Receipts play a surprisingly important role in running a business. Whether you track receipts to reimburse employee expenses or to prepare for a possible audit, you should keep track of them with one of these best receipt apps.
What is a receipt scanner app?
A receipt scanner app takes a photo of your receipt and creates a digital copy. This makes it easy to retrieve it from a digital filing system.
Almost all receipt scanning apps work the same way. They use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, a process that scans physical documents and creates digital versions of them. With this process, you can limit manual data entry.
Instead of using a scanner, you download the app on your phone and use your camera to take a photo of the receipt. The app collects and stores your receipt information, so you can easily retrieve it when you need to, by filtering and searching by keyword.
Why do businesses need receipt apps?
The IRS recommends that you keep certain financial records for at least three years after filing a tax return. That can include receipts, especially those for purchases larger than $75.
No one wants to keep a three-year stockpile of paper receipts. It can be a pain to organize and easy to lose track of paper copies. You could accidentally throw them away while cleaning. Paper receipts can fade and ink can smear. Also, they are prone to damage due to climate, degradation, and other factors.
When you regularly scan and store your receipts:
- You will save time when it comes to tax filing. You won’t spend time looking for and sorting through a huge pile of receipts.
- Your business won’t miss on valuable tax deductions.
- You’ll easily know where most of your money goes every month.
Storing your receipts online is a better way to manage them. Let’s take a look at some of the best receipts apps, their features, pricing, and more to help you choose the right one for your business.
- QuickBooks – the most flexible with advanced features
- Expensify – best for scanning receipts on the go
- Dext – best for financial documents
- Concur – for enterprises with global travel
- Keeper Tax – for freelancers and independent contractors
- Wave Receipts – best free app for self-employed
- Rydoo – best for startups
- FreshBooks – for early stage businesses
- Abukai – for solopreneurs that travel internationally
- Zoho Expense – most affordable option for multiple users
- Xendoo – for when you want an expert to manage it for you
1. QuickBooks – the most flexible with advanced features
You can use QuickBooks to scan receipts, but it does much more than that. QuickBooks is accounting software that has other features that business owners may need. For example, you can use it to create expense reports, set up payroll, manage invoices, and more.
How to scan receipts with QuickBooks
You can scan receipts when you download the QuickBooks app.
- Create a QuickBooks account
- Go to Menu
- Tap on Receipt Snap
- Open the Receipt Camera and take a photo of your receipt
- Click to use this photo
- Tap on Done
After uploading the receipt, you can view it when you log in to QuickBooks.
QuickBooks is a flexible option for businesses that may need features outside of receipt scanning.
If you are already using it for your accounting, you can also use it for receipts. But, it integrates with many other receipt apps. You have the option to use Quickbooks for general accounting needs while leveraging other apps on this list that specialize in receipts.
However, QuickBooks doesn’t put your accounting on auto-pilot. It requires some accounting knowledge, effort, and time to operate. So, if you don’t know how to do your bookkeeping and other financial tasks, you may end up making mistakes. Luckily, you can hire bookkeeping professionals to help you.
You can test out QuickBooks for free with a 30-day trial. Plans start at $25/month for businesses and go up to $180/month.
Freelancers and independent contractors get a discounted price of $15 per month. Prices may vary depending on if they offer a discount for the first three months.
*Some Xendoo plans get access to QuickBooks (plus a bookkeeper to manage it for you).
2. Expensify – best for scanning receipts on the go
Do you work remotely or travel more often for meetings? Undoubtedly, tracking your receipts and getting everything categorized and classified might be a huge hassle. Fortunately, the Expensify app makes it easy to keep receipts without stuffing them into your luggage while traveling.
Expensify is first and foremost a mobile app. It is easy to use and allows you to scan unlimited receipts, track mileage, and more. Its SmartScan feature automatically scans and enters the details on its own, saving you time and trouble. However, it’s not great if you want to scan and view receipts from your desktop.
How to use Expensify
To scan receipts with Expensify, follow these simple steps.
- Open the app and take a SmartScan photo using the mobile app
- Tap on the green camera and point it to your receipt
- Take a photo
- Tap on + at the top right of the app to manually enter time, distance, and transaction details
Although Expensify does not have as many features as Quickbooks, it is solely designed for managing expenses. Businesses choose Expensify because of its advanced expense management capabilities, like the ability to connect it with a corporate Expensify card.
In addition, you can integrate Expensify with your accounting software. It is compatible with other apps such as QuickBooks, NetSuite, Xero, and Sage.
You can use Expensify for free if you have less than 25 receipt scans per month. For more, it starts at $4.99/month for individuals, and increases in price depending on if you add users or get an Expensify card.
3. Dext – best for financial documents
With Dext, you can scan receipts through your desktop, mobile device, or email. It was previously known as Receipt Bank.
You can also upload multiple receipts at a time with the Dext app. It lets you link your PayPal, credit card, or Dropbox accounts and imports new transactions automatically. The app also integrates with other accounting software like Gusto, Quickbooks, and Sage.
Follow these simple steps to scan receipts and documents using the mobile app.
- Log in using your email
- To add a new receipt, tap on the green add sign at the bottom of your screen.
- Take a photo
- Enter receipt information and submit
You can also add receipts by email. Simply create a specific email like firstname.lastname@example.org, where your employees can forward their receipts. This can be useful if you reimburse employees for travel, office, and other expenses.
The Dext app is suitable for businesses with heavy bookkeeping needs. Accountants and bookkeepers often praise it because has a high rate of accuracy when pulling data from paper documents. It increases productivity by eliminating manual entry and lessening the burden of receipt management.
Dext Prepare has two different pricing models—one for accounting firms and another for small businesses.
Small business prices start from $20/month when billed annually and go up to $60/month. One perk is that you get as many as five users and 300 documents on the lowest plan and 30 users and 4,000 monthly documents on the highest.
4. Concur – for enterprises with global travel
Large enterprises from Amazon to CVS have used Concur to manage their business expenses, including receipt management.
Concur has Expenselt, a receipt scanning feature on its mobile app. Users can save their receipts while on the go electronically. It’s one of the best receipt apps that automatically turns photos of your employees’ travel expenses receipts into data.
The app lets you track and verify the employee’s purchases. When you digitize the receipts, an expense entry is created, classified, categorized, and then sent to Concur Expense on your behalf.
To use Concur:
- Download and sign into the Concur app
- Tap Expenselt
- Snap a photo of the receipt
- Check the accuracy of the receipt and submit
The Expenselt feature will create a line item, choose the expense category, and match credit card charges to categorize your hotel bill on your behalf. Its main features include an activity dashboard, reporting & statistics, API, and third-party integration.
Concur is designed for large companies that have lots of employees and frequently travel globally. Concur does have solutions for small businesses, but they can be pricey.
Concur’s pricing structure is not as upfront as some of the other receipt apps on this list. You can sign up for a free 15-day trial. Instead of listing out prices, you have to request a pricing quote.
Reportedly, it can be as much as $9 per report for small businesses. Each report can rack up in costs, so ultimately, it’s not ideal for small businesses on a budget. However, for large, global enterprises, it could be worth the investment.
5. Keeper Tax – for freelancers and independent contractors
Keeper Tax is one of the best receipt apps because it’s so easy to use. You can link it directly to your bank account, debit cards, and credit cards to import your expenses automatically. It can capture up to 18 months of past purchases.
It is specifically designed to combine expenses with taxes. Freelancers can use it to help with estimated quarterly taxes and filing returns. However, its features are limited.
For instance, it’s not a good fit for small businesses, especially those that have employees. The app is made for freelancers, self-employed, or independent contractors. Therefore, you’ll find it doesn’t work for invoicing, payroll, and other advanced business bookkeeping needs.
You can try Keeper Tax for free for seven days. Paid plans start from $16 per month or $168 when billed annually. Also, you’ll pay $39 as a one-time charge for spreadsheet export.
6. Wave Receipts – best free app for self-employed
Wave is the best receipt app for small business owners searching for free software. Wave’s free version has unlimited income and expense tracking, which makes it ideal for solopreneurs and self-employed individuals.
It’s easy to get started with Wave. You can open a free account online by providing basic details like your business name, currency, address, and so on.
To upload a receipt in Wave:
- Go to transaction details for an expense
- Upload the image of your receipt from your device
If you don’t have a ton of expense management needs, you can use Wave to record receipts for free. You can also use it for invoices and basic accounting. However, you’ll need to integrate Wave with other apps like Gusto, QuickBooks, and more if you want advanced features like payroll. Alternatively, you can get one of Wave’s paid plans.
Wave is one of the few receipt scanning apps that has a free plan. That said, it has significant limitations. A small business with employees would need to go with a paid option which varies depending on if you pay-per-use or pay monthly.
7. Rydoo – best for startups
Rydoo is one of the easiest tools to use and it is not just for scanning receipts. It is meant to manage the full expense management process, from submitting receipts to paying reimbursements and everything in between.
It’s a good fit for startups because it’s reasonably priced and has a well-designed dashboard. Rydoo has some cool features too like the ability to:
- Set spending limits
- Automate expense approvals
- Track mileage rates in real-time
- Add a per diem (per day) spending allowance by country
Like other apps, you can easily take a photo of a receipt with your phone. Rydoo will capture details like currency, date, merchant, and amount and add those details to your account. Incoming Mastercard, Visa, and Amex transactions are automatically created and matched by Rydoo.
Overall, it has an easy-to-use interface, works for travel, and does most of the things that a growing startup needs.
You can try out Rydoo for free for 14 days. When billed annually, Rydoo plans start at $10 per month, per user.
8. FreshBooks – best for early-stage businesses
FreshBooks is similar to QuickBooks, in that it is also a cloud-based accounting software that happens to also have receipt scanning features. You can track expenses by scanning receipts through the mobile app and connecting FreshBooks to your business bank account and credit card.
FreshBooks app is suitable for organizing receipts but can do more. In addition to managing receipts and expenses, it has features for:
- Time tracking
- Project management
Some of the features are not as advanced as apps like QuickBooks, but it fits most accounting needs for freelancers and small teams.
However, like QuickBooks, it can’t do your books and taxes for you. Although, it does make the process easier, so you’re not wasting time on manual data entry. You can hire an accountant and then give them access to your FreshBooks account, so they have all the data they need for bookkeeping, taxes, and so on.
You can test FreshBooks for free for 30 days. Then, you must choose a paid plan to continue using it. Options start from $15 per month or $180 per year.
9. Abukai – for solopreneurs that travel internationally
Does your business travel take you abroad? Of all the apps on this list, Abukai admittedly lacks the most in terms of interface design. However, don’t let the interface fool you. Abukai can read most foreign receipts, which isn’t the case with all apps.
It offers real-time currency conversion, so you can easily figure out how much you have spent in terms of dollars.
Similar to other apps, it will save the electronic receipt depending on its category, date, and vendor, among other details. It also offers expense reports.
Many users go to Abukai because it can read most global receipts and it’s free if you have fewer than 12 expense reports per year. Now, that may not be enough for a small business, but for solopreneurs and freelancers that travel, it gets the job done.
Abukai has a free plan but is limited to one user and 12 expense reports per year. Paid plans start from $99 per year for a single business owner and unlimited reports. To add users, you will need to pay $99 per year for each, and a $49 one-time setup fee.
10. Zoho Expense – an affordable option for multiple users
Zoho is a full suite of business software for everything from sales and marketing to finances. Its Zoho Expense tools are catered to expense management and include receipt tracking.
Many small businesses use Zoho’s other tools—CRM, project management, and more. So, if you are already using it, adding its expense management may help keep everything in one place.
That said, it has some powerful expense and receipt management features at a reasonable cost.
- Send receipts by email
- Auto Generate expense reports automatically
- Read receipts in up to 14 languages
- Set up workflows to automate expense approvals
Zoho also has an autoscan feature. With it, you can automatically generate an expense report after taking a photo of a receipt. The app also detects duplicates, which means you won’t accidentally upload a receipt twice.
Like others on this list, it does not automate everything for you. You’ll still need to have an accountant use data from the app to file taxes and create financial documents.
You can try out Zoho Expense for 14 days. When billed annually, paid plans start from $3 per user every month. However, there is a minimum of 3 users, so it is actually $9 per month.
11. Xendoo – for when you want an expert to manage it for you
Xendoo is not a receipt scanning app, but it can integrate with many apps on this list including QuickBooks. The Xendoo team fills the gap that these apps have—expert bookkeepers, accountants, and tax specialists on hand to do the hard work for you.
Many business owners don’t have the time or desire to learn the ins and outs of bookkeeping. You can use tools to track receipts and automate data entry. However, Xendoo is on this list of best receipt apps, because, tools alone fall short. When it comes to identifying tax write-offs, overspending, profitability, and other financial insights, businesses seek out an accountant.
Xendoo can help you track your expenses and manage your books accurately. We have experienced bookkeepers that will digitally reconcile your expenses weekly and give you financial reports each month. We can help you file taxes and identify deductions that can save you money. If you have the Boost plan and above, you also get business tax preparation and filling.