Like any good business person, you want to take as many legitimate business expense deductions as possible to save on your taxes. If Uncle Sam comes knocking on your door for proof that you bought what you said you bought, could you tell him? If you use your credit/debit card to make all your purchases, your card billing statement is NOT what Uncle Sam is looking for. He wants to see individual receipts for each purchase.
This is probably one of the most overlooked things for people doing their own bookkeeping. They don’t keep receipts. In the 21st century, you really have no excuse not to. You don’t even need to keep the paper anymore. Just get in the habit of scanning receipts with your smart phone and you’re all set. I’ll show you four apps that make this as easy as pie.
QuickBooks Online (QBO)
If you’re a QBO user, the QBO app has receipt scanning built right in. Below is a screenshot of the iPhone app. Simply touch the plus sign at the bottom of your home screen, choose “Expense” and then you’ll see the following screen:
If you touch the camera icon, you will be prompted to either upload a picture already on your phone or take one on the spot. Take a photo of your receipt, fill in the fields on the screen and save. BAM! You’re done. Wasn’t that easy? You don’t use QBO? Let’s look at Xero.
From your home screen on the Xero mobile app, select “Add a receipt”. Then you’ll be taken to this screen:
After entering your info, tap “Add files” and once again, you’ll be presented with the options to upload a photo or take a photo. Do it and you’ve saved your receipt to Xero! Mmmm, but maybe you keep all your docs centralized in Hubdoc? Let’s take a peek over there.
On your Hubdoc mobile app, tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner to access settings. Then tap “Choose photo” at the top of the settings tab as shown in the shot below:
Using this option, you must already have a photo of the receipt on your phone. If you don’t, just tap the camera icon that floats on the Hubdoc main screen:
Very simple process and takes about 10 seconds. What if you don’t use any of these apps but want to capture a picture of your receipt for later? There are several scanning apps available for the iPhone. One I particularly like is CamScanner.
Just tap the camera icon on the bottom to scan a receipt. Then follow the prompts to upload either a JPEG image or a PDF file to your preferred cloud location (e.g. Dropbox). Once it’s there, you can pull that image into any accounting package you choose to use.
You don’t use an iPhone? No problem. All of the above apps have Android variations. So, what is your action plan?
- Install the appropriate apps on your smart phone.
- Change your mindset. Get in the habit of capturing all receipts on your app.
- Toss away the paper – and the shoe box you’ve been keeping all that paper in!
Do you have any apps to recommend or any questions on this article? If so, please comment below!
Tired of doing your own bookkeeping? Set up a free consultation with me so we can see how I can help!