How to Build An Expense Tracking App? -Features, Benefits, Cost, And Steps

You have used prominent apps like Monefy or Mint that help you manage personal finance and track expenses. Have you ever thought of expense tracking app development to offer a better solution than these apps? Building an expense tracking app with features and UX attributes that other apps fail to deliver is quite reasonable. But wait, before deciding to hire a mobile app development company, you need to have some idea about the features and key considerations for development.

What are the key steps and features you need to consider for an expense tracking app development project? Why, in the first place, you should Which budgeting app trends should build an expense tracking app? Here throughout this post, we are going to explain these things.

Why Build an Expense Tracking App?

Expense tracking app development is popular among businesses for tracking their expenses and efficiently managing a budget. On the other hand, people use expense tracking to manage their personal finances and prevent unaccounted expenses. Businesses primarily build an expense tracking app to fully control their cash flow and revenue generation and stay prepared for the tax season.

Expense tracking has become much easier now for businesses because cloud-powered data streaming allows automated calculation at every step. Any company that needs to deal with the frequent travel of outdoor staff finds itself overwhelmed with expense bills. This is where an expense tracker app comes to your aid.

Businesses handling a lot of field staff embrace expense tracking app development, mainly to take advantage of the cloud-based data streaming and mobile apps allowing real-time Bill generation and reporting of expenses. They build an expense tracking app that helps employees to track and check their expenses on the go and send their bills to the company's accounts team in real-time. This also helps in the smooth settlement of expense bills for outdoor staff in business visits.

Features To Incorporate In Expense Tracking App

Managing finances is always challenging, and for this, expense tracking plays a key role. Since every business has different financial management and expense tracking needs, it is always advisable to build an expense tracking app with custom features that suit your specific requirements.

What are the key features you need to consider for expense tracker app development? What features are must-haves for such an app, and what can be regarded as advanced ones. Let's list out all these features.

Expense and revenue tracking

This is an essential feature for the app. This corresponds to the primary function of the app, namely, expense tracking and evaluating revenues. It requires incorporating transactions from different interfaces and types of financial products such as mobile wallets, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.

While incorporating these transaction avenues and channels, it is important to prevent risking the details of accounts. By incorporating these avenues, you can clearly understand how much you are spending and how much revenue you are making.

Managing transaction receipts and records

One of the key functions of an expense tracker is helping you to maintain a well-organized and consolidated record of different expenses. For managing transaction records and arranging them nearly through the tracker app, you need to take images and screenshots of all receipts and keep them saved through the app. When you build an expense tracking app, the receipts and records being saved in the cloud allow you to retrieve and check them whenever needed.

Paying taxes in time

An expense tracker app also helps you to pay your taxes in time and stay updated on tax deductions. All you need is to upload the taxation documents to the app. The expense tracker apps will help you stay free of worries by organizing your tax return spendings into appropriate categories.

Processing payments and invoices

An expense tracker app that allows financial transactions through debit cards, bank transfers, credit cards, and net banking will help you make payments quickly against the invoices.

An expense tracker app will also send reminders for payments and match the payments to customer accounts. The app will also help businesses to create professional-looking invoices with the brand logo that can be sent using different channels.

Create in-depth reports

For a business expense tracker app development is also popular because it allows them to generate and deploy detailed reports on profit and loss, business revenues, expenses, and the balance sheet. With the app, a business can also generate highly tailored reports as per the specific focus on particular financial aspects.

Monitoring sales

E-commerce businesses can get huge aid from such expense tracking apps. By syncing the mobile card reader functions with the app, you can track sales and product movement in real-time for the store. E-commerce stores need to connect to any of their preferred e-commerce APIs.

Looking after the vendors and contractors

The same expense tracker app allows you to manage different vendor and contractor information by allocating them to various categories. You can instantly check the vendor payments and the details.

Secure access to your accounting

As every small business finds it difficult to manage all by one or two key personnel, they opt for expense tracker app development. All you need is to allow the app safe access to your accounting books.

You can consider giving priority or special access to only a handful of important features of the app. Thanks to this secure access, the expense tracking app can keep all parties on the same page while not compromising with the app's information security.

Monitoring projects

Besides tracking the expenses, when you build an expense tracking app, it also helps you to track and monitor different projects and their corresponding activities while keeping the information organized in one place.

This also allows tracking business resources corresponding to different aspects of the projects. For instance, you can keep track of payroll, labor cost, etc., on a continuous and project-to-project basis.

Keeping track of stocks

A robust and well-equipped expense tracking app can also come with a stock management feature to help you deal with your inventory management needs. Such an app, besides tracking stock of goods, can also send timely alerts for low-running stocks.

Analytics and reporting

This feature of the expense tracking app helps generate highly tailored and useful reports loaded with infographics and visualized data. The app also comes with in-built analytics tools to deliver insights about how the business is performing.

Repeated billing

An expense tracking app helps track the particular bills and transactions that are recurring in nature or the ones that keep coming every once in a while. This feature will particularly focus on keeping track of recurring or repeated expenses, bills, invoices, and checks.

Streamlined workflows

The app will also have several automation-driven features to help generate reports, make data analyses and share them among the stakeholders. From creating automatic alerts for expenses and spending to an automatic tax deduction and payment of regular bills, several transactions can be streamlined without needing manual efforts.

How Much Does Expense Tracking App Development Cost?

Now that the key features are discussed and explained, it is important to take a closer look at the cost of building an app of expense tracking with a rich set of helpful features. Various features and development factors can significantly impact the development cost of an expense tracking app. The key cost factors are mentioned below.

Basic or elementary app features
  • Advanced app features
  • The developer tea, size
  • The location of the development company
  • Need for integrating third-party APIs and services and the corresponding cost.
  • The cost of maintenance, support, and updates.
  • The cost of industry certifications and compliance.

Apart from these cost components, several different factors influence the cost of development for an expense tracking app. These factors include targeted mobile OS platform, app features, UI and UX design attributes, operations, etc.

Benefits of Expense Tracking App

You have a fair understanding of all the features that an expense tracking app development project must consider. Let us explain how the key benefits of such an app.

On the move tracking and submission

Paperwork in all forms is boring, time-consuming, and hazardous. When in your business trip you are preparing a business presentation or are just getting ready for an important meeting, you are not likely to have a focus on submitting the bills and expenses. Well, an expense tracker app does this for you.

An expense tracker app offers the ability to submit bills and expenses while you are on the move and helps you stay free of worries corresponding to expense management and finance control. In all your business trips, submission of expenses becomes extremely easier through this app.

Anytime and anywhere access

Businesses requiring frequent business visits by their employees always find expense tracker apps extremely helpful. When you build an expense tracking app powered by a cloud database, it allows employees to submit, accessing and approve expenses anytime and anywhere.

Thanks to anywhere and anytime access to expense reporting and submission, a business can boost mobility for its workforce and ensure facilitating streamlined workflow handling.

Least scope of data loss

It is often common for the employees to forget their travel tickets or food bills or lose them in travel. With an expense tracker app right on the mobile device, you have fewer chances of losing this information and forgetting such documents. You can capture images or screenshots of the bills and save them in the app in an organized manner for processing the bills.

An expense management app ideally should have the scanning ability to create digital receipts in real-time. These digital receipts and records reduce the risk of losing data, and they can be accessed or produced at any time.

Getting bills approved in real-time

Thanks to a mobile expense tracker app, a business can ensure quicker Bill and expense approval from the accounting team and notify the employee in real-time. Apart from streamlining the process, this will ensure more employee satisfaction and keep them motivated for business tours.

Streamlined and automated billing approval helps reduce the time for verification and settlement of bill claims and helps the employees focus on their core objectives in business tours. The same also reduce man-made errors in accounting and calculation to the minimum while keeping chances of biased approvals at bay.

On the other hand, the notifications keep employees informed about the submission requirements and the issues regarding their billing. In case of forgetting any attachment, the employee can be quickly notified, and the issue can be solved instantly.

Controlling expenses through awareness

When paper-based expense and bill management processes were followed by businesses, keeping track of all kinds of expenses was literally impossible. Many components of business expenditure often go unnoticed simply because of the lack of availability of data at all places in real-time.

Now businesses are more interested in expense tracking app development because of the huge gains they ensure by keeping everybody on the same page regarding expenses. The entire expense management approach of the company gets streamlined through the app and creates awareness to control expenses among employees.

Steps To Build Successful Expense Tracking App

If you want to build an expense tracking app that delivers all the above-mentioned benefits, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the project and the values it entails with the project for its users. Let us have a look at the steps to build a successful app for tracking business expenses.

Define the app idea clearly

There is already numerous expense tracking mobile apps, and many of them are quite popular. Unless you can offer some additional benefits and user experience that users find interesting or relevant, a new expense tracker is not going to make any real impact.

To make sure that your expense tracker app idea stays competitively ahead of others, you need to ask the following questions to define the scope of the app project.

  • What are the key customer pain points the app is going to solve?
  • What is the unique value proposition of your app?
  • What are the key reasons for people to prefer your app over others?
  • How is the app for tracking expenses different from that of the competitors?

Validate the idea through research

Now that you have a transparent idea of the expense tracking app development project, it is the right time to validate the idea of the app through market research. You need to make sure that the idea follows the established market trends.

The market research also involves a detailed competitor analysis to understand other expense tracking apps and how they feature in comparison to your app idea. Carry out a SWOT analysis referring to the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for the respective idea.

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design

Before going into the development stage, you need to create design mock-ups followed by well-articulated app prototypes that will define the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design of the expense tracking app development project.

Build the architecture and backend

When you build an expense tracking app, you need to give emphasis on building the appropriate architecture and backend for the app. The app performance and the security aspects are dependent on these two elements. An app architecture corresponds to diverse aspects of an app project. In this case, different aspects that are handled by the architecture of an expense tracking app include coding language, database, frameworks, user interfaces, or features.

When you have completed building the architecture for your expense tracking app development project, it is time to concentrate on developing the app backend. This process is a lingering one involving aspects like setting the development environment and developing internal APIs to implement the app backend smoothly.

Many app development companies prefer using SaaS solutions for building the backend quickly with pre-configured elements. There are several quality SaaS platforms such as Firebase, and AWS Mobile Hub, and others. You can also choose to build an expense tracking app from scratch.

Developing the app Frontend

The front end of any app refers to the interface and features that users come across and make interactions with. The front-end development involves creating the UI/UX based upon the design that the design prototype finalized. Generally, time-tested web technologies like JavaScript, HTML and CSS are used for frontend development besides leading front-end development frameworks such as React Native and Flutter.

App Testing

Now we are at the last stage of expense tracking app development. This stage involves the most crucial aspect of development, name,y, testing, and evaluation. Whatever development methodology the project adheres to, testing remains the most crucial aspect of any app project.

An app project primarily should go through testing to make the app bug or error-free. It should also go through functional, performance, and user testing to ensure optimum functional output and app performance under different conditions and stress levels.

Conclusion

So, we have explained almost every aspect of the expense tracking app development project, starting from the benefits, features, and development steps. While these are time-tested guidelines, the creative excellence put into an app project is crucial for the ultimate success of any app project.