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How the best receipt app can make expense management easier

If your piles of receipts are getting out of control, it’s time to consider a paperless office system. The best receipt app will make it possible to go paperless quickly while having access to important receipts and documents online. 

To save yourself the time and hassle of manually searching through stacks of receipts, you can upload and electronically categorize them using a receipt tracking app. Even better, most receipt scanning apps include optical character recognition (OCR) to automatically extract relevant information that can be later searched and found quickly.

Digitizing paper receipts and using a receipt tracking app will simplify expense management to save time and money. Tasks like running reports or filing taxes will be a faster, more accurate process since receipts are less likely to get lost or forgotten.

How to choose the best receipt tracking app 

There are many receipt apps that claim to make expense tracking easier, but they may fall short. The best receipt app will go above and beyond simply scanning receipts—they should also convert and categorize the data for future access and reporting. 

For example, the Brex mobile app not only captures receipts, but it goes one step further by automatically matching the receipt to the credit card transaction. The process handles more than one task at a time—it catalogs uploaded receipt expenses, reconciles them with the purchase transaction in real time, and catches potential errors by comparing the receipt with the credit card charge.

The best receipt app will save you time and money

To save time and money, choose an expense tracking app that handles more than storing receipt photos. The receipt apps featured below allow you to catalog uploaded receipts and can create expense reports for future expense analysis.

ABUKAI Expenses

ABUKAI converts phone snapshots of your receipts into a detailed Excel spreadsheet in three steps. You take photos of the receipts, click on the “process expense report” button, and view the report. Reports include a PDF with receipt images attached and a spreadsheet with automatically created categories such as cost categorization, date, vendor name, and other related information.

It’s important to note that the free personal plan is limited to generating and digitally storing one expense report per month. Upgrading to the higher plans will allow you to create as many reports as you want and upload receipts to Quickbooks, Dropbox, Exact, Sage One, Xero Invoices, and more.

  • Best for: Small business owners who regularly create Excel expense reports
  • Pros: PDF reports available with receipt images; compatibility with popular accounting software
  • Cons: No expense matching available through the app
  • Price: Free personal plan for 12 reports per year; individual plan with unlimited reports for $99 per year; corporate plans starting at $99 per year per user
  • Download: iOS | Android

Brex Mobile App

Brex cardholders can download the Brex Mobile app to make expense tracking simple and paper-free while on the go. Each time you make a purchase, you can take a photo of the receipt and even add a short memo. The app will then match the expense to the transaction in real time.

Having trouble remembering to snap a photo of your receipt every time you make a purchase? You can set up push notifications that remind you to take a snapshot and upload your receipts from purchases with your Brex card.

  • Best for: Brex corporate cardholders including startups, ecommerce, and life sciences 
  • Pros: Real-time tracking of credit card purchases; expense matching; well-designed interface with the option for adding memos
  • Cons: Only matches purchases made with the Brex card
  • Price: Free
  • Download: iOS | Android

Evernote Scannable

Evernote Scannable can scan contracts, receipts, business cards, and more. Take a photo with your iPhone (there’s no option for Android users) and the app will automatically rotate, crop, and adjust the images. You can then save the captures to designated albums and share them. 

Those who upgrade to the premium version of the app for $6.99 per month receive unlimited cloud storage of receipts and documents. The premium service can also convert information from your photos into data. For example, Evernote takes a business card photo and turns it into an address book contact.

  • Best for: Individuals and/or businesses wanting to create organized albums of receipts
  • Pros: Unlimited storage when using the premium version; automatically edits pictures of receipts
  • Cons: Only available for Apple users
  • Price: Free for basic; premium version is $6.99 per month
  • Download: iOS

NeatReceipts

Neat will group your uploaded receipts based on IRS categories. OCR reads the text and extracts information such as names, addresses, tax, and totals from business cards and receipts.

Saved data can be directly exported to H&R Block and TurboTax for easier tax filing. You can also create detailed expense reports and search for certain receipts by using the keyword search feature.

  • Best for: Individuals and small business owners who file taxes with H&R Block or TurboTax
  • Pros: Organizing business expenses by IRS categories; integration with certain tax filing software
  • Cons: Monthly plans can be pricey for tax-focused expense tracking
  • Price: Plans for $13, $29, $62, or $208 per month
  • Download: iOS | Android

Receipts by Wave

Receipts by Wave comes with no cost regardless of how many employees (or businesses) you may have. The app can automatically sync with the free Wave Accounting software for a full bookkeeping solution. 

If you have a box full of receipts to process, the app can also save you time converting them into digital data. You can scan up to 10 receipts at a time, even when you’re offline, and add notes to your receipts. OCR will automatically import receipt information so it’s easier to categorize and search for them later.

  • Best for: Individuals and new small businesses on a budget
  • Pros: Can accept 10 receipt photo captures at a time; free regardless of number of users
  • Cons: Only works with Wave’s accounting software
  • Price: Free
  • Download: iOS | Android

Shoeboxed

Unlike the typical receipt scanner app, Shoeboxed will accept your physical pile of receipts and turn them into digital files.

Simply put all your receipts in a prepaid Magic Envelope, drop them in the mail, and someone at Shoeboxed will do the work for you. The service is included in the monthly pricing—you can send in your receipts once a month on the $29 plan or as many times as you like with the Professional or Business Plan. Scans are compatible with accounting software including Quickbooks, Wave, and Zero.

Shoeboxed will scan, extract important data, and catalog your receipts. You can view them later by clicking on the expense to view the fully scanned image. Run reports, analyze spending with charts and graphs, and export the scans at any time. Once the bulk of your receipts are scanned and cataloged, you can add more by scanning them using the app.

  • Best for: Individuals and business with large amounts of receipts who would prefer to outsource scanning to someone else
  • Pros: Eliminates the task of manually uploading receipts; visually appealing reports
  • Cons: Receipts must be mailed to the company, which may cause issues if the receipts are lost in the mail
  • Price: Startup Plan for $29; Professional for $59; Business for $89 per month
  • Download: iOS | Android

Smart Receipts

Designed by a travel consultant, Smart Receipts turns your smartphone into a mobile receipt scanner that catalogs travel-related business expenses and mileage when you’re on a business trip. You can generate PDFs or CSV reports to review your spending and request reimbursement. 

While it’s free to use the app for expense tracking and reports, the $9.99 annual fee adds the ability to automatically back up your receipts to Google Drive.

  • Best for: Business travelers who need to track mileage and spending while on the go
  • Pros: Tracks mileage; CSV reports can be converted into other formats like Excel
  • Cons: Google Drive backup file cannot be viewed as a report and can only be accessed through the app
  • Price: Free, or $9.99 per year for the ad-free version with extra features
  • Download: iOS | Android

The best receipt app can simplify your business

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While receipt apps are great for turning paper receipts (that can easily fade or get lost) into clean digital files, the best receipt tracking app will also provide easy expense reporting and management.

Along with saving your receipts, the best receipt app simplifies your company’s expense tracking process by helping you find receipts through keyword searches or by looking up specific vendors or categories. You’re also less likely to miss out on important tax deductions when it’s time to file taxes. 

What’s more, using a tool such as the Brex mobile app gives you the added security of error-free expensing on the go and automatically matches receipts to the credit card transaction. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

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