Top 10 Cost Tracking Tools for Superior Project Outcomes


Cost tracking is an essential component of project cost management, and, when carried out well, it produces many advantages, such as:

  • Prevention of budget overruns,
  • Promotion of a greater sense of control over project funds and the way they are utilized,
  • More informed decision making in terms of both current spending and future investments.

In other words, cost tracking is core to superior financial performance and excellent results of projects, and what’s especially great is that today you don’t need to spend long, tedious hours keeping a record of project expenses – this job can be delegated to a tireless digital helper.

In this article, we’ve reviewed 10 high-quality apps you can choose from to reduce time spent on cost tracking and make the process of expense management more streamlined and highly efficient.

1.   actiTIME

This time tracker is perfect for monitoring labor costs incurred by the project. To get a detailed overview of this kind of expense with actiTIME, all you need to do is:

  • Create projects tasks in the app and set up the preferred hourly rates;
  • Assign those tasks to your team members and ask them to record hours spent on the assignments in their digital timesheets;
  • Run the Cost of Work report and see how much money you’ve spent on the project based on employees’ hourly rates and the total cost of labor invested in every piece of work.

In addition to that, actiTIME enables you to review costs against revenues with the Profit/Loss reporting feature. actiTIME calculates project revenues just like like labor expenses – depending on predetermined hourly rates and work time reported by employees. This feature will be of great service if you want to stay in the know of changes in the financial performance of your business and detect any risks to its well-being on time.

2.   Rydoo

Rydoo streamlines the expense management process and makes it as effortless and quick as possible. The key features of the app are:

  • Receipt scanner created to help you digitalize receipts with just a snapshot and upload them right away;
  • Mileage tracker facilitating the calculation of travel costs;
  • Straightforward and customized expense approval flow with opportunities for automation and notifications on out-of-policy expenses, which fosters a higher level of control over organizational costs.

Besides, with Rydoo’s real-time reporting features, you can access and overview submitted data at any moment and without investing extra resources into its processing. What you’ll get as a result is a prompt detection of possible adverse changes in team spending trends and a lower workload within your financial department.

3.   Avaza

This piece of software comprises a multitude of useful features for an integrated project management experience and has everything needed to monitor employee expenses and create invoices. You may:

  • Add expenses to the Avaza management system via multiple means and devices, including manual entry, mobile receipt snapshots and automated entry of repeating expenses;
  • Categorize and group different expense items for greater convenience;
  • Approve employee expenses individually or in bulk;
  • Run real-time reports to overview project costs and keep an eye on your team’s compliance with budgets.
Project Summary Report, Avaza

By affording all these functions, Avaza will increase the cost- and time-efficiency of your expense tracking process and aid you in making more informed management decisions.

4.   Easy Projects

Easy Projects is designed to assist you in managing all aspects of your projects, starting with planning and ending with results analysis. And as you’ve probably guessed, the tool includes powerful functionality for budgeting and cost monitoring as well.

A particularly great thing about this app is that it affords a highly flexible approach to cost management. It contains a multitude of useful metrics for comparing budgeted estimates with actual costs and checking how profitable your project is, both in real time and historically. Also, Easy Projects has a large number of billing options for charging clients based on either fixed or hourly rates. In other words, the creators of this instrument made sure you won’t need to implement any additional tools since Easy Project allows for a holistic cost management process on its own.

5.   Twproject

If you’re looking for an app that would enable you to track expenses while monitoring project progress and managing team collaboration all in one place, Twproject is what you need. It incorporates features for project planning, time tracking, file sharing and, more importantly, cost management.

With this app, you may:

  • Set up project budgets and compare actual costs with the estimated ones,
  • Oversee labor costs based on employees’ hourly rates and information from their time logs,
  • Upload data on other types of project expenses by taking photos of invoices and receipts,
  • Analyze data on project costs by different periods, groups of users and expense categories.

All in all, Twproject will help you adopt a flexible approach to cost management and support your efforts towards the ultimate financial success of the project.

6.   Harvest

This easy-to-use tool combines time tracking and expense monitoring functionality.

When implementing Harvest as a timesheet, you can keep detailed records of hours worked and then retrieve data on billable time and labor costs in a report on project progress. In this way, it is possible to review the costs of the project as a whole and each task separately and identify whether your team is facing the risk of budget overrun or if everything is going as planned.

Project progress overview in Harvest

Along with labor costs, Harvest allows for the tracking of other types of business expenses with the receipt scanning feature – just take a photo of a receipt with your mobile app, and it will be immediately uploaded to your account. What can be easier than that?

7.   TriNet Expense

TriNet offers a multitude of features for uncomplicated management of project expenses online. When using this piece of software, you may:

  • Submit new expenses either one by one or import them in bulk from credit cards or CSV files;
  • Track mileage and automatically calculate reimbursement for the tracked trips;
  • Create custom expense categories to add as much detail to your cost monitoring routine as you wish;
  • Receive notifications on expense reports requiring approval;
  • Set up expense policies to prevent excessive spending and promote budget compliance;
  • Analyze historical and real-time data.

Along with all that, TriNet Expense can be integrated with many of your favorite accounting and payment management apps to streamline expense reporting even more and increase efficiency.

8.   Foreceipt

This one is a no-brainer solution for cost tracking and expense management for self-employed individuals and small teams. Foreceipt’s key components are:

  • Receipt scanning and emailing,
  • Expense category customization,
  • Automatic registration of recurring expenses,
  • Expense reporting by month or categories,
  • Import of bank transactions for their consequent conversion into expenditures or income.

If you’re searching for an easy way to collect pre-accounting data and store it before further processing, Foreceipt is more than a perfect match for you.

9.   Expensify

Expensify is one of the most popular apps for expense management today. Its core feature is SmartScan – an optical character recognition technology that can read receipts through a camera on your mobile device and then automatically code and add them to relevant expense categories in your Expensify account.

Another essential feature, Concierge DoubleCheck, supports the automatic detection of duplicate receipts and cases of incompliance with organizational policies. It assists in the prevention of unplanned employee expenses and fraud, while also eliminating the risk of human error in the pre-accounting and accounting processes.

Besides, Expensify allows for automatic expense approval and reimbursement, real-time reporting, mileage tracking and many more. Clearly, this tool is called smart for a reason, and there’s no doubt that, by implementing it, you’ll make financial management in your company more efficient, painless and accurate.

Expensify product screenshot

10.   Abacus

Abacus is an elegant tool for trouble-free expense management with a plethora of useful features:

  • Receipt scanning and digitalization,
  • Automatic creation and approval of new expenses,
  • Mileage tracking with the registration of travel origins and destinations,
  • Overview of travel expenses,
  • Synchronization with other accounting tools for even more efficient project cost management,
  • Real-time reporting.

Moreover, by using Abacus, your team may communicate regarding costs incurred and leave notes on submitted expenses. You can also share information about relevant organizational expense policies in the app, which will let you promote compliance with estimated project budgets.

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