In an earlier GYST post on tracking expenses I noted the importance of getting into the habit of keeping up with receipts and noting your mileage and casual expenses to make tax time easier. Recently I have begun using this app and its companion web-based organization portal: Expensify & I love this App!
I tried 3-4 other of these types of apps before I settled on this one and I have to say for a free app this is crazy valuable. If you have a smart phone I would highly recommend downloading this free app. (I am in no way sponsored by Expensify to say this I genuinely have found this app useful and the version I’m using is free!) I’m using it on an android phone so the review below is based on my experience in that platform, I’m not sure if there are any major differences but it is available for all you iPeople as well:
Expensify for Android
Expensify for Apple
In addition to the app. It has a mother website which I’ve just begun exploring where all your input and photos are stored cloud-style in your user account. Evidently you can do quite a bit of organizing and reporting with it and have multiple people attached to one account. (I believe there are some upgrade fees involved for larger operations but I haven’t paid anything yet to keep track of my basic receipts and mileage for my one-woman-show).
The app interface is super simple and clean, exactly what I want to see when I’m dealing with the hassles of accounting! Open the app and it gives you 4 giant button options to: SmartScan, Add Expense, Track Time and Track Distance. I mainly use the Add Expense and Track Distance Features.
When you click add expense it takes you to another clean, hassle free window where you enter the Merchant and total and can add a photo with one click that seamlessly integrates with your camera function and brings you right back to the Expense page one you take the photo. It auto loads the date (which you can still easily edit if your doing a week at once. It also gives space for a comment and an option to attach it to a specific report (for those of you way more organized than I am)
The Track Distance function is great and I have finally gotten in the habit of setting this as soon as I get in the car on a ‘hunt’ for my vintage shop. I mainly use the Odometer function (which has the same easy to use photo integration) but there is an option for GPS distance tracking where you just push start and go. Once you open Track Distance it automatically brings up your latest entry to complete at the end of the trip.
Right now I have no use for the Track Time function but I can see how it would be great for freelance work and might think about tracking this as I develop and streamline my businesses. It wouldn’t hurt to have that kind of data and this is so easy to use there is no excuse.
This is possibly the coolest feature of this whole system. It allows you to take a photo of the receipt and be done with it. You click the SmartScan option and immediately brings up the camera, auto scans the receipt and fills in the info on the Merchant, Date and Total all on its own. Its literally 2 clicks. This was pretty impressive when I first tried it. The only drawbacks are you are limited in the free version to a number of these a month and it takes some processing time for it to show up. At the rate I’m going its not that big of a deal to enter the merchant and total and when I’m entering the receipts I like to immediately see them all logged in so I can forget about it so I haven’t taken much advantage of this cool feature.
I haven’t needed to make a report or try much out on the web-based account side of it but it looks pretty easy to navigate. I’ve just starting using this app this month. The last tax year I used pencil and paper, glued the receipts into a notebook and logged the info into a Google Drive datasheet which worked okay for the small scale at which I was operating. I’m looking forward to seeing how this app and online service develops as my business does and have high hopes. Will keep you posted on what I learn as I use it.