5 Best Receipt Scanner and Organizer Apps for Small Businesses in 2021

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. 

Discover: Why Small Businesses Need To Transform Paper Receipts To Digital Data

The top 5 receipt scanner and organizer apps for small businesses in 2021

1. Expensify

Price: From $4.99/month

Platform: iOS and Android

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!

2. Shoeboxed

Price: From $18/month

Platform: iOS and Android

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. 

See more: How To Scan A Receipts Digitally With The Shoeboxed App: A Step-By-Step Guide.

3. Zoho Expense

Price: From $5/month

Platform: iOS and Android

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.

4. Smart Receipts

Price: From $9.99/year

Platform: iOS and Android

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. 

5. Fitfin 

Price: Free

Platform: iOS and Android

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.

How To Track Mileage For Taxes With The Shoeboxed App

Whether you are a business owner or an independent contractor, you might need to track miles for taxes. When you file your tax return, all of your business-related mileage needs to be well-categorized according to what type of activity generated those miles. You need to record all of the information so that you can file your taxes more accurately. After all, you can get a significant tax deduction from that. 

This article will give you detailed instructions on how to track mileage for taxes with the Shoeboxed app. This free mobile application allows you to instantly capture receipt images from anywhere and use your phone’s built-in GPS for easy, accurate mileage tracking.

1. What is a mileage-tracking app?

Before we kick off with the mileage-tracking app, we need to clarify what counts as business mileage. There seems to be a common misconception among self-employed workers when claiming mileage for taxes as to whether or not the commute from home to office or vice versa should be deducted as business mileage. A commute is not an activity that generates a revenue stream for your company. However, if your home is your primary place of business, then yes, mileage tracking should start from your home as the point of origin. Business mileage is applied for trips while doing business.

According to the IRS, business mileage is “the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for your business, profession, or job.” This includes activities such as driving to clients for lunch or meetings, going to a conference, running errands (i.e: buying office supplies) related to your work, and more. 

When you track your miles during business travel, your tax savings increase in sync with your odometer. It is sometimes impossible to keep quality records of all that travel consistently, accurately, and tidily (i.e. logbooks, gas receipts, parking stubs, etc.)

Luckily, a mileage tracking app is an easy answer for how to track mileage for taxes. It creates an automatic and contemporaneous mileage log for all of your trips. The mileage tracking app saves those records securely in the cloud-based system, so you never have to worry about losing them. Additionally, you can pull out or print out those records years later if you ever have to face an IRS audit. 

Let’s take a closer look at the mileage tracking app to see why you need it, whether you are a freelancer or a small business owner. 

2. Why do you need a mileage-tracking app?

  • As a small business owner

Out-of-town business travel generates tons of receipts, from airline tickets, taxis, meals, laundry, accommodation, and more. Receipts verify what you purchased on the trip and act as a travel log of where time and money were spent on the business trip. Some important factors determining eligibility. For example: How much of the trip was personal, if the trip was away from your home, and if the amounts are justifiable. 

Of course, business travelers can also make small mistakes, adding another reason for the IRS to audit with scrutiny. In this case, submitting receipts once you make the purchase will be a great idea. Don’t wait until the end of the trip to gather all your paper trail receipts! Shoeboxed can be a helpful assistant to do this and also eliminate the possibility of losing a receipt. You wouldn’t let a misplaced piece of paper allow you to lose reimbursement or deduction money, would you?

Another related issue that a small business owner will face when tracking mileage for taxes is the “mixed-use” asset. (For example, a vehicle is used for both personal and business purposes). The mixed-use asset requires extra care to distinguish when the vehicle is being used for business and when it is not. Since only the portion of use for business would be counted in the company’s book, keeping clear and detailed records of time, route, and reason it is used for business purposes help to establish what portion of use is business-related. 

Shoeboxed tracks mileage using your phone’s built-in GPS when traveling to and from business meetings. The app will record the precise start and end location, as well as the date of your trip for detailed documentation.

See more: 5 Receipts Small Business Owners Should Take Extra Care to Keep

  • As a freelancer

As a freelancer, you are 100% in charge of your business. Therefore, organization and tracking become a top priority to successful freelancing. 

Like any other good expense-tracking habit, tracking travel mileage ensures protection against tax audits and business disputes. Keeping track of your business mileage is important because it is tax-deductible. This means you can reduce your taxable income based on how much you drive for work. Various travel miles qualify, such as business travel to and from airports and hotels, errands and supply runs, travel to clients’ offices, and to and from business meetings. Don’t skip those valuable deductions!

One effective way to do this is to track your mileage and report those miles to the IRS. However, a freelancer’s line of work is usually busy and stressful since a lot can fall on your shoulders at once. Using a mileage tracking app can help take some of the pressure off. This app will consistently track your mileage so you can focus on more important aspects of running your business. You can rest easy, knowing that you are going to get the right amount of money back on your tax return. The mileage tracking app also alleviates the stress of an administrative task that requires hours working. 

3. How to track mileage for taxes with the Shoeboxed app

As introduced above, Shoeboxed helps you track mileage using your phone’s built-in GPS for unmatched ease and accuracy. With the intuitive interface and features, everyone at all technology proficiency levels can start using Shoeboxed to track their mileage and other expenses. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to track mileage for taxes with Shoeboxed: 

Shoeboxed on Apple Store
Shoeboxed on Google Play
  • Step 2: Sign in or sign up to Shoeboxed Receipt & Mileage Tracker. You can sign in/sign up with your Facebook or Google account. 
  • Step 3: To start tracking, simply navigate to the “Trips” area of the app. Click the “Start Mileage Tracking” button to begin a new trip. Your location will be saved, and you can start driving.
  • Step 4: When you reach your destination, click “Stop Trip”. The app will generate a trip summary, including the date, the ability to name the trip, editable mileage, and deductible rate information. It will even show you the route you took.
  • Step 5: Once you’ve edited and approved the information, click “Done”. The trip info (along with the map) will be submitted to Shoeboxed as a receipt with an automatic category assignment for mileage.

But what if you have to stop on the way for business purposes, perhaps for a lunch meeting? No worries! You can still submit a receipt for your meal without interrupting your mileage trip.

You can create a mileage report or a combination report including mileage and any receipts incurred during this trip. After that, you can submit the report to your employer to be reimbursed. Alternatively,  you can filter for all mileage during the tax year and make sure you get all of the deductions for which you qualify.

Still unsure what should be reimbursed and what should be deducted? Check our Tax Deductions Cheat Sheet to discover the most common deductions and how they can help you save on your taxes.

Final thoughts

Now that you know how to track mileage for taxes with the Shoeboxed app. Let’s get ready to be a pro at tracking your business expenses!

Download (or update) the Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker app for iOS or Android now to get the 30-day trial. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Shoeboxed blog for more engaging entrepreneurship stories, how to stay organized, DIY accounting, and the latest Shoeboxed news.

Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker Update Now Available for Android

The new Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker app is now available for download from the Google Play Store! The new version includes the ability to tag receipts for you to write off or deduct later, as well as a brand new mileage tracking feature. Lose the paper clutter and download the Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker today!

shoeboxed receipt tracker androidAttention all Android Shoeboxers: We didn’t forget about you! We’re thrilled to let you know that the new Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker app is now available as a free download from Google Play.

The app includes a brand new mileage tracking feature, as well as the ability to tag receipts for you to write off or deduct later. You can learn more about the new app in this blog post.

Don’t delay — Download (or update) the new Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker today!

As always, if you have any questions about our new mileage tracking or receipt tagging features, you can reach us by phone at 919-687-4269 or by email at help@team.shoeboxed.com.

Stay Organized,
The Shoeboxed Team