I’ve been using this method since I was a wee little tot. Well, maybe not quite that long, but at least since I had a Smartphone. So probably 10 years. And then today as I was managing a bunch of receipts and it hit me… This would be a great thing to share!
Using your Smartphone and Dropbox you can, on the spot, snap a pic of your receipt and then trash the receipt. You can do this at the gas pump, at the restaurant, at the store, anywhere. Once you snap a picture of the receipt using Dropbox the image is permanently capture in the Cloud and it syncs up with your computer. Then when you’re ready to work on your taxes, no more paper receipts to deal with.
Here’s how it works:
If you don’t already have one, create a dropbox account by clicking here. Dropbox is free. If you don’t know what Dropbox is you can read more about it here. Once you’ve created your account and are logged in Dropbox will encourage you to install the app for your computer. You’ll want to do this. Then you’ll want to create a new folder inside of Dropbox called Receipts.
Download the Dropbox app to your smartphone. Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and I’m sure there’s even a Blackberry app. Ever heard of Blackberry? They used to be really cool. Once this app is installed on your mobile device, sign in to your account. You’ll notice that the Receipt folder you created on your computer is now also available on your phone. Pretty Cool!
Spend some money. You need a receipt to scan. The only way to get a receipt is to first spend some money. At any place of your choice. So long as it’s a valid business expense. I don’t think it’s a good idea to buy your families groceries and then claim it as a business expense. At least I wouldn’t do that.
Now that you’ve set up your Dropbox account and you have a legit business receipt you’re ready to scan. Remember you can do this at or just after the point of sale. After I fill up the car with gas I’ll sit in the car, scan the receipt and toss the receipt before leaving the pump. Bam! No paper. At the restaraunt, I scan the receipt before leaving then I leave the receipt at the restaraunt. Bam! No paper. At the store, same thing. Just make sure you’re not getting in the way of the next person. This wasn’t really a ‘step’ but some good information for you.