- Review of: Shoeboxed
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If you’re like many small business owners and self-employed folks, you’re probably aware of how tricky it can be to stay organized — especially when it comes to keeping track of receipts. That’s where the Shoeboxed could come in handy.
Shoeboxed is an app that digitally stores your receipts and helps you manage them so that, come tax time or — heaven forbid — an IRS audit, you’ll be organized and prepared.
Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Shoeboxed was founded in 2007 and has since grown to more than 1 million accounts in 100 countries. A lot of people clearly trust the app, but is it worth the hype? We took it for a spin to see how Shoeboxed stacks up.
|Cost||$0 – $125/month|
|Mobile App||Yes – Apple iOS and Google Android|
Magic Envelopes — Send your receipts, collected business cards and other pertinent documents to Shoeboxed in a prepaid “Magic Envelope” for digitization. Envelopes include free shipping both ways.
Human data verification — All data submitted to Shoeboxed is verified by a human being.
Automatically import receipts from Gmail — You can sync your Shoeboxed account with your Gmail inbox so that e-receipts are automatically archived.
Business card management — Turn your collected business cards into an online database of contacts.
Expense report generation — Shoeboxed’s app can help you create an expense report with just a few simple steps.
Mileage trackers — Shoeboxed will also keep track of your work-travel mileage.
Shoeboxed has several subscription options:
|# of Documents per Month||5||50||150||500||1,000|
|Mail Turnaround||N/A||3-5 days||2-3 days||1-2 days||1 day|
|# of Users||1||1||2||3||10+|
Yearly plans are also available at a discounted rate. If you need to scan or send more than your allotted number of documents, you can do so and pay a flat rate of 30 cents per item.
How Shoeboxed Works
Shoeboxed collects and organizes your receipts on your behalf. You can accomplish this in a few different ways:
Send paper receipts in a pre-paid Magic Envelope
Once you’ve signed up for your paid Shoeboxed account at the Classic or higher level (and have a mailing address in the U.S. or Australia), the company will send you two prepaid envelopes. Simply stuff the envelopes with receipts, business cards or other important documents that Shoeboxed can manage for you, and send it back, postage paid. The company will scan and verify all of the data that you’ve sent in and send your documents back to you.
Send paper receipts in your own envelope
If you don’t have access to Magic Envelopes, you can still mail in your receipts and cards. You’ll have to take the additional step of printing and filling out a cover sheet. Then simply pop it in the mail to Shoeboxed.
With your mobile device
Simply snap a photo of your receipt or other document with your mobile device and then upload it via the free Shoeboxed app. (If you choose to take a photo of your receipt with your phone, as we did, make sure to hold the camera very still and that you have proper lighting so that the receipt is readable).
Scan to desktop
Alternatively, you can fire up your scanner and upload your receipt as a digital file to your desktop Shoeboxed dashboard. You can send images as .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif or tiff attachments.
If you have Gmail, Shoeboxed can sync with your account to automatically collect e-receipts. But you can also submit your receipts to your own personalized email address. Get this: Shoeboxed will also automatically scan your e-receipts and notify you of any coupons that are attached!
- Free Trial — On top of a free limited account, Shoeboxed offers a 30-day trial that gives you a good feel for the service.
- Easy to Use — Shoeboxed's interface is a no-brainer.
- Gmail Sync — The Gmail syncing option is a great addition and cuts out a lot of busywork.
- Human Verification — At the end of the day, knowing that a human checked the receipts you sent in can be reassuring.
- Document Limit — If you run a small business, the number of receipts and business cards you collect can quickly add up. It's easy to exceed your limit.
- Limited Beyond Receipts and Cards — Currently, all documents sent or uploaded to Shoebox that aren't receipts or business cards are just saved as uncategorized PDFs.
- Not Always Necessary — If you're already an organized person, Shoeboxed might be a waste of money.
Overall, we found Shoeboxed easy to use. Its user interface is pretty self-explanatory. The easiest method of submitting receipts was by simply taking a photo with our phone (but, as noted above, make sure the photo isn’t blurry!). If you’re the sort of person who wants someone else to take care of the less-interesting aspects of being a business owner for you, it’s great. After all, you can cram all of your pesky paperwork into an envelope and send it away!
But if you don’t find scanning receipts and keeping accurate records yourself, Shoeboxed might be a waste of your money. And if you have a more complicated accounting needs, we’d recommend that you save your pennies for more comprehensive bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks or Wave Accounting.
However, if you simply need help getting yourself and your business organized and tax time-ready, Shoeboxed offers a simple, affordable solution.