Mobile Device Management vs. Mobile Expense Management

There are four key distinctions between these two technologies VARs and MSPs should understand.


Mobile technology has come a long way since the invention of the telephone. Today, university degrees can be offered through online courses, and more and more opportunities arise daily. Mobile tech is everywhere – with video conferencing, cloud calling tools, and shared workspace applications downloaded on every device; it’s become commonplace.

It’s especially noticeable in larger companies, where the usage of mobile devices is constantly on the rise. Unsurprisingly, keeping proper track of everything is becoming more challenging and crucial, especially when you want to avoid getting charged for something the company is no longer using. 

Numerous software solutions on the market can help you track device lifecycles and expense management. First, however, it’s essential to distinguish between the two terms.

What is the Difference?  

While it may seem as though they are interchangeable or that one is part of the other, there are differences between mobile device management and mobile expense management, and companies need to know them.

Mobile device management (MDM) refers to maintaining policies, updates, and controlling the devices used on a company level. Mobile expense management (MEM), on the other hand, refers to the billing lifecycle and ongoing bill payments. 

Here are some areas where their differences might interest you. 

1Tracking expenses

Tracking all expenses helps the budgeting process and allows for better planning. So, companies need to keep track of all the services they’re not paying for and services they’re not using and instead allocate those funds where they are required. While MDM can forecast and prevent costs by utilizing machine learning services, it doesn’t do a direct audit and inventory like MEM does. MEM also keeps track of the invoices and merchandise, so you always know where your equipment is.


When it comes to security, MDM covers this field in its entirety. MDM works by keeping every device up to date and helping to track and control devices. When working from home, keeping up with mobile devices is essential. Not only that, but the MDM ensures that all devices are safe from unauthorized access, hacker attacks, and other potential security risks.

3Mobile lifecycle management 

Whether company-owned or not, each mobile device needs to be adequately maintained so it can be used to its full potential until the end of its lifecycle. Therefore, proper device management can indirectly reduce costs by ensuring businesses don’t discard mobile devices before utilizing their full potential. Furthermore, with MDM, you can keep track of all steps needed to prolong their usage and track your company’s savings.

4Advanced management functions

MDM and MEM services have advanced management functions, like decommissioning devices that are no longer in use, which is time-consuming. Aside from this, other advanced management functions can alleviate the entire mobile management process for both expenses and devices in general. For example, administrators need access to all devices and expense tracking in one place, so investing in an MDM or MEM can ease the entire process and help cut costs effectively. 

The Bottom Line

A company must use device management software, especially companies with a higher turnover of employees and many devices in constant use.

Enterprise solutions on the market incorporate a mobile expense management module into the mobile device management software, but it depends on your needs. If you want to cut down on expenses and keep track of invoices and outstanding debts, investing in a MEM system is the right choice.

On the other hand, if you would like to keep track of the lifecycle of devices and keep track of their security, policies, and pending updates, an MDM system is for you. Of course, getting a solution that offers both would be the best option because you can always stay on budget and keep your devices in check.