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.

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

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!

Proven Unique Receipt Tracking Feature: Human-Verified Data Extraction

In the business world today, data is the real power. It is the solid foundation for nearly every decision-making within a business. To build a valuable database, a company needs to master the first step – data extraction.

Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple are all modern-day tech titans worth an estimated $4 trillion. But they weren’t always this size or this valuable. How did they grow to become so powerful? The answer is data.

Facebook has enough data on its average user to fill a 400,000-word document. Meanwhile, Google has more than seven times that amount or the equivalent of roughly three million-word paper per user. These giant tech companies can collect every data right down to what stickers we use in posts and messages.

In this article, we’ll define data extraction and its role in finance and management, as well as show you the simplest way to to extract data from one of your most frequently used documents – expense receipts.

What is data extraction? 

So what exactly does it mean to extract data? 

Data extraction is the process of getting data from a source for further data processing, storage, or analysis elsewhere. Data extraction is the first step in a data ingestion process named ETL, standing for Extract, Transform, and Load. The purpose of the ETL process is to move, transform and optimize data for analytics. 

Data is typically analyzed and then crawled through to get relevant information from the sources such as customer databases or documents. There are many reasons, uses, and examples of how the technology is used, including receipt scanning and data extraction, which we’ll get to later.

A great example of data extraction is scanning job application forms. Let’s say you’re a tech company looking to hire new software developers. But you require specific qualifications, skills, or even hobbies. It’s a high-paying job, so your company receives thousands of applicants.

Going through these job applications can be time-consuming to determine which candidate meets the necessary criteria and who doesn’t.

Data extraction comes in and helps us resolve the trouble of combing through a vast amount of forms. Data extraction technology goes through the applications, sees who matches the company’s specific needs, and discards the rest, saving valuable time, money and person-hours. 

Why do businesses need data extraction?

Data extraction is a vital process to automate data collection for analysis. The process provides necessary data from various sources like invoices, emails, or contracts. These data help automate processes and provide valuable insights and analytics for decision-making. 

Data extraction is also a fundamental part of many complex and technical procedures, such as improving legacy databases, consolidating resources following a merger or acquisition, or smoothening internal operations by combining data from different divisions and departments. 

Below, we’ve listed five significant benefits of data extraction for your business.

Improves accuracy & reduces human error

By automating data entry processes for repetitive tasks, data extraction tools can help improve the accuracy of your data inputs by reducing human errors. If your staff is entering large amounts of data day in and day out, the likelihood of errors and inaccuracies rises. These can include incomplete records, missing/incorrect information, and duplicates.

With an automated process for data extraction, you can remove these errors and get more accurate data overall which is great for your business as you can make better decisions based on actual data.

Increases employee productivity

Employee productivity is a crucial component of a successful business. Removing the need for manual data entry means your staff can spend more time on essential tasks that add more value to your business.

Your employees will have a more positive outlook because they are using their skill sets to complete more meaningful tasks instead of monotonous data entry. Allowing employees to have time and energy to be creative and innovative results in higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and a better working environment.

Improves visibility

Using data extraction allows your team to get their hands on data faster. The simple process of extracting and storing data in a cloud or a database means it is more visible and accessible to anyone in your business that needs it. 

Saves you & your business time

Time is money, as they say. Wasted time can prove costly for businesses. According to a study, automating tasks could save up to 2 hours for employees and 3 hours for business leaders per day. Business owners should consider using tools that help improve processes and save time. When used correctly, data extraction tools can save your business time, giving staff time to concentrate on more critical tasks.

Helps reduce costs

By automating long and repetitive tasks where possible, businesses can save money in both the short and long term. In the day-to-day running of your businesses and as it grows, you don’t need to worry about scaling and investing in a large team to handle your data needs. In conclusion, regardless of your business type, extracting data is an essential tool in both financial and managerial aspects.

What is data extraction for receipts? 

As we all know, a receipt shows relevant details of a given financial transaction. Data extraction for receipts is an automated process of extracting and organizing critical data such as the date of purchase, quantity, and total payment from a receipt for further usage. Below is an example of extracting critical data from a receipt. 

Thanks to advanced modern technology, businesses have been experiencing an automating system of data extractions from receipts using AI. In particular, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology can read your receipts almost as perfectly as a human being by scanning data through handwritten or electronic receipts. Not only that, but it can also convert data into digital text so that we can store and analyze that information. 

If it may sound too good to be true, let’s look at this real-life experience of the data extraction process for receipts!

Image: Esther Schindler – Shoeboxed Review

The image above is a shared example from one customer using Shoeboxed software to extract data from her receipt. As you can see from Esther’s receipt, AI technology has scanned and automatically filled in a report with all of the essential information, including date, currency, total amount, tax, etc. Additionally, a digital version of the receipt is on the phone, laptop, or PC.

Why do businesses need to extract data from receipts?

In the past, most employees (especially accountants) had to manually read every single receipt to find the required information for expense reports or bookkeeping purposes. This procedure was not only time-consuming and tiring but was also the cause of many human errors which impacted the chain of work and productivity of the whole business. 

More and more businesses have eliminated that manual process to switch to automated receipt data extraction system because of its numerous advantages. Here are just a few benefits that data extraction from receipts brings: 

Effectively tracking expenses

Losing or forgetting about receipts is commonplace in business. Employees can now just take a photo of the receipt and have all data recorded immediately, with no worries of losing or forgetting the evidence of expense. Accordingly, it loosens the burden for the accounting department and helps accountants keep track of expenses more productively. 

Quick reimbursement 

A receipt is usually tagged along with an expense export. The purpose of the report is to list the items you’ve made a payment on behalf of the company and to request a reimbursement. Hence, a company could receive hundreds of expense reports every month. To avoid inconsistencies, receipt data must be processed properly. That’s why receipt data extraction software is essential for managing these receipts and quickening payments.

Reduction of accounting errors

Many organizations still rely on their accountant to manually input information held in papers in their systems. This leads to incomplete records, missing/incorrect information, and duplication. By automating the data extraction process, structured data gathered will include fewer mistakes, and business reports will be more accurate. 

Efficient supply chain  

A company cannot focus on improving the quality of its products or services unless it has proper supply chain planning. To ensure the supply chain runs smoothly, the flow of information relating to worker deployment, inventory, delivery, demand and supply analytics, and so on must be simplified. 

One way to do that is to digitize receipt data processing. Receipts and invoices include important supply chain information. Unnecessary delays can be eliminated by automating the extraction and intelligent processing of this data. All deliveries will then be on time, and overall efficiency will improve substantially.

By extracting data to keep track of your business’s receipts can help business owners understand and control the company’s cash flow and spending budget better. As great as it sounds, there’re still some issues relating to this approach because no-AI system is perfect (or maybe not yet!). 

Fortunately, we have a perfect solution for it – human-verified data extraction! 

Shoeboxed human-verified data extraction feature

AI tools tend to be highly accurate, but errors can occur. Many external factors can impact the performance of OCR technology, such as:

  • Poor handwritten text
  • Faded text
  • Small fonts
  • Noisy or blurred images
  • Camera motion and shake
  • Watermarking
  • Crumpled paper

If you have encountered one of those situations, don’t worry! Shoeboxed’s got it covered for you! 

Our team is well aware of all the troubles that customers might have during their experience using automated data extraction for receipts. That’s why we came up with this unique service to provide the best quality data for you: human-verified data extraction. Let’s simplify how Shoeboxed’s data extraction system works in the following four steps:

  1. A customer can send receipts to us physically through which we call Magic Envelope or upload them digitally.
  2. Our AI technology scans and collects data from your receipts.
  3. A team of data entry experts goes through each receipt to check, correct errors, and verify the accuracy of the extracted data.
  4. You then can find your neatly extracted data directly on your Shoeboxed account. 

Choosing our service ensures the best quality of your data extraction with the most accurate results. No more risk of missing information as your data extracted is corrected and verified by humans. The verification process is also super speedy when it can take only a few hours to 1-5 days, depending on your submission method and Shoeboxed subscription plans. 

Shoeboxed integrates with many popular accounting applications. It can also automatically import receipts from Gmail into your Shoeboxed account. Because of the excellent integration feature that Shoeboxed has to offer, you can say goodbye to manual entry, missing inbox receipts, and headaches! 

Go paperless!

How businesses control and manage receipts significantly impacts their performances. As important as it is, this process sometimes is not taken care of well enough due to its bulky nature.

Automation of data extraction is an innovative and beneficial choice for businesses. Shoeboxed ensures every single receipt goes through a systematic and thorough data extraction process. More importantly, the data is examined and verified by our data experts. 

We care about our customers and their business, even down to a single receipt!