Iphone apps to track reciepts? Privacy issues abound.
June 6, 2014 4:57 PM   Subscribe

In trying to be more of a grownup I've gotten a financial advisor, and he's urged me to use my iphone to record and store receipts of deductible expenses. But there are a lot of different apps that claim to do this, and most of them are free, which makes me worry about what they do with my info in order to make money. MeFites, what receipt trackers have you found to work well?

Wish list: I'm not interested (yet) in a budgeting app, just a simple receipt scanning/tracking app. I think I'd rather have a computer backup than cloud storage (more privacy worries). I don't mind paying for it, but don't want it to be a monthly fee.
posted by overhauser to Work & Money (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Piikki. I think you're right to be suspicious of the free ones, since (I think) they are mostly trying to hook you into a subscription service where they scan and categorize your receipts on the back end. And a lot of people use Evernote in this way.

Piikki does let you connect to Dropbox/iCloud/Evernote if you want, but that's under your control. It doesn't have any OCR features, so you need to type in the details to accompany each receipt, but it's pretty easy.
posted by adamrice at 5:11 PM on June 6, 2014

What do you need it to do? You can just take photos of them to your camera roll and sync to your computer if you don't want to use Evernote or Dropbox or similar.

I use Evernote for everything, but I'm not buying anything especially private.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:35 PM on June 6, 2014

I'm not sure there's an advantage to storing receipts on your phone vs. storing them on the computer/in the cloud. I throw the paper receipts I need to save into a file folder (I clean out my purse no less than once a week), scan them once a month and save them as PDFs. It doesn't really take that long once you get into the habit.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:03 PM on June 6, 2014

(I think) they are mostly trying to hook you into a subscription service where they scan and categorize your receipts on the back end.

I tried to use Sweetie Darling's system for years and failed miserably. The first year I used phone capture for my receipts, I wrote an extra 8K off on my taxes and became a convert.

I now use Wave, which is free. It is free because it's the basis of almost all of their other upsell services, like their overall accounting package, which is also tied to their payroll and invoicing services. I do not need any of those services and do not pay for them. I snap my receipts, they go up to the Wave website, and I periodically categorise them myself while watching TV.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:40 AM on June 7, 2014

We've used BizXpenseTracker with some success. Just a one-time fee to buy the app, and some various inexpensive IAPs.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:23 AM on June 7, 2014

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I tried Piikki and BizXpenseTracker, and I think Piikki was more what I was looking for.

As far as just putting them into a file folder and scanning them myself, if I could reliably do that I wouldn't have asked the question. Just more evidence that the tax system was created by organized people to punish the unorganized ones.....
posted by overhauser at 11:49 AM on June 9, 2014

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