Managing expense receipts using 1Tap
Keeping hold of receipts is one of those things that both as a freelancer, and all-round responsible person I know is a) necessary and b) useful. Is it fun or easy? No.
I have it all planned out. I have a ‘home’ receptacle where they go. I have place for transporting them, from point of sale to ‘home’, I have a spreadsheet, which waits, expectantly, for me to input the information at the end of each month. Ideal, yes? However, there are all sorts of things that get in the way of this flow. Namely, me.
I have a perception problem – I don’t see the value in those processes which take my time, adding up to the value in terms of expenses to my businesses or my mental health (that warm glow when everything is in its place…).
So, I’ve been looking around for a way of automating some of the processes. There are multitude of apps available. Some come as part of other bookkeeping services or are independent but integrated with other services, and a few standalone. For those people who break into a sweat at the thought of anything which requires time learning and adapting to new technology, I decided to keep it simple, and trial a standalone, free option.
1Tap is the one I decided to go for. It removes the need to keep paper receipts, and ‘reads’ the information from the photograph so you have zero data entry to do. It was going to have to be good to wean me off my Excel addiction, but if you don’t try you’ll never know, right?
1Tap settings allow you to customise ‘tags’ that you can attach to each receipt. If your accountant has a code, you can share the information directly with your accountant. You can export the PDF images, and you can estimate your monthly and weekly profit based upon your estimated earnings. The following steps take place after you have downloaded and opened the app on your phone.
Photograph the receipt (while the app processes the information.
A number on the ‘Processing’ field lets you know how many receipts are being processed at once. You hear a ‘ker-hing’ sound effect when each upload completes.
Categorise the receipt (travel, food etc.).
When you want to download the information, select ‘Export the information as a CSV file’.
Choose the email address you want to export it to, from your contacts, and send.
The message ‘Export request has been successful, you have been added to the queue. The email should arrive shortly.’
Check your inbox and save the CSV file to your computer.
You can view recent uploads, or all, so its easy to check if you’ve already uploaded receipts. You can download all images together in one PDF, or if you want to see individual receipt images, you are provided with a link when you download the CSV version.
No more entering dates. No more entering amounts. If you want to edit tags, you can do so in the downloaded spreadsheet. This is recommended only for use by for Sole Traders, and Receipt Bank (by the same company) is recommended for Limited Companies. 1Tap has a free version, but the best option for me is an annual charge of £19.99 for 50 receipts per month.
If you have a favourite app, that saves you time, I’d love to hear from you.