Accounting is not an easy task, but one that is often mandatory, and also rewarding. By keeping track of all expenses and seeing what items have actually depleted your budget, you can make adjustments and improvements. In a past article we have talked about how to keep track of accounting by using several desktop tools and mobile-based applications. Well, today, we’re going to share ways to keep track of your receipts right from your smartphone and/or the browser.
For me personally, tools that count on online services to deliver a benefit are the ones most versatile, as I frequently use several computers which are, in majority, not mine. Of course, you could have all of those advantages at reach in your pocket, but I am more of a fan of larger screens. So, without further ado, here are some web-based applications that can help you keep receipts online.
How to Keep Receipts Online
Like most online applications we are going to discuss today, Certify is a free service that keeps track of receipts online, and one that also comes with apps for mobile phones that run on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and even Blackberry. From my personal experience, Certify works really well, but some users may found it a bit more complicated than needed. Of course, after a time spent with the online service itself, every bit will fall into its place. For instance, one of their features is the Certify Wallet, an imaginary place where all of your receipts have to go into.
After receipts have been uploaded, the user needs to categorize expenses and then link the actual expense to a corresponding receipt. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, Certify also offers a more complex way of filtering and categorizing expenses. For instance, if you were to upload a receipt for a hotel stay, relevant data about that stay will be required, like the check-in and check-out date.
OneReceipt is a complex little application, that can be found on the App Store or through a Google Chrome extension, for the browser. Those interested can create an account for free and enjoy a vast experience of careful revenue and spending analysis. Coming back to simple receipt uploading, those that wish not to install the iOS companion can simply take a picture of a physical receipt and email it to their OneReceipt.com account. These little things and the possibility to view all the entered data in a wonderful interface make this application one of the best choices out there.
Unlike Certify or other apps in the market, OneReceipt takes the simple concept of uploading a receipt and putting it in a table way further. Besides these basic tasks, this application can actually extract data automatically from your Google-linked accounts, and instantly create a spending receipt for that.
Moreover, OneReceipt has been built to work seamless with other eco-systems as well, including Mint.com, American Express, Chase, CitiCards and Bank of America, and all the linked information will come-up automatically there, if you have the OneReceipt account linked.
Even though the application is in a Beta stage for quite a while now, it works smoothly and, those willing to test it will find out a couple of other surprises as well. For instance, developers have always taken a liking into suggesting things to buy based on your purchase history and from time to time, offers will also be delivered.
Shoeboxed is yet another online service that goes beyond the mile to offer other intelligent services, beyond a regular receipt scanner. The service itself is available for online browsers, as well as on iOS and Android companions, where the built-in application is mostly used to capture receipt images and, track your mileage using the GPS sensor.
Now, another thing that we loved about Shoeboxed is the fact that every single receipt scanned is manually approved by a human eye and then refined into a digitized version. That means that at the end of the process, you are going to actually end up with human-filled forms of receipt templates approved by the IRS, and not just simple pictures. After this process is complete, Shoeboxed has the data needed to perform a little bit of magic with those receipts, such as being able to search through past items with ease.
Besides being able to scan receipts or even email them to a dedicate address, this service also offers customers the ability to manually mail them through the post, by using a prepaid envelope sent by the company itself. This “magic envelope”, as the company likes to call it, will arrive at your door and you simply have to fill it with the receipts. From point on, their employees will process the data and transform it into a digital form. And the same applies for business cards as well, which can be transformed to online contact lists.
As you may well guess, Shoeboxed can also retrieve digital receipts automatically from your Google-linked accounts. With all of this data at hand, the customer can export receipt images and expense reports, and then use them with other compatible tools, like Evernote.
Price wise, Shoeboxed can be tried for 30 days with a free trial, than prices range from $9.95 to $49.95 a month, depending on how many receipts you have to scan monthly, and how many users does the account hold. Also, those looking for a bit more functionality, can also sign up for advanced features, such as Price Deputy, a service which compares prices of items that you already bought, and offers better deals.
Although Expensify’s main website presents this tool as one to be used by companies, be the large corporations or small teams, I deem it usable also by individuals. In a few words, Expensify allows its users to quickly add cash expenses, capture mileages and the time spent during a trip, automatically import all transactions made through a linked card and other billable expenses like those mentioned. Moreover, this service is able to alter expenses and those that take a liking into coding can manually add custom fields or separate receipts based on clients, projects, etc.
When it comes to compatibility, the tool works with most card companies and supports over 160 currencies, as well as international taxes reports.
Regardless of the plan chosen, each user can upload an unlimited amount of receipts and then associate these receipts to their expenses. After scanning a receipt using the SmartScan service, they will be formatted into an IRS compliant format and be available for report extraction at any time. These receipts can also be uploaded through other compatible platforms, such as Evernote, Dropbox, Genius Scan and others, all of which to be visible after using the Google Chrome Extension.
The strong point of Expensify is actually the report feature. Being built for administrators with an eye towards employee, various report templates can be exported with one click.
When it comes to pricing, the basic version of Expensify will set back $5 / month for each user, while the Corporate version costs around $9. Bigger companies could go for the Enterprise plan, with a custom price. As always, the platform can be tested through a 30-day free trial.