One of the best parts of being a freelancer or otherwise self-employed is that you can deduct legitimate business expenses when you file your taxes. Since self-employment taxes are so high (remember, you’re being taxed as an employer and an employee), it’s important to track your expenses carefully so that you can accurately file come April.
Did you know that 50% of small business expenses are generated on the go? It’s no wonder the majority of expense receipts end up shoved in coat pockets or an old shoebox.
In spite of all of the high-tech options out there, 47% of small businesses are still using spreadsheets for expense management, leaving room for errors that could really hurt their bottom line come tax time.
Why not take the uncertainty and disorganization out of expense tracking by going mobile?
These five apps can be used anywhere, anytime, to ensure no penny goes unlogged or unclaimed.
1. Receipt Bank: eliminate data entry
With Receipt Bank, you can easily do away with expense-related data entry altogether. Simply snap a photo of your receipt and submit it for processing; the app automatically extracts all relevant data including vendor, total amount, payment method, and date.
Receipt Bank also integrates with Xero, QuickBooks, Sage 50, FreeAgent, and Kashflow accounting software to streamline your bookkeeping.
Receipt Bank must be doing something right because this app has earned high praise, including Xero’s 2015 ‘Add-on of the Year’ award (UK winner).
2. Avaza: 5-in-one functionality
Australian software company, Avaza, recently announced a brand new app that combines project management, collaboration, time tracking, expense, and invoice management.
Users can opt for a single feature, or select all five for streamlined, on the go business management.
Some features of this app include:
- Daily and weekly timesheets;
- Per-person and per-category billable rates;
- Flexible tax configuration; and
- Trackable expenses and attachable receipts.
3. iClaimIt: mileage tracking made simple
iClaimIt is a straightforward, simple to use tool designed to help UK-based “road warriors” log their miles more easily and accurately.
When traveling by car it a snap to record mileage with a click of a button and email your expense and mileage data as a CSV file.
As a bonus feature, this app also supports a simple receipt-capturing feature. Just attach a photo of each receipt to the corresponding expense to organize your fuel receipts and other travel expenses.
4. Expensify: your “virtual accountant”
Expensify makes it easy to capture receipts, record business-related mileage, log billable hours, and more. Stand-out features of this app include:
- SmartScan technology that “reads” your receipt and creates an expense automatically;
- GPS mileage tracking to automatically calculate distance traveled for work;
- Bank and credit card import (the app can automatically pull all your business transactions into your Expensify account).
Budget-conscious business owners take note: Expensify’s SmartScan feature allows 10 free scans per month.
5. Shoeboxed: the “ultimate receipt-manager”
Like Receipt Bank, Shoeboxed allows you to snap a picture of your receipt, and then the app extracts vital information for you. This tool also allows you to create an expense report on your phone in a matter of seconds, using your stored images.
Another great feature is a searchable, categorized archive of logged receipts, which facilitates expense-exporting into QuickBooks, Wave Accounting, Excel, Outright, and Xero.
With mobile apps like these, you’ll never lose track of a receipt or claimable expense ever again. Here’s to building your business with smart technology that moves as quickly as you do!