Not to toot our own horns, but we think Shoeboxed is pretty darn intuitive and user-friendly. But if you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the powerful tools your account has to offer.
Here are a few common mistakes we frequently see small business owners making when they first start using Shoeboxed:
Treating every document as a receipt
Remember that Shoeboxed is for digitizing all of your paper documents, no matter their size or shape! That’s why we’ve created tabs for business cards and other documents.
It’s important to weed out any documents you don’t want included in your tax totals from the Receipts page – otherwise, when you go to generate a report, the application will pull those documents into your spreadsheet.
It’s easy to separate mislabeled items like bank statements and business cards from your receipts. Simply click on the document in question, scroll down to the lower righthand corner of the pop up screen, and click the Not a receipt button to choose the appropriate section to send it to.
Failing to use categories
Shoeboxed uses a sophisticated algorithm to detect which tax category each receipt should be placed in based on what you purchased and where.
But not all receipts all created equal! Sometimes the ink gets smudged, or maybe you visited a mom and pop shop that our algorithm doesn’t recognize. In these cases, it’s important to make sure each of your receipts isn’t left without the right category.
Specify the date range in question, then under the categories tab, select Uncategorized. This will pull up all of the receipts that Shoeboxed did not categorize.
From here, you can adjust totals and place each receipt into its proper tax write off category.
If you don’t categorize your receipts, you could be missing out on lucrative deductions come tax time!
Skipping the notes section
The notes section in your receipt manager is a powerful tool that can save you hours of time when doing your taxes.
When you select an individual receipt, you’ll see the scanned image of that receipt. Next to it, you’ll see a section labeled Receipt Notes. This is where you can add additional information about when and where the purchase was made, and more importantly, why it’s a valid tax deduction.
When exporting your receipts to a spreadsheet, your notes will automatically be included. This will allow your tax professional to see all of the information they need regarding each particular transaction.
When you don’t complete the notes section, you may have to field email after email from your accountant asking you “What is this expense?”
Remember that just because you remember the $250 dinner was a business dinner, doesn’t mean your tax preparer knows that. Getting specific in the notes section will make it easy for them to approve the write-off, saving you both time (and saving you money!).
What’s your favorite feature within your Shoeboxed account? What features do you still have questions about? Let us know in the comments — we’re here to help!