Receipt scanning has never been easier or more accessible than with the best new apps. That’s right, don’t spend another day wasting your time and energy on tedious receipt-scanning practices that are bound to make you feel like an utter failure. No, if you want to get the job done right—and fast—you’re going to need some new apps for your phone.
In this blog post, we’re going to be discussing some of the best apps for receipt scanning, what they offer you, and how you can use them to start managing your life in a way that makes sense for your budget and lifestyle. Also: if you’re interested in getting a new scanner, we’ve got a whole section on scanners, too!
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Best Apps For Receipt Scanning
Maybe you’re getting audited by the IRS, and the whole thing hinges on a $50 receipt, like in that one episode of Seinfeld. Or maybe you’re just trying to reimburse an employee for an expensive Uber ride they had to take.
But you can’t do any of these things, because you keep all of your business records in a messy desk drawer, and you’ve lost the receipts for all of them. It might be time to invest in a receipt scanner app.
Here we’ll go over everything you need to know about receipt digitization apps: why you should incorporate them into your business, how they work, and which one is the best fit for your business.
What are receipt management apps?
Receipt scanning apps photograph and create digital versions of your receipts, which you can easily retrieve from a digital filing system.
Most of them work roughly the same way. You download them onto your phone, use them to take pictures of your receipts, and then the app’s OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology digitizes all of the text and numbers on those receipts and stores digital versions of them in a filing system.
These “smart receipts” are harder to lose and easier to retrieve, because you can quickly search for them with keywords and filters.
Why should I download one?
Digitizing your receipts removes a lot of the hassle involved in your recordkeeping operation. Regularly scanning and storing your receipts means that:
When tax time comes, you won’t spend hours sorting through a pile of crumpled receipts wondering whether that $13 parking charge was for a client meeting or a date.
You won’t miss any valuable tax write-offs.
You’ll know exactly where your money is going every month—so you can cut spending where it’s getting out of hand.
Due to the Period of Limitations, the IRS also technically requires you to hold on to receipts for significant expenses (i.e. larger than $75) for at least three years.
Digitizing your records is also a great way to avoid accidentally tossing them in a move or an overzealous fit of spring cleaning. Plus, let’s not forget that paper records can fade, and are susceptible to damage. Telling the IRS that “the dog ate my tax records” simply won’t fly.
Need help with your taxes? Bench can get you prepped and filed, fast.
Skip the stress this tax season and take your time back for what matters most. Let the pros at Bench get your financials prepped to IRS standards and taxes filed, fast.
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What are the best receipt-scanning apps?
Lots of accounting and expense tracking apps offer digital scanning capabilities, but here we’ll focus on the most popular solutions: QuickBooks, Expensify, Bench, Receipt Bank, and business record scanners.
QuickBooks: For the accounting-savvy business
QuickBooks offers a receipt-scanning function that plugs into the rest of the app’s powerful suite of accounting tools, allowing you to scan receipts, create expense reports, do your bookkeeping and create financial reports and statements all in one dashboard.
QuickBooks has more features than any other expense trackers in this list, and also requires the most knowledge, time, and effort to operate. If you’re unfamiliar with accounting, you might find QuickBooks frustrating.
But if you’re a QuickBooks pro, have a dedicated admin employee who’s willing to learn, and already use QuickBooks for your accounting, it’s definitely a worthy option.
Platforms: Android, iOS, web browser
Price: Starts at $12/month
Expensify: For the business traveller
If you work remotely or regularly have meetings in different parts of the world, you know post-trip expense tracking is a nightmare. Using Expensify means you can stop stuffing receipts into your luggage while you’re on the go. Snap pictures of your paper receipts with your mobile device, submit and be done with them.
Expensify also automatically imports receipts from ridesharing services like Uber and Airbnb, and also has a function for managing mileage tracking. Use the company credit card a lot? Expensify will import those expenses automatically from your card so you don’t have to go through your statements at the end of each trip. If you’re looking for an app for tracking employee travel expenses, it’s hard to beat Expensify.
Platforms: Android, iOS (iPhone), web browser
Price: Starts at $4.99/month
Receipt Bank: if you’ve got lots of receipts
Receipt Bank lets you digitize and store your receipts in pretty much any way imaginable. You can do it using a mobile app, via web browser, via email, or automatically by hooking your credit card up to the app. It also automatically imports receipts from PayPal and Dropbox, and lets you take photos of multiple receipts at a time.
Receipt Bank also integrates with most popular accounting software, including Xero, QuickBooks, FreshBooks and Sage One.
The only downside to Receipt Bank is that it won’t let you manually input receipt information, which can be a hassle if you don’t have the receipt in front of you.
But if you’re looking for an app that can ingest a lot of receipts quickly, in every way imaginable, Receipt Bank is the app for you.
Platforms: Android, iOS (iPhone)
The Kodak Alaris: for the high-volume scanner
If you’ve got a large or quickly-growing business with a lot of paperwork to deal with, you might consider investing in a dedicated business document scanner, like the Kodak Alaris.
These machines can process large numbers of documents at once. And they do more than just receipts: they can scan and digitize invoices, letters, legal documents, and anything else you might want to store away for later. The Alaris in particular can also take care of the filing process for you, saving you hours of work.
Price: Starts at $403.49 USD
Bench: For hands-off expense tracking and bookkeeping
Is money management and accounting for your small business not really your thing? Bench can take it off your hands entirely.
Categorizing your receipts can be a pain, but when you work with Bench, we manage that for you. You can use us alongside of your preferred receipt storage app, and we’ll take care of your business bookkeeping by importing, reviewing, and categorizing all of your expenses every month.
We’ll help you track your expenses and send you financial reports monthly so you can understand your finances better than ever. Then at tax time, we work with your accountant to deliver all the financial info they need to file your taxes.
If you’re looking for a hands-off expense tracking solution, it’s hard to beat Bench.
Platforms: web browser
Price: Varies by your business needs. See our pricing page for more details.
Say goodbye to accounting nightmares.
Managing your finances shouldn’t be painful. When Bench handles your books, you’ve got more time to take care of what really matters: growing your business.
If you don’t process a particularly high volume of receipts, you might be able to get away with one of these low-tech, near-free solutions:
Excel or Google Drive
Spreadsheets are the tried and true method of tracking your expenses (for free)—provided you don’t mind a bit of data entry work. Just find a good bookkeeping Excel template and make sure to update it at least once a week.
The great thing about Excel is, once you’ve entered all your transactions, you can generate reports and start getting insights about what those numbers mean. For example, if you use the Bench Income Statement template, your transactions will turn into a handy income statement sheet, showing your profit and loss over a certain period.
In addition to letting you save receipt photos and voice memos, Evernote’s “receipts” extension lets you create budgets, save detailed expense reports, and gives you all kinds of powerful categorization and filtering tools that make retrieving old receipts easy. If you’re already an Evernote user, you’ll definitely want to check out receipts.
The camera on your smartphone
The IRS accepts digital copies of documents as long as they’re identical to the original copies. (This means you must be able to produce a printed, legible copy of the document for them upon request.)
If you’re not worried about organization and simply refuse to download a dedicated receipt tracking app, you might be able to get away with simply taking a photo of your receipt and storing it on your phone.
It’s not a pretty solution, and you’ll have a tough time retrieving old receipts without the powerful OCR functionality that some of the apps above use, but it’s better than having no backup at all.
best receipt scanner app for small business
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.
Clean and easy to understand user interface
Combines high-grade scanning and human verification for accuracy
Reporting system based on different categories like expense, sales tax, and spending details.
Not a complete bookkeeping system
No invoice reconciliation
Scanning two-sided documents can be difficult
PLANS & PRICING
The monthly pricing is $30 per month, or $300 billed annually. A free trial is available for 15 days.
Read our NeatFiles review
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.
Zoho Expense logo.
Suitable for Zoho users
Best for travel expense approval and review
Includes unlimited receipt scanning and storage
It can be expensive for small teams that process few bills from vendors
The interface can be overwhelming
It takes quite some time to learn the software
PLANS & PRICING
Free plan: Up to three users with 5GB of receipt storage
Premium plan: $8 monthly per active user; unlimited users and receipt storage; requires at least three users
Enterprise plan: $12 per monthly active user; unlimited users and receipt storage; requires at least 500 users
Read our Zoho Expense 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 logo
Track profit and loss by class, location, or project
Access to an extensive network of independent QuickBooks ProAdvisors
Includes mileage and expense tracking plus receipt scanning through the mobile app
There’s no way to add additional users without upgrading the plan
More expensive than its direct competitors
No variance analysis for estimated and actual costs
PLANS & PRICING
Simple Start: $25 per month for one user
Essentials: $50 per month for three users
Plus: $80 per month for five users
Advanced: $180 per month for 25 users
Enjoy a 30-day free trial on any plan of choice. Get 50% off for three months for new subscribers.
Read our QuickBooks Online review.
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.
Integrates with major accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage Accounting
Extracts information from receipt line items
Classifies documents as to cost, sales, or bank
Not a complete accounting software
No built-in cloud storage
PLANS & PRICING
Business Plus: $25 monthly for five users. Process up to 300 documents monthly.
Premium: $50 monthly for 20 users. Process up to 3,000 documents monthly.
Enterprise: $75 monthly for 30 users. Process up to 4,000 documents monthly.
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.
Contains mileage tracking and expense reporting
Use Magic EnvelopeTM to send receipts to Shoeboxed for scanning
Unlimited file storage
Processing of receipts is limited
The support page is outdated
PLANS & PRICING
Startup: $29 per month suitable for 50 digital documents and 25 physical documents
Professional: $59 per month, good for 150 physical and digital documents
Business: $67 per month, good for 3,000 digital documents and 300 physical documents
Read our Shoeboxed review
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.
Free accounting and invoicing features plus receipt scanning
Supports unlimited users
Handles multi-currency transactions
No inventory management
Not ideal for large businesses
No time tracking and audit history
PLANS & PRICING
Free for accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning.
Read our Wave review
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.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.