense management software costs, and the ROI you can expect from a tool like TravelBank.

Why Consolidate Expense Management Point Solutions?

Many expense management platforms lack travel-specific functionality and support, requiring orgs to contract with multiple providers at additional cost. Not to mention double the headaches of procurement, invoicing, implementation, reconciliation, reporting, and ongoing training. A 2024 commissioned Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact™ study found that juggling multiple, unwieldy tools led to low employee compliance with corporate travel and expense policy. And managers struggled to get visibility into T&E spend.

Costs are going up, and CIOs need to clean up and reduce the number of applications at their organizations. Most organizations do not regularly review, replace, and upgrade applications, resulting in too many apps with poor adoption rates. These low usage apps cost money and management overhead.

>> Related: Anatomy of the New Corporate Travel Tech Stack <<

Instead, consolidation, modernization, and prioritization can eliminate waste and improve ROI. The Forrester study found that organizations immediately saved 40% just by retiring individual travel bookings and expense management solutions and replacing them with all-in-one tools like TravelBank.

“Cost was our major driving factor in switching to TravelBank. We were able to retire two solutions at once and we were looking at 75% savings.” – Interviewee in the Forrester Consulting TEI Study, February 2024

 Should You Pay Per Expense Report or Per User?

Even more concerning, many legacy T&E management tools charge per expense report, forcing employees to hoard receipts each month (and sabotaging compliance).  Instead, with expense management tools like TravelBank, users can submit unlimited expense reports at the same price.

“With our legacy solution, you paid a rate for every expense report submitted… If one person went on three different trips in one month and made three different expense reports, we would get charged for all of them. With TravelBank, if someone wants to submit an expense report for every single transaction, it doesn’t matter.” – Interviewee in the Forrester Consulting TEI Study, February 2024

How Much Does Expense Management Software Cost?

When scoping expense management software, beware hidden costs, or overpaying for features you don’t use. For example, there should be different cost levels for travel-only licenses, expense-only licenses, or travel-and-expense licenses. 

It’s also important to scrutinize the fine print. For example, one popular software provider’s expense management software pricing of $5/user/month is contingent on switching to their expense cards. If your organization does not, the software price doubles.

Similarly, be sure to scrutinize service fees for implementation, training, support tickets, and ongoing maintenance.

“Our previous solution was too rigorous a system for what we needed. It was too painful to use and administer for what little we put into play. We were paying for things we didn’t need or want. For us, it was wasteful.” – Interviewee in the Forrester Consulting TEI Study, February 2024

How Does TravelBank Reduce Spend on Expense and Travel Management?

Yes, really. The Forrester study found that by consolidating onto one expense and travel management platform, companies immediately saved 40% on subscriptions for T&E management tools and were paid back within 6 months. By Year 3, a mid-sized company with 300 licenses would pay a total cost of $201,000, saving $93,000 in subscriptions alone. (And that excludes the benefits of increased adherence to expense and travel policy, reduction in travel spend, and saving time for managers, finance teams, and end-users.)