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How To Choose The Best Receipt Scanner App For Your Rental Business?

As a landlord, you need to track various documents related to your property. These documents include everything from property deeds to invoices, receipts, and lease documents. The longer you have a property and the more properties you have the harder it becomes to easily and efficiently manage the associated paperwork.

It is essential to keep diligent records of your receipts as proof of an expense. Failing to do so will mean that you miss out on deductible expenses and could end up costing you thousands of dollars in the long run. Keeping paper records is simply not the most efficient way to track expenses.

Instead, there are numerous receipt scanners and expense tracker apps that take the hassle out of tracking your rental property expenses and storing them until needed.

What To Look For In A Receipt Tracker

When it comes to tax time though, you don’t want to have to sort through boxes of faded and disorganized receipts. This is a time-consuming and thankless task and it’s completely unnecessary. Instead, savvy landlords are looking for solutions to easily digitize receipts and track their expenses so that they can keep everything neatly organized in one place.

The receipt tracker that you use should suit your needs. For example, if you only have one or two properties and you track your income and expenses on a spreadsheet then you might look for a simple app that allows you to snap pictures of receipts when you get them. If, however, you are looking for a solution that allows you to accurately track income and expenses and generate reports for tax time then you might look at accounting software solutions with apps.

Alternatively, you might consider looking at property management software. These are perfect if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that allows you to streamline not just your expense tracking but your property management processes as well, giving you greater oversight of your finances while helping you improve your rental management.

When looking for a receipt scanner for your rental business you should look for a few key features. The first is to identify an app that you are comfortable using. You want to be able to snap a picture of your receipt and track expenses in real-time. Secondly, the software should make it easy to log and track the expense. For example, most will read the receipt and automatically enter the details of the expense for you. You should also be able to manually enter your expense and link the receipt to it later.

landlord app expenses on the go

Top Choices For A Receipt Scanner and Expense Tracker

Property management specific

Landlord Studio

Landlord Studio allows you to quickly and easily snap a picture of your receipt using your phone camera. The software reads the receipt and enters the details for you. On top of this, it has a range of features such as document storage, tenant screening, online rent collection, mileage tracker and more, that allow you to streamline every aspect of your properties all in one place.

Pros of Industry Specific Solutions
  • Smart scan technology automatically reads the receipt and enters the details for you.
  • Available on app and desktop.
  • Comprehensive income and expense tracking.
  • Robust reporting with over 15 essential reports.
  • Store all your documents neatly in one place.
  • Built-in property management features.
Cons of Industry Specific Solutions
  • May do more than you need if you already have an income and expense tracking solution.
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Accounting Specific Solutions

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the premier accounting software for small businesses. Other similar solutions include software like Xero. While these solutions offer most of the features you will need for managing your rental property accounts including a receipt scanner built into their apps, they are not designed with landlords in mind and can be complicated and even messy to use with a steep initial learning curve.

Pros of Accounting Software
  • The receipt scanner automatically reads receipt details
  • Comprehensive accounting platform.
  • Comprehensive business reporting.
Cons of Accounting Software
  • Hard to set up to track properties independently.
  • Not designed for landlords.
  • Expensive and not scaleable.

Related:

receipt tracker

Receipt Scanner Apps

Receipt scanner apps don’t come with all the bells and whistles of solutions like Landlord Studio or QuickBooks, however, they do offer a simple and easy way for you to digitize your receipts and record rental expenses using your phone camera.

Their biggest draw is the simplicity of the solution, however, this is also their biggest drawback as it means you will likely need to employ additional solutions in the management of your properties at the same time. Having to employ numerous disparate solutions to manage various aspects of your rental business can quickly get out of hand and isn’t scalable.

Expensify

Expensify is an expense management system for personal and business use. It allows you to scan receipts with your smartphone, track expenses, manage bills and even collect payments. Pricing starts from $5 per month.

Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed offers a receipt management service that allows you to either send in your physical receipts for them to sort or you can use their app to easily digitize them in real-time. As well as offering basic expense tracking. However, it doesn’t allow you to track your expenses on a property-by-property basis. Pricing starts from $18 per month.

Receipts by Wave

Wave makes it simple to digitize your receipts and export and store them. This is a free simple receipt tracker solution that may be suitable for landlords with fewer properties.

Pros of Receipt Scanner Apps
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Affordable.
Cons of Receipt Scanner Apps
  • Can’t track expenses or organize receipts on a property-by-property basis.
  • Can’t track your tenancies.
  • No property management features meaning you’ll need to employ additional tools.

Tracking Your Rental Expenses

In order to take advantage of the tax benefits that come with being a landlord, you need to make sure that all your expenses are accurately tracked with the relevant supporting documents. If you don’t have records of operating expenses, eg. a receipt, you may not be able to deduct them at the end of the year which could result in you overpaying your taxes.

In order to maximize your rental business’s profitability, streamline your expense tracking, and save yourself hours of painful admin at the end of the year you need a solution that allows you to easily digitize receipts and track expenses on a property-by-property basis in real-time.

Keeping paper records is simply not an efficient way to track expenses and can be a hindrance to your running your rentals like a business preventing you from scaling your operation and achieving your financial goals.

How to Choose the Right Receipt Scanner for Tracking Your Rental Expenses

Thankfully, there are plenty of solutions on the market today designed to help you streamline your expense tracking. In order to choose the best one for your particular use case, you should carefully examine exactly what your needs are.

For example, how many properties do you have? What kind of phone do you have? Do you need to collect rent and track your income as well as tracking your expenses? What are your future financial goals? Asking yourself questions like these will help you determine if you need an all-in-one solution like Landlord Studio or not.

Everyone has their own preferences, so it’s well worth trialing a solution before you purchase to make sure it’s the right fit for you.

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Expense TrackingRental ManagementTax Deductible Expenses

Ben Luxon

Ben is an author and real estate enthusiast. His interest in all things entrepreneurial has led him to work with real estate professionals all over the world, distilling their knowledge into articles and Ebooks.

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