Receipt Management: Five Major Cons of Paper Receipts

It’s not new to businesses, accountants, and even individuals who want to keep track of their expenses that receipts are extremely important. In the business world, paper receipts, though dominant, are losing popularity due to an alternative, digital receipts.

A digital receipt can solve all the pitfalls of a physical one, thus proving itself a superior solution. But where exactly do traditional methods fail?

This article lists three major disadvantages of paper receipts. Also, you’ll find suggestions for finding the right receipt management software for your business. 

Why is receipt management important?

A receipt is a document that acknowledges something has been transferred, in other words, a transaction between one party to another. Ownership is changed as a result of receipts. Typically, a receipt includes the following information: 

  • The date and time the transaction happens
  • The number of items purchased or the service performed and the price
  • The time and location of each party
  • VAT charged, if any
  • The method of payment

All the necessary information within a transaction is present on a receipt. Therefore, this creates a transparent transaction and should prevent any misunderstandings and disputes between parties. You may have noticed that a receipt is a precedent if you want a refund or exchange. 

Regarding tax payments, receipts are even more important as they serve as proof of expenses. Countries vary in their tax reporting, but most require some document to prove how much you have paid. In the US, the IRS requires receipts for certain expenses when filing taxes. 

There are several types of important receipts, see also if you are interested: 

Receipt management.

How are businesses doing receipt management? 

There are five receipt management systems that individuals and businesses normally use to handle their receipts: paper receipts, photo/scan solutions, apps with receipt capture technology, apps with auto-match, and direct receipts. According to a study, the time spent on receipt management with each method is as follows:

  • Paper receipt: 13.9 second
  • Photo/scan solution: 9.2 second
  • App with receipt management technology: 4.9 second
  • App with auto-match: 2.8 second
  • Direct receipt: 1.3 second

Except for the first one, all of the other methods are digital. The norm now is that many businesses are digitizing their receipt management, which saves them a potential amount of time. 

Cons of holding onto a physical receipt

A physical receipt may be practical and simple, something we have been too familiar with. And old habits die hard. Every store provides its customers with paper receipts, so why bother changing to digital receipts? Plus, a person may be more likely to look at and examine a paper receipt, double-checking if anything goes wrong with the transaction. 

But resorting to paper receipts brings more troubles than benefits. 

1. Take up much physical space

One receipt might sit well in your pocket. But five receipts do not, let alone a hundred receipts. 

Eventually, with hundreds of thousands of receipts that businesses, even small ones, come into every year, it is indeed very space-consuming. 

With too many in one place, they are more prone to getting lost. One receipt is too small for us to immediately acknowledge that it is gone, too little for anyone to come across it to remember. Going digital, you need only one device to keep all the receipts. 

2. Deteriorate over time 

Receipts are made of thermal paper, with some layers of special coating. Still, they fade away with time, like many other kinds of paper. There are several tips on storing them correctly, thus, preventing them from fading.

A physical receipt may be practical and simple, something we have been too familiar with. And old habits die hard. Every store provides its customers with paper receipts, so why bother changing to digital receipts? Plus, a person may be more likely to look at and examine a paper receipt, double-checking if anything goes wrong with the transaction. 

But resorting to paper receipts brings more troubles than benefits. 

3. Take up much physical space

One receipt might sit well in your pocket. But five receipts do not, let alone a hundred receipts. 

Eventually, with hundreds of thousands of receipts that businesses, even small ones, come into every year, it is indeed very space-consuming. 

With too many in one place, they are more prone to getting lost. One receipt is too small for us to immediately acknowledge that it is gone, too little for anyone to come across it to remember. Going digital, you need only one device to keep all the receipts. 

4. Deteriorate over time 

Receipts are made of thermal paper, with some layers of special coating. Still, they fade away with time, like many other kinds of paper. There are several tips on storing them correctly, thus, preventing them from fading.

These tips can only delay the fading process, storing the receipts for a few more years. Thermal paper deteriorates anyway. Going digital, you do not have to do anything special, and receipts are still there after years. 

5. Difficult to find a specific receipt

It’s hard to find the right piece of paper in a pile containing thousands of others. Even in the most organized workplace, it can still puzzle anyone searching for things, slowing them down. 

A digital document archive with a powerful search function will greatly improve one’s productivity. Receipt management software helps you cut off lots of time finding documents, thus staying focused and engaged in more important tasks.

Finding the right digital receipt management for your business!

There are many digital receipt management software on the market to choose from, Shoeboxed, Expensify, and Zoho Expense, to name a few. With several choices, you may wonder what software is the right one for your business. The answer doesn’t lie only in the software features but also in your business model and needs.

The receipt management software developed by Shoeboxed is an ideal tool for small business owners and managers. 

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

You might also be interested in: Top 5 Receipt Scanner and Organizer Apps for Small Businesses in 2021

The bottom line

Space-consuming, susceptible to deterioration, and difficult to access are paper receipts’ three most visible cons. Now that you know the disadvantages of physical receipts, it is now the time that you switch to digital solutions. This may be the best solution that you make for yourself and your business. 

What Are Receipt Books and How Do You Use Them?

Are you looking for a quick guide on receipt books? If yes, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out exactly what a receipt book is and how to fill it in correctly. 

Let’s go! 

What is a receipt book? 

As the name suggests, a receipt book consists of multiple detachable forms of receipt that serve as proof of payment. These booklets are usually pre-numbered chronologically and have the receipt headings in place. You can easily print off a receipt book template online or buy it at any office supply store.

A receipt book is a critical document because it helps you keep track of your financial transactions and serves as solid evidence for tax purposes

The number of individual receipts in a book can vary from 50 to 200 sets. Commonly, one set of receipts contains two different colored receipts: white and yellow. The white receipt is called the original receipt, which is usually on top and to be given to your customers. Meanwhile, the yellow receipt is a duplicate or carbon copy of the white receipt that the business keeps for documentation. 

Source: Amazon 

You can also find sets containing up to 4 different colored receipts on the market. This type of receipt book comes in really handy if your business has many departments involved in the sales process. For example, your business may want to give the white copy to the client, the yellow one to the sales department, the pink one to the finance department, and the blue one remains in the receipt book.

Related articles:

How to fill in a receipt?  

While it depends on the template you use for your receipts, there are some essential parts that you see on almost every receipt. Below is a detailed guide on how to fill in those crucial parts:

  • Date: Write the exact date at the top page of your receipt when the transaction occurs. It can be the date when you receive payments or when your client receives your products or services. 
  • Company name and contact information: Most businesses have customized receipt books that have all this information pre-printed at the top left-hand corner of the receipt page. If you don’t have a customized receipt book, you will have to write down your company phone number/hotline and address under the company name.

Feel free to include other details like your website address, social media accounts, or operating hours. On a side note, if you don’t have a company name, it’s recommended to write your own full name instead. 

For example:

Russell Campbell

1234 Everett Way

Arvada, CO 80005

United States

? +123456789

? runningforlife.com

  • Product details: Write the name of your product on the left-hand side of the receipt. Make sure you also enter a specific description of the product like the size, quantity, color, etc.  

If you sell more than one item, list each product individually on one single row or line and leave a good space between each product. This allows you to change or add more information when needed.

For example:

      Product Size Color Quantity 
Running T-shirts LYellow 2
Knitted scarf Gray1
Motivational mug1
  • Price: For each item, write down its corresponding price at the end of the row or line. Always remember to multiply the single product’s price by its quantity first if you sell more than one unit of that product. 

For example:

      Product Size Color Quantity Price ($)
Running T-shirts LYellow 250
Knitted scarf Gray120
Motivational mug115

In this example, a running T-shirt costs $25. This customer is buying two, so you would need to write the total value of two T-shirts, which is $25 x 2 = $50.  

  • Subtotal amount: the subtotal is the summation of all the items before taxes and/or any additional fees. Add up the cost of each line and write the total number under the list of products on the price column. 

For example: 

      Product Size Color Quantity Price ($)
Running T-shirts LYellow 250
Knitted scarf Gray120
Motivational mug115
Subtotal 85 
  • Taxes, additional charges, and grand total: Include any applicable taxes by multiplying the subtotal figure with the tax percentage. Also, add any other additional charges such as delivery fees. List the name of your taxes and other fees on the left side under the subtotal and their cost on the price column. 

Now, add all the numbers to get the grand total, or the amount that your customer has to pay. Write the figure you get at the bottom of the receipt. You will always see a designated line to write your totals.

For example: 

So, there you go, that’s how to fill in a receipt! 

Related articles: 

What’s Shoeboxed? 

Shoeboxed is an application that lets you digitize all paper receipts in just a few seconds. Shoeboxed automatically extracts and categorizes important data from your receipts with human verification. Quick, reliable, and trustworthy, Shoeboxed promises to organize your piles of documents in the best way possible!

Digitize and organize your receipt books with Shoeboxed

Try Shoeboxed for FREE!  

Expensify vs Shoeboxed: Which One Is for You?

Whether you’re self-employed or a business owner, choosing the perfect accounting software for your business is very important. There are countless software and apps on the market with various features, pricing, details, and so much more to check. We understand that not all people have time to test dozens of solutions. That’s why we came up with a complete comparison between the top choices for receipt tracking and expense management software: Expensify vs Shoeboxed

An overview: Expensify vs Shoeboxed

1. Cross-platform compatibility

Different people have different needs. Some love iOS, while others are loyal to Android. And there are Windows users, and there are people who like to access things on a browser. This situation is especially true when working as part of a team.

Both Shoeboxed and Expensify are available on Android and iOS platforms. You can also use them in any browser of your choice without any issues. This will help you keep your receipts in sync at all times.

2. Interface

Since most of us use smartphones to scan receipts, the app’s interface is an important part to consider when choosing the right accounting app. Both apps are easy to use with the basic functions displayed right on the portal. The interface is clean and intuitive with a focus on simplicity and speed.

A comparison between Expensify vs Shoeboxed’s interface

3. Main features

The basic functionality remains the same. You scan an expense receipt, and the app will extract the key data such as items, quantity, price. They will also categorize them by vendor, the total amount, date, and payment type. There are various categories to further classify your expenses like Mileage, Groceries, Entertainment, Office Supplies, etc. Then, the apps create a digitized version of the receipt synced with your cloud account. 

Both apps allow you to arrange receipts by trips, create a report, and submit it for approval. Users can also track mileage for business trips with both apps. Additionally, Expensify offers a per diem functionality where an individual is given a daily allowance, and you can use the app to keep track of it on a daily basis.

On the other hand, Shoeboxed has one feature that Expensify lacks. If you have a bunch of receipts and no time to scan them, you can mail them straight to Shoeboxed‘s processing facility for free with our postage-paid Magic Envelope™. Shoeboxed will scan the receipts, turn them into organized and actionable digital data, and upload them to your account. 

This mail-in feature that Shoeboxed offers helps you clear your desk and drawers and bring you up to speed. This unique service is extremely useful for small business owners or freelancers—those who have to handle a lot of work on their own. By doing this, you can free yourself from the paperwork and focus on improving your business’s core value. 


What’s more, Shoeboxed ensures that all your digital receipts are human-verified and audit-ready. You can rest assured that your receipts are legibly scanned, clearly categorized, and accepted by both the Internal Revenue Service and the Canada Revenue Service in the event of an audit. This is the best choice for freelancers and business owners when it comes to tax season. 

4. Third-party integration

Both Shoeboxed and Expensify integrate with various third-party apps and software such as Quickbooks, Intuit, and Xero. Expensify also connects with Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Bill.com, Uber, and several other popular services. 

5. Pricing

Pricing is definitely an important factor to consider, especially if you’re looking for a scalable solution.

Shoeboxed offers three primary plans. The Startup plan (for individuals and freelancers) begins at $18/month, allowing you to scan and store up to 900 documents (both physical and digital) per year. If you are a professional or small business owner, go for the Professional plan. With $36 for two users, this plan offers you 3600 documents/month. If you own a business with high volume, the Business plan at $54/month with 7200 documents/month is the most suitable option.

On the other hand, Expensify takes a simpler approach limiting the number of plans available. The individual plan begins at $5/month with no limit on receipts scanning. If you’re working in a team, Expensify offers a $9/user/month plan and a corporate plan that begins at $18/user/month. They also have an enterprise solution customized based on your business’s demands. 

Comparison: Expensify vs Shoeboxed

To help you better visualize the differences between Expensify vs Shoeboxed, we’ve made this handy chart for you: 

ExpensifyShoeboxed
OverviewExpensify is an expense management system for personal and business use. Expensify helps users scan receipts, track expenses, and book travel all in one app.Shoeboxed is the painless solution for freelancers and small business owners to track and digitize their receipts, maximize tax deductions and prepare audit-ready reports.
Platforms supported– Web-based
– iOS
– Android
– Web-based
– iOS
– Android
Language supportedEnglishEnglish
Targeted customers– Freelancers
– Small businesses
– Mid-sized businesses
– Large enterprises
– Freelancers
– Small businesses
– Mid-sized businesses
Customer support– Email
– Phone
– Live support
– Video tutorials
– Phone
– Online
– Video tutorials
Features– One-click receipt scanning
– Credit card import
– Multi-level approval workflows
– Corporate card reconciliation
– Accounting, HR, and travel integrations
– Multi-level coding
– Advanced tax tracking
– Audit and compliance
– Delegated access
– PCI-compliant security
– Automatically identify currency
– Receipt scanning
– Optical Character Recognition
– Human data verification
– Scanned receipts storage
– Receipt search
– Mobile receipts tracking
– Mileage tracking
– Data digitization service
– Gmail receipts archiving
– Business cards management
– Tax filing
– Expense reports
– Multiple international currencies
IntegrationsExpensify integrates with various accounting software as well as HR, travel, and accommodation systems and applications:
– Accounting: Bill.com, FinancialForce, NetSuite, QuickBooks, Sage, Xero, Scan Snap
– Transport: Automatic, Grab, Lyft, Trainline, Uber
– Accommodation: Hotel Engine, HotelTonight, Roomex, TripActions
– Travel Bookings: Flight Sugar, Gallop, Jettly, Lola, Pana, TravelPerk
– Travel: NexTravel, TripActions, Trip Catcher
– Other Integrations: Accelo, Global VATax, PayPal, RevelPOS, Microsoft Dynamics, Financial Force, Workday, TSheets
Shoeboxed integrates with the following third-party solutions:
– QuickBooks
– Xero
– MYOB
– Dropbox
– Evernote
– GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping
– WaveAccounting
– FreshBooks
– OneSaas
– Saasu
– Salesforce
– WorkingPoint
– Bench
– ScanSnap
PricingAlong with the free version, Expensify offers two pricing plans: 
– The Collect plan at $5/user/month
– The Control plan at $18/user/month
Along with the free version, Shoeboxed offers three pricing plans: 
– The Startup plan at $18/month
– The Professional plan at $36/month
– The Business plan at $54/month

In the end, the choice is yours

By comparing the features, integrations, and pricing with your business’s needs, you’ll be able to decide which app is the best fit for your business. Don’t forget to get a free trial before subscribing to experience how the program can benefit you in practical situations.

If you’d like to see more comparisons between Shoeboxed and other accounting apps, let us know in the comments! 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Shoeboxed blog for more engaging stories about entrepreneurship, staying organized, DIY accounting, together with Shoeboxed‘s latest product updates.