Receipt Management

Beyond the Shoebox: How Business Leaders Actually Manage Receipts

May 14, 2024
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Tired of drowning in receipts? We surveyed 13 CFOs, CPAs, and accountants to uncover their biggest challenges with receipt management. 

Discover how they collect receipts, the problems they face, and the time it steals–plus expert tips to streamline your own process!

Digitize Your Receipts 

Source: The New Yorker, Twitter

I’ve found that since paper receipts tend to fade over time, capturing digital images of them and storing them in a digital album is a practical solution. Usually, I’ll use my phone to scan them, though not always. Sometimes, I use my printer, which doubles as a scanner, and save the scans as PDF files. 

To organize them better, you can attach several receipts onto a standard 8.5x11-inch paper sheet and then scan them. This method also helps organize the physical copies before eventually shredding them. However, this approach introduces an additional step in the filing process and can be more time-consuming.

I keep crucial receipts saved on my computer. Storing them digitally ensures they don’t get lost and are readily available if I need to replace a product or use a warranty.

Paw Vej, Chief Operating Officer,

Optimize Workflow with Expense-Tracking Apps

Through the use of digital solutions, such as several expense-tracking apps that I have stumbled upon, we've optimized our receipt-collection workflow to the extent that all employees can upload receipt pictures as soon as they buy something via a mobile app that is integrated with the cloud-based system. The risk of losing a receipt is now minimal. The finance team knows about expenses immediately, and they can reconcile the bank statements in real time. 

Of course, things aren't perfect. We sometimes face challenges with the allocation of expenses and with compliance from all team members regarding the timeliness of submitting the receipts. We process 250 receipts on average every month; it used to take us 10 hours to collect and sort them manually, but now it takes five hours with our digital system. 

However, we still check the receipts against our bank statements and project budgets for accuracy and to identify fraud. Without this review workflow, we would risk our financial integrity, including alienating the tax authorities. Optimizing financial workflows is a continuous process treadmill.

Mark McShane, Founder, Cupid PR

See how Fyle can give you 5x faster receipt collection via text messages.

Streamline Collection with Digital Tools

At Rockerbox Tax Solutions, we handle a significant volume of receipts monthly, which are critical components of the bookkeeping and tax filing services we provide. 

Receipt collection is streamlined through digital tools and software, allowing clients to upload or email their receipts directly. This method solves many of the traditional problems associated with lost receipts and manual entry errors. However, we sometimes face challenges when receipts are not legible or when information is missing, requiring additional communication with clients to clarify details.

On average, the number of receipts processed can vary greatly depending on the size of the business and the nature of its expenditures, but it's not unusual for us to handle hundreds to thousands of receipts monthly for our diverse clientele. Thanks to our digital-first approach, the time it takes to collect receipts has been greatly reduced. 

Source: The New York Times

Clients can send receipts as they receive them or at regular intervals that suit their schedules, making the process more flexible and less time-consuming for both parties.

For verifying receipts, accuracy and compliance are paramount. We utilize both automated software that cross-references receipt data with bank transactions and manual checks by our team. This dual approach ensures that the receipts not only match the reported expenses but are also compliant with relevant tax regulations. 

Specific details, such as the date, amount, and nature of the expense, are carefully reviewed to ensure they meet the Internal Revenue Service's guidelines for business expenses. This meticulous process has bolstered our ability to provide accurate, reliable financial reporting and tax preparation services that our clients depend on.

Philip Wentworth, Jr, Co-Founder and CEO, Rockerbox Tax Solutions

Leverage Digital Accounting for Efficient Collection

In my role as Regional Sales and Project Manager at Ecoline Windows, managing the financial aspects of operations, including processing receipts, is a significant part of ensuring efficiency and accuracy in our accounting practices. On average, we process approximately 500 to 600 receipts each month. This includes transactions related to supplies, service payments, and operational expenses. The volume reflects both the scale of our operations and our commitment to maintaining a transparent, accountable financial system.

Thanks to our digital accounting system, collecting these receipts is a streamlined process, taking about 5 to 10 hours each month. We've implemented a robust digital submission process for our team, allowing for real-time upload and categorization of receipts. 

This not only simplifies collection but also significantly reduces the time spent on manual entry, ensuring our financial records are up-to-date and accurate. Our focus on leveraging technology for financial management has greatly enhanced our operational efficiency and accuracy in record-keeping.

Alexander Havkin, Regional Sales & Project Manager, Ecoline Windows

Manual Collection and AI-powered scanning

Source: The New York Times

As a business owner, I currently collect receipts manually by submission via email or physical copies. The process is time-consuming and prone to errors, leading to delays in reconciliation and potential loss of receipts.

We process hundreds of monthly receipts on average, consuming significant time and resources. It typically takes hours to collect and verify these receipts manually, further complicating our accounting workflow.

Leveraging AI-powered receipt scanning and text-to-app technology could streamline this process, reducing manual effort, improving accuracy, and enabling real-time expense tracking for better financial management.

Mohammad Goodarzi, Co-Founder, Pixune Studios

See how 85% of Fyle users submit receipts right at the time of purchase!

Combine Digital and Physical Receipt Methods

Currently, we collect receipts through a combination of digital and physical methods. Digital receipts are often forwarded via email or uploaded to our expense management software, while physical receipts are scanned or photographed using mobile apps.

However, we face challenges with manual data entry, receipt organization, and tracking reimbursements. These factors lead to inefficiencies and potential errors. On average, we process hundreds of receipts each month, which can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.

To address these challenges, we are exploring automated receipt capture solutions. Our company is also streamlining our expense management processes to improve accuracy, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in managing receipts and expenses.

Aqsa Tabassam, PR & Brand Manager, RevenueGeeks

Use Multiple Cards for Expense Verification

Source: Pinterest

Currently, we have a company card and bank app that tracks transactions from different card accounts tied to an employee. Instead of having all employees use one card and one account, we have multiple cards attached to one account so we can verify each employee’s spending—when, where, and how much.

The problem is that we have to manually collect all of the employees' receipts and expense reports, which can be time-consuming and tedious—a necessary evil, however.

We process over 250 receipts every month between employee and company expenses. It takes around four business days to collect all the receipts and about three more business days to track and process them all.

We verify receipts against individual transactions made from each employee’s account. Then, we match those to the expense reports they submitted. 

At the end of each expense report round, there should be three matching numbers for employees: the amount spent on their credit card, the total from the receipts, and the number on the expense report should all match.

Ryan Carrigan, CEO & Founder, moveBuddha

Implement OCR Technology for Accurate Entry

At Mammoth Security Inc., we value accuracy and efficiency in all business aspects, including the receipt collection process. We currently use an electronic digital system that enables receipt submission and storage. This approach is consistent with our dedication to operational excellence and sustainability.

However, one challenge we face is ensuring the accuracy of the data entry. Even with automated systems, there's a risk of human error during the initial input. To mitigate this, we've implemented additional verification steps, which, while effective, can be time-consuming.

Furthermore, we are investigating cutting-edge OCR technology to improve our system's capacity to precisely record and classify receipt data. This technological investment demonstrates our commitment to innovation and ongoing development across the board for our company.

Eugene Klimaszewski, President, Mammoth Security

Integrate Receipts with Accounting Software

Every month, we process about 500 receipts that cover a range of costs, including office supplies, software subscriptions, and marketing initiatives. Accurate financial record-keeping and expense tracking heavily depend on these receipts.

Gathering receipts usually takes eight to ten hours a month. We streamline this process by using digital tools and platforms to record and arrange receipts effectively. By digitizing receipts and integrating them into our accounting software, we save time on paperwork and laborious data input.

To verify these receipts, we leverage automated receipt management systems integrated with our accounting software. These systems correlate essential data from receipts with matching transactions in our financial records by using OCR technology. This automatic verification procedure reduces the possibility of mistakes or inconsistencies while ensuring accuracy.

Shawn Manaher, Founder, The Content Authority

Follow Simple Steps for Receipt Compliance

It is important to make sure you have legally verified your receipts in order for them to be accepted when handed in. I won't lie; the whole process can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if it is your first time doing it, but I follow simple steps to ensure I am compliant.

Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, make sure you keep all of your receipts! 

“Top tip: don't wait until the end of the year; organize as you go—this makes for far less chance of a mistake, meaning a much higher chance of proper compliance.”

Once you've sorted through and cataloged your receipts, make sure each has all the necessary details, including the date of purchase, the amount spent, and what it was for. If any receipt is missing important information, try to get it from the store or vendor. You can also look to attach full emails if this is how the receipt was received, as more information might be here.

Finally, when you file your taxes, add all the deductible expenses from your verified receipts and include them in the appropriate tax forms where needed.

What is a tax deductible business expense?

This may sound like a lot of admin, but I promise it gets easier the more you do it. I can tell you from my own experiences with people around me that keeping good and consistent records in good order will make tax time a lot easier, with far less rushing and worrying.

Martin Gasparian, Attorney and Owner, Maison Law

Utilize Cloud-Based Financial Management Tools

We mainly use cloud-based financial management tools to streamline our receipt-collection process. Despite their efficiency, challenges may still arise, so it's best to ensure the precision of data capture and smooth integration of diverse expenses.

We receive hundreds of receipts monthly, but thanks to our digital approach, the collection and processing time has dramatically decreased from hours to mere minutes, freeing up our finance team to concentrate on higher-level analysis.

For receipt verification, we rely on advanced algorithms within our system to match data and verify the authenticity of each transaction. This technology not only simplifies the verification process but also bolsters our financial integrity and compliance.

Alvin Poh, Chairman, CLDY

Blend Digital Tools with Manual Verification

Currently, collecting receipts involves a blend of digital tools and manual sorting, mirroring the meticulous organization of parts in a brazing project. The main hurdle is the time consumed in sorting and verifying their authenticity, akin to ensuring the precision of machine components. Monthly, dozens of receipts are processed, requiring several hours for collection and verification, much like calibrating a complex engineering system. To verify, I cross-reference them with bank statements, ensuring accuracy and integrity.

Mark Sheng, Project Engineer, DoDo Machine

Scan and Store Receipts with Apps

Currently, I collect receipts primarily through digital means, utilizing apps that allow for easy receipt scanning and storage. However, I still encounter challenges with organizing and managing them efficiently.

One particular issue is ensuring that all receipts are captured and categorized correctly, especially when dealing with a high volume.

For instance, I run a small online business where I process around 50 to 100 receipts each month, ranging from purchases to expenses. Gathering these receipts can be time-consuming, taking approximately two to three hours per month.

To verify their accuracy, I cross-reference them with bank statements and invoices, ensuring that they align with the corresponding transactions. This meticulous process not only demands time but also requires attention to detail to maintain financial integrity and transparency.

Aseem Jha, Founder & Head of Customer Delivery, Legal Consulting Pro

Fyle’s Conversational AI: Collect Receipts via Text Messages

How Fyle enables efficient receipt management via text messages.

With Fyle, employees can simply text receipts for reimbursements and credit card expenses. Fyle automatically matches receipts to the corresponding card transaction, saving you precious time and effort.

Struggling to capture project and cost center data for expenses?

Fyle's AI requests users to send all the missing info. Just text a receipt, and our system will intelligently code and categorize it for you.

Ready to tame receipt chaos and free up valuable time? Sign up for a Fyle demo today and see how our AI-powered solution can streamline your receipt collection process. Experience the future of receipt handling firsthand – effortless, automatic, and frustration-free!

Effortless expense management for all business spends. Earned time, saved costs, improved productivity, happy employees - achieve it all with a single software.

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