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Receipt Bank review

Receipt Bank is a well-connected and powerful expense management tool

Our Verdict

Receipt Bank is a very capable expense management tool that has been developed and refined over a number of years. It is not quite as full-featured as some, but compensates with integrations for Dropbox and a range of small business accounting packages.

For

  • A wide range of useful integrations
  • Very easy to capture and submit reports
  • Good Help centre and Getting Started guide

Against

  • Not as full featured as the very best
  • No native mileage tracker
  • Manual expense return

Receipt Bank is one of the better known names in expense management software, and has a deserved reputation for innovation. The software does things slightly differently from many of its competitors, and has a real point of difference in the number of accounting solutions it integrates with. On the flipside, the software does not include features that some small businesses would find useful, like mileage tracking and automated expense report creation. Its pricing structure - which is based on items processed as much as users - is also unusual, and will suit some businesses well and others less so.

Features

  • Very easy to use
  • Accurate OCR
  • Administrator features less comprehensive
Receipt Bank specs

Free trial: 14 days
Software type: SaaS
Mobile: iOS, Android
Support: Email, live chat, knowledge base

Currently Receipt Bank pricing starts at $10 a month for one user (when billed annually) with a 50 item limit, jumping to $20 a month for five users and 300 items a month. There is a $40, 20 user option for larger SMEs. The cheapest price point excludes data extraction from bank statements and synchronisation with PayPal and Dropbox. The latter is one of Receipt Bank’s real differentiators, so it might be worth paying more for. There is a 14-day free trial.

User features

There are three user roles available for Receipt Bank: Basic User, Expense Approver and Administrator. The software does an excellent job of endearing itself to basic users by making it exceptionally easy to capture and submit receipts. In fact, the smartphone app is one of the most straightforward we’ve come across. Take a photo of your receipt, submit for processing and marvel when the information appears in digital format a little while later. It’s usually accurate, but you can double check it before submitting. A neat feature is that Receipt Bank can recognize a pre-saved credit card during the course of processing and sync the information with your accounting software.

Some users have suggested that the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology can work quite slowly, but this seems a minor gripe when the results are usually good, even with crumpled printouts and scrawled handwriting. After all, the OCR works in the background while you get on with your day.

The mobile app is not the only way for users to upload data. In fact, Receipt Bank offers more routes to data submission than most competitors, including full-featured rivals like Expensify. You can drag and drop a receipt onto a computer, email it to a synced address, or post it. Uniquely, you can also import receipts from PayPal and DropBox. In the latter case, simply add your receipts to a Dropbox folder and Receipt Bank will scan it every day for new submissions. It then processes them and moves them to a new folder for safe keeping. It’s an ingenious feature that works well.

It isn’t the only one. Receipt Bank will convert from foreign to local currency during processing, presenting the expense for a taxi ride through Paris (for example) in US dollars. You can also have your camera automatically snap several receipts in turn, and start processing them when all the pictures are in place. And if you set rules for a particular vendor, Receipt Bank will automatically categorize their receipts in future. 

On the flipside, Receipt Bank does not offer a mileage tracking feature, and doesn’t let you create automated expense reports. Instead, users manually create expense reports using six expense categories.

(Image credit: Receipt Bank)

Admin features

Approvers and Administrators have slightly different roles in Receipt Bank. Approvers can sign-off expenses from any user, which is a slightly less thorough approach than that taken by Certify, for example. Other packages let admins set very specific approval workflows - Receipt Bank has a flatter structure.

Admins set the rules and company policies, and are the only ones that can change them. They can also approve expenses and the documents submitted with them. 

Approval is easy, with approvers notified of expenses waiting for their attention. They then click on the expense for more detail, and can also see the receipt photo to check all relevant details are in order. If they discover something amiss, they flag it next to the item and can, if necessary, leave a short note explaining the problem. It’s all straightforward enough, though sending an expense back to its originator for checking is entirely manual, requiring the creation of a CSV or PDF copy to send by email. Some packages have a slicker process for dealing with unapproved expenses.

One issue for admins and approvers is that, while Receipt Bank does offer certain automatic notifications (an incomplete submission, say) it doesn’t automatically flag up policy violations. In Zoho Expense, both users and admins can be notified when an employee attempts to claim an expense worth more than the category limit. There isn’t a similar system in Receipt Bank. But it will automatically apply nominal codes, projects and tax rates, providing you use one of its two higher priced versions.

With that in mind, it is worth analysing the various Receipt Bank price points carefully. A number of features your business may consider important are not available in the lowest price Business plan. For many organisations, the Business Plus or even Premium plans may be more useful.

Interface and usability

  • Easy set up and navigation
  • Comprehensive help centre and support

Receipt Bank is easy on the eye, with a simple, clear dashboard layout and a noticeable lack of extraneous information. This is software with a job to do, and it wants to get on with it. The inbox gives you a clear view of your outstanding receipts, including information on User, Category and Status.  

Receipt Bank is easy to set up and get to grips with. If you do have problems, there is an excellent searchable knowledge base which we found comprehensive enough to answer most queries. The Getting Started walkthrough takes you through the most important steps to get up and running with Receipt Bank, including integrating with accountancy software (more on that in the next section), uploading receipts and invoices, setting up mobile apps, and inviting your small business bookkeeper to join the party. These walkthroughs are well designed and easy to follow.

Further help is available from a button under Account Settings, which takes you to a full help centre with more articles, videos and how-tos. You can also submit a question to support or use the live chat facility during normal office hours.

Layout and navigation have clearly been designed with users in mind, and the website (and mobile apps) can be easily explored by those with no prior experience of expense management software for small business. We found Receipt Bank easy to set up and were uploading receipts within minutes.

Performance

  • Excellent integrations
  • Designed to work as part of an accounting ecosystem

Receipt Bank lacks one or two features you might expect, and includes one or two you might not. If you appreciate its slight eccentricities, you will find that it performs very well.

Perhaps most importantly, Receipt Bank has been designed to work with third party accounting applications, and for that reason is perhaps less standalone than some competitors. That isn’t a problem if you use one of the packages that it seamlessly integrates with, and there are quite a few of them. Receipt Bank boasts more accounting integrations than even the impressive Zoho Expense.

Currently, Receipt Bank connects to QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Xero, Sage Accounting, KashFlow, MYOB AccountRight, MYOB Essentials, FreshBooks and FreeAgent. If you use any of those packages, Receipt Bank could be an excellent choice of expense management software.

The integrations don’t stop there, however. Receipt Bank integrates with payroll solutions KeyPay and PaySuite, billing and invoicing apps Gusto and Bill.com, and job management solution Workflow Max. It might not offer a native mileage tracking tool but it does integrate with mileage expense software Tripcatcher.

These extensive integrations give Receipt Bank the feel of being part of a collaborative effort, and the software is also at pains to make it easy for your bookkeeper and accountant to get involved. Receipt Bank expects these collaborations, and they all make it a more useful package.

Verdict

Receipt Bank does things a bit differently, and whether you think it is better or worse than the competition may well be a question of personal preference. Receipt Bank is certainly a comprehensive expense management solution for small business.

In particular, we found its receipt capture among the best of all the packages reviewed. It was easy to use, accurate and offered lots of ways to upload information. Its integration with Dropbox is a unique and useful feature.

At the same time, the software lacked a couple of features that other solutions include, and some users might find Receipt Bank’s approval workflow and expense return process a bit clumsy. But few would argue with the conclusion that it is one of the best connected packages around, and its integrations tend to make up for the occasional unfortunate omission. 

All in all, we think Receipt Bank will suit some users perfectly, and others less well. It is certainly worth the time and effort of a 14-day free trial.