If you’re a freelancer, an independent contractor, or a small business owner, you’ll know that organizing receipts can cause endless headaches.
Turning your receipts from paper to a digital format with a receipt scanner makes your expense tracking much simpler. This is the best way to eliminate piles of paper and organize your spending habits. Using a receipt scanner helps you work faster, improving efficiency and giving you a competitive advantage.
A receipt scanner used to be a hardware device to scan a specific type of document, but now, in today’s world of smartphones and apps, actual scanners are a thing of the past. Your smartphone’s camera and a receipt tracking app are all you need to get your receipts scanned and organized. This article lists the best five receipts scanner and organizer apps and their specific features for particular purposes to help you choose the right one.
How does a receipt scanner app work?
A receipt scanner and organizer app is a mobile app that scans specific forms of documents. This tool is essential for people or businesses to keep digital copies of their receipts for management or tax purposes. It is also helpful for professionals who need to track and prepare expense reports.
Most receipt scanning apps work the same way. All you need to do is download the app, take pictures of your receipts, and fill in some additional information. The app creates a digital version of your receipts, which you can retrieve from a digital filing system anytime.
These digital receipts can be kept for years without the danger of losing or damaging. You can always search for the receipt you need by entering the keyword, date, or time. Beyond such search features, there are numerous benefits to using scanner apps.
Advantages of scanner and organizer apps
A receipt scanner and organizer app offers the following advantages:
- Security: Keeping digital copies of your receipts is safer than keeping the physical version. First, it lowers the risk of loss or damage by flooding or fire outbreak. Second, since documents are stored in a secured program and protected by a password, they are less accessible to hackers. And lastly, you can always create backup copies of your scanned receipts.
- Efficiency: A receipt scanner and organizer helps you track, manage, and organize your financial documents faster and makes them easy to find. It allows you to work quicker and more efficiently.
- Sustainability: Going paperless helps you eliminate unnecessary waste, such as paper, printer, ink, and so on.
- Flexibility: Some receipt scanner and organizer apps can handle various sizes of documents and send them to USB memory storage, email, fax, or file location.
The top 5 receipt scanner and organizer apps for small businesses in 2021
Price: From $4.99/month
Expensify works best for small businesses with a limited budget as it comes with various pricing plans to meet your needs. Individuals can use the free version to scan up to 25 receipt scans per month without paying the monthly subscription fee. And if you wish to upgrade the plan, Expensify’s pricing ranges from just $4.99 to $9 per month.
If you’re looking for a receipt scanning software that can also organize your receipts, then Expensify is a great choice. After you capture your receipt, Expensify will automatically upload it into the system. However, you’ll need to manually input some data so that the software can store your receipts correctly.
A standout feature of Expensify is its SmartScan OCR, (Optical Character Recognition technology). The feature saves you time entering receipts by scanning them, verifying that the expense is compliant with your employer’s rules before organizing it into an expense report – all automatically.
Expensify integrates with dozens of accounting software such as Quickbooks, Xero, and NetSuite. By this, you can easily track and view expense reports from the software of your choice. All you have to do is upload and label receipts, and Expensify will take care of the rest!
Price: From $18/month
With the pricing plans starting from $18 per month, the Shoeboxed receipt organizer is exclusively designed for freelancers and small businesses who are willing to spend a little more to be “audit-ready.” This app doubles as a receipt scanner and organizer, making it one of the most versatile choices on this list. Shoeboxed allows you to scan and upload your receipts via email or the mobile app. Otherwise, you can mail your receipts to a Shoeboxed facility to have them scanned and organized.
Just like Expensify, Shoeboxed integrates with numerous accounting software, from Quickbooks, Xero, Wave Accounting, FreshBooks, and so much more. Shoeboxed’s OCR engine and human data verification features ensure that the digital versions of your receipts are legibly scanned, clearly categorized, and easy to locate. These receipts are in precise format, which is accepted by both the Internal Revenue Service and the Canada Revenue Service in the event of an audit. What’s more, Shoeboxed offers the mileage tracking and business card storing feature, making it a one-touch app to access all your important information.
3. Zoho Expense
Price: From $5/month
Zoho Expense is a digital receipt organizer specializing in serving freelancers who like to keep things mobile and user-friendly. This app allows users to scan receipts and organize each one in their own order. You can also mail your digital receipts to the Zoho Expense software and sync the data with various business programs.
Just like the above, Zoho Expense comes with an OCR engine and integrates with various accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage Accounting. But one of the best features that Zoho offers is its storage capacity. While most receipt software products put a limit on the number of documents you can upload per month, Zoho Expense offers users a set amount of storage space (from 5 GB and above). Since most receipt images take up relatively little storage, you can store a lot of receipts with Zoho Expense.
The Base plan is free, the Premium plan is $5 per month, and the Enterprise plan is just $8 per month. Overall, Zoho Expense is the best choice if you want to organize your receipts on a budget and don’t mind doing some of the work manually.
Price: From $9.99/year
Smart Receipt is a receipt-focused app that works best for those who want to keep the process of tracking expenses and generating expense reports exceptionally simple. This app has an OCR engine that performs text recognition on your scans, helping you search and organize the receipts. It can even create a spreadsheet with more than 20 different types of data recognized with corresponding fields.
This app is also simple to use. Start by creating a report with all the fields you want to include. Then take a snapshot of your receipt and fill in the field. Then you can generate your report in PDF, CSV, or zip file. You can always generate more than one report from a receipt.
The free version of Smart Receipts already has necessary features for small businesses (such as customizing PDF, CSV, or ZIP format for your reports, mileage tracking, and OCR functionality). However, you can always purchase a yearly subscription for $9.99 per year to enjoy additional benefits such as ad-free, automatic backups to Google Drive, automatic currency conversion, the ability to edit or customize the PDF report footer, and so on.
What most people imagine when they think of receipt scanning apps is tracking business and travel expenses. But the truth is, one of the most common purposes for receipt tracking is budget planning. Fitfin is perfectly designed for this purpose.
This receipt scanner and organizer app is a great way to track expenses and stick to a budget. It allows you to set your budget for various categories and save your receipts to corresponding folders. You can break your receipts down into items so that you can see where every dollar goes in your budget. The great thing about using Fitfin is that you can predict your spending, which you can track against your budget for real-time, proactive budgeting.
In short, Fitfin is best for small businesses that need to manage their budget precisely by giving you an overview of your finances and predicting how much you will spend.
The bottom line
Choosing the best receipt scanner and organizer app depends on the needs of your company. For example, if you don’t go on business trips frequently, you don’t necessarily need one with a mileage feature. If you’re preparing for an IRS audit, you may want a feature-filled app – like Shoeboxed – that ensures your receipts are audit-ready. Compare the features and pricing of each app and try several before making a decision.