What is the best expense tracking software?
How it all started
The room around me started to spin. My mouth got dry from all the explaining. The interrogation went on for the last two hours. With nervous eyes, I peeked at my watch. I had another meeting with a loved friend in the restaurant around the corner. I was supposed to meet her for lunch, I would miss her if this went on any longer.
Believe it or not, my accountant is a master of his craft and certainly could have made an even better detective. Luckily he decided to be a bookkeeper, who occasionally act a bit short tempered though.
I guessed he was still upset with me. I had placed three shoeboxes filled with receipts in front of his nose only a month ago. He could have had less work but he had to throw them after me when I left his office in a rush to escape his anger.
The dark circles around his eyes let me know he had several sleepless nights. By now clients had filled up the office with boxes and folders, and the room had a flair of a shoe shop.
I had a good laugh thinking of him as “Al Bundy” selling shoes to ladies. The smile vanished quickly from my face when he turned his head back to me and continued his questioning.
When I arrived at the restaurant my friend was waiting for me for half an hour. Honestly, I did not feel like eating anymore. My accountant let me know that half of the receipts were worthless and then presented me his invoice. It was the first time that I saw his face muscles moving. If I had waited long enough I could have confirmed that he tried a smile.
Sweating and with a red face, I felt the eyes of the other guest resting on me. My friend wiped the tiers of her eyes after I told her the story. She laughed for at least ten minutes and called me an “Idiot” repeatedly.
When she finally pulled herself together she paid the bill and took a snap of the check with her phone. After I turned back to my normal colour and felt safe to walk away jug free by our audience, I got curious. What had just happened?
The matter of choice
I do have a receipt scanner app myself now and let me share my experiences with you. As a matter of fact, picking the right one should be considered well. You will be stuck with it for at least one tax year, there is a chance to change, but we explore that later. The apps on the market are widespread. Some make a picture of your receipt, invoice, bill and so on and you can save them to your cloud, that’s it. All data has to be entered by hand into your bookkeeping software by you, your accountant or by us. Other applications are more user-friendly and extract core receipt data for you. These kinds of apps allow the export or integration of the most common accounting programs. They either capture only your expenses or they include all your incoming and outgoing.
And last but not least those applications which have integrated bookkeeping features. Here we scanned and checked and judged for you some scanning apps for comparison.
|Scanning Receipt Data|
|Conversion (scanned receipt to data)||1 min||1 min||Very Slow||2 min||5 min|
|Manual Work||30 %||60 %||50 %||30 %||40 %|
|Scanning Business Card||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Auto Filling Data|
|Merchant Name||Average||Good||Average||Below Average||Very Good|
|Receipt Date||Very Good||Average||Very Good||Very Good||Very Good|
|World Currency & Conversion||Below Average||Average||Good||Below Average||Good|
|Total Amount||Good||Good||Very Good||Very Good||Very Good|
|Payment Type & Tax||Good||Good||Good||Below Average||Below Average|
|Auto Categorization||Good||Below Average||Average||Average||Average|
|Edit / Check||3 min||5 min||3 min||2 min||2 min|
|Track Reports||Very Good||Average||Good||Very Good||Good|
|ATM Bank Charges||—||—||—||Yes||Yes|
Business Card Scanner
|Scanning Receipt Data|
|Conversion (scanned receipt to data)||Super Fast||Medium|
|Line-by-line extraction||Very Good||Good|
|Manual Work||2 %||55 %|
|Auto Filling Data|
|Company Name||Very Good||Average|
|Designation & Department||Good||NA|
|Vendor Logo||Very Good||NA|
|Contact / Fax Details||Very Good||Average|
|Email id||Very Good||Good|
|Company Website||Very Good||Good|
|Auto Categorization||Very Good||Good|
|Edit / Check per scan||2 min||5 min|
|Mobile Friendly||Very Good||Average|
|Quick Share||Very Good||Good|
|Sync to your Contact||Very Good||Good|
Our judgement is made after scanning ceveral recipts and business cards with NUMRECEIPT, VERYFI, SHOEBOXED, TALLIE, WAVE and CAMCARD. Based on how often we had to rescan and enter data by hand we reflected in the following terms:
- Very Good – 90 – 100%
- Good – 70 – 89%
- Average – 50 – 79 %
- Below Average – below 50%