Tax time is not the favorite time of year for consultants.
If you’re like many small business owners, you’re simply too busy to organize those annoying paper receipts handed to you by cheerful merchants throughout the year. Not to mention all those business cards you throw into a drawer.
Somehow, you still have to manage paper even though the business world has gone digital.
Fortunately, there is now an online service that has a brilliant solution to this problem. Shoeboxed.com painlessly digitizes and organizes all of your paper documents—paper receipts, emailed receipts and business cards—and then lets you manage them online. It’s a dream come true for busy consultants.
Shoeboxed works in two easy steps:
STEP 1: Send your documents and business cards to Shoeboxed using their postage-paid envelopes (envelopes are supplied by the two highest plans). Or snap photos of receipts and business cards with any smartphone camera. They supply a free iPhone app.
STEP 2: When Shoeboxed receives your documents, they extract data using an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Scanner and then a person—a real live human—verifies the data that it contains. They categorize and organize the document online in your secure account. Then you can log-in, view, download and manage the account as you wish. Data can be exported into formats compatible with Excel, QuickBooks, Quicken, FreshBooks and many others, such as CSV.
12 Great Reasons
Shoeboxed is one of those online services filled with features. Here are a few of the many ways this service can help you.
- Reduces Administrative Tasks: You can do away with data entry when you useShoeboxed. Reducing administrative tasks gives you more time to concentrate on delivering great service to your clients. When they’ve finished scanning your documents, they send you an email notification.
- Saves Time: Shoeboxed just lets you throw receipts into an envelope. You don’t have to organize them or manage them in any way. It’s as though they understand how busy people really work.
- Quick Turn Around: Depending on your pricing plan, Shoeboxed.com will scan and turn around your receipts anywhere from one to five days.
- Helps Track Expenses: Because Shoeboxed provides you with an online version of your receipts, you’re better able to track those non-credit card expenses. Even small expenses can add up, and when running a business, it always helps to know where you’re money is going.
- Expands Your Contact List: Stacks of business cards strewn around an office are useless. When you get them scanned by Shoeboxed, however, you can build a database of meaningful contacts and potential clients.
- Flexibility: When your documents are processed in your Shoeboxed account, you’re free to organize the information in any manner. You can print it, download it, email it, or share it in numerous formats compatible with the most well-used file formats.
- Stay Organized Throughout the Year: Shoeboxed will help you stay organized throughout the year. By sending in receipts at the end of each month, you’ll no longer dread the approach of tax season.
- iPhone App: The Shoeboxed iPhone app lets you take photos of receipts and business cards while on the go. The app is free. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can send in photos of your receipts taken with any smartphone.
- Varied Pricing Models: ShoeBoxed has $9.99, $29.99 and $49.95 monthly price plans. You don’t need to commit for longer than a month at a time, though they do offer annual plans.
- Free Trial: Shoeboxed has a 30 day free trial for each pricing plan, so you can try out the service before deciding.
- Accepted by the IRS: Hopefully, you will never be audited. But if you are, your Shoeboxed receipts are accepted by the IRS for auditing and bookkeeping purposes.
- Reduced Errors: Although we haven’t conducted a scientific study, we’re guessing that using Shoeboxed will reduce the number of errors that go into your expense tracking.
Shoeboxed has received rave reviews from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch. This online service is like having your own virtual assistant, but better. You won’t have to explain a thing. It’s their business.
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