50% off QuickBooks for 3 months.* Limited time only.

Track your business expenses in one place

Connect your accounts

Connect QuickBooks to your bank accounts, credit cards, PayPal, Square, and more, and we’ll import and categorize your expenses for you. Create custom rules to categorize your expenses, and run reports to see how you spend every dollar.
QuickBooks categorizes expenses for you
QuickBooks categorizes expenses for you
QuickBooks categorizes expenses for you

Track expenses in a snap

Snap and save photos of receipts with our mobile app, and we’ll automatically match all your receipt information to an existing transaction. Expense tracking has never been easier.
Snap photos of receipts for easy expense tracking
Snap photos of receipts for easy expense tracking
Snap photos of receipts for easy expense tracking

Stay ready for tax time

Easily track business expenses all year to make sure you never miss a tax deduction. Say goodbye to Excel. QuickBooks automatically sorts expenses into ̨categories and keeps them organized all in one place.
Easily track business expenses all year
Easily track business expenses all year
Easily track business expenses all year

Manage your cash flow

QuickBooks tracks expenses throughout the year, providing you with the data you need to better predict and manage your cash flow. View the built-in cash flow statement and see how much money you have—so you can cover your bills.
Tracking expenses helps you estimate cash flow
Tracking expenses helps you estimate cash flow
Tracking expenses helps you estimate cash flow

Access and share built-in expense reports

Keep tabs on your finances

Make smarter decisions with instant access to key financials including income, expenses, outstanding invoices, and more.

Get valuable insights

Instantly see how you’re doing with profit & loss reports. Share them with your accountant for a better picture of your work.

Access and share built-in expense reports
Access and share built-in expense reports
Access and share built-in expense reports

Flexible QuickBooks Online plans for your business

Flexible QuickBooks Online plans for your business

Simple Start
25 60105 60
12 30 53 53
/mo
  • Track income & expenses
  • Invoice & accept payments
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Run general reports
  • Capture & organize receipts
  • Track miles
  • Track sales & sales tax
  • Send estimates
  • Manage 1099 contractors

  • Enhanced Payroll

    Add $35 $ 18 /month
    + $4/employee/month

  • Full Service Payroll

    Add $ 80 $ 40 /month
    + $4/employee/month

  • Full Service Payroll

    Add $ 000 $ 000 /month
    + $4/employee/month

Simple Start
25 60105 60
12 30 53 53
/mo
  • Track income & expenses
  • Invoice & accept payments
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Run enhanced reports
  • Capture & organize receipts
  • Track miles
  • Track sales & sales tax
  • Send estimates
  • Manage 1099 contractors
  • Includes 3 users
  • Manage & pay bills
  • Track time

  • Enhanced Payroll

    Add $35 $ 18 /month
    + $4/employee/month

  • Full Service Payroll

    Add $ 80 $ 40 /month
    + $4/employee/month

  • Full Service Payroll

    Add $ 000 $ 000 /month
    + $4/employee/month

Simple Start
25 60105 60
12 30 53 53
/mo
  • Track income & expenses
  • Invoice & accept payments
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Run comprehensive reports
  • Capture & organize receipts
  • Track miles
  • Track sales & sales tax
  • Send estimates
  • Manage 1099 contractors
  • Includes 5 users
  • Manage & pay bills
  • Track time
  • Track inventory
  • Track project profitability

  • Enhanced Payroll

    Add $35 $ 18 /month
    + $4/employee/month

  • Full Service Payroll

    Add $ 80 $ 40 /month
    + $4/employee/month

  • Full Service Payroll

    Add $ 000 $ 000 /month
    + $4/employee/month

Simple Start
25 60105 60
12 30 53 53
/mo
  • Track income & expenses
  • Invoice & accept payments
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Run most powerful reports
  • Capture & organize receipts
  • Track miles
  • Track sales & sales tax
  • Send estimates
  • Manage 1099 contractors
  • Includes 25 users
  • Manage & pay bills
  • Track time
  • Track inventory
  • Track project profitability
  • Business analytics & insights
  • Batch invoices & expenses
  • Customize access by role
  • Dedicated account team
  • On-demand online training
  • Automate workflow
  • Restore company data

  • Enhanced Payroll

    Add $35 $ 18 /month
    + $4/employee/month

  • Full Service Payroll

    Add $ 80 $ 40 /month
    + $4/employee/month

  • Full Service Payroll

    Add $ 000 $ 000 /month
    + $4/employee/month

Important offers, pricing details & disclaimers

Scan receipts using the QuickBooks app

Turn your camera phone into an instant receipt scanner.

Stay on top of expenses, anywhere

QuickBooks makes it a breeze to track and organize your business expenses. Upload or email receipts to QuickBooks in seconds. Snap photos of receipts on the go with the mobile app. No more combing through paper receipts.
Use your phone or tablet to take photos of receipts
Use your phone or tablet to take photos of receipts
Use your phone or tablet to take photos of receipts

Receipt details, handled

Feel confident knowing that your receipts are ready for tax time. QuickBooks pulls info like date, vendor, amount, and payment method, right from your receipt. Then we’ll match your receipts to existing expenses or create new expenses for you.
Scan receipts using the QuickBooks app
Scan receipts using the QuickBooks app
Scan receipts using the QuickBooks app

Attach receipts to invoices

This comes in handy if you invoice your clients for expenses you’ve incurred. Just snap a photo of the receipt and record the billable expense in your books. Then add the billable expense to the invoice and attach the receipt. And you’re done!
Attach receipts to invoices
Attach receipts to invoices
Attach receipts to invoices

Organize receipts in one place

Finding those receipts for your accountant during tax time has never been easier. QuickBooks keeps all your receipts organized in one convenient place. After using our receipt scanning app to upload your receipts, you can easily find them using the search bar.
Find your scanned receipts with the search bar
Find your scanned receipts with the search bar
Find your scanned receipts with the search bar

Frequently asked questions

How to track expenses: tips, tricks, and tax deductibles

By Kathryn Hawkins
Did you lose a week of billable hours last tax season because you spent time sorting through all your credit card charges and paper receipts to figure out how many of your purchases were business expenses? If so, it’s time to step up your organizational efforts and implement a system for tracking your business expenses in real time.
Handling business finances is often one of the least favorite parts of running a small business. Having a firm grasp on your cash flow, knowing what’s tax deductible and what’s not, understanding what you spent each quarter; it all translates into a more positive and less stressful experience at tax time.
You might be dreading that expense tracking is going to be a thorn in your side. But with knowledge comes power. Understanding how to properly track expenses will help ease the pain.
Here are a few ideas for building a better system for tracking expenses to help get you started.
Create a business bank account
If you’re a sole proprietor with a brand new business, it may not have occurred to you to separate your business and personal finances. If that’s the case, here’s how you can take care of this. Put all of your business income directly into a business account, and use a business credit or checking account for any business-related purchases that can be paid by card.
You can move money from one account to the other as necessary, but drawing a clear line between your business and personal accounts will help you keep track of whether you’re making business or personal purchases. Creating a business bank account will also build up your business’s credit should you need financing in the future.
As a bonus, having a business credit card makes it especially easy to track business spending. You’ll only use this card for business purchases, so figuring out what business expenses you’ve made will be a no-brainer. This comes in particularly handy during tax season.
Keep receipts of business purchases for tax time
Keep receipts of business purchases for tax time
Keep receipts of business purchases for tax time
Stay on top of your receipts
When you get receipts for business-related purchases, organize them in a file by month, or request email copies of receipts and store them in digital files in your computer. (Whatever you do, try not to store them in a shoe box. Your accountant will thank you for it.)
If you’re ever audited, you may need your receipts as evidence of your business purchases. Storing your receipts will also help you keep track of how much money you’ve spent, making it easier to track expenses throughout the year.
Take special note of all business travel
It’s easy to overlook certain travel expenses beyond a plane ticket and hotel room. A big part of expense management is tracking every single detail of any business trip. That dinner outing you had with a client? A business expense. The car you had to rent? A business expense. That one-of-a-kind Hawaiian shirt you just couldn’t pass up? Okay, that one’s coming out of your pocket.
Note your expenses as they occur
Use a tool like Google Calendar and set up notifications for recurring or one-time expenses. Use the event form to write down the type of expense (i.e., utilities, rent, contractor services) and the recipient of the funds.
You can set up alerts to remind you to pay upcoming expenses before they’re due, and you’ll be able to print out the entire calendar for reference when the next tax season comes around. These reminders can also help prevent missed payments and keep your spending habits front and center.
Many online calendars like Google Calendar can also sync with your cell phone, so you can conveniently enter your expenses while you’re out and about. This makes your Google Calendar a perfect and simple expense tracker for life on the move.
Track receipts to easily analyze business expenses
Use software to track and analyze business purchases
Most accounting software programs provide options to create expense categories and link them to line items on your tax forms, which will help reduce the time you spend preparing your tax returns.
Accounting software can also be used to generate profit-and-loss statements, so you can easily assess the financial health of your business. Using software to track business expenses will save you a lot of time when tax time rolls around in April.
Many budget tracking tools can also help you calculate monthly expenses, track personal capital, and even sync with your credit or debit card. Many programs or mobile apps will also let you set financial goals and track your progress toward those goals. You can find a number of budgeting apps out there if you do a little research.
Hire a bookkeeper
Is your company growing and you need help tracking all your expenses? Or you just don’t have the knack for numbers? You should consider hiring a bookkeeper on a contract basis. They can spend a few hours each month going through your receipts and invoices, and tracking them in accounting software.
A good bookkeeper generally costs between $20 to $50 per hour, which is well worth it if it helps you stay off the IRS’s radar. Bookkeepers may even help you save money in the end because you’ll only be able to make small business deductions if you keep proper records. And who keeps better records than a professional bookkeeper?
Track expenses the right way
It’s true, tracking expenses can be a ton of work, but it’s a given for small businesses. But here’s the best part. Doing it the right way is really worth the trouble in the long run. Come tax time, you’ll be so relaxed knowing your receipts are organized, and your monthly expenses are in tip-top shape.

Survey reveals how self-employed workers

approach expense tracking

From tracking expenses to budgeting and preparing taxes, entrepreneurship can be just as challenging as it is thrilling. QuickBooks Self-Employed asked 1,026 self-employed people in the United States about how they track their business expenses, sort through stacks of receipts, and handle the strain of tax season.

39%

 

of self-employed workers say they keep physical receipts to track expenses.

Source: QuickBooks Self-Employed Survey

Collecting paper receipts

Antiquated though it may seem, most self-employed workers keep track of their expenses solely with paper receipts.

Collecting paper receipts

Antiquated though it may seem, most self-employed workers keep track of their expenses solely with paper receipts.

39%

of self-employed workers say they keep physical receipts to track expenses.

Source: QuickBooks Self-Employed Survey

1 in 10

self-employed workers doesn’t keep track of business expenses.

Source: QuickBooks Self-Employed Survey

Common concerns with expense tracking

Surprisingly, only 14% of self-employed workers track expenses with an app, and over half (55%) of workers don’t keep digital copies of receipts. Let’s dive into why some people say they don’t track expenses and the reality of why they should.

Concern: I don’t have enough expenses.

Reality: Even if you don’t have many expenses, having oversight of money coming in and out helps you quickly understand how your business is doing.

Concern: My business isn’t big enough.

Reality: Every business expense counts, especially for freelancers. Saving your receipt for that new laptop ensures that you won’t forget it at tax time.

Concern: It’s too much work.

Reality: Tracking expenses digitally is one of the easiest ways to stay on top of things as you go.

Common concerns with expense tracking

Surprisingly, only 14% of self-employed workers track expenses with an app, and over half (55%) of workers don’t keep digital copies of receipts. Let’s dive into why some people say they don’t track expenses and the reality of why they should.

Concern: I don’t have enough expenses.

Reality: Even if you don’t have many expenses, having oversight of money coming in and out helps you quickly understand how your business is doing.

Concern: My business isn’t big enough.

Reality: Every business expense counts, especially for freelancers. Saving your receipt for that new laptop ensures that you won’t forget it at tax time.

Concern: It’s too much work.

Reality: Tracking expenses digitally is one of the easiest ways to stay on top of things as you go.

1 in 10

self-employed workers doesn’t keep track of business expenses.

Source: QuickBooks Self-Employed Survey

How do you separate your business and personal expenses?
Two separate bank accounts

One account and separate expenses afterward

I don’t separate expenses

I use software to separate my expenses

One account but separate credit/debit cards

Separating business frompersonal expenses

It’s tough to be your own expense manager. Only 36% of self-employed workers have separate bank accounts for their business and personal expenses. This can lead to crossover when it comes to spending from either account.

About 14% of self-employed workers say they never charge business expenses to their personal accounts, while nearly a third (31%) say they always or often do. On the other hand, 33% of self-employed workers say they never make personal purchases from a business account, and 22% say they always or often do.

Separating business from personal expenses

It’s tough to be your own expense manager. Only 36% of self-employed workers have separate bank accounts for their business and personal expenses. This can lead to crossover when it comes to spending from either account.

About 14% of self-employed workers say they never charge business expenses to their personal accounts, while nearly a third (31%) say they always or often do. On the other hand, 33% of self-employed workers say they never make personal purchases from a business account, and 22% say they always or often do.

How do you separate your business and personal expenses?
Two separate bank accounts

One account and separate expenses afterward

I don’t separate expenses

I use software to separate my expenses

One account but separate credit/debit cards

Self-Employed expenses survey worker

10%

of self-employed workers say an unexpected expense of $5,000 or more would put them out of business.

Source: QuickBooks Self-Employed Survey

Budgeting for the unexpected

Owning a successful business means having a safety net, either with savings or a budget that accounts for the unexpected. But having a budget and sticking to it are two different matters. While 82% of self-employed workers create a budget for their business, only 22% always adhere to it. Unexpected expenses are the number one reason that self-employed workers overspend their budgets.

When asked how they’d pay for an unexpected expense of over $5,000, over 60% said they’d have to go into debt to pay it. Over a third (35%) of self-employed workers said they’d need to put the expense on a business or personal credit card.

While credit cards are a solution for some, 10% of self-employed workers said a business loan would be their fallback. And 10% said an unexpected expense of that size would put them out of business.

Budgeting for the unexpected

Owning a successful business means having a safety net, either with savings or a budget that accounts for the unexpected. But having a budget and sticking to it are two different matters. While 82% of self-employed workers create a budget for their business, only 22% always adhere to it. Unexpected expenses are the number one reason that self-employed workers overspend their budgets.

When asked how they’d pay for an unexpected expense of over $5,000, over 60% said they’d have to go into debt to pay it. Over a third (35%) of self-employed workers said they’d need to put the expense on a business or personal credit card.

While credit cards are a solution for some, 10% of self-employed workers said a business loan would be their fallback. And 10% said an unexpected expense of that size would put them out of business.

Self-Employed expenses survey worker

10%

of self-employed workers say an unexpected expense of $5,000 or more would put them out of business.

Source: QuickBooks Self-Employed Survey

Anticipating tax season

Navigating tax season is undoubtedly one of the most stressful parts of being self-employed. Even when you do all your tax prep by the book, use an expense tracking app, or manage expenses in a spreadsheet, tax season can still be stressful. In fact, most self-employed workers prefer to endure typically scary hypotheticals like clowns or flying.

Things self-employed workers prefer to tax season:

63%
…Flying
57%
…Clowns
51%
…Public Speaking
50%
…Needles

Missing out on deductions

Too often, self-employed workers miss out on getting the most deductions at tax time. Despite the fact that 25% of self-employed workers spend $100,000 or more on business expenses, only about 19% deduct $100,000 or more from their taxes.

Of the 26% of self-employed workers who spend between $1,000 and $10,000 on business expenses each year, 54% deduct that amount from their expenses.

Top 3 ways self-employed workers determine when to deduct a business expense:

1. They ask their accountant.

2. They Google it.

3. They trust their gut instinct.

73%

of self-employed workers say they deduct things they think they shouldn’t.

Source: QuickBooks Self-Employed Survey

Guessing at deductions

Only 7% of self-employed workers say they guess when it comes to deductions, and 6% say they “just deduct it.” Meanwhile, 73% of self-employed workers deduct expenses they think they shouldn’t have, and 1 in 5 says they always or often do.

Guessing at deductions

Only 7% of self-employed workers say they guess when it comes to deductions, and 6% say they “just deduct it.” Meanwhile, 73% of self-employed workers deduct expenses they think they shouldn’t have, and 1 in 5 says they always or often do.

73%

of self-employed workers say they deduct things they think they shouldn’t.

Source: QuickBooks Self-Employed Survey

If the IRS audited your business expenses/deductions, how confident would you feel?
Very confident

Confident

Nervous

Very nervous

I’d go to jail

All the tax feels

Though not all entrepreneurs can attest to finding the right deductions, 81% say they’d feel confident in their expenses and deductions if the IRS audited them. A significant number (about 16%), however, say they’d be nervous.

All the tax feels

Though not all entrepreneurs can attest to finding the right deductions, 81% say they’d feel confident in their expenses and deductions if the IRS audited them. A significant number (about 16%), however, say they’d be nervous.

If the IRS audited your business expenses/deductions, how confident would you feel?
Very confident

Confident

Nervous

Very nervous

I’d go to jail

Self-Employed expenses survey

Age and expense tracking habits

According to the survey, younger self-employed workers (ages 18-44) today spend less money on their businesses. The highest percentage of 18- to 44-year-old respondents spends between $1,000 and $5,000 on their businesses each year. Meanwhile, the highest percentage of older respondents (45- to 54-year-olds and older) spends between $5,000 and $10,000 a year on their businesses.

When it comes to expense tracking, though, older self-employed workers (45- to 54-year-olds and older) tend to track expenses for different reasons than those who are younger. The highest percentage of the age group (41.45%) of the age group tracks expenses to make taxes easier. The highest percentage of the 18-44 age groups tracks expenses, so they know how much they’re spending.

*QuickBooks Self-Employed surveyed 1,026 self-employed people throughout the U.S. in December 2018. The sample was selected by Pollfish. QuickBooks Self-Employed welcomes the re-use of this data under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original source is cited with attribution to https://quickbooks.intuit.com/self-employed/.

Full Report

Offer terms*
Discount offer: Discount applied to the monthly price for the QuickBooks Products is for the first 3 months of service, starting from the date of enrollment, followed by the then-current monthly list price.To be eligible for this offer you must be a new QuickBooks customer and sign up for the monthly plan using the “Buy Now” option.
Offer terms: Your account will automatically be charged on a monthly basis until you cancel. If you add or remove services, your service fees will be adjusted accordingly. Sales tax may be applied where applicable. This offer can’t be combined with any other QuickBooks offers. Offer only available for a limited time and to new QuickBooks customers. Terms, conditions, pricing, special features, and service and support options subject to change without notice.
Cancellation terms: To cancel your QuickBooks Products subscription at any time go to Account & Settings in QuickBooks and select “Cancel.” Your QuickBooks Online cancellation will become effective at the end of the monthly billing period. The QuickBooks Online Payroll subscription will terminate immediately upon cancellation.You will not receive a pro-rated refund; your access and subscription benefits will continue for the remainder of the billing period.

Features**

QuickBooks online services: Online services vary by participating financial institutions or other parties and may be subject to application approval, additional terms, conditions, and fees.
Collaborate with your accountant: You can connect up to the following for each product: 1 billable user and 2 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Simple Start, 3 billable users and 2 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Essentials, 5 billable users and 2 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Plus, 25 billable users and 3 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Advanced. Accounting firms must connect using QuickBooks Online Accountant.
QuickBooks Online Advanced – Fathom reporting: QuickBooks Online Advanced includes one license of Smart Reporting powered by Fathom at no additional charge. Fathom supports up to 3,000 active or inactive accounts in the QuickBooks Online chart of accounts, and up to 20 classes for the importing, reporting, and analysis of QuickBooks data. More information here. Fathom terms and conditions. Fathom privacy policy. Fathom support. Additional Fathom licenses can be purchased at $39 per month, as of 1/23/2019.
QuickBooks Online Advanced – Batch invoicing: QuickBooks Online Advanced supports the upload of 1,000 transaction lines for invoices at one time. Number of invoices imported depends on the number of transaction lines in the .CSV file.
QuickBooks Online Advanced – Priority Circle: Membership in Priority Circle and its benefits are available only to customers located in the 50 United States, including DC, who have an active, paid subscription to QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise or QuickBooks Online Advanced. Eligibility criteria may apply to certain products. When customers no longer have an active, paid subscription, they will not be eligible to receive benefits. Priority Circle Account Manager hours of operation are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM PT Monday – Friday. Phone and messaging premium support is available 24/7. Support hours exclude occasional downtime due to system and server maintenance, company events, observed U.S. holidays and events beyond our control. Intuit reserves the right to change these hours without notice. Terms, conditions, pricing, service, support options, and designated agent are subject to change without notice.
Auto Payroll: Auto payroll is available if setup for employees and the company are complete, all employees are salaried employees, all employees are set up on direct deposit, bank verification, e-services is enabled, and the account has not been on hold in the last 6 months.
Automated tax payments and filings: Automated tax payments and filing available only for state and federal taxes. Enrollment in e-services is required. Local taxes require the user to print the forms and upload it to the necessary local sites. QuickBooks Online Payroll Core does not offer local tax payments and filings. Automatic filings for state new hire paperwork available in QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium and Elite only.
HR support from Mammoth: HR support is provided by experts at Mammoth, Inc. See Mammoth’s privacy policy and Terms of Use. HR Support Center available only to QuickBooks Online Premium and Elite subscriptions. HR Advisor support only available in QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite. HR support is not available to accountants who are calling on behalf of their clients.
Health Benefits: Powered by SimplyInsured and require acceptance of SimplyInsured’s privacy policy and Terms of Service. Additional fees will apply. SimplyInsured does not offer insurance in HI, VT, and DC. Insurance coverage eligibility is not guaranteed, and depends solely on the rules of the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier has sole and final discretion as to the eligibility for health insurance products.
QuickBooks Online Payroll – Tax Penalty Protection: Only QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite users are eligible to receive tax penalty protection. If you receive a tax notice and send it to us within 15-days of the tax notice we will cover the payroll tax penalty, up to $25,000. Additional conditions and restrictions apply. See more information about the guarantee here.
Expert support for Elite: 24/7 customer support is included with your paid subscription to QuickBooks Online Payroll. Chat support available 24/7. U.S. based phone support is available Monday through Friday 6AM – 6PM PST and Saturday 6AM – 3PM PST. Your subscription must be current. Intuit reserves the right to limit the length of the call. Terms conditions, features, pricing, service and support are subject to change without notice.

Product information**

QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed system requirements: QuickBooks Online requires a persistent internet connection (a high-speed connection is recommended) and computer with a supported Internet browser or a mobile phone with a supported operating system (see System Requirements) and an Internet connection. Network fees may apply.
QuickBook Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed mobile apps: The QuickBooks Online mobile and QuickBooks Self-Employed mobile companion apps work with iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. Devices sold separately; data plan required. Not all features are available on the mobile apps and mobile browser. QuickBooks Online mobile access is included with your QuickBooks Online subscription at no additional cost. Data access is subject to cellular/internet provider network availability and occasional downtime due to system and server maintenance and events beyond your control. Product registration required.
QuickBooks Online Advanced usage limits: QuickBooks Online Advanced includes unlimited Chart of Account entry. Simple Start, Essentials and Plus allow up to 250 accounts. QuickBooks Online Advanced includes unlimited Tracked Classes and Locations. QuickBooks Plus includes up to 40 combined tracked classes and tracked locations. Tracked Classes and Locations are not available in Simple Start and Essentials.
QuickBooks app integration: Online services vary by participating financial institutions or other parties and may be subject to application approval, additional terms, conditions, and fees. For more information see apps.com.
Cancellation policy: There’s no contract or commitment. You’re free to switch plans or cancel any time.
Customer support: For hours of support and how to contact support, click here.
Terms, conditions, pricing, special features, and service and support options subject to change without notice.