This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
The best receipt scanner app must have optical character recognition (OCR), cloud storage, and document management system. Data extraction through OCR and file sharing are great features to look for in getting a receipt scanner. With these features in mind, here are our complete list of the best receipt scanner apps:
- Neat: Best overall receipt scanner app with unlimited scans and cloud storage
- QuickBooks Online: Best receipt scanner within accounting software
- Wave: Best free receipt scanner
- FreshBooks: Best receipt scanner for service-based businesses
- Shoeboxed: Best receipt scanner for assisted receipt processing
- Zoho Expense: Best receipt scanner for Zoho Books users
- Dext Prepare: Best receipt scanner for accountants and bookkeepers
Best Receipt Scanner Apps Compared
Number of Document Scans
Accounting Software Integration
Document Management System
File Sharing Within the App
Cloud Storage for Receipts
$200 per year
$30 to $200 per month
Is accounting software
Is accounting software
$17 to $55 per month
Is accounting software
$29 to $89 per month
50 to 300 documents per month
QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Wave
$0 to $12 per active user, per month
20 to unlimited documents
Zoho Books, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Xero, and Sage Accounting
5GB to Unlimited
$218.49 to $757.84 per month for 10 to 50 clients
300 to 4,000 documents
QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage Accounting
Note: All receipt scanners above have OCR features and smartphone camera scanning capabilities.
Neat: Best Overall Receipt Scanner App With Unlimited Scans & Cloud Storage
- Not a complete bookkeeping system
- No invoice reconciliation
- Scanning two-sided documents can be difficult
- No monthly plan
Why We Chose Neat
Neat is our best app because of the features that come with receipt scanning. We find its document management system and file organization helpful for archiving documents properly. Through its keyword search feature, it makes it easy for users to locate these documents without going through each file folder—in case you need to pull up receipts from past years, you can search for them easily.
Since Neat offers excellent document management and receipt scanning, freelancers and self-employed individuals may find Neat’s features too much for their needs. Freelancers may only have a few receipts and documents to scan. Instead, we recommend Zoho Expense. For only $5 per user per month, you can get unlimited receipt scanning for 5GB storage.
QuickBooks Online: Best Receipt Scanner Within Accounting Software
- Need to upgrade plans to add additional users
- More expensive than its direct competitors
- No document management system
Why We Chose QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks Online has receipt scanning capabilities on top of its accounting features. We chose QuickBooks Online because we believe it can be a cost-effective solution if your business doesn’t have accounting software yet. For a price of $90 per month, you get our choice for the overall best small business accounting software plus receipt scanning. However, we recommend using a third-party provider for document management.
Alternatively, Neat is an ideal alternative or companion software for QuickBooks Online if you already have one. The Neat and QuickBooks Online integration lets you transfer all receipts and expense-related data from Neat and feed it to QuickBooks Online.
Wave: Best Free Receipt Scanner App
- Very limited features
- Not ideal for large businesses
- No time tracking and audit history
Why We Chose Wave
Because Wave is free, it’s a great choice for small businesses on a limited budget or home-based businesses, like those selling homemade food and products. You can also use Wave to track self-employed income and expenses. And with its receipt scanning feature, you can upload receipts for proper accounting and categorization.
The downside of Wave is its limited receipt scanning features. It doesn’t have document storage so that you can find receipts without going through attachments in expense entries. We recommend choosing Neat for a well-rounded receipt scanning and storage system. But if you also want to have accounting features, QuickBooks Online is a good choice.
FreshBooks: Best Receipt Scanner for Service-based Businesses
- No file sharing
- Additional charge for adding more users
- No inventory features
Why We Chose FreshBooks
FreshBooks is our top choice for service-based freelancers wanting to do-it-yourself (DIY) their accounting. Because of its easy-to-use interface, freelancers without an accounting background can learn how to use the platform easily. Aside from its user-friendly environment, it comes with a receipt scanner through a mobile app. Freelancers who often work outside or in coworking spaces can capture receipts of daily expenses easily using their smartphones and then upload them to FreshBooks.
Alternative, QuickBooks Online is a suitable alternative to FreshBooks. QuickBooks Online’s complete suite of accounting features and receipt scanning is perfect for all types of businesses. Since FreshBooks caters mostly for service-based businesses, retailers and merchandisers might want to go for QuickBooks Online instead.
Shoeboxed: Best Receipt Scanner for Assisted Receipt Processing
Why We Chose Shoeboxed
We like Shoeboxed because businesses can save time by mailing Shoeboxed envelopes full of receipts to be scanned. We find it perfect for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees but have a lot of receipts and documents to process. The assisted receipt scanning features would reduce the workload of the business’ in-house bookkeeper. The only downside for Shoeboxed is the limited number of documents. We recommend Neat for unlimited document scanning and storage.
Zoho Expense: Best Receipt Scanner for Zoho Books Users
- Can be expensive for small teams that process few bills from vendors
- Interface can be overwhelming
- Steep learning curve
Why We Chose Zoho Expense
Zoho Expense is our best receipt scanner for Zoho users because it integrates with all the other Zoho apps, especially Zoho Books. Integration between Zoho apps makes it easy for businesses to use their tools without limitations. Although Zoho Expense is primarily an expense tracker, it has a competent receipt scanner through the mobile app. If your business is using Zoho Books, we recommend going for Zoho Expense and not looking elsewhere.
But since Zoho Expense is primarily an expense tracker, Neat is a great alternative pick if you’re looking for a dedicated receipt scanner and document management system. Zoho Expense can store receipts (5GB or unlimited) but these receipts are within expense entries. With Neat, you have the ability to sort, search, and organize receipts.
To learn more about Zoho’s accounting app, read our Zoho Books review.
Dext Prepare: Best Receipt Scanner for Accountants & Bookkeepers
- Not a complete accounting software
- Limited bank statement extractions for all plans
Why We Chose Dext Prepare
Dext Prepare offers a special plan for accounting firms. This software can help your accounting practice manage client files in one place. With its automated data extraction, your associates will be able to focus on other tasks rather than entering data into the system manually. We believe Dext Prepare is best for small and medium accounting firms, but if you aren’t an accounting firm and are interested in it, it offers monthly plans for small businesses.
Dext Prepare isn’t an affordable pick for small businesses. The Premium plan is too much for a small business while the Business Plus plan might not be enough. If this concerns you, we recommend checking Neat or Zoho Expense. Neat is affordable at $200 per year for unlimited scans and storage. On the other hand, Zoho Expense is ideal for small teams because it is priced per active user.
How We Evaluated Receipt Scanner Apps
We examined the core features of a receipt scanner to guide us in reviewing its suitability for your business. The best app to scan receipts must have at least majority of the features listed below:
- 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.
- 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 review, track, and modify entries quickly. 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.
- Document management system: For stand-alone receipt scanning software, we checked if it has a document management system that can help you organize scanned documents into folders and tags for easy access.
- 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. (Note: we didn’t apply this criterion in evaluating QuickBooks Online and Wave because they’re accounting software systems.)
When To Use a Receipt Scanner App
- 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: Traditionally, you’d have to prepare vouchers for reimbursements, which only means using more paper. With a receipt scanner, you can eliminate paper use 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 a faster and easier way to keep track of receipts: After you scan receipts, you can usually attach them to transactions. This makes the receipt very easy to find if the transaction is ever questioned.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Look for the best receipt scanner that caters your business’s monthly capacity. As much as possible, go for unlimited scanning. Moreover, the receipt scanner must-have features that reduce data entry, such as optical character recognition and auto-entry into fields.
Yes, as most digital scanners use advanced security features, such as SSL and MFA, to keep sensitive information protected.
Yes, especially for businesses that process a lot of physical receipts. However, you can still go for free receipt scanners if you don’t process a lot of receipts daily, such as fewer than five per day.
Choosing the best app to scan receipts requires a deep analysis of your business process and requirements. Each app in our guide has promising features and functions. In choosing software, don’t forget to consider relevant factors, such as whether it meets your most crucial needs and your budget, 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 the bill.