How Do I Submit Documents to Shoeboxed? A 2016 Refresher

Tax season may be over, but that doesn’t mean you should stop sending in receipts to Shoeboxed!

Tax season may be over, but that doesn’t mean you should stop sending in receipts to Shoeboxed! Whether you live for inbox zero or are always on the go, we have a  method of getting your documents to us quickly and easily. We constantly strive to offer new solutions to make your life easier and more productive!

Here’s a quick recap of all the ways you can send your documents to Shoeboxed for processing.

  • Gmail Receipt Sync: The first set-it-and-forget-it, automatic receipt processor! Simply link your Gmail account to Shoeboxed under “settings” in your account, and we’ll spot incoming receipts and automatically process them into your online account.
  • Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker: Our mobile app is a free download for iPhone and Android. The app lets you snap a photo of a receipt, enter a note, tag it as Reimburseable or Deductible, and submit it to Shoeboxed for processing.
  • Web Clipper: The Shoeboxed Web Clipper is the easiest way to send things to Shoeboxed directly from any web browser. The Web Clipper is a free download for Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer (click here) and Chrome (click here). Simply navigate to the page you want to submit for processing, click the Shoeboxed icon and it will capture and submit everything on your current web page. You can also ‘clip’ email signatures so the contact information will be imported into the business card section of your Shoeboxed account.
  • Desktop Uploaders: Our Desktop Uploaders are an easy way to submit documents on your computer straight to Shoeboxed without having to access your online account. The Desktop Uploader is a free download forMac and Windows.
  • receipts@shoeboxed.com: Send eReceipts to this email as a single dropbox for you to forward eReceipts to! We’ll detect which account to put the receipt in based on the sender.
  • Magic Envelopes: Simply toss all of your receipts, bank statements, and any other paperwork that needs to be scanned into one of our famous Magic Envelopes for processing. Drop it in the mail, then watch as your account is magically populated with digital receipt data– and images of your scanned receipts!

    Shoeboxed Magic Envelope
    Our Magic Envelopes let you send in stacks of physical receipts and paperwork.

So, what are you waiting for? Try out a new way to get your documents to us today.

5 Receipts Small Business Owners Should Take Extra Care to Keep

Holding on to detailed receipts for expenses is one of your best defenses in an audit. Receipts also act as a log, allowing you to jot down important context about your (sometimes costly) expenses. Of course, not all receipts are created equal, so we’ve compiled a list of five, highly scrutinized receipts for which you’ll want to keep receipts.

Holding on to detailed receipts for expenses is one of your best defenses in an audit. Receipts also act as a log, allowing you to jot down important context about your (sometimes costly) expenses.

Of course, not all receipts are created equal, so we’ve compiled a list of five, highly scrutinized receipts you’ll want to keep.

1. Meal & Entertainment Receipts

Winning clients and building relationships are two of the many reasons we like to break bread with business contacts. Unfortunately, the line between “contacts” and friends is often blurred, making this an expense the IRS likes to scrutinize. For that reason, it’s best practice to keep receipts handy and properly documented in case of an audit. This includes recording information about who attended the meal and the purpose.

Shoeboxed Pro Tip: You can record this information using Shoeboxed in the “Notes” field for each receipt. When you submit an expense, simply include the initials of everyone who attended and a quick description of meeting purpose in the Notes section. Or if you use Magic Envelopes, you can jot down the information on the receipt and then add the information in the Notes field once the receipt has been processed. Simple as that.

Add a note to a Shoeboxed receipt by clicking on the Notes field in the receipt details
In the Shoeboxed web app, you can add receipt information like client name or meeting purpose under the “notes” section. Better documentation of Meals and Entertainment receipts will protect you from audits and verify that the expense is indeed deductible.

 

2. Receipts from Out of Town Business Travels

Out of town business travel generates tons of receipts from airline tickets, taxis, meals, laundry, lodging and more. Of course, business travel can also be mistaken for “pleasure”, making this another IRS favorite prone to audit scrutiny. Receipts verify what was purchased on the trip and also act as a travel log of where time on the business trip was spent. Some important factors that determine eligibility include: how much of the trip was personal in nature, if the trip was away from your tax home and if the amounts are justifiable.

Shoeboxed Pro Trip: When traveling, make it habit to submit receipts as you make the purchase — don’t wait until the end of your trip to document your paper trail. Using the Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker app can help you achieve this, and it can also eliminate the possibility of losing a receipt. You wouldn’t want to lose reimbursement or deduction money because of a misplaced piece of paper!

Use Shoeboxed to track receipts on-the-go as you travel on business trips, like Uber ride receipts
1. Receipts verify business expenses used on business-related trips & keep a time log of your travel activities.
Use Shoeboxed to track receipts on-the-go as you travel on business trips, like Hotel stay receipts
2. Keeping track of receipts as you buy when traveling eliminates the risk of losing proof of purchase.
Use Shoeboxed to track receipts on-the-go as you travel on business trips, and then create expense reports to keep the deductible expenses organized
3. At the end of your trip, organize deductible receipts by creating expense reports right from your phone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Vehicle Related Receipts

“Mixed use” assets, like a vehicle used for both personal and business purposes, require extra care to distinguish when they are being used for business and when they are not. Since only the portion of use that is for business should be counted in the company’s books, keeping clear and detailed records of when, where and why a vehicle is used for business purposes helps to establish what portion of use is business related.

The portion of use that is business related (e.g. 20% of use is for business) can then be applied against any vehicle related expenses (maintenance, parts etc). Always keep a detailed receipt (as opposed to a credit card statement) that lists what items or services the vehicle needs.  Remember, if an auditor can’t easily establish that a payment to Costco was for car tires and not for Tide, chances are that vehicle-related expense won’t be considered for business purposes.

Shoeboxed Pro Tip: Use the Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker App to automatically track mileage using your phone’s built-in GPS when traveling to and from business meetings. Not only will the app record the precise start and end points of your trip for detailed documentation, but it will also apply the standard mileage rate.

Use Shoeboxed mileage tracking to keep accurate records of business expenses related to vehicle use
1. Drop a pin whenever you want to start, pause or end a trip to make sure you are maximizing deductible mileage rates.
Use Shoeboxed mileage tracking to keep accurate records of business expenses related to vehicle use
2. Adding a trip name and a note to distinguish the business-related nature of the trip will ensure it is deduction-friendly.
Use Shoeboxed mileage tracking to keep accurate records of business expenses related to vehicle use
3. Shoeboxed Mileage tracking syncs with your phone’s built-in GPS for accurate documentation of vehicle trips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Receipts for Gifts

Gifts are a thoughtful way to build rapport, however, there are several nuances to be aware of. For example, deciphering whether concert or sporting event tickets are considered ‘gifts’ or ‘entertainment’ depends on whether or not the gift giver goes with their client or business prospect. Documenting this kind of information on the gift receipt is key to allowing your accountant to treat the expense correctly for tax purposes. For more detailed information on gift expense limits and interpretation, check out this publication.

Shoeboxed Pro Tip: If you want to keep better track of gift receipts, add a “Gift” category and assign that category to receipts that would be considered gifts for deduction purposes. You can also add information which can validate whether or not the receipt can be considered a gift in the “Notes” field under receipt details.

Manage receipts with Shoeboxed by using customized categories to organize expenses,
Add a “Gift” category and assign them to expenses that could be deducted as gifts. Organizing receipts by category can also help you and your accountant treat the expense correctly for tax purposes.

 

5. Home Office Receipts

Like vehicles, a home office is considered “mixed-use” and the expenses associated with claiming a home office are therefore closely scrutinized. The key to properly accounting for home office expenses is to establish what portion of the home and the home’s expenses the office represents. If the home office makes up 20% of the home’s space, for example, then this proportion of expenses is deemed common to both the home and home office such as rent, electricity, internet to name a few. Keeping the bills and proof of payment for the home expenses with the business’ files is important in case these home office related expenses are challenged. Be sure to read the IRS publication on home office expenses for more information on what shared use items do or don’t qualify.

Shoeboxed Pro Tip: Documents other than receipts (like bills and invoices that prove home office expenses) can also be used to protect your business in case of an audit. Luckily, you can upload a variety of documents to Shoeboxed — we don’t just scan receipts!

Shoeboxed can organize a variety of documents like bills, invoices and contracts to verify expenses, not just receipts
Home office deductions can get tricky because shared space with the “home” complicates the use of business expenses. Documents other than receipts (like bills and invoices that prove home office expenses) can be used to protect your business in case of an audit when receipts alone cannot distinguish home vs. office use.

An original version of this article was first published on the Shoeboxed Blog in November 2013 and was written by Ian Crosby, the CEO of Bench.co, an online accounting firm. This version has been altered to reflect IRS updates and new Shoeboxed features. 

Top 10 Ways to Go Paperless in 2016

Small business innovators and environmental activists are predicting 2016 to be the greenest year ever. That’s because it’s never been easier to go paperless, and save time, money, and trees while you’re at it. Here are quick, easy, cost-effective changes you can make to eliminate paper clutter and positively impact the planet in 2016.

Small business innovators and environmental activists are predicting 2016 to be the greenest year ever. That’s because it’s never been easier to go paperless, and save time, money, and trees while you’re at it.

Here are quick, easy, cost-effective changes you can make to eliminate paper clutter and positively impact the planet in 2016.

1. Just Say No to Shopping Bags
Bring your own reusable shopping bags everywhere you go – from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to CVS and Target. If you have paper bags at home, you can use them again or donate them back to the store.

2. Scan Your Receipts
Remove receipt clutter from your home and office by scanning your receipts to your Shoeboxed account. It’s easy to digitize stacks of receipts using a desktop scanner, or individual receipts using your smartphone. (See #7 if the mere thought of scanning all of your paper clutter makes you feel like crying).

3. Sign up for Paperless Billing
Make sure you select the paperless billing option for every bill you pay, and consider going paperless for your company payroll too.

4. Send Paperless Faxes
In 2016, sending faxes no longer requires a fax machine. Use a service like HelloFax to send and receive faxes right from your computer – no printing, no paper, and no annoying dial tone!

5. Save to PDF
Wait – there’s no need to print that PDF, even if it needs to be edited by multiple team members. Save a tree and use an app like Nitro instead, which allows you to edit PDFs and convert them to other document types.

6. Trade Post-Its for Whiteboards
Sticky notes are one of the most annoying forms of paper clutter. They’re easily lost and make your office look like a kindergartener’s (not to mention the wasted environmental resources). Try erasable whiteboards instead to jot down ideas, to-do’s, and meetings.

7. Use the Magic Envelope
If the thought of scanning your receipts makes you weepy, let us do the heavy lifting for you. Just dump your paper receipts and other documents into the Shoeboxed Magic Envelope, and drop the envelope in the mail. When your docs arrive at Shoeboxed headquarters, we’ll scan and upload everything to your Shoeboxed account, giving you a completely fresh, paperless start to 2016.

8. Work in Google Drive
Enjoy paperless collaboration with team members by working in Google Drive. Easily add comments, make edits, view all saved versions of the document, and work together in real time.

9. eSign your Documents
Rare is the occasion nowadays where you need to “print, sign, and scan” anything. Since your electronic signature is legally binding, it’s far more eco-friendly and cost- effective to eSign all documents using a service like HelloSign.

10. Use Email Marketing Campaigns
Direct mail campaigns are expensive and time-consuming, and the results can be difficult to track. Send a paperless email campaign instead and get instant marketing data. You can also reward customers with virtual coupons and electronic discounts, both of which can be redeemed sans paper via the user’s smartphone.

How will you go paperless this year?