Cloud Accounting

Receipt Bank Review

Adding Items

What I like about Receipt Bank is that even though I set up using the free 14-day trial account, I didn’t encounter any limitations on the amount of transactions that I could initially process. Perhaps if I’d given it hundreds of transactions it would have been a different storty, but I was able to initially add 24 items and then again a similar number without a hitch.

When you go to add items (which is Receipt Bank’s terminology for documents), you have many upload options. If you’re on a computer, the easiest way is to go to the Add Items page and drag and drop your files in. It can handle single items, zip files, and multiple item PDFs. Files types supported are JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, PDF, HTML, DOC or .zip files with images.

Add Items

If you look at the second header bar in green in the above screenshot, you’ll see you can add items by:

  • Upload
  • E-mail
  • Apps
  • Post (as in snail mail)
  • PayPal
  • Mileage
  • Dropbox

So just like you can use many formats to get your data in, you have many different methods for doing so as well.

I also like that after you upload your files, the In Process tab will give you an estimate of how long the files will take to process.

In Processing

For this first batch, I was told less than 3 hours. However, in reality some of them only took maybe 15 minutes. In subsequent batches, some receipts only took a few minutes. I’m assuming this is based off how recognizable some of the items were.

All in all, adding items is a breeze and I didn’t encounter any red flags.

Categorizing

Categorizing is probably the most critical category when it comes to software like this. I don’t expect software to be perfect at categorization, as there is certain information that doesn’t appear on receipts that it would never be able to know. So that’s why, as important as it is to get the automated categorization correct, equally important is providing an easy way for the user to correct and add information to those items that need it.

The main list view of the items has a clean and easy to understand look.

Categorizing

The only variable you can change is the Category, but you are able to click on any transaction to get a more detailed view of the receipts, which I’ll show in a bit. What’s also handy from this view is that you can choose to flag items, for example for something that you need to further investigate.

From the list view, you can batch select items and perform actions on them, a feature that’s not always available on similar software. For example, you could do things like merge and bulk edit transactions. My only wish is that bulk edit provided more options beyond choosing the category. For example, I would like to have bulk edited the paid status.

Tools

I like how the status of the transaction is clearly marked “Publish” or “Not Ready.” If you click on “Publish” it will indeed publish the transaction to your accounting software. “Not Ready” means that you need to add some more details before publishing.

Publish

There are also some powerful filtering and search capabilities you can use. For example, these are the variables you can use to filter transactions.

Filter

And these are the variables you can use to search transactions.

Advanced Search

That’s a lot to choose from.

When it came to looking at individual transactions, I really liked the layout and the control you’re given over it.

Receipt Details

What’s great is that the window size is easily adjustable by clicking and dragging the divider. This is something you won’t understand unless you try it, but resizing is very snappy. The same can be said for when you want to zoom in or out of the document.

When you choose the supplier, you have an option to set supplier rules.

Supplier Rules

Another good feature is how this is built right into the form, and not something that you need to go to a different page to do — although you don’t have to explicitly set up supplier rules. As you go through the form, it’ll give you the option to use the same categorization on future transactions from the same supplier. Not only that, you can choose to have it apply to all the items that are currently in your inbox as well. I like this fine grained control over what the system does.

2017-01-27_1643

You’re also given the option to either have multiple line items or split the receipt into two. Very flexible, I definitely like this.

Edit Line Items

Edit Line Items

At first I was a bit annoyed with the system, as it kept on categorizing invoices as receipts. It wasn’t wrong, since they were indeed invoices. However, I’m so used to using the terminology receipts or purchases for paid expenses that I thought invoice was an issue. However, because you can mark an invoice as paid, it turned out to be a total non-issue.

One item I was impressed with was that I had hand written a total (to account for a tip) onto a receipt. Well, the correct total was inputted, as well as the correct tax amount. Nice work!

Receipt

Was that hamburger worth $23.00… that’s a different story.

Overall, the process of categorization was enjoyable, which is a bit weird for me to say, since I would normally say this process is frustrating. But, for every issue I encountered I was able to find a workable solution relatively quickly. Receipt Bank did a good job of automatically entering information, and where it didn’t, it was easy to correct or self-enter information as well as set up defaults that would allow the system to perform better in the future.


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About the author

Greg Lam

Greg Lam is a passionate small business guy who loves technology and automation. He holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University, Canada. He's a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Xero Partner, and Kashoo MVP. His business interests are focused on online accounting and how it can be used to streamline and automate a company’s accounting processes. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Greg operates the Small Biz Doer website, an "Entrepreneur's Guide to Small Biz Bookkeeping." He is the author of Online Accounting Software: Finding the Right Match, published by The Sleeter Group.

Connect with Greg on Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

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