20 Mar Simplify business: paper and electronic receipts
One of the most tedious jobs at start-ups is expense management. In most cases, some very nice and kind person suffers in silence on this. He/she gathers all the paper copies, travel vouchers and handwritten taxi notes, tapes them diligently on a piece of paper, scans them, punches them manually in the system and then prepares the reimbursement report. The people sending the receipts are equally unhappy, having paid out of their own pocket and always worried that they might not get compensated sufficiently for lost receipts or hidden FX fees.
The technology revolution has brought on a number of cheap, easily available expense management apps that can hugely simplify the tediousness of this process. At Blue Equator, we have tested several of these apps: Xero Expenses, Receipt Bank, Expensify, Datamolino. Here is why we love them:
- Employees can submit their expenses on the go: for example, if a founder takes a client coffee meeting while travelling, all they have to do is snapshot the receipt and it is already in the system; say good-bye to Google Sheets
- The apps talk to the accounting system: if your company uses Xero or Quickbooks, a lot of those expenses, especially the recurring ones can push directly into your accounting and straight into the relevant buckets
- The pricing models are very flexible: all the apps have a trial period where you can test out all of them and see which ones work best for your entity; billing cycles are usually monthly
- No more manual entry: all new expense management apps come with sophisticated and ever-improving OCR technology which can recognise the majority of lines on your invoices
- Works well for email receipts too: a lot of these apps are great at reading not only your paper receipts but also invoices coming by email; just forward them to the designated mailbox
If you need help with choosing or setting up the right expense management tool, you can read one our recent articles on what to look out for. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Our rates are start-up friendly and completely transparent, with no commissions charged for choosing the right software.