Using receipt managers to organize your accounting

Saving receipts is one of those pesky little requirements.  The easier we can do it the better!  The problem is that many of the ‘easy ways’, like simply keeping your receipts, don’t actually preserve the receipts.

This means that if the IRS ever comes sniffing around and wants proof that certain expenses were what you claim they were, the proof has evaporated right off the page!

Just recently, I found a McDonald’s receipt from a weekend that my cousin spent with me a year ago [I know this because I don’t go to McDonald’s unless I am with a kid].  I couldn’t tell you what we ate or how much it cost, because the register ink has long since disappeared off of the receipt. But I could tell you that we went to McDonald’s because the yellow arches were still there!

This is fine for a receipt that was not being saved to stay in compliance with the IRS, but for a business receipt, how do we keep this from happening – without spending hours and hours scanning in receipts or wasting money and trees making copies of them?

Tools for scanning receipts 

There are myriad options available when it comes to scanning applications for your receints.  Some will link directly with various accounting systems so that you can attach a PDF copy of a receipt to the transaction that it supports, while others are just basic scanners that allow you to use the camera on a smartphone to scan in documents in a matter of seconds.

This is a huge time saver because instead of standing by the scanner and trying to figure out how to best scan in the awkwardly long receipt, you just open the scanning app, frame the receipt with your camera and the app will filter out all images around the document you are scanning.

For those who have used the feature, it is virtually the same concept as using a bank’s Mobile Remote Deposit option, which uses your phone’s camera to make a “copy” of the front and back of a check, and electronically transmits that image as a deposit to your business account.

This also makes sharing receipts/documents with others, especially your accountant, much easier. Sending a picture of something, while easy for you, can be difficult for the person receiving the information to work with.  Many of these applications even present you with the option of converting the images to either PDF or JPEG format directly from the app itself.

Use your iPhone note’s app to scan and receipts for accounting

One simple solution for scanning and organizing your receipts is to use your iPhone’s notes app. To do so you simply:

  • Open the notes app on your iPhone
  • Click the camera icon to take a photo
  • Take a clear photo of the receipt your would like to save/store for accounting
    • It helps to turn the flash off to avoid blinding out certain portions of the receipt
  • Save the note

This will save the photo as a PDF and you can also scan the photo for text if you’d like to easily save the date for accounting purposes later.

Using the Quickbooks mobile app to scan receipts

As Quickbooks accountants in St. Louis, we have found many ways to help our clients save time and money utilizing Quickbooks Online; and this includes their mobile app!

With your Quickbooks Online account, you also have access to their mobile app which has a Receipt Scanner integrated. This is especially helpful if you are one of the many people already utilizing Quickbooks for your small business.

All-in-all these scanning apps are very versatile and can add a lot of value to your business if of course used correctly and appropriately.  Oh, and did I mention that you can find many of these for free by searching ‘scanner’ in either the App Store or Google play?

Need help with your small business accounting?

Need help keeping all of your bookkeeping, payroll, and other accounting needs organized? We would love to help!

Last but not least, please feel free to contact us for the list of our recommended apps and also if you are looking for one that links directly to your accounting software. All of us at Volpe Consulting and Accounting Services are always here to help you save time and your business to succeed.

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