19 Aug 4 Great Business Finance Apps For Capturing Receipts
Running your own small business can make you feel like you’re going in six directions at once between closing sales, tackling your inbox, keeping up with social media and providing your service to your clients. Throw in the demands of being a mom and every day can be a challenge! For all these reasons, I’m forever on the hunt to find apps and tools to make my day a little easier. One app that I couldn’t live without is my app for capturing receipts. It sounds like a small issue, but knowing that my receipts are captured and safely archived means I have one less thing to worry about in my day!
Everyone has different priorities and different budgets for apps, so I’ve listed a selection of receipt management apps to explore. Two of my “must-have” requirements to make the list are:
Backup — The app must provide some kind of reliable, cloud-based storage of your receipts. Losing your phone is bad enough, but knowing that it has the only copy of all your receipts would be a nightmare!
Multiple inputs — So many of my receipts come in via email these days, that any receipt app must be able to accept receipts via email in addition to photos snapped from my smartphone.
All of the apps described below meet my “must-have” requirements, are affordable (if not free!) and will help you track all of those loose receipts that you have in your purse.
Receipts by Wave
For the Wave user, Receipts by Wave is an obvious choice. This free app uploads receipt data to your Wave Accounting app. Receipts can be captured with your iOS or Android phone, uploaded to the Wave web app, or forwarded via email. Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Receipts by Wave will read your receipt for date, amount and payment account. You can edit the information, if necessary, then verify the information. Once verified, the transaction is created in Wave and you’re done! At any time, you can export your receipts to archive them outside of Wave.
Another free option is Foreceipt, which is available only for the iPhone at this point. An interesting feature of Foreceipt is that all receipts are automatically stored on Google Drive, providing a reliable archive of your receipts. Receipts can be synced across multiple devices and will auto-sync if you use Foreceipt offline. Expenses can be entered in any currency, which is not a common feature. Foreceipt does not currently offer OCR, so you have to enter the vendor name, date and amount yourself.
Hello Receipts is a free app available for both Android and iOS that includes mileage tracking, as well. Professional looking reports are what sets apart Hello Receipts from the other apps I’ve tested. Not only are detailed reports available as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet, they can also be exported to FreshBooks, a truly unique feature.
With all of the free options available, it was hard for me to imagine why I might pay for a receipt management app. Then I found IQBoxy. This iOS app has a free option, but the paid option is only $5.99 per month and includes a full-featured OCR to scan your receipts as well as the ability to export your transactions to QBO, Xero, FreshBooks or QB Desktop. In my testing of this app, the receipts were read very quickly and with amazing accuracy. The transactions could then be exported to QBO with two clicks in less than five seconds. Furthermore, the receipts can all be backed up to your choice of online storage service, including Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, MS OneDrive or Box.com. This app is truly worth the small monthly fee, IMHO!
Whichever app you choose, the true key to success with expense tracking is consistency. Pick your favorite app and then use it with every paper receipt and every emailed receipt that crosses your path. You’ll rest easier knowing that your receipts are being tracked and archived. More importantly, everything will be ready for tax time at year end and you’ll know that you’ve captured every single penny of deductible business expense!
About Deb Greenleaf:
Deb Howard Greenleaf lives in northwestern Pennsylvania and is the mother to two active swimmers, ages 11 and 15. She runs Greenleaf Accounting Services, providing virtual bookkeeping services to consultants, coaches and other service-based businesses from NYC to Anchorage, taking care of the books so they can grow their firms. When she’s not balancing books or attending her kids’ swim meets, Deb volunteers for local animal shelters and trains for local 5k races. You can learn more about Deb at www.greenleafaccounting.com.
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