5 Ways to Track SaaS Expenses in 2024

Rohit Rao

11th September, 2023


Increased SaaS adoption leads to higher, untrackable, and uncontrollable SaaS costs. With SaaS payment tracking options, IT managers and their teams can have visibility over all SaaS payments made by the organization and keep them under control.

In many cases, your IT team struggles to monitor SaaS payments because the process of purchasing SaaS tools happens across different parts of the organization. As an IT manager, you are aware of the SaaS apps being used; they often lack authority over payments and renewals. This lack of control can lead to higher monthly or quarterly SaaS expenses. 

As a result, you end up having to manage the SaaS lineup and search for chances to reduce expenses to rein in SaaS costs. However, this approach isn't a sustainable fix for the problem.

The long-term solution is to track every SaaS application's expenses used within your organization. This includes SaaS application purchase, renewal, and other billing-related costs and penalties. You can enjoy the following benefits by tracking the SaaS application costs. 

  • Able to control SaaS-related spending, avoid unnecessary spending, and keep it within the IT budget.

  • 360-degree granular visibility into the SaaS stack that makes it easy to apply cost control measures.

  • To avoid being billed higher than the actual cost based on your licenses, selected plan, and usage.

  • To eliminate SaaS spending wastage by identifying duplicate subscriptions, double billing, etc.

  • Easy collaboration with finance, accounting, and procurement teams and timely communication between all involved stakeholders to make potential SaaS investment decisions.

  • On-time decisions regarding renewals and purchases to go ahead with or cancel the spending. 

  • Gives leaders a chance to analyze their spending and make proper budgeting decisions through the collected data, reports, and insights from the tracking system. 

Top 5 Ways to Track SaaS Expenses & Improve Your SaaS Subscription Management 

Most IT teams use spreadsheets to record and monitor SaaS expenses. This is ineffective because it has to be updated manually every day, and you will have to work harder to turn this unorganized data into understandable insights. 

However, with SaaS app management systems, you can have automated tracking options and track SaaS expenses automatically. Follow the 5 ways listed below to start tracking your SaaS expenses and not waste any more pennies on your SaaS budget. 

1. Discover SaaS applications to manage your SaaS expenses 

Before you start the tracking process, you need to find out the applications present in the current stack. If no SaaS discovery apps are being used, you must use any discovery method to prepare your SaaS inventory list. 

Once you have the list of applications, you can map their past and current spending and plan their future expenses based on their usage. SaaS discovery is a continuous process to add or remove applications from the stack that are no longer in use or being recently added. 

Manual SaaS discovery processes can take time and might not be accurate. You will have to interview every business and department head and gather information from different sources like financial systems. 

Automated SaaS management platforms, like Zluri, are much simpler in discovering applications automatically and accurately. You can use applications with automated SaaS app discovery features. 

Here, the discovery engine works in the background and can identify and bring under control even the ones purchased by employees and not visible to the IT teams.

How does Zluri help with SaaS application discovery?

Zluri’s app discovery engine can discover apps from sources and has five discovery methods in total. Following are the five discovery sources and how they can be useful in SaaS expense tracking.

Zluri discovery engine
  • Single sign-on: Zluri connects with single-sign-on platforms or identity providers your organization uses. Ex. Google Workspace, HRMS, etc.

  • Finance and expense management systems: Zluri  connects with financial systems to gather spend-related data on SaaS applications to bring to light the SaaS spend made by employees through company credit cards or personal cards, which they later reimbursed. 

  • Direct integration with apps: SaaS discovery and management also happens through direct integrations with SaaS applications in your stack. This is particularly useful to understand its usage, access levels of users, etc.

  • Desktop agents: These agents installed in physical assets of your organization to collect information on installed applications and applications running in the background.  

  • Browser extensions: Through browser extensions that your employees will set up on the browser of their work laptops to find out the SaaS applications users are trying to access.

    Zluri's discovery engine is powerful in collecting information about SaaS usage, spend, sign-in and sign-out details, security information, device ID, and more. It keeps collecting and updating the SaaS stack automatically. 

    Zluris application module

    Given below is an example of one such SaaS application, where the overview section states the utilization percentage, total spending, estimated cost, and more in-depth details about the application.

     SaaS application

    Ultimately, all these insights help you understand the usage of the paid applications and decide if the renewal is necessary. Following a perfect renewal strategy is crucial to ensure business continuity and reduce overspending. Hence, having an advanced tracking application like Zluri becomes paramount. 

2. Monitor SaaS invoices & streamline your SaaS expenses 

As you have visibility over the SaaS stack, you can start monitoring their invoices and keep tracking current and previous spending. SaaS invoices are paramount in deciding how much your vendor is charging you. 

They also carry your subscription consumption-related charges, plans chosen, premium features used, and other crucial information that makes up the total cost. Hence, invoices are the first place if you want to start tracking SaaS expenses. 

The first step is to start organizing their SaaS invoices and contracts in one place. However, this can be a challenge for your IT teams, as they are not the first person to receive invoices. 

Zluri allows you to maintain your SaaS contracts and other SaaS documents in one place accessible to various teams. These documents carry information about payments, renewals, payment types, and other terms and conditions. 





renewal calendar


Thus, you don't have to contact respective teams or remain clueless about SaaS payments. By gaining access to these documents, you can measure if you are only paying for what you have subscribed to and not more than that.

3. Leverage your financial & expense management systems

Your expense and financial management systems can also tell you how much you spend on SaaS applications and what they are for. Most companies pay for their software purchases and renewals through their credit cards or bank accounts, which are recorded in the accounting platform. 

You can safely tap into this data and map it with the discovered applications to see how much you have paid for each application and more. 

Though receiving this data directly from your accounting or finance team is possible, it has limitations. Firstly, there will be a huge list of payments that cannot be matched manually with the applications you discovered. There might be confusion around similar payments or payments made to the same vendor for different applications. 

This is why you must use automated SaaS discovery options like what Zluri provides. It exactly captures the SaaS payments through integrated financial applications and reflects them under transactions for you to track them. 

 expense management systems

In Zluri, along with the SaaS applications' names and other details, you can also find their total spending and how much you have spent in addition to the actual estimated cost. In many cases, the actual spend differs from the estimated cost by the vendor, which is called true-up costs. 

For instance, the estimated cost could be $500 for a certain number of licenses, but the vendor charged you $600 for additional consumption of licenses or any reasons like this. 

These hidden charges go unnoticed unless you decide to track and compare the two charges. But Zluri shows these differences between the two costs for every month, which helps expose overbilling by vendors so that you can fix them instantly or get clarification and bring the spending closer to the estimated cost from the next cycle. 

Zluri insights

4. Use SaaS renewal calendars 

It can be frustrating to witness SaaS subscription payments automatically getting processed before you can track and decide whether you want that application.

In such cases, SaaS renewal calendars are the best way to regularly track down every SaaS payment due for auto or manual renewal. This is the most organized way to carry out renewals and find out if it's necessary or not so that it can be stopped way ahead. A typical SaaS application renewal contract will carry the application, amount, renewal date, and payment mode.

While manual calendars require constant updates and do not alert you before the due date, automatic renewal calendars send you timely reminders and allow you to process your decisions. Since each application has different renewal terms and dates, it's better to have an automated renewal calendar showing upcoming payments until the year's end. 

Thus, spreadsheets aren't an effective option for tracking renewal payments. Similarly, software asset management software won't work, too, as they are for renewing licenses of on-premise software. The best solution to manage an automated SaaS renewal calendar is through SaaS management platforms like Zluri.

You should track the SaaS expenses and decide if it's worth spending based on how well your users receive it; renewal alerts are crucial for that.

How does Zluri help you with managing your SaaS renewal calendar? 

Zluri collects and presents your up-to-date application and contract renewals for each month. It also sends periodic reminders, which can be customized too. The reminder is sent 7 days and 1 day before the due date for renewals. 

For contracts, the alerts are sent 30 days, 15 days, and one day before the due date. It shows the renewal cost of every application waiting to be renewed and the total renewal spend for each upcoming month. 

As you are reminded ahead, you can use this time to analyze the software requirement and usage before renewal happens and modify it.

Zluri- renewals

This can be your one-stop place to track every upcoming renewal payment of SaaS applications and make decisions about it. 

5. Use reporting capabilities to track expenses

Advanced reporting capabilities is the ability to gain real-time visibility into your SaaS expenses. With the right spend reports, you can access up-to-date data on all your SaaS subscriptions and costs. This real-time insight enables you to spot irregularities or unexpected expenses as they happen, allowing for immediate action.

Let’s see how Zluri provides reporting capabilities.

Zluri's SaaS reporting capabilities empowers your organization to effortlessly consolidate, scrutinize, and securely archive all your SaaS application data within a unified hub. Within Zluri, you'll discover a comprehensive array of 22 reports, each delivering instant, actionable intelligence on your SaaS application utilization, expenditure, and security posture.

These 22 reports are categorized in 4 categories. One of these are Zluri’s spend reports. These spend reports are designed for your IT admin to get a closer look at how money is spent on SaaS within your organization. 


Zluri’s spend reports are made up of two separate reports: one that breaks down spending by department and another that tracks monthly expenses.

These reports offer valuable information that can assist you in making smarter decisions about how to allocate your budget. By using the spend report, you'll gain a clearer picture of where your organization's money is going when it comes to SaaS, helping you make your budget work more efficiently and effectively.

  • Department-wise budget report

The department-wise budget report offers a deep dive into your expenses, organized by department. It includes important details like the department name, budget, and actual spending.

This report also allows your team to filter the data using various parameters like department name, budget amounts, month, and financial year. This way, they can quickly spot and study spending trends and patterns.

  • App-wise monthly spend report

The app-wise monthly spend report gives you a clear overview of how much your organization spends on applications each month. It also helps you dig deeper by showing how each application is paid for and if there are any unusual spending patterns.

This user-friendly report allows you to filter the data by month and financial year. This feature makes it easier to grasp your organization's application expenses and empowers you to make smart budget planning and optimization choices.

Use Zluri to track your SaaS expenses  

As mentioned in previous sections, Zluri helps track your SaaS expenses in all the above-mentioned ways. By offering a detailed view of the applications in your SaaS stack, it allows you to take necessary actions. 

With Zluri, you can see how much you are spending on SaaS application payments and renewals and be presented with SaaS licenses and usage data to know if you have paid for what your organization uses. Hence, you can track your SaaS expenses, optimize the spend, and save more of your IT budget.

Zluri's IT budget

Based on the current SaaS spending data, Zluri shows the optimization summary that’s highly useful for removing unused and poorly used applications from the SaaS stack and reducing its expenses.

And that's how Zluri remains a single source of truth for all your SaaS management processes and works as a reliable source for tracking their expenses and measuring its business value. 

Having a transparent SaaS spending approach is essential for any organization to predict its SaaS ROI, plan its SaaS and IT budgets, scale smoothly, and allocate the right spending amount without cutting down any major requirements.

Book your demo now and take the first step toward tracking and optimizing your SaaS expenses.

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