Having a business means having expenses – and having expenses means saving receipts and filling out expense reports.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not that rare breed of person who just naturally loves to keep track of purchases and enter expense details into spreadsheets. Receipts have been known to accumulate in a desk drawer for weeks, fall out of my wallet on the way to the office, or just miraculously disappear. And when I finally get around to filling out an expense report, everything is scattered and it’s a hassle just to straighten and organize it all before I can start the menial task of entering my receipts by hand.
Maybe you’ve never lost a receipt, never forgotten where that stub was from, or what you were doing at that lunch. Or maybe you have the resources to hire someone to follow you around full-time and take care of this hassle for you.
For the rest of us, there’s ExpenseMagic.
ExpenseMagic is a service that brings the power of the cloud – and the experience of full-time bookkeepers – to your expenses. It provides a quick and hassle-free way to get a handle on your receipts and your expenses, bringing order to an area normally ruled by chaos.
Their iPhone app lets you take a picture of any receipt anywhere, and immediately log it in their system while on the go. They also accept digital receipts via email, or through a number of integrated services. The receipt will then live in the cloud until a set of actual human eyes looks at it, parses out the relevant information, and logs it into a database of your expenses. Their trained bookkeepers will collate and organize all of your expenses for you, and at the end of the month, you’ll get a full expense report without any of the stress or wasted time on your part.
That’s it. You can buy lunch for a business meeting, take a picture of the receipt before you leave the restaurant, and then promptly forget about it. All you have to worry about is sending the receipts with your smartphone, and they’ll do the rest.
The service has a bunch of useful features, such as support for Evernote, Dropbox, OfficeDrop, and a handful of other services, so it can slip right into the workflow and note-sharing applications you already use. They have a simple and quick mileage system to log the amount of business-related driving expenses, as well as automatic currency conversion for international expenses. There’s even calendar integration that allows you to assign each expense to a specific event in your calendar, so you’ll never have to remember exactly what you were doing and who you were with when you bought that coffee.
ExpenseMagic has a couple different pricing plans based on how often you incur expenses. You can download the app for free and start uploading receipts immediately. From there you can pay-as-you go for the price of $4.99 for 20 of what they call “Magical Uploads” – their name for their bookkeeper service. If you find the service useful, you can upgrade to an unlimited plan for $11.99/month or $20.99/90 days.
The service is currently only available for iPhone and as a webapp, although there is an Android version in the works.
If you’re like me and hate having to worry about expenses and whether you’re doing them right, Expense Magic might just be your ticket. You still have the responsibility to upload all your receipts, but that’s nothing compared to the old way of doing things. You could end up saving yourself hassle and time, and maybe even some money in the process.
By Matthew Thornton & Sharon Campbell