The small business owners journey to cloud accounting – get going with Receipt Bank

The small business owners journey to cloud accounting – get going with Receipt Bank



Our first instalment in this series introduced you to cloud accounting. If you missed it, you can read it here. This time we are looking at how we get going on our journey and the first step is Receipt Bank.

Receipt Bank is at the start of the bookkeeping process, so let me briefly explain what it does. This award winning software extracts the key data from your bills, receipts and invoices for use with your accounting software or to download into spreadsheet format. There is a variety of ways to submit your items into Receipt Bank, which I’ll explain later, but once your items have been submitted, they then go through the data extraction process. During processing, all the key data from the items will be extracted from the digital image of your receipt or invoice.

For peace of mind, all your submitted items are kept as digital images in the ‘Archive’ for a minimum of 10 years. From here you can access them or print them off should you require a hard copy for any reason, even if you end your subscription.

Receipt Bank has a lot to offer a small business and the amount of time it can save you is simply staggering. It’s also the start of your bookkeeping becoming paperless.



Receipt Bank integrates with a number of cloud accounting software, such as Xero or QuickBooks and means the items you submit are published directly into your accounting system.

If you aren’t at the point of using something such as Xero, then you should still use Receipt Bank. The only difference being that your Accountant or Bookkeeper can view all your transactions and download the information to a csv file for them to produce your accounts. It’s also the starting point of moving to digital and making the move to full cloud accounting when you’re ready to.



As I mentioned earlier, Receipt Bank makes it easy to submit your items by offering a number of easy to use options.

The one favoured by most people is the mobile app. There is a version for both iOS and Android. If you’re out and about, open the app and simply take a picture of your receipt or invoice as you normally would with your camera, then click submit and you’re done. It really is that easy!

You can upload files via the desktop version, with their “drag and drop” option making it even quicker to upload single or multiple files.

There’s also the option of emailing your items into Receipt Bank. Every user is automatically provided with a unique, personalised email address, or you can set your own when adding a user. You can send emails with attachments or receipts in the body of the email and these will be submitted as separate items.

A new option just recently added is “Fetch”. Fetch pulls all your invoices from online suppliers straight into your Inbox. It’s great for phone, mobile and utility bills where you actually have to login to your account and download an invoice. .

By post is the last one. I wouldn’t recommend using as your usual submission method as it kind of defeats the object of having Receipt Bank in the first place, but if you are just starting out and need all the invoices and receipts for your current financial year uploading, then this is ideal. You simply need to send all your paperwork, using the Freepost label you can produce from within Receipt Bank, and they’ll do all the work for you. There are however a couple of things you need to be aware of. Firstly, there is a charge for this of £3 per month, on top of your subscription. Secondly, you won’t get any of your paper copies back as Receipt Bank will confidentially dispose of these after a period of time.



Receipt Bank is great for keeping track of your expenses and those of your team. Their Effortless Expense Reports feature automates the creation of Receipt Bank’s standard expense reports. You can choose how often you want reports to be prepared, for whom, and they’ll be created (and updated) automatically in the Expense Reports tab.

All items submitted for each user will flow seamlessly straight from the Inbox to their expense report without having you to do anything. In the report you can review the items added, remove any that don’t need to be included and change the category of any item.

For your mileage claims you can also integrate TripCatcher with Receipt Bank and this will allow you to publish your mileage claims to Receipt Bank straight from your TripCatcher account.



If you want to save even more time, Receipt Bank allows you to set “rules” where you feel comfortable enough to have fields auto fill based on such things as supplier or payment method, allocate categories, or even automatically publish items through to your accounting software.



Receipt Bank pricing is tailored to the size of your business and offers either Single User (Sole Trader), starting at £9.99 + VAT per month, or Multi User (Small Business) starting at £20.00 + VAT per month. Pricing also depends on the amount of items you submit each month.



Hopefully you can see just what Receipt Bank has to offer and some idea of what it can do for you and your business. It’s right at the beginning of the cloud accounting process and either on its own, or integrated with other accounting software, its functionality can save you so much time and money whilst giving you instant 24/7 access to your financial transactions.

We partner with Receipt Bank because we firmly believe it is the best on the market and because of that, it’s the only software of its kind we recommend.

As a Receipt Bank Partner we offer a reduced rate subscription and periodically have special offers for you to take advantage of. If you’d like to find out more about Receipt Bank and any current offers take a look here or contact us by either email or phone and we’d be more than happy to answer your questions.

Our next part of the journey to cloud accounting is accounting software. Why not sign up below so you don’t miss the next instalment.

Looking forward to next time and hope you’ll join me.


The Small Business Owner’s Journey to Cloud Accounting – Getting Ready

The Small Business Owner’s Journey to Cloud Accounting – Getting Ready


As a small business owner we have a lot to take care of, some we love and some we most definitely do not.  Keeping your books tends to be one that is least loved. It can be time consuming and quite often confusing, being put off until the very last minute.  Then your financial year end rolls around, at which point you bundle the vast amount of receipts and invoices into a box or bag and head off to your Accountant and hand it all over for them to sort out.

Now there is a couple of problems with this method of bookkeeping.  The first is that your Accountant is going to charge you for this, which can be quite costly.  The second is much worse, as you’ve gone all year without having a clue exactly where you and your company stand financially now or at any point in the last 12 months.

This can be the case whether you use accounting software or not but there is a much simpler, more efficient way to keep your books, so as a small business owner you have your up to date financial information to hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Cloud accounting!

Sat here writing this I’m wondering about the different reactions those two words have evoked in you as a reader.  Are you thinking “wow, that sounds amazing”, or maybe “there’s nothing wrong with the good old fashioned way, leave my Accountant to it” or is it “I don’t do technology, I’ll have to manage as I am”?  No matter which of these has been your response, you should consider the fact that cloud accounting is here to stay and at some point you’ll need to get on board, like it or not. Even HMRC is planning to bring UK tax into the digital age with “Making Tax Digital”.  This means your tax returns will have to be submitted digitally through an MTD compliant software and all business related transactions will have to be recorded digitally using MTD compliant software or apps.

You might ask what the point of it all is, but I can tell you hand on heart, that cloud accounting will change your business and your life and I want to take you on that journey.  By now you’ve probably gathered that I’m a small business owner who actually loves bookkeeping and you’d be right. Why? Because that’s what I do. 30 Hour Days is a digital bookkeeping practice, which means we work entirely in the cloud and are 100% paperless.  We work solely with small businesses, helping them move to cloud accounting and take advantage of all the benefits it brings with it. Over the next few weeks I’m going to show you step by step how to start your journey by recommending the best software to use, providing guides to get you started and discounted subscriptions to save you money.

Why not sign up below so you don’t miss the next instalment.  I’m looking forward to getting started and hope you’ll join me.


Tips to help with your VAT

Tips to help with your VAT


Mention VAT and most business owners groan at the thought.  But if you stick to good accounting practices, VAT doesn’t have to be the headache.  Below are a few simple steps which will help you get your VAT under control.


Excel is OK in certain circumstances, but if you are VAT registered, make sure you are using accounting software.  By using accounting software it makes it so much easier to calculate your monthly or quarterly return and it can be done in seconds.  It also eliminates the risk of double counting invoices, will take into account any late claims for VAT and in some cases you can even submit to HMRC direct from the software itself, no need to login to the HMRC website.



Being on the right scheme is crucial. Is the flat rate scheme for you (i.e. VAT is calculated on your gross sales for the applicable period)?  Maybe the annual accounting scheme would work better?  If your business struggles to get money in from your customers the cash accounting scheme may be for you, where you don’t pay over VAT to HMRC until your customer has paid you.  Speak to your accountant to ensure you are on the best scheme to suit your business.



We all know what its like when the VAT bill rolls around again and you’re wondering where you are going to find the money to pay it. Well break out of the cycle and set up a separate VAT account and never have to worry again.  The best way to do this is to set up a second bank account rather than just transferring it on your accounting software as this can lead to confusion when reconciling your bank.

Speak to your bank and arrange a second bank account which acts as a savings account without a debit card so that you can’t dip into it in ‘emergencies’. Then at the end of each month run your VAT return for the month which has just finished.  Check through your VAT return as you normally would and if you are happy that everything has been recorded correctly transfer the VAT amount which you owe to HMRC for that month into your savings account. Do this at the end of every month and you will never have to worry about paying your VAT bill again. The money will always be sat in your savings account waiting for the end of each quarter. When it comes round to paying HMRC simply transfer how much you owe out of your savings and pay it over to HMRC.



Hopefully these steps will help you take the stress out of dealing with your VAT.  If you’d like to have a chat with us about how we could help you with your monthly bookkeeping, including your VAT, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

Happy Bookkeeping!