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Traveling for Business? How to Never Carry a Receipt Again

Receipts from one day while traveling

My receipts from one weekend while traveling!

If you’re like me, I bet you wish you could throw your receipts away while traveling for business?

If you’ve ever traveled a lot for business you unfortunately know this scenario:

You’re meeting a client while on the road, and having just paid $50 for the meal at a restaurant, you need to keep the receipt for expense and tax purposes. You briefly scribble down the meeting details and fold the receipt into your pocket. Easy right?

But later that day as you empty your pockets for the night, you realize that you cannot find the receipt anywhere. Unknowingly, you had dropped it while at a store.

And with no receipt, there’s no deduction, no reimbursement, no nothing. You are without proof of a $50 expense.

There’s got to be a better way!?!

Thankfully, there is!

How to Instantly Throw Receipts Away

The other day I found an amazing strategy for combating the never ending nightmare of receipts piling up while traveling.

The Overview: By integrating two free software offerings together and using the camera on your phone, you can instantly snap a picture of your receipt, click a couple buttons, and instantly throw your receipt away!

The Required Ingredients:

1. Evernote

It begins with Evernote. If you aren’t using Evernote already, ask yourself why not? It’s free and amazing!

But anyway, the beauty of Evernote is that you can store notes, pictures and pretty much anything you’d like to capture in a searchable database, backed-up on their server.

2. Expensify

If you run your own business, have an expense account, or keep receipts for tax time, this software is wonderful! Expensify allows you to create expense reports easily with their online software. And it’s free!

3. Smartphone

While the above two services don’t directly require a mobile device. This receipt trick does. Because if you have to still carry around the receipts and manually enter them later, what fun is that?

Evernote works with iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys, and Windows phones.

4. A Receipt

Kinda obvious 😉

Automatic Expense Reports

So if you have the above four ingredients, here is how to start a digital file cabinet:

First, head to this page to connect the two accounts.

After a few simple steps an Expensify notebook will appear in your Evernote account.

Now when you are handed a receipt, simply snap a clear picture of it in Evernote and tag it into the Expensify notebook.

That’s it, you’re done! Throw the receipt away!

How it Works

Once you upload the image to Evernote, it automatically also sends it to Expensify. From there, your receipt is archived into any expense report you select. And you have the ability to enter any other information you’d like. This can be done days or weeks after the trip is over.

Expensify Receipt Scanning

But what if you don’t feel like entering additional information?

This is where the whole process is absolutely remarkable!

For 20 cents a receipt, Expensify’s software will scan the receipt for you, pulling the date, amount, & location from the receipt and automatically enter it into the expense report.

(If you didn’t get extremely excited just now, please re-read that last sentence.)

This is the feature that won me over. Because, if you think about it, on any given day traveling you would rarely have more than 5 receipts.

So for less than a dollar a day, there are no more hassles or worries associated with keeping track of expenses!

You now have the receipt securely saved in your Evernote database for easily searchable future reference. And in a clean expense report for your accountant… gotta love it!

The Final Result

Let me recap how ridiculously awesome this process is:

You get a receipt from a vendor, take a picture of it with your phone, archive it to Evernote… And throw the receipt away!

Without any more effort, that expense is automatically entered into an extremely easy to use report:

Expensify Receipt Scanned

This is reason #5,324,205,443 to love technology!

Enjoy! 🙂

ps. I was curious of the viewpoint from the IRS on this so I did a little further research. This process is completely legal!

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