Small business owners come into contact with (and manage) hundreds of important documents each week. From business cards and credit card statements to receipts and expense reports. Keeping accurate and well-organized business records is vital in maintaining efficient operations. Unfortunately, it's too easy to lose a receipt or forget to log an expense.
Using a mobile app with a document scanner option can make it almost effortless to scan receipts and stay on top of expense reports and contact management. No longer do you need to worry about the hassle of using your all-in-one printer's document feeder to scan receipts individually or as a group.
The mobile app stores your expense reports and receipts in secure cloud storage and creates a searchable database of your data. This way, you have access to all your data when you need it instead of having to sift through a pile of physical paperwork or find a cell on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Many receipt scanning apps are available for the iPhone and Android operating systems.
Depending on the receipt scanning app you choose, there might be several other beneficial features available to transform an ineffective financial management system into an organized and streamlined process. Learn more about the four best receipt scanning apps available to improve your business's record system.
How Do Receipt Scanning Apps Work?
It's easy to use a receipt scanning app, no matter if you are working with an iOS or Android device. After downloading the app and logging into your account, you take a photo of your receipt to document it. You might be asked a few questions about the receipt, such as the type and which category it fits best into.
What Is the Best Receipt Scanner App?
There are many receipt scanner apps out there, so it's difficult to choose which one to download. The best receipt scanner apps will offer additional benefits or functionality to capture, organize, and store data.
Some features to look for include:
- Optical character recognition (OCR) technology: A good OCR reader can improve the accuracy of your data and save you time. It recognizes receipt amounts, business names, and dates, so this is less information you will have to enter on your own.
- Keyword searches: The challenge of scanning receipts outside of a receipt scanner app and uploading them into a file on your computer is how to manage your data. What happens if you need to find a specific receipt? Having the ability to search for a relevant term and finding the right receipt can be life-changing.
- Easy-to-navigate storage system: Once you upload receipts, how you store the data matters. Ideally, your stored receipts and documents are easy to navigate and find. You shouldn't have to waste time browsing through receipts or understanding how the app labels the files it creates.
- Secure and backed up: The mobile app should be able to store your data securely to protect it from unauthorized access. It also needs to back up your data to ensure its safety if the server fails.
- Mileage tracking: Any driving you do for your business is tax-deductible. There are receipt scanning apps available to track your mileage for tax purposes. This can make it easier to ensure you write off every mile you travel for business and have solid mileage records.
- Integrations: Your receipt scanning app is just one tool in your small business's accounting system. Once you upload your receipts, you need to do something with your data. The best receipt scanning apps work well with other programs so you can process and generate statements from the expense reports the app generates. This can include adding it to Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Pricing: Most of the best receipt scanning apps cost money, either as a one-time fee or for a monthly cost. However, a few offer free plans or trials for small businesses with limited needs, such as Expensify. No small business should have to go without the ability to scan receipts for record-keeping purposes.
4 Best Receipt Scanning Apps for Small Business
Developers consistently release new mobile apps for download on your mobile device, while others become less supported. For this reason, it's difficult to know where to find a reliable mobile receipt scanner. But fear not, because we have done the hard work for you! In this list, we highlight four of the best receipt scanning apps for small businesses.
Expensify is a receipt scanning and management app. Expensify allows you to take photos of receipts and link charges and it identifies expense reports for an unlimited number of scans. It's a cloud-based mobile app and works with both iOS and Android and offers expense approval, employee reimbursement, and automatic mileage tracking capabilities.
However, the app may not accurately capture all the information on your receipt, so you will want to double-check it to ensure it's correct. If you have many expenses to upload, this could be more of a factor for choosing another one with more accurate OCR capabilities.
ABUKAI allows you to scan your receipts and save them to your phone. Once you set up an expense report, the app sends reports to your email. It's a basic receipt scanning app, and it is easy to use but offers fairly basic functionality.
The mobile app can read your receipts, look up exchange rates, and categorize the data for you. The app will send you an expense report as a Microsoft Excel document with a PDF of the receipt images. You can then import this information into your favorite small business accounting application.
Wave is a popular service for freelancers and solopreneurs who need to sync receipts between the mobile app and computer-based data. It's also cloud-based, and it can export data into popular bookkeeping and spreadsheet programs, including an editable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
It's a free app, so while it has more limited features than other options, it won't cost anything to use. This makes this a preferred app for startups and new businesses needing to keep their expenses low. Just know the app doesn't integrate with popular accounting programs.
Shoeboxed is a receipt management app designed for tax time. You can mail your receipts to the platform, as well as business cards, or use the app to scan and upload the documents. Then, you can mark the receipts with a filter for which scanned receipts are tax-deductible.
The app allows you to create expense reports ready to send to tax prep professionals. It can also track mileage. If you travel a lot for business or have difficulty scanning your receipts, this could be a smart option.
Keep Your Small Business Finances in Check With Skynova
Managing business expenses will always be an important task for small business owners, on top of a growing list of other tasks. With Skynova's accounting software, you can upload all your receipts, as well as track income and expenses. Skynova Accounting also takes care of the rest of your accounting tasks, including invoicing, report generation, and monitoring sales tax accuracy.
Skynova is committed to ensuring all small business owners have accurate financial records and robust accounting capabilities. Our accounting software allows you to select the vendor and expense category from the same interface you use for every other accounting function. You no longer need to maintain separate programs for your business's finances.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is a general guideline and may not apply to your specific business needs. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure you're meeting the record-keeping standards for business expenses before throwing away paper receipts.