In this 4-minute read:
- Top ways to track and manage receipts
- Tips for managing your business receipts
As consumers, we have become accustomed to saying “No,” when someone asks, “Do you want your receipt, today?” At the gas station, the grocery store, the restaurant, wherever—receipts just become paper that gets thrown away later anyway.
But as a business owner, receipts are an important part of paying and reducing your taxes. You need to keep track of each business expense so that you can deduct that later (if applicable) and, more importantly, to be prepared in the event of an IRS audit.
We’ll walk you through some of the best ways to track your receipts from business expenses and provide some tips for staying organized.
With Womply Customer Management, you get a preloaded list of all of your customers — including spend history, name, and contact information — that automatically updates with every transaction. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!
Top ways to track and manage your business receipts
There are really three effective ways that you can track your receipts, all of which involve keeping your receipts stored digitally. Not “going paperless” isn’t an option anymore in this increasingly digital world we live in. Keeping a digital store for your receipts just helps ensure that you won’t lose them to a natural disaster or accidentally get them thrown out.
1. Manually scan your receipts
At the very least, you can and should scan your receipts to save them. You can do this using a scanner or printer with a scanner to transfer them to your computer. From here, we recommend saving your receipts to a cloud-based storage solution like Google Drive or Dropbox rather than on your desktop computer or local hard drive (though local backups are a good idea). Should anything happen to your computer, you’ll have your receipts safely stored in the cloud to access from any device.
This can help: Best file sharing apps for your virtual or remote team
You can also take a picture of your receipt and upload it to your cloud-based storage from your phone. Since we usually have our phones with us everywhere, it’s as simple as taking your phone out, snapping the pic, and moving on (rather than holding onto that receipt until you get back to the office).
2. Try bookkeeping/accounting software
You might be able to use your bookkeeping or accounting software to help you manage your receipts. Most accounting solutions sync up your bank account to automatically keep track of your transactions. When you make large inventory purchases or other purchases for your business, some solutions allow you to attach a physical receipt to each transaction.
A few of the big names that can do this are QuickBooks Online, GoDaddy Bookkeeping, and Xero.com.
3. Use an app to scan and record your receipts
Quite possibly the easiest way to manage your receipts is to use an app on your phone. There are tons of free (and paid) apps that you can choose from to help you record your receipts.
Most receipt-tracking apps include the ability to take a picture of your receipt and add notes to it to help you better categorize your receipts. Most apps will save the date of the receipt and some even have text recognition in order to automatically add notes from the receipt itself.
A couple of good apps to start with are Expensify and Smart Receipts.
Tips for managing your receipts more effectively
Scanning and recording your receipts is an important step, but there are other things that you can do to make your tax season go a little smoother.
If you aren’t going to scan your receipt in right away, write down a note on the receipt that says what it was for. Simply writing “dinner” isn’t going to be good enough if you are audited. Note if that was a client dinner (entertainment expense?) or employee appreciation dinner. Whatever that receipt was for, add some descriptive notes.
Categorize your receipts
Instead of having to sort through tons of files later down the road, make sure to categorize your receipts so you can easily add up the types of expenses that you had. (Some apps or software may even take care of this for you.)
Some categories you might include:
- Charitable contributions
Keep your process consistent
However you decide to keep track of your receipts, stick to it. It will be a pain to track down all of your receipts across different apps or folders when tax season rolls around. Keep all of your receipts saved in one place and be consistent with your categorizing.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever try something new, but if you do, make sure to take note of where your past receipts are stored or add them into your new solution.
Use Womply tools to stay organized
As you’re thinking about keeping your receipts organized, think of other areas similar organization can help your business stay productive.
Womply has solutions to help with customer management, email marketing, online reputation, and more.
Our automated email marketing engine will help you stay engaged with your customers, building on those relationships to help them last a lifetime.
Womply Reputation can help you monitor your online reviews across multiple platforms all from one simple dashboard. You can encourage customers to leave their feedback and even set up automated responses if you choose.
With Womply Customer Management, you get a preloaded list of all of your customers — including spend history, name, and contact information — that automatically updates with every transaction.
Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!