This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
A receipt scanner app can help you store your documents locally (through the hard drive) or through the cloud. It can also help ensure the proper accounting of expenses in your business. The best receipt scanners extract information from your scanned documents and integrate directly with your accounting software.
Our choices for the best receipt scanner apps are:
- NeatFiles: Best overall receipt scanner app
- Zoho Expense: Best for receipt scanning and expense management
- QuickBooks Online: Best receipt scanner within an accounting software
- Dext Prepare: Best receipt scanner for accountants and bookkeepers
- Shoeboxed: Best receipt scanner for assisted receipt processing
- Wave: Best free receipt scanner app
Receipt scanner: A receipt scanner is an app that converts physical receipts into digital files. It uses your smartphone’s camera to take a snapshot of the receipt and enhances the image to make it readable on your computer.
NeatFiles: Best Overall Receipt Scanner App
NeatFiles offers receipt scanning and online cloud storage. Every NeatFiles subscription includes all the features of NeatInvoices—Neat’s invoicing app. NeatFiles can help you keep your business documents organized, categorized, and archived. Moreover, NeatFiles can help you classify uploaded documents every time you upload them.
NeatFiles is our best overall receipt scanner because it combines receipt scanning and online cloud storage, solving two common office problems in one app. NeatFiles’ features include:
- Scanning: You can use the mobile app or any third-party scanner to scan physical documents. For desktop users, you can use the Desktop Utility Scan software to edit, and crop scanned documents.
- Multiple ways to import documents: You can directly upload, send through email, or use the mobile app to upload documents. Moreover, you can immediately classify these documents before uploading them.
- Item filters: You can look for files quickly based on item type or any filter category on the dashboard. There’s no need to go over each item one by one.
- Invoicing: You can enjoy NeatInvoices features with a NeatFiles subscription. It has invoicing capabilities, plus invoicing reminders to remind customers to settle their obligations.
Our Expert Opinion
NeatFiles is a great software solution for small businesses looking for receipt scanning and online cloud storage. We recommend it because it’s cost-effective and you don’t need to subscribe to another cloud storage provider to store documents. We find this combination convenient because there’s no need to transfer your scanned items to another software.
Zoho Expense: Best for Receipt Scanning and Expense Management
Zoho Expense is an expense tracking app within the Zoho environment. It’s part of Zoho’s collection of business apps that aims to provide solutions to businesses, whether big or small. Primarily an expense management app, Zoho Expense also has receipt scanning and storage capabilities. Using Zoho Expense is practical if you’re using Zoho Books or any other Zoho product. To learn more about Zoho’s accounting app, read our Zoho Books review.
With Zoho Expense, not only can you scan your receipts, but this app can help you with many facets of your expense management:
- Dashboard: The admin dashboard provides useful insights about your expenses and pending reports. The dashboard allows you to see the status of payments, reports, and other items.
- Receipts: You can auto-scan receipts or upload them directly through drag and drop. Employees can also scan, upload, and attach receipts when making an expense record for a faster and more efficient reimbursement system.
- Reporting: One of Zoho Expense’s best features is the expense approval flow. You can evaluate and review submitted expenses one by one and approve those allowed under company policies. Receipt scanning comes in handy here because the approver can reject reports without receipts attached.
- Security: Zoho uses secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption and multifactor authentication to prevent any unauthorized access. If you have a Zoho account, there’s no need to create a new account because it has a single-sign-on (SSO) feature.
Our Expert Opinion
We highly recommend Zoho Expense to Zoho Books users. Additionally, it’s also a great auxiliary app to your other accounting software. This software is great preaccounting software because it helps you scrutinize and process expenses before recording them in the books. It reduces the workload of accounting personnel and ensures proper control over expenses.
QuickBooks Online: Best Receipt Scanner Within an Accounting Software
QuickBooks Online is accounting software for small businesses that need advanced accounting features like inventory management, profit tracking, and financial reporting. QuickBooks Online is our best small business accounting software because it can accommodate the needs of small businesses in all industries at an affordable price.
QuickBooks Online offers a lot of accounting and accounting-related features. It provides an affordable price for small businesses with major accounting needs:
- Upload receipts: You can upload or scan receipts using your smartphone for documentation purposes. You can also upload from your desktop or Google Drive account. QuickBooks Online supports PDF, JPEG, JPG, GIF, and PNG images for receipts.
- Track mileage: Through the QuickBooks Online mobile app, you can track your mileage using smartphone GPS and record driving details automatically on QuickBooks. Moreover, you can also add mileage manually in case you forgot to track it.
- Reporting: You can generate standard financial statements and other reports like accounts receivable (A/R) summaries, aging schedules, tax reports, accounts payable (A/P) summaries, and inventory reports.
- Full bookkeeping: QuickBooks Online offers full bookkeeping features, including inventory tracking.
- Collect and track sales tax: QuickBooks Online can help you track and set sales tax rates based on the address of invoices. You’ll like this feature if you have customers across jurisdictions like cities or states.
Our Expert Opinion
QuickBooks Online is a popular and well-recognized name in small business accounting software. It has complete bookkeeping capabilities that can meet the needs of most small businesses. If you need full-fledged accounting software in addition to receipt scanning features. QuickBooks Online is a cost-effective solution.
Dext Prepare: Best Receipt Scanner for Accountants and Bookkeepers
Formerly known as Receipt Bank, Dext Prepare is a rebranded version that offers the same yet better, features of Receipt Bank. It highlights receipt scanning surrounded by helpful features like simple bookkeeping, expense reporting, and analytic tools. Moreover, Dext Prepare can integrate with major accounting software. Dext Prepare offers Partner Accounts for bookkeepers and accountants to make it easier for these professionals to manage their clients in just one space.
Dext Prepare offers features that can minimize clerical work in encoding information from receipts. Moreover, it has simple accounting functions to help you manage receipts:
- Data extraction: Dext Prepare can extract information from receipts and appropriately classify or include them into fields. The extracted information is searchable within the app, and you need not go over the scanned receipts manually.
- Classify documents into cost, sales, or bank: Documents can be segregated based on their source. If it’s a disbursement document, add it to the cost. If it’s an invoice, add it to sales. For bank documents, add them to the bank.
- Bank statement extraction: Dext Prepare can help you extract important bank statement information to release you from the burden of going over them manually.
Our Expert Opinion
Dext Prepare has features that can fit seamlessly into major accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage Accounting. We recommend Dext Prepare because it won’t be hard to implement since it can integrate with popular accounting software. Moreover, Dext will release more apps in the future, which will eventually become an interconnected software environment for business needs.
Shoeboxed: Best Receipt Scanner for Assisted Receipt Processing
Shoeboxed is a cloud-based receipt scanning app with cloud storage. You can also mail receipts to Shoeboxed and let it scan the receipts on your behalf. The documents you scan to Shoeboxed can be used for IRS audits and tax compliance.
Shoeboxed is another receipt scanning app that focuses mainly on receipt management. It’s a dedicated receipt management app with cloud storage capabilities:
- Magic EnvelopeTM: You can let Shoeboxed do the manual scanning for you. All you need to do is put all your receipts inside the Magic Envelope and wait for your documents to appear on your Shoeboxed account. You can also choose to have the receipts returned after processing.
- Add Business Cards: Aside from receipts, you can scan business cards and extract information from them. In this way, you can effortlessly search for contacts without going over physical cards.
- Mobile App: The mobile app can be used to scan receipts and submit them for processing.
Our Expert Opinion
Shoeboxed is a great software if you need assistance in scanning receipts. You can save time and focus on more important tasks by letting Shoeboxed scan your receipts for you. All you need to do is wait for receipt information to be uploaded to your account for expense reporting. The Magic EnvelopeTM feature is included in every paid plan.
Wave: Best Free Receipt Scanner App With Accounting Features
Wave is free cloud-based accounting software that offers accounting and invoicing features. However, it charges you for transaction processing like credit card and bank transactions. The free version includes its receipt scanning feature, which makes it suitable for starting businesses or freelancers.
Being a free accounting software, Wave offers basic accounting features for simple needs. It doesn’t have complex accounting features like inventory accounting:
- Receipt scanning: You can upload a receipt by either uploading a PDF file or an image file. You can do this at the Transactions dashboard on the web or your smartphone or tablet.
- Basic accounting features: Wave can manage your sales, purchases, and banking transactions. You can also generate standard financial statements and specific reports.
- Recurring invoices: Wave can automatically generate invoices to recurring invoices to save time in the billing process. You can use this feature for customers that pay a standard monthly fee.
- Payroll: For an affordable price, you can outsource payroll to Wave and comply with tax regulations as well.
- Integrations: Wave has an extensive list of integrations with apps like Shopify, Mailchimp, Slack, and many more.
Our Expert Opinion
We highly recommend Wave if you’re looking for free accounting software for your business. Wave is suitable for small businesses and freelancers. You can upload a receipt by taking a photo of it or uploading a PDF or image file. Transaction fees for payment processing are minimal and convenient if you don’t need to process a lot of payments. Try Wave if you’re still starting your business or a self-employed individual.
How We Evaluated Apps To Scan Receipts
We’ve enumerated several core features to help us review and examine a receipt scanner app’s suitability for your business. Let’s check out the most important features a receipts scanner app should have:
- Accounting software integration: The receipt scanner app must integrate with your accounting software to transfer reports and documents for accounting for a more efficient workflow.
- Multiple capture options: The app must have multiple ways to capture information from receipts. It can either connect to a scanner or use your smartphone’s camera to scan images.
- Optical character recognition (OCR)-ready for line item extractions: Capturing data from receipts is a tedious thing to do manually. Hence, receipt scanners must have OCR capabilities to extract information from receipts. Moreover, it must have intelligence features to include extracted information into fields or categories correctly.
- Easy to review and modify: Aside from scanning features, the app must also provide a dashboard, analytic tools, and search functions to quickly review, track, and modify entries. Moreover, categories and tags must be present to improve data filtering.
- Cost: Some bookkeeping and expense tracking apps have a built-in receipt scanner. However, you may choose a third-party scanner as long as it gives more benefits amid an additional charge.
When To Use a Receipt Scanner App
Some reasons that might consider using a receipt scanner app for your business include:
- Your team works remotely: Do you allow remote employees to buy their own supplies and charge them to your business? Using a receipt scanner can help you process expenses even if you work remotely.
- You want to reduce paper use in your business: Receipts from employees are sometimes reimbursable. Traditionally, you’d have to prepare vouchers for that, which only means using more paper. With a receipt scanner, you can eliminate paper use in your office and process everything from expense recording to reimbursement through the receipt scanner app.
- You want to declutter your office: The sight of receipts piling on your desk isn’t a pleasant view. Almost all professionals would hate to go over hundreds of receipts daily. Instead, you can scan these receipts and throw them away afterward.
- You want to keep track of them much faster and easier: After you scanned your receipts, you can usually create and attach them to the relevant transactions. This makes the receipt very easy to find if the transaction is ever questioned
Choosing the best receipt scanner app for your needs requires a deep analysis of your business process and requirements. Each app in the list above has promising features and functions. In choosing software, don’t forget to consider relevant factors and considerations like whether it meets your most crucial needs, cost, and the overall benefit it can bring to your company as a whole. Then, go back to this list and find the software that best fits your needs.