Help Your Clients Find the Best Way to Organize Receipts

Having receipts already organized is a fantastic way to start the tax season, but keeping track of them can be a challenge. For that reason, it’s a good idea to show your clients how to manage receipts using software. Automating receipt management cuts down on errors, allows for real-time updates, and streamlines the recordkeeping process.

The Best Way to Organize Receipts

The key to organization is knowing exactly what to hold on to. The best way for your clients to organize their receipts depends on whether the receipts are personal, such as restaurant receipts, or tax-related, such as small business receipts. Unless your clients intend to keep detailed records of every single expense, they can typically throw out the following receipt types after checking them for accuracy:

  • Meals at restaurants
  • Groceries
  • Gasoline
  • Postage
  • Clothes (once the tags are removed)

Receipts for small purchases should be kept for about a month. Other receipts require long-term storage, particularly for tax purposes. These include:

  • Business and job search expenses, which are often tax deductible
  • Medical expenses, for both tax deduction and insurance purposes
  • Large purchases (such as jewelry or furniture) and warranties, in case clients need to return items or file insurance claims for them
  • Donations, for tax deduction purposes

In addition to these, your clients should hold onto receipts for any items they purchased, or expenses related to trips they took for work, so their employers can reimburse them. To prevent gaps in your clients’ records due to missing receipts, advise your clients to store the receipts as soon as they get them. Gently remind them that a lack of organization will result in the task falling upon you to sort out, and that can devour a lot of time better spent elsewhere.

Expense Report and Receipt App Automation

These days, people don’t need to paperclip receipts to claims forms and palm these off to accountants. Instead, they can take snapshots of receipts with their phones, and those snapshots can automatically sync to your computer or cloud storage for safe keeping. Some receipt tracker apps can even convert typed and handwritten receipts to machine-encoded text, while others can clean up images of receipts to make their text more legible or automatically send them to email addresses upon being scanned.

Once receipts are uploaded to a central platform, such as a cloud folder that you and your client share, at that point you can manage and update the documents in real time without needing to make copies. Automated receipt management enables your clients to upload receipts while travelling, so that you can verify them before the clients return. With less of your time spent deciphering and organizing receipts, you can task yourself with finding patterns in your clients’ spending behaviour that can be improved.

The Benefits of Using Receipt Scanner Apps

Although storing physical receipts has advantages over using scanner apps, such as the lack of an interface or learning curve, scanner apps provide many more benefits to your clients overall. Here are just a few:


Receipt scanner apps go beyond speeding up the process of storing receipts. These apps also make finding the information on stored receipts much simpler, since you can use an app’s search function instead of rummaging through piles of paperwork. Automatic cloud storage makes sharing receipt information instantaneous, and interpreting receipts also becomes faster due to improved legibility.


When sensitive documents such as receipts are filed away digitally, clients can protect their information with passwords, limiting the risk of harmful leaks. Automatic backup also prevents the documents from getting lost or destroyed in an accident.


Manually interpreting receipts can cause even the most diligent accountant to make mistakes that an app is unlikely to make. Once clients learn how to keep track of receipts with software, they never have to worry about the same receipt getting calculated twice, or smudged print causing mistaken entries.


Better expense reporting means improved tracking of spending patterns, which means you can more accurately help clients find ways to cut down on costs. Filing taxes is also much more efficient with receipt scanning apps. Your clients don’t have to worry as much about whether they can afford your services if you can consolidate the document sorting into fewer billable hours. This ensures greater client retention, and also frees you up from the more menial tasks of accounting.


Unlike physical receipts, which can become illegible over time, or which your clients may throw away after a few weeks or months, digital receipts can be stored indefinitely. As a result, your clients don’t need to scour filing cabinets for evidence of a purchase several years back, and you don’t need to worry as much about gaps in their financial records. Since you and your client can pull up receipts anywhere you have internet access, you also don’t need to worry about transporting the documents whenever you need to do business.


When you don’t have to hold onto your clients’ receipts because they use scanning apps, you can rid your office of clutter and engage in more eco-friendly recordkeeping.

Which Receipt App Is Right for You and Your Clients?

Expense tracking software has undergone continual refinement for decades, from increasingly streamlined interfaces to new features such as cloud storage. The following are some of the cutting-edge expense tracking apps on the market, all of which are compatible with QuickBooks.


Available for Android, iOS, Windows, and the web, this app tracks your client’s mileage every day and provides an automatic monthly expense report for easy reimbursement. Instead of logging miles manually, your clients can record them with a tap of the phone as soon as they get in the car each morning.


Especially functional for small businesses, this QuickBooks-friendly app for Android, iOS, and the web features The Magic Envelope, a service that delivers postage-paid envelopes to your client’s business whenever needed. Your client can just fill the envelopes with receipts and send them off, and Shoeboxed then digitises these to create an expense report.


Also compatible with QuickBooks, this app comes with a handy workflow approval feature, which lets the app’s administrator set criteria for automatically approving certain expenses and flagging others for review. Abacus is available for iOS, Android, and desktop.


In addition to providing automatic expense tracking, this app lets your clients email receipts to Rydoo for careful sorting. The app is available for iOS, Android, and the web.

Helping Your Clients Transition to the Cloud

People get set in their ways, and are often disinclined to fix systems that don’t seem broken. Since your clients may have this attitude toward receipt management, switching them over to automatic expense tracking may prove difficult. If they’ve shown a willingness to try more efficient tracking methods, your best bet is to give them a video or paper tutorial of the receipt app basics. Make sure you don’t overload them with details too quickly, as that may discourage them from leaving their comfort zone. Also, you may want to explain the process you personally use, taking care to emphasize how easy it became once you got used to it.

Every business process can be made more efficient with the right app, and keeping track of receipts is no exception. Offer your clients the chance to enjoy faster, smoother receipt tracking with expense management software, much of which is compatible with QuickBooks. QuickBooks Online Accountant helps you manage projects, tasks and clients together. Sign up for free.

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