Celebrating the people behind British small businesses

Are you wasting valuable time on inefficient bookkeeping? There’s an easy solution.

By Heather Baker, MD of TopLine Comms

My love affair with accounting software started in 2010 when I began using Xero. It revolutionised the way my business manages its books, and helped me to make sense of our accounting process for the first time (I know – scary to think I didn’t have a handle on this 2 years into running my company!). I was so happy to have found it and I thought no one would ever make a piece of software that I love as much as Xero… Then I found Receipt Bank and sparks flew all over again.

Receipt Bank helps people deal with receipts and invoices

Receipt Bank is designed to take the data entry hassle out of managing and processing invoices and receipts. It’s streamlined my business’s accounts admin and, somewhat surprisingly, made doing the books a real pleasure.

And because I’m not the jealous type, I’m spreading the word about this amazing service so that other small businesses can share the love. If you’re using accounting software but you’re not using Receipt Bank, you are missing out on major efficiencies. There are plenty of reasons you should sign up today (or tell your accountant to do it for you) – follow my lead and you’ll be laughing all the way to the Receipt Bank.

It’s low maintenance and user-friendly

Receipt Bank is super easy to use. We just set up an account, downloaded the app and started sending the invoice fairies our paperwork. Take a snap of your lunch receipt on your smartphone and upload the data; forward a supplier invoice over email; post a load of expenses paperwork in an envelope. However you send the data, it’s extracted and uploaded to your Receipt Bank account.

Your desk can be as clutter-free as mine is now

Before Receipt Bank, invoices and receipts would pile up on my desk and in my inbox, waiting for the end-of-the-month rush. Sometimes the pile would topple before then, sometimes my dog would file them for me. Neither of these situations being ideal, I much prefer my current setup, which has taken me one step closer to paperless working.

You’ll no longer suffer from admin-avoidance guilt

If you’re anything like me, then you’d probably rather spend your spare time doing anything but admin. I used to finally get round to dealing with invoices and receipts at the very last minute, usually on a Sunday after cleaning the house, doing the ironing and finding any other excuse to procrastinate. I would avoid eye contact with the neglected stash until the guilt got too much (or my accountant got me into trouble). Today there’s no procrastination and no guilty feeling.

Our office manager is happy

The arduous and hated task of entering data from invoices and receipts into Xero used to fall to my office manager (after I had been through the paper receipts and coded them). Now that it’s automated, our books are kept up to date effortlessly and I stay in my office manager’s good books. Double win. She now has more time to do the things that she enjoys more and that are more valuable to the business.

Our suppliers are happy

Whenever we receive invoices by email we simply forward them to our Receipt Bank account. And any that arrive in the post we just scan in using the app. Every couple of days our office manager logs into our account and runs through the invoices waiting in there, checking they have been coded correctly, and at the click of a button uploads into Xero. This all makes for smooth and speedy invoice processing, ensuring suppliers are paid on time, time and time again.

Our accountant is very happy

Before Receipt Bank, my accountant would come to me at the end of each month with heaps of questions to which I couldn’t remember the answer, and we would have to start a whole process of investigation all over again. What was that payment to Paperchase about? Where is the receipt? Have you categorised that Starbucks meeting receipt correctly? Now, my accountant never has to ask me about receipts or invoices from ages ago – he has a scan right of every receipt / invoice attached to the entry in Xero. It’s all there – no lost receipts!

The human error factor is significantly reduced

No more do I find myself taking an iron to a crumpled, faded receipt and trying to remember where I spent that money weeks ago, or whether we should have added VAT in Xero. Receipt Bank’s data entry (that uses both artificial intelligence and human checking) has so far been 100% spot on. We haven’t had a single operational error, which means our bank feed reconciles beautifully in Xero.

It knows your quirks and habits

The other day I bought a coffee at Caffè Nero during a business meeting. When I got the receipt I took a photo of it using the Receipt Bank app and it automatically uploaded to our account. The system knew to automatically categorise this as ‘entertainment’ because the last three Caffé Nero receipts I submitted were classified as entertainment. The more Receipt Bank learns about me, the more I love it.

It gives you an accurate, current snapshot of your business finances

I log into Xero daily and have a very clear real-time picture of the company’s financial position, updated with the data from Receipt Bank. If I have a query about an invoice or a receipt, I don’t need to dig around for it in the finance files in the office. I simply click on the scan of the receipt which appears next to the item in Xero. Simple. When I need an overview or some figures to help me make a decision, the data is there for me. It’s accurate and accessible, and it has turned bookkeeping from a chore to a pleasure.