How to Manage Receipts In Quickbooks Online
Keeping track of receipts is a common problem among business owners of all sizes. How many times have you made it to year end and then realize you have a shoebox full of receipts you haven’t recorded and you panic?
How can QuickBooks Online help?
QuickBooks Online now has a feature that makes keeping track of receipts much easier for you. Users can scan, upload, or even email receipts to QuickBooks Online. Receipts can then be matched to existing expense transactions or used to create new ones. You can even do this on the move via the mobile app.
The benefits of managing receipts in QuickBooks Online
Receipt management has always been a challenge for business owners who are busy, on the road, or just a little less organized than they would to be.
In many cases, receipts are a physical item: easy to lose or misplace or just push into the glove compartment to file later. Receipts can also be damaged or torn, or fade over time, making them illegible.
And then there’s the actual chore of managing and storing them. This usually means attaching hard copies of receipts to credit card statements or putting them in envelopes, which get filed into boxes.
For a busy business owner, this process often takes a back seat to other tasks like winning a new contract or making a sale. When period end rolls around, your receipts have piled up and it takes a lot of work to make sense of things. Often that work falls on your accountant’s shoulders rather than the yours – that can an be expensive use of their time.
The new Receipt Capture feature in QuickBooks Online means receipts can be scanned, snapped, and added and managed in QuickBooks Online.
What’s more, this feature is included in all subscription levels, from QuickBooks Online Simple Start through Advanced.
The new Receipts tab in the Banking Center is the home for adding and tracking receipts.
Once a receipt is in the Receipts tab, you can review, edit, add, or match it.
The Receipt Capture workflow
Logging receipts and matching them to transactions is similar to the banking workflow and can be viewed within the Banking Center. There are three ways to capture receipts so that they can be matched to transactions and added to the bank feed.
Forwarding by email
If your receipts have been generated or sent to you via email, you can set up QuickBooks Online to recognize your email address and forward your receipts directly to a QuickBooks Online account.
First, you need to enable the email address for each QuickBooks Online user who will be forwarding receipts to the Receipts tab.
Once your email has been set up, you can forward receipts as attachments (if you want to forward several at once) or within the body of an email (if you’re only forwarding one receipt per email).
Direct file upload
If you have receipts stored on your computer already (whether they have been downloaded from an email as an attachment or scanned directly into your files), you can drag and drop them directly into QuickBooks Online.
To do this, simply use the drop box on the Receipts tab.
Via the mobile app
The QuickBooks Online mobile app is especially handy for small receipts like café receipts or card transactions in stores. Simply open the app, take a snapshot of the receipt, and the file will be uploaded to your account.
ProAdvisor tip - Receipts may be uploaded as PDF, JPEF, GIF, or PNG files.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
No matter which method you use, QuickBooks Online uses OCR to scan receipt files once they have fully loaded.
The OCR technology scans the information on the receipt and extracts the necessary data to build a transaction record
You’ll be able to check this information and amend it where necessary before accepting and adding the transaction—just as you check and match a transaction within the bank feed
Setting up receipt forwarding
QuickBooks Online allows you to set up one unique, custom email address per QuickBooks Online company. By using the relevant email address each time, every receipt or bill you send will be associated with your QuickBooks Online company.
Here is the first way to get a receipt into QuickBooks Online. The first is a receipt that was emailed to you. With email receipts, you can just forward the email to a QuickBooks Online email address. The details are then picked up by the character recognition software and added to your QuickBooks Online Receipts tab.
Here are the steps to set up receipt forwarding:
- Go to the Banking menu or Transactions menu
- Select the Receipts tab
- Select the Forward from email option
- Create a custom email address such as [yourcompany]@qbodocs.com
- When you’re ready, select Customize email and then Confirm
Note: Once you create an email address, you can’t change it.
On the last screen, select the users who are allowed to forward emails to your new email address … simply set the toggle button next to the user’s name to green
Tips for receipt and bill forwarding
- You can only register one email address per QuickBooks Online company
- You can always select Manage Senders in the Receipts tab to specify which users can email receipts and bills
- To send receipts and bills, users must be at least standard users, and have Vendors’ permissions
- You can’t register Gmail addresses that include a plus (+) sign
- When emailing receipts, you can include multiple receipts in the same email, so long as they are separate attachments. QuickBooks Online can only recognize one receipt at a time when they are sent in the body of the email rather than as an attachment.
You can also upload receipts from your computer or by snapping a picture of them on a smartphone using the free QuickBooks Online mobile app.
The individual steps are below for you to follow.
- Make sure you have the file location open on your desktop so that you can easily access the file
- In QuickBooks Online, navigate to the Banking Center within your account
- Select Receipts
- Drag and drop the file from the folder it’s stored in to the drop box within the Receipts tab
- Be aware that it may take up to 15 minutes for QuickBooks to process the file and for it to show as ready in the account
Capturing receipts in the mobile app
Did you know you can just snap a photo of your receipts on your phone when you’re out on a job. You’ll be delighted when you no longer have to sift through the contents of your glove compartment.
Here how you can add receipts to your QuickBooks Online while on the move.
- First, open the mobile app on the device
- Select the + button and select Receipt capture
- The app will link to and open the camera on his phone. Note that QuickBooks frames the receipt so that you can make sure you capture all of the information needed, including the date, merchant name, and amount.
- Once satisfied, tap the capture button on the device. You will have the opportunity to review the image before saving it
- If everything looks OK, select Save
QuickBooks uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to read and transform the data to QuickBooks.
The app also uploads the image of the receipt directly into QuickBooks Online
You can only process one receipt at a time in this way. The OCR function cannot identify more than one receipt on an image at a time.
While the details uploaded into QuickBooks Online are dependent on the scanned information on the mobile app, you can update any missing or incorrectly mapped fields directly in the For Review section in QuickBooks Online.
Reviewing, matching, and adding receipts
Once receipts are in QuickBooks Online, they show up under For Review in the Receipts tab. From here, you can select the row to have a side-by-side view of the receipt and the data that has been extracted. You can also:
- Select Review to edit the extracted information for the receipt. If there are multiple matches, selecting Review will allow you to choose the match you want
- Select Add if you want to create a new expense in QuickBooks Online with the receipt attached
- Select Match if you’re ready to match the receipt with an existing record in QuickBooks Online. Note: if an imported banking transaction and a receipt are both in For Review, QuickBooks Online won’t suggest a match until you select Add for one of them
Here are the steps:
- The receipts entered are now visible in the For review tab
- If QuickBooks finds an expense already entered in QuickBooks, it will suggest that you Match the receipt to the existing transaction
- Where QuickBooks is unable to find a match, you can manually add a transaction
- Select Review from the action column
- The receipt and existing details will load for you to amend as appropriate. You will be able to assign a payee, Bank/Credit account, Payment date, Account/Category, Description, Amount, and Memo to the transaction. QuickBooks Online will fill in the fields it can using OCR technology.
- Select Save and Next to confirm
- As this is a receipt for a new expense, select Create Expense to add it to QuickBooks Online
- QuickBooks automatically includes the image of the receipt with the transaction
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