Consider this required as part of the business travel arsenal. There's is no greater gift in this universe than billing someone else.
Business trips often inspire a weird mixture of dread and excitement: On one hand, it's a free "vacation." On the other hand, it often doubles the workload, since you have to be on top of everything on top of what is happening at the office. The only upside to it all is that there's no need to pay for most of it.
Though many companies have their own policies in place when it comes to expensing, there's always an invoice and receipt collecting of some kine. Smart Receipts is the best smartphone app we've found thus far that will tally those expenses seamlessly, from scanning receipts automatically, itemizing them, and drafting them into beautiful CSV or PDF formats without being overbearing.
Though the app is generally available on Google Play and iOS for free, it is limited in the number of receipt scans that it can do. Extra scans can be purchased for a price, but in general, Smart Receipts Plus, which is the annual product is pretty much worth splurging on (and expensing if you're able!).
Pulling in receipts without typing things mercilessly down.
Let's thank the OCR gods in this day and age for being able to scan receipts to pull everything in.
The app can pull information through a myriad of methods, from OCR scanner to importing existing PDF and pictures. Of course, by default, text entry is also available as an old-school method.
By default, Smart Receipts allows two free receipt scans. There is also the option to purchase 10 or 50 receipt scans at $1, or $5, or for 10 cents per receipt scan. (Come on, guys, that's less than a coffee in New York.)
Smart Receipts Plus is available $10 per year, at unlimited scans, which honestly seems like the best value since receipts always seem to add up fairly quickly, pretty much like a weed. Reasonably, that seems to be almost two to three business trips, depending on how much you're on the move?
(At Map Happy, we easily go on twice, or triple that amount in a year.)
Probably our favorite feature might be the ability to tag items as reimbursable (or not), and being able to put them in the most common business categories like transport and food. These can later be exported them into a CSV or PDF for simple expensing.
Here are screenshots of the app in action:
Features that makes being on the road a bit easier.
In particular, there are a few things that we love about this app beyond easy exportation that makes us (actually) want to pay for it.
Smart Receipts does provide for automatic and manual backup, a crucial feature in an age of accidental deletion. Though it does require the user to create of an account, it is very much a lesser evil compared against the evils of manually itemizing everything in Excel.
There's also a quick feature where users can quickly see a trendline of daily spending, followed by a pie graph.
I hate pie graphs. Because my eye always gravitates toward the biggest slice of the pie.
Easy exporting for those invoices.
Because money does make the world go round.
In particular, there's a few different options with Smart Receipts, most notably in PDF, CSV, and ZIP (with receipt scans) format. There are exactly five export settings, depending on whether the user would like the breakdown by category or reimbursable/not reimbursable.
Our particular favorite happens to be CSV, because it breaks down the different categories, allowing us to sort easily through reimbursable/not reimbursable, and further delete columns for easy copying and pasting straight into an invoice.
Here is a sample PDF and CSV file that we took from the same Boston trip.
Now, go forth, conquer, and expense.