Being self-employed, I have more than a few receipts to keep track of in preparation for completing the dreaded tax return. Unfortunately, I’m not always the most organized person in the world so I was interested to come across a website called Shoeboxed, which makes it easy to keep track of your receipts. The idea behind the website is very simple: you send in your paperwork (receipts, business cards etc.) and they scan it in, enter the data and organize it for you. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this kind of thing yourself, it’s the perfect way to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything vital.
How Much It Costs
This service is offered at various pricing options, including a bare-bones free version detailed further down below:
Lite. For $9.95 per month, you can have 50 receipts or business cards scanned in on your behalf each month with an average turnaround of three to five business days after being received. If you choose to go down the self-scan route, you’ve got unlimited means to do this.
Classic. For $19.95 per month, you can have 150 receipts or business cards per month scanned in for you at a quicker average turnaround than the Lite plan (two to three business days). You’ve got the same lack of restrictions for the self-scanned paperwork, but there is the added advantage of being able to use pre-paid envelopes if you’re sending through the mail.
Business. For $49.95 per month, 500 receipts or business cards per month can be scanned in for you with an average turnaround of one to three business days. You’ve still got the unlimited self-scanning option and access to pre-paid envelopes that are available in other pricing plans, but this plan also offers a free quarterly back-up CD and a dedicated account manager for quick support if you run into problems (assuming that you call during support hours).
Annual plans. You can choose to take out an annual plan rather than a monthly plan and this can have some benefits if you think you might go over the monthly limit for a particular plan. Ordinarily, you’re charged for each scan that exceeds your plan’s quota. This is 30 cents per scan on the Lite plan, 20 cents per scan on the Classic plan, and 15 cents per scan on the Business plan. Annual plans give you a set number of extra scans (250 for the Lite plan, 500 for the Classic plan, and 1000 for the Business plan). It costs $99 per year for a Lite plan, $199 per year for a Classic plan, and $499 for a Business plan (so you save some money while gaining extra scans by not going the monthly route).
Shoeboxed Mobile and the Shoeboxed iPhone app are available on all of the pricing plans so you don’t need to choose a pricier plan to use these features. Lastly, there is a bare-bones “free” version of the product:
DIY. This is the free way to use Shoeboxed, but it’s more effort than the paid plans because you have to do all of the scanning and organizing yourself. Just like the paid plans, you’re not restricted in terms of how many receipts you can personally upload.
Not sure whether Shoeboxed will benefit you enough to hand over the monthly fees? Each pricing plan has a free trial, which lasts for 30 days and allows you to scan in up to 50 receipts or business cards during that time period. This is a great way to test things out free of cost to see if it fulfills your needs.
While I haven’t personally done this, receipts can be transferred to PDF, Excel, Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Quicken for your own organization. Moreover, business cards can be exported to the likes of Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. Lastly, if you use a bookkeeping system like Outright, receipts can be synced for effortless updating.
Who Can Sign Up?
You can use Shoeboxed if you’re outside of the US, but the pre-paid envelopes are only sent to users in the United States. International users can sign up for the Lite plan but if you’re not in the US, you’ll need to call to get upgraded to a Classic or Business plan if that’s your desired plan. The sign-up process only gives options for the US, Canada, and Australia but I checked with Shoeboxed Support, and they confirmed that users from other countries (like the UK) are able to sign up if they give them a call and let Support set the account up for them.
I’ve been using Shoeboxed for almost a month after embarking on a free trial and I must admit that it’s made my life a whole lot easier. For someone who needs to scan a fair amount of receipts and business cards, it’s a very useful option for saving time and effort, especially if you’re on a plan that offers pre-paid envelopes. I’d highly recommended at least trying out the free trial to see how much it simplifies and organized your life! No more stuffing receipts in that shoebox of yours!