Want to level up your bookkeeping with the best receipt apps? You've come to the right place!
By using apps to track your expenses, you can ditch paper receipts entirely. And that’s a good thing.
Paper receipts get lost, the ink fades over time, and in general, they cause you all kinds of problems. Luckily, you can avoid all of them with a good receipt organizer app.
What can a receipt scanner app do for you?
If you've been freelancing or running your business for a while, you’ll already know these struggles:
- Digging through a pile of coffee-stained slips of paper
- Losing your receipts — which means you miss out on write-offs
- Maintaining huge filing cabinets, since the IRS requires you to three years’ worth of records
- Typing out the contents of your receipts into Excel when you’d rather be doing anything else
Just starting out? You’ll be sick of all this soon enough.
As a small business owner, freelancer, or independent contractor, you have to keep good financial records. But you don’t have to do that by hoarding receipts.
These days, apps can help you stay organized, get your write-offs, and do it all in a few swipes of your phone.
The 9 best receipt apps for freelancers and small businesses
We’ve reviewed the most powerful apps that let modern freelancers and business owners stay organized with their expenses. From a powerful all-in-one tax solution, to an app that converts foreign currency, we’ve found the 9 best receipt apps out there.
Best for: Freelancers and gig workers looking for a one-stop shop for taxes
From the moment you purchase to the day you file your taxes, Keeper. This app combines the efficiency of automation with a personal touch provided by human bookkeepers. The result? Completely hands-off handling of all your receipts.
Keeper links directly to your credit card and bank accounts to import your expense transactions. This makes for hassle-free organizing of all your digital receipts.
First, automated software scans your purchases to automatically find tax deductions based on your job. Then, human bookkeepers step in to look over the results. If they’re unsure about a purchase, they’ll text you for details.
This human touch isn’t the only reason Keeper is the best receipt scanning app for 1099 taxpayers. It also helps people with 1099 income stop overpaying on taxes. On average, gig workers pay 21% more on their taxes than they should — in part because they’re not tracking their business expenses.
Keeper can help you stay on top of your write-offs. But it’s more than just a receipt scanning app. You can also file your taxes directly in the app. (Think of it as an expense tracker meets a freelancer-specific version of TurboTax.) Work with an accountant? In that case, you can download a file of all your expenses to make their work easier.
The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Check out these Keeper reviews from real users to learn more.
Best for: Growing businesses with increasingly complex tax needs
For small businesses on the verge of scaling up, QuickBooks offers the opportunity for DIY accounting. You can connect the app to your credit cards, bank accounts, PayPal, Square, and more. It imports -- not to mention categorizes -- all the transactions on these accounts.
With the QuickBooks mobile app, you can take photos of your receipts and automatically save them. It automatically matches all the info to existing transactions on your account. And if you drive for work, the app will track your mileage using your phone’s GPS.
QuickBooks might be too complicated for freelancers, or for tiny businesses that are just starting out. But if you manage a growing team and find yourself overwhelmed by your accounting needs, this just might be the app for you. Not there yet? There are plenty of Quickbooks self-employed alternatives to explore.
Best for: Frequent business travelers
Popular with frequent travelers, Expensify helps you simplify your expense tracking on the go. Just take a picture of any business-related receipt and upload it. It’s easy enough, whether you’re waiting in an airport, sitting down to a business meal, or even walking around Disneyland.
If your business travel has you using rideshare services and staying in hotels, you can connect those apps directly to Expensify to import your transactions. Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and HotelTonight are all supported.
Prefer to drive for your business trips? That’s not a problem for Expensify either. You can track your mileage in the app.
Expensify works on your Android or iOS device, but you can also use it in a web browser. While it works as an all-purpose receipt tracker, there’s no denying that this app has really carved out a place for itself in the business travel niche. If your work doesn’t have you making frequent trips, you might want to consider Expensify alternatives.
Best for: Contractors who work across multiple devices
This cloud-based accounting software comes with its own customizable mobile receipt app. Just snap a picture of any receipt with your phone, then add in the details that you’ll need when you file taxes: where you bought it, why you bought it, the sales tax you paid, and whether it’s billable.
Every receipt you enter — and all its data — will be entered into your FreshBooks account. That means it’s easy to sync up multiple devices. Make a change on your laptop, for instance, and you’ll see the update the next time you log in on your phone.
FreshBooks’ niche is organizing receipts, but you can also use it to send and pay invoices. That makes it a good option for contractors juggling multiple clients.
Best for: Sole proprietors who take plenty of business trips abroad
If your business travels tend to take you abroad, Abukai is the receipt tracker for you. This jetsetter-friendly app has no trouble reading foreign receipts. Best of all, it offers real-time currency conversion, so you can figure out exactly how much you’ve spent in terms of dollars.
To use Abukai, just snap a picture of your receipt using your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android phone. Abukai will save the image, alongside the category of your purchase, the vendor, the date, and other details.
With its free plan, Abukai lets you generate up to 12 expense reports a year. Premium packages, which start at $99 a year per user, provide unlimited reports. However, getting coworkers and team members access to your account will cost you more.
Best for: Small business owners whose employees use a corporate card
If you've staffed up your small business and handed out some corporate credit cards, Fyle can help you keep track of your employees' spending. You'll need at least five employees to make this powerful mobile app worth your while. Once you hit that hiring threshold, use Fyle to approve (or reject) your team members' expenses on the go — complete with direct integrations to Visa and Mastercard.
From the employee's side of things, Fyle offers options for people at all levels of the tech-savviness spectrum. Any digital natives you hire will appreciate being able to submit expenses right in the app. As soon as they buy something with their corporate card, Fyle will text them, and they can reply with a photo of their receipt for proof. Those who prefer handling financial errands on desktop, though, can send in expenses using Gmail, Outlook, or Teams.
Pricing starts at $4.99 per user per month if you grab an annual plan, or $6.99 per user per month if you pay month by month. These entry-level plans let you handle expenses for five employees, bumping your total cost up to $24.95 per month on the annual plan ($299.40 for the year) and $34.95 per month on the monthly plan.
Best for: Business owners who make 300+ purchases a month
Do you generate a ton of transactions? Ditch the mountain of paper you’ve got stuffed in your filing cabinet. Formerly known as Receipt Bank, Dext lets you digitize your receipts using their mobile app, email integration, or web app.
This app lets you submit a single photo showing multiple receipts as well. You can also link your credit card and PayPal or Dropbox accounts to automatically import new transactions. Dext also integrates with a host of other accounting software, including Quickbooks, Gusto, and Sage..
Because it was designed for businesses with heavy bookkeeping needs, Dext is best-positioned to serve accountants and bookkeepers. Still, business owners who generate reams of receipts can use it to get — and stay — organized.
Plans start at $20 a month for 300 documents, while the premium Enterprise subscription lets you enter a whopping 4,000 documents a month for $60.
8. Wave: Receipt Scanning, Invoicing, and Accounting for Free
Best for: Freelancers and lean businesses with light bookkeeping needs
If you’re a freelancer, startup founder, or a small business owner with straightforward accounting needs, Wave offers a hassle-free way to handle your finances.
This user-friendly app puts all your income and expenses on a single page. Because it’s stored on the cloud, you can access it anytime and anywhere — as long as you have an internet connection.
With Wave’s receipt scanning app, you can snap a photo even when you’re offline. Just review your transaction info and approve it, and the receipt will automatically upload the next time you’re able to get online.
The Wave app will also keep you updated on payments, invoices, and your bank data so you can monitor your accounts. Best of all for freelancers and business owners who are just starting out, the app is completely free.
9. Evernote Receipts
Best for: Visual thinkers who want to generate tax reports
Evernote’s claim to fame is notetaking. But it’s quietly making a name for itself in the world of expense tracking as well. With the Evernote Receipts app, you can store snapshots of your receipts and use them in expense reports for your taxes. View these in the classic notetaking app.
Evernote Receipts uses image recognition to help you search for specific receipts. In addition to organizing your personal and business expenses, it can also tracks your mileage.
How to choose the right receipt app
Keeping receipts meticulously categorized is one of the best ways to reduce tax-season stress. The apps we’ve covered make that easy to do, without squirreling away mountains of little paper slips.
Before you commit to one, make sure to consider your individual needs as a freelancer or business owner. Think about:
- How many employees you manage
- How many clients you juggle
- How many work-related purchase you make for month
- How often you travel for work — and where you go
Depending on your circumstances, you might even need to use multiple apps to customize your receipt-tracking system.
Say you’re a business owner at the helm of a large company that works with a French supplier, making frequent trips to Paris to manage your foreign operations. In that case, your ideal bookkeeping setup might involve a combination of Abukai and Dext.
On the other hand, maybe you’re a freelancer who wants to run a seamless, one-person operation — and hates dealing with the hassle of filing taxes. In that case, Keeper might be all you need.
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At Keeper, we’re on a mission to help people overcome the complexity of taxes. We’ve provided this information for educational purposes, and it does not constitute tax, legal, or accounting advice. If you would like a tax expert to clarify it for you, feel free to sign up for Keeper. You may also email email@example.com with your questions.