Annual growth percentages for the expense management market remain in the high single digits, according to recent reports from IDC and Technavio. That’s a big reason why the number of software providers, already in the dozens, keeps growing. While this may not concern large enterprise providers like Concur, Chrome River or Coupa, on the smaller end, the choices seem endless.
The newest entrant is ten-year-old document digitization firm Shoeboxed. It was helping clients scan receipts so often, it chose to create a reimbursement process. Like products from Abacus, Expensify and others, Shoeboxed’s Fetch application aims to end expense management as we know it by leveraging receipt scanning. It launches this week along with new mobile apps.
“Customers asked Shoeboxed to build an expense reporting solution that wasn’t as complicated or expensive as other tools on the market,” according to the company. Its “receipt and business card digitization service … was never meant to be a full-service expense reporting tool. Time and again, we saw users trying to make it just that.”
Shoeboxed started building the reimbursement system last September, focusing on speed and simplicity.
The company claims more than 1 million clients. Shoeboxed highlighted three customers for helping it test the new expense app: medical equipment company 410 Medical, funding network Investors Circle and experiences curator Offline.
Located in the same Durham, NC building as a Shoeboxed office, 410 Medical has several employees plus a handful of contractors who travel a lot.
“Tracking expense reports was time-consuming, tedious and prone to manual error,” said 410 Medical controller Jaime Bakker, who had considered Expensify. “With Fetch being able to customize to what we needed and were looking for, it was more appealing. Fetch still is ‘out of the box,’ but willing to work with you.”
Fetch offers customization of such aspects as expense categories, icons and timing for expense approval notifications.
The application costs $9.95 per active user per month. That’s higher than some other solutions including Expensify, which tops out at $9 but can go as low as $5.
Shoeboxed marketing director Mike Hourigan said that after extensive market research, the company decided it didn’t want to be the cheapest. “Clients want competitive pricing, and we’re in the meaty part of the curve,” he said. “We consider the product premium even though it doesn’t have all the features our competitors have. We believe the novelty is in the simplicity and seamless setup.”
At least at launch, Fetch is missing integration that is important to many businesses. It does not take feeds from corporate cards, and does not sync back into accounting software. Nevertheless, Hourigan said its flexibility would appeal to smaller clients. There are no charges for approvers or other admins, and no contracts.
Fetch partners with Dwolla to handle reimbursement back to employee bank accounts.
According to IDC, the expense management software market will top $2.4 billion by 2020. Concur was shooting for annual revenue of $700 million when SAP bought it three years ago.