Control and Compliance Features Your Expense Reporting Software Must Have

Good expense reporting software will provide more transparency into your expense policy and make compliance easier. 

With internal controls, employees are guided through only submitting in-policy expense reports. Admins can focus on approving in-policy expenses, and individually addressing exceptions to the rules as they arise. And your company can protect itself against theft, misappropriation of funds, and a major audit. 

Here are some of the compliance and controls features to look for. You can find a full list of the features and functionality your expense reporting software should have in our free guide

Functionality: Expense Policy Compliance and Internal Controls

Communication Tools

The majority of issues causing expenses to be red flagged or rejected are often cleared up with a simple question or additional information. Use a solution that makes communication more efficient — and, ideally, ties each communication to the expense it relates to. 

Look for:

  • Chat
  • Commenting
  • In-mail

Notifications can also make it easy for admins to know when a compliant expense report has been submitted — and automatically flag out-of-policy expenses for employees. 

Automated Policy Rules

The ability to automate controls is another benefit of using software to manage expenses. A solution’s system-triggered rules allow you to catch issues before expenses are even submitted and sets up card issuing without a hitch. 

Look for policy rules that boost compliance by automating your expense policy to prevent or warn of out-of-policy expenses before they’re submitted. Some common rules to consider setting include:

  • Requiring a receipt
  • Requiring the submitter lists the related project
  • Setting expense limits based on categories, spend thresholds, billable status, etc

Expense Categorization Unique to your General Ledger

A solution that syncs with your accounting systems can pull in accounting lists for use during expense categorization and coding. 

Look for the ability to auto-categorize expenses based on your company General Ledger (GL), not default consumer codes. Expense categories can map to a GL account based on the merchant, amount, and previous categorization behavior, for example. 

This ensures control over the accuracy of your line item data on export to your accounting system. Added bonus: It also saves you time.


Generally, there is a lack of transparency between companies and employees around policies for business spend and reimbursements. Even if a company provides their team with a written expense policy, it is often not immediately accessible as an expense is being incurred. 

An expense management tool is a bridge between your finance team and employees. It provides you with a place to store your written expense policy, while automating control with pre-set rules, and provides a central place for communication about specific expenses. It removes hurdles while increasing control and transparency.

Find Your Expense Reporting Software

Our how-to guide walks you through the process of finding the right solution for your business. It includes: 

  • ROI calculations for your next solution
  • Features to look for
  • An interactive evaluation toolkit

Download the buyer’s guide to expense reporting software.