Although it might seem like a little thing compared to advantages like business insights and plugging supply chain leaks, receipt scanning is actually the most popular advantage of business accounting software. This might be explained by the fact that while other features might each appeal to various departments, receipt scanning has organisation-wide usability and can contribute to increased efficiency and better productivity in any department.
That’s because data entry is performed by everyone: The accountant who enters business transactions, salespeople who enter sales made and incoming business, the marketing team that must get approvals for spending company capital, company high-flyers who travel on business and use company capital for their business trips, the admin team that uses company capital to make the office run smoothly, HR that spends company capital to pay people and keep them happy … Everyone must enter data on a weekly or monthly basis. Some might even have data entry as a key part of their daily duties.
If you are considering investing in the business accounting software as a means to reduce the data entry burden on your team, drive better productivity and keep them happier, you might be keen to know how exactly this supposed automation of data entry works. Here’s how:
Defining automation of data entry
When brands tell you that business accounting software will automate data entry, they mean that the data entry process will look like this:
Step 1: Gather all the bills and invoices, receipts, etc that need to be scanned. Bank statements can be scanned too.
Step 2: Launch the receipt scanning feature in the business accounting software app on one’s smartphone
Step 3: Snap the first document. All you need to do is use your smartphone camera. Once snapped, upload to the business accounting software app.
Alternatively, you can also upload an existing scan or have the app pick up data from an online source.
Step 4: Observe as the magic unfolds – a digital data entry, complete with all the significant details from the document appears, ready for editing or extracting (copy-pasting elsewhere)
Step 5: Glance at the document to see that all key data has been correctly picked up
Step 6: Send the entry on for approval
How receipt scanning works
Receipt scanning uses a technology known as optical character recognition. The software behind this technology is taught to recognise familiar invoice, bill, and receipt formats and to recognise key details such as dates, amounts, and particulars of the document. They are able to recognise key data across the whole universe of fonts and formats.
More than just data entry – other advantages of receipt scanning
OCR technology has several benefits beyond just automating data entry, such as:
OCR technology and the receipt scanning tool that it enables, helps businesses to reduce the element of human error in data.
Receipt scanning in brands such as Dext always saves a copy of the source document which can help expense approvers verify the expenditure and accountants to verify the correctness of data.
Such brands have also designed their business accounting software receipt scanning such that once you scan a receipt, accountants and bookkeepers can easily upload it to popular accounting platforms like Xero and Quickbooks. Integration with leading accounting platforms to allow for easy publishing is one of the mainstays of receipt scanning tools.
Receipt scanners don’t just scan data. The receipt scanner also sorts and categorises entries made. It does so by date and type, supplier, and region and can adhere to any other sophisticated filing mechanism that a business might want to set up.
Receipts, bills, and invoices featuring foreign currencies are automatically converted to the local currency.
Once entries are created, the accounting software allows for these scanned receipts to be viewed and approved in a single click. This can seriously improve your expense approval game. The software also lets you add expense approvers and create room on your schedule for more demanding duties.
An affordable way to add more hours to the workweek
What would one pay to have more hours in a day more days in a week? Well apparently, you don’t need to pay very much. Just about GBP 20 can get you 5 login IDs, which means that your business can get receipt scanning (and save all those hours) for just GBP 20 per month.
You might not need to keep hiring additional accounting resources as and when your transaction volume goes up. What you gain in productivity and happier people might not be very easily quantifiable, but one can safely say that if it were quantifiable, it would amount to more than GBP 20 per month.
If you have a bigger team, pay GBP 40 and get 20 IDs, or GBP 60 and get 30 IDs. Wondering where you can get such steal deals on receipt scanning? Know more here.