When you last did your tax, did you have every single receipt and docket that you were supposed to keep with you? Was everything beautifully organised and sorted out? Didn’t think so.
The fact is that we’re human, you’re human, and everyone is busy! Most mere mortals simply don’t have the capacity, time and ability to retain and duplicate every receipt that they get in the way of their business. And this is ok – because in some situations, business owners don’t need documented evidence of an expense unless it’s over a certain amount. But in other cases, you definitely do need the receipt otherwise it’s goodbye to that expense being claimable.
You’ve likely dabbled in some digital recording tool for your phone or business – but we’re here to set the record straight on five of our easiest-to-use and most effective tools. And if you’re sick of trying to keep things in line – get us to manage it for you. We are based in Brisbane and can help you and your business to get your bookkeeping records in order.
Your iPhone/Android Camera
Ok so not technically an app – but we wanted to get you started gently. You have a great tool at your disposal for recording your receipts – and you can snap a picture and have your receipts at the push of a button using the functionality of your phone. This is a basic solution which doesn’t digitise your receipts per se – but simply keeps a record.
Want to find all your receipts? Easy – just search in your phone for ‘receipts’ and your phone will turn up all the pictures that look like a receipt. There are, of course, more sophisticated ways of tracking your expenses which we’ll cover below.
This is a great tool which allows you to automatically import all of your financial documents into the one place – and export them as data. HubDoc is great because it works with QuickBooks and Xero and is a very easy to use tool.
How it works: You simply snap a photo with the app and can then throw away the paper copy. Hubdoc works by scanning, extracting and storing your documents ready to be used in your accounting software of choice.
Benefits: Don’t need to keep paper receipts any longer!
This is a dedicated receipt scanner app which operates in such a way to convert your image to a document and even stores the information. You can customise this tool as much you like and you can also use Smart Receipts to generate reports.
How it works: Snap a picture and enter the information manually. The downside is that you need to buy OCR scans if you don’t want to input the information manually – but in some cases the scanner doesn’t accurately depict the price of receipts. So it’s not hugely effective as a scanning app. That said, the generation of graphs and reports is a useful feature to have – and you can also upgrade to the premium version which gives you greater functionality again.
Benefits: You have the option of creating customisable PDF, CSV and ZIP reports and can choose from a range of default data types – like dates and prices – to ensure you get the right data.
This is an automated data pre-accounting tool which is primarily targeted at accountants and bookkeepers but is also hugely helpful for small and medium-sized business owners. When you use Receipt Bank, you will spend less time fussing around with receipts and more time adding value for your clients!
How it works: Snap a picture, and the app extracts the data. Simple. The information gathered is pushed to your accounting platform of choice, whether it’s Xero, Quickbooks, Sage, MYOB or something else entirely.
Benefits: This is a hugely simple tool which saves you hours.
Evernote is a general note taking app which you might already be using to record information day to do. It can recognise images with text and can store your receipts in specific locations.
How it works: take a picture, choose where you want to store it. You can filter through images and make the most of the functionality. You won’t be able to create reports or manage the data within an accounting program – but this is a simple and easy to use data extraction tool.
Benefits: You may already be using Evernote, so it’s not a big stretch to adopt this tool.
We hope this has been helpful for you in your business – we recommend moving to a digital record of your receipts as soon as possible to make tax time as easy as possible.