For some years now, my wife and I have been using a scanner and the Mac app Paperless for paper receipts and of course getting electronic receipts when practical. Paperless essentially acts a spreadsheet that associates a scan with each row, which is fine in theory, but it's never been particularly smart it attempts to populate fields based on the contents of the scan, with very limited success , and it's increasingly buggy.
We're already planning on switching to capturing receipts with our phones when they're printed and sending them straight to my computer to import into Paperless.
Surveying the Mac apps out there, I don't see a lot of alternatives except for Neat which is now priced as a monthly service, and priced a bit high IMO and Shoeboxed also a monthly service, and I'm just not thrilled about someone else owning my receipts. Is there something I'm missing?
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Is there a better way? We both have a reasonable level of tech savvy. I'm willing to do some upfront work if it'll save work down the line, but the goal is to capture more receipts more accurately with less annoyance. We don't currently have much need to capture receipts to submit for reimbursement—this is all for tax purposes I'm self-employed, she has very limited need to submit for reimbursement.
The app isn't super-intelligent, doesn't do OCR or anything like that, but can be location-aware and tries to be moderately helpful.
The app by itself doesn't even try to trim the captured image, so I actually have a workflow that captures receipts in a different app CamScanner , which trims the image, saves it to the camera roll, and then when entering a receipt in the Quicken app, I use that camera roll image instead. This is perfect because it means that receipt images are always kept with the financial records that are used to build the tax reports that we use to do taxes. Downside: it's more puttering than I'd care to do at time of sale. And if you don't have unlimited data, it wants to send that receipt image over the cellular.
Though supposedly the latest version might fix that. Upside: because we don't blindly trust electronic transaction downloads from the bank, we still get to do full tracking and reconciliation of everything the way we'd like, without all the manual data entry every few weeks instead substituting a minute or three at time of sale for each receipt. Who do you bank with?
No paper receipt wrangling necessary and it only takes an hour or two. If your banking institution doesn't offer this sort of service Mint will do it for free, but you do have to give them access to your bank account. Generally, the IRS will want some itemized receipt describing what was purchased, especially for larger purchases. If your accountant hasn't flagged this as a serious issue, you might want to ask why that is.
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Your supporting documents should show the amount paid and a description that shows the amount was for a business expense. In fact, there are still merchants that will balk at accepting an image of a receipt as proof of purchase, so we typically capture everything electronically but still keep the paper for certain merchants, at least through the returns window. Not every business can operate this way, but if you can it's a real time-and-space-saver. Make sure you have good backups though. That's certainly more likely to be workable for large vendors. However, be careful of smaller vendors, especially ones that go out of business, or even consider the issues of an e-mail service provider that goes out of business.
Heck, one of our local banks seems to change their web portal provider two or three times a decade, so online access is questionable.
I've also had vendors toss an old web portal for new, without preserving the ability to access old records, and I've also seen seemingly-stable vendors go out of business, taking their records with them. Bear in mind that the IRS may require you to retain records for seven years, or even indefinitely under certain circumstances, which is a difficult target to hit in this era of cloud startups and mergers, so I'd be strongly inclined towards options that allow local retention of the records, and less reliance on the ongoing reliability of records availability at e-mail providers and merchants.
The whole "paperless statement" thing reeks of "convenient way to avoid the cost of printing and mailing legally required financial documentation". I just logged in to check, and the largest bank in the US, Chase, is only able to provide seven years worth of statements.
Bank of America also seems to go back to Citi appears to be able to roll all the way back to , at least for credit cards. Our local credit union, only two years. This raises lots of questions about whether electronic documents would be available when you need them, unless you take the time to print or store them locally. Personally, I'd rather just have the banks mail them to me and then run them through the scanner at my leisure, rather than having to remember the quirks of logging into many different financial websites every month and actually taking an hour to do so , then figure out how to download the data and transform the files into a PDF if they're not already, then import them into Rack2-Filer our electronic documents manager.
Electronic receipts are even worse since they're typically intended as a way for a retailer to be able to establish a business relationship with your e-mail address, so that they can spam you so hard. There's no intention for the format to be usable or useful to you, so you might get text, or HTML, or a link to their website, or once in a while a PDF.
In theory, I'd MUCH prefer an electronic receipt, but for that to be meaningful, it would have to be in a format that didn't require me to immediately print it out to get it in a consistent preserved state, and then scan it in to our records. It'd also have to not come with a firehose of e-mail spamvertisements. More Sharing Services Share. Imagine that this responsive data-sheet is included in the product page of your webshop. Edit this data-sheet. Embed the product datasheet into your content. XML doc. Icecat Live DOC. Download images pack. Icecat Add-ons. Download the free Open Icecat catalogue.
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