4 Tips for Better Receipt Management - Housecall Pro

4 Tips for Better Receipt Management

4 Tips for Better Receipt Management

Let’s start with a quick pop quiz. Do you know where your birth certificate is? How about your Social Security card? Hopefully, you answered “yes” to both of those questions. Maybe you pictured a shoebox, desk drawer, or safe where you keep all your important personal documents. You don’t need them on a day-to-day basis; they just need to be safe and accessible. The same goes for your important business documents, like profit and loss statements, business licenses, and EOIs. But what about things like your expense records and receipts?

Let’s dive into why it’s important to manage receipts wisely and how to do it.

Why Keep Receipts?

We know receipts are a big pain. They get lost, faded, torn in half, washed and dried, and many glove boxes have turned into makeshift filing cabinets. Manually storing and tracking receipts is cumbersome and leaves plenty of room for human error. Whether you choose to go digital or old school, there are several benefits to keeping your receipts organized and cataloged.

Maximizing Tax Deductions

The more deductions you can legitimately claim at tax time, the less you’ll end up owing. Having your receipts organized and cataloged helps ease the process to ensure you’re not leaving out smaller expenses that add up over time. 

Some common receipts that can be overlooked are:

  • Gas/fuel
  • Restaurant meals or food for the team
  • Last-minute job purchases
  • Office supplies
  • Emailed receipts

Budgeting and Spending Insights

Beyond saving money, cataloged receipts can also help you budget your expenses more accurately. An organized record of receipts gives you an honest look at where your money is going. Itemized receipts give you even deeper insights. Seeing the breakdown of the $50 spent at your local plumbing supply store, for instance, offers extra clarity and helps you make informed decisions about where to cut back or adjust your spending to improve your bottom line.

IRS Audits

On the off chance your business is audited, the receipts you can produce for your expenses will play a huge role in the process. Without proof of purchase, you may not be able to claim certain tax write-offs, which can increase your tax burden. Keeping records of your receipts (digital or physical) makes navigating an audit smoother and considerably less stressful. The IRS recommends that small-business owners keep copies of receipts for three to six years depending on the expense.1 That said, if you keep your receipts in a shoebox, make sure to keep an eye on that box during spring cleaning. 

For all tax advice, we recommend working with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or qualified tax professional.

Financial Reporting

The IRS may not be the only one interested in your financial records. If you’re looking to sell your business, potential buyers will see missing or disorganized records (even receipts) as a red flag. On the flip side, good receipt and record management will make your business appear more valuable to a potential buyer. This may not result in a higher sale price, but if your operation is seen as turnkey, there’s more incentive to close the deal faster. 

4 Tips for Better Receipt Management

The stack of receipts in the truck or the office might scare you a little, but that’s a clear sign to start a new process today. Keeping and recording receipts is a good habit you build over time the more you do it. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Make it part of your everyday workflow. Schedule it into your calendar for your team to drop off their receipts at the end of each day. (Even 5–15 minutes can have a huge impact.) If need be, staple or clip receipts to specific customer invoices or jobs for extra peace of mind.
  2. Snap a photo every time. Whether you have a place to upload it or not, take a picture with your phone. That way you have a copy of the receipt even if the original flies out the window when you’re on the interstate.
  3. When possible, pay with a debit or credit card. Losing a receipt isn’t the end of the world when you pay with a card. Most retailers can look up your purchase history and print a new receipt if you paid within a certain period.
  4. Opt in to digital receipts (email or SMS). Your email inbox is much safer than your truck door pocket. Many retailers will email a digital receipt, saving you the extra hassle of storing a paper version.

Bonus tip: Consider a digital or app-based receipt management tool. There are tons of good options on the market. Incorporating digital receipt management tools into your financial workflow not only makes you more efficient, but it also gives you a better understanding of your business’s financial health. It’s a small change that delivers tangible benefits.

If you’re struggling with expense management—from receipts to card controls to petty cash—we’ve designed a streamlined solution for you. Manage it all with Expense Cards.*

Better Expense Management with Housecall Pro

We’ve spent years building our Expense Cards product to help you manage your business finances better. Plus, it now has receipt capture functionality that’s embedded within your account. Easily stay on top of your receipt management in the field or back at the office.

Expense Cards Receipt Capture Feature

Receipt Capture allows you to digitally store your receipts with just a snap of a photo. They’re organized and accessible when you need them. If you or your team forget to upload, we’ve got you covered with automatic reminders to upload the receipt after a purchase is made. It’s as efficient as it is effective.

*This product is available to any U.S.–based Pros on MAX and Essentials subscriptions who are using Payments through Housecall Pro.

Housecall Pro Expense Card is a Visa Commercial Credit Card issued by Celtic Bank. Money transmission services provided by Stripe Payments Company with funds held by Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC.

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Housecall Pro
Solutions for your business Whether you need to improve dispatching, reduce paperwork, increase workforce or grow revenue, we have a solution.

Housecall Pro

Solutions for your business Whether you need to improve dispatching, reduce paperwork, increase workforce or grow revenue, we have a solution.