The Why And The How Of Digitally Scanning Receipts With The Shoeboxed App: A Step-By-Step Guide

scan receipt

Whether you are a business owner or a freelancer, tracking expenses is an essential part of your job. In either case, using a receipt scanning application can make it easier to scan receipt and keep track of and manage your expenses. 

You’ve probably used a document scanner before and know how it works. With a piece of paper placed on the scanner’s surface, you only need to press a button, and the scanner saves an image of the document to a hard drive. A receipt scanner varies from a traditional document scanner in two fundamental aspects: it doesn’t just save an image of the receipt; and it uses OCR (optical character recognition) software to process the image, extracting data displayed on the receipt such as letters and numbers, and it will even create an expense report for you. 

Automatic receipt scanning technology brings several benefits to your business, all of which serve to make your work much easier. This article will give you a precise look at how your business can benefit from a receipt scanning application and a step-by-step guide to scan receipt with the Shoeboxed Receipt Scanning & Expense Tracking App

1. Introducing the Shoeboxed Receipt Scanning & Expense Tracking app 

At Shoeboxed, we know how troublesome it can be to sort through receipts and put together an expense report. That’s why we bring you the perfect mobile app for scanning and managing receipts to make the process of expenses as simple and painless as possible. Our significant features allow you to manage all your receipts at any time. 

The Shoeboxed app functions as an automatic receipt scanner. It essentially processes a photo of a receipt to produce a digital receipt containing all the necessary information and a wealth of useful metadata. Once your receipts are fully stored in digital format, Shoeboxed provides you with numerous useful functions. You can submit expense reports in a few clicks, have all data automatically exported to the accounting software of your choice, and can search, access, and make changes to your receipts at any time, from anywhere.

Discover more: Why Start-ups and Entrepreneurs Need Digitized Receipt Management

2. Benefits of using a receipt scanning app

Time-saving

First and foremost, the most apparent benefit of a receipt scanning app is the potential to save you a lot of time. Imagine how long it takes to enter one receipt’s worth of information into an excel spreadsheet and compare that to how long it takes to take a photo of the receipt! 

It used to take hours to go through a box of receipts. Now the whole process only takes a few minutes. All you need to do is capture an image of the receipt with your smartphone, and the app will do the rest. 

Space-saving and clutter-reducing

A great benefit of storing your financial information in digital format is the reduced need for paper storage. You can free your desk from piles of papers and get it less cluttered. This improves your work environment and allows you to get your paperwork into action. 

Data loss reduction

Normally, you need to take all your receipts and store them all in one place and choose a certain day to go through them. And there are also chances that you lose your receipts from time to time. With a receipt scanning app, you can take a photo of each receipt as soon as you get in and keep it on your smartphone. When the information is stored digitally (particularly when using cloud storage), the chances of data loss are significantly reduced. This means you no longer have to worry about receipts and invoices piling up and saves you from an unmanageably large mountain of receipts. 

Increased security

Storing important documents on a digital cloud platform is obviously safer than keeping a hard copy of those documents. Most cloud servers are intensively secured with complex encryption methods and protocols, as well as reliable backup systems, protecting your data from being lost or hacked. Additionally, digital storage means increased privacy. While anyone can pick up or read your paper documents, only specific people with given permission can access the digital-storage documents. 

Ease of access

Let’s imagine trawling through multiple boxes of receipts looking for a particular expense from several years ago. Not only would this take forever, but there is also a chance that you wouldn’t find what you were looking for. A receipt management app provides you with search tools, allowing you to search for receipts by category, time, amount, or any number of metadata that you have attached to the receipt. 

You can also add metadata to receipts (projects, expense category, location information, payment method, etc.). This is a great way to organize the receipts and make it easier to find them. For example, if you need to go over all expenses incurred during your two-week business trip to New York, simply look up the relevant category or time frame. All necessary information is right where you need it. 

And it doesn’t matter where you are or what time it is, you can access all of your financial data from any device as long as you have an internet connection. From there, you can enter new information or make changes if needed, and share data with clients, employees, or business partners at ease. 

Automatic currency conversion

When traveling around the world, you may receive a lot of receipts in different currencies. Adding a conversion step to your expense reporting can save you time and effort converting this information manually. 

FIY: Shoeboxed currently supports the following currencies: USD $, AUD $, CAD $, NZD $, MXN $, EUR €, JPY ¥, GBP £, CHF ?, HKD $, SGD $ and so much more. 

You can always change the default currency for your account so that expense reports in your account will display your receipts in your preferred currency. 

The Shoeboxed app also offers currency conversion. Shoeboxed will capture the international currency amount and convert it into your default currency when you send receipts that aren’t in your default currency. We use historical conversion rates from the European Central Bank to convert your receipt and bill to your default currency. 

Long-term and unlimited storage 

At Shoeboxed, we offer unlimited storage to keep your receipts for years! When your receipts are digitally stored, they will still be perfectly intact even when they are ten years old. On the other hand, physical receipts are prone to aging and fading, reducing clarity and legibility, potentially causing you troubles down the road. 

Court-recognized legal documents

Digital receipts are completely accepted as legal documents. The IRS and HMRC both accept digitized receipts, meaning that the process of filing tax refunds and write-offs for business expenses becomes much easier. 

Accuracy

Countless hours of data entry might weaken your accuracy. But this will no longer be a problem with the Shoeboxed Receipt Scanning & Expense Management app. Every single receipt will be processed with 100% accuracy. 

Automated expense reporting

With all of the receipt information digitally stored, generating an accurate and comprehensive report is only a few clicks away. You can then send them by email or export them to other accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero, or Dropbox. 

3. A step-by-step guide to scan receipt with the Shoeboxed app

Our Shoeboxed receipt scanning app was designed to be incredibly user-friendly. To scan receipt, simply do the following:

  • Step 1: Prepare your receipt for scanning

Flatten all receipts as best you can. Then, tape any tears in each receipt. Torn receipts might not make it through the scanner correctly. You may also remove all staples and paper clips that may be attached to the receipt. 

  • Step 2: Open the Shoeboxed app, choose “Add new.”
prepare to scan receipt
  • Step 3: Take a picture of the receipt
scan receipt with the Shoeboxed app
  • Step 4: Add essential information to the receipt (such as title), and choose a category. 
add information to the receipt
add information to the receipt
  • Step 5: Scanning and processing the data
process

The Shoeboxed app extracts the most important data points on your receipts and automatically categorizes them by vendor, total spent, date, and payment type when you have scanned the receipt. Extracted data is fully searchable and editable. Our team members double-check extracted information so you can rest assured that you’re seeing human-verified, trustable data. You can always edit or add any details or metadata that you need. 

adding information to the receipt

See also: Shoeboxed human-verified data extraction feature

  • Step 6: Create an expense report for approval with the Shoeboxed app

Once everything is in place, Shoeboxed creates clear and comprehensive expense reports that include images of your receipts. You can click the “Expense report” on the left of the screen, select receipts, export, print, or email them in an email to your client, employees, or colleagues for easy tax preparation or reimbursement. Shoeboxed ensures that all of your receipts are legibly scanned, clearly categorized, and easy to locate.

create expense report

Final thoughts

Now you know how to scan receipt digitally anytime, from anywhere with a single smartphone. Having the ability to turn your paper receipts into a digital format can make your expense tracking much simpler. Furthermore, Shoeboxed is packed with features you may not have tried yet (like mileage tracking or business card storing). Get your 30-day trial now before choosing the perfect plan for your purpose!