There are many reasons to keep track of your receipts. If you are an entrepreneur or you are running a small business, your receipts are an important aspect of how your business operates.
It is original evidence for all the different expenses you may have had in a financial year. Depending on the tex regulations you might also need it before you can make deductions.
At home it is also important to keep track of receipts, it will help you keep track of your budget and when tax season comes around will make things much easier. It is also proof of purchase for some larger items.
But filing receipts is not the most pleasant or the easiest thing to do. File folders or boxes don’t really make it better. Some paper receipts also don’t use fade proof ink, and keeping them might prove to be a useless exercise. A blank piece of paper won’t mean much to you, your business or the tax man.
Storing receipts electronically is a good solution, it is easier to file it, they won’t fade and it makes it much easier to send expense reports via email and other online platforms.
Ways of getting receipts to a digital format
There are different ways of converting your hard copy receipts to a digital format and then to organise them electronically. You can choose a variety of methods of getting receipts to electronic format. You can take pictures or scan your receipts and then use an app or other organising software to keep everything ordered.
When you take photos of your receipts the quality can vary. So we think scanning your receipts is the best way to go. If you use a standard flatbed scanner you can even scan a few receipts at once.
Once again there are a range of options available when it comes to organising your digitized receipts. There is software, apps and online cloud based solutions. You can shop around a little to see which of these apps will suit your needs. There are also several templates available for traditional data organising software like excel.
If you are not used to it, it can take some time to use it effectively. But if you like something that you can adapt and customize this could be a good option for you. Most of the software will store data on your hard drive, but increasingly you will have the option to store it on a cloud as well.
Cloud based software is very convenient if you need access to your receipts from various platforms. Some cloud based software solutions automatically generate expense reports and you can easily deal with your data anywhere you are connected to the internet.
You also find cloud based apps that will have compatible ways of exporting the files to Excel, Quickbooks, Freshbooks and other applications. The ways you can capture your receipts also is not limited to scanning, or photos. Some allow for synchronisation with your smartphone, and you can SMS (text), email or share your receipts with the app.
There is also an option to use a mobile app to organise your receipts electronically. You can choose between online apps that also store data to a cloud. Or you can choose an app that utilizes your smartphone’s storage.
Depending on how many receipts you have, you can decide what type of storage will work best. Some can even import data from your credit card or from photos. We can recommend apps like, Expensify, ABUKAI expenses, Shoeboxed or Receipts by Wave. Each of these work in a similar way.
An app like Expensify for instance, imports data from your credit card or from mobile scans. This app is integrated with most accounting software so you can use data from various platforms to generate expense reports or streamline your budget. It can even do most of the work for you.
If you are an accountant that knows the tricks of excel and enjoy the format, an app like ABUKAI expenses will be a nice way to keep your thoughts and expenses organised in the same way.
This app uses the format of excel to display and organise expense reports by using snapshots of receipts taken by your smartphone camera. This app is more geared toward business professionals who need integration with their other software.
Shoeboxed is an online based app that allows you to store data in their cloud with a Shoeboxed account. You can use a camera, scanner or phone camera to digitize your receipts. But you can also send your receipts to Shoeboxed and they will do all of that for you.
It also offers its own online analysis software that can generate graphs and other expense visualisations to make things clear for you. You will also be able to export your data in a variety of file formats.
Receipts by Wave, an app that is focused on receipt management. It also works with your phone camera. You can take pictures of your receipts and store the data on a cloud. You won’t be able to use this app while offline. This app is focused on categorization and organization, so you can keep business and household expenses separate.
The best way to keep your receipts organised electronically is to find an app that does most of the work for you. That way you will make the workload as minimal as possible. That is the whole point of going online with your receipts, so you don’t have to struggle with a bunch of additional filing and digging through boxes when you need a receipt.
If you are willing to spend a little money on a good software solution you can sit back and let the application get on with the work. You can perhaps scan your receipts in bulk, and the app will organise and categorise your receipts, while also generating expense reports or spending trend graphs.
The best way to organise your receipts is to get an app that suits your needs.