How to Avoid Manual Receipt Collection

How to Avoid Manual Receipt Collection

If you and your team dread the process of collecting employees’ receipts every month, we’ve got good news: there’s a better way. Automation can take the burden off your finance team by eliminating repetitive manual work. Businesses can easily automate all kinds of workflows, including those related to spend management.

Automation can be particularly useful for receipt collection, management, and reconciliation. It allows you to make all of these processes more efficient and accurate. Below we’ll discuss the challenges of manual receipt and invoice management, and present some spend management solutions that can help streamline your workflow.

The Perils of Receipt Management for Modern Finance Teams

Expense management software alone doesn’t ensure productivity. Most businesses are already far behind when it comes to managing receipts and matching them with transactions. The process is filled with manual work and hard copies, which aren’t ideal for ensuring accuracy or efficiency.

Some of the most common challenges in receipt collection and management are lost receipts and a lack of employee cooperation. It can also result in wasted time and unnecessary costs. In short, traditional receipt management is no longer working for today’s companies.

The Best Ways to Avoid Manual Receipt Collection

It’s much simpler than you might think to transition away from manual receipt collection. There are plenty of tools that can help you automate this process from end to end. Here are a few of the best ways to optimize the receipt collection process.

Use Virtual Cards

Issuing virtual cards to employees is a simple and effective way to streamline receipt collection. They work just like physical cards, but can be easily customized; for example, you can assign a card to a certain vendor or set specific spending limits by category. All receipts will be automatically gathered and matched with the right purchases. 

With virtual cards, your finance team won’t have to prepare expense reports by hand or chase down their coworkers for receipts. Virtual cards also allow you to quickly cancel subscriptions. Let’s say a card is assigned to a specific SaaS provider. If you cancel that card, the subscription charges will immediately stop without affecting any other vendors.

Use Mobile Receipt Scanning Apps

Mobile receipt scanning apps allow you to easily digitize receipts and invoices. All you have to do is take a photo of the document, and it will be automatically stored for easy access. Some apps can even be integrated with your payment management system. 

Most receipt scanning apps are user-friendly and incredibly convenient. They make life easier not only for finance staff, but also the employees who no longer have to keep track of all their paper receipts while traveling or conducting company business. 

Use an Expense Management Platform

If you want to go one step further, consider using an expense management platform. It will combine all your finance-related information in one place, including virtual cards, receipt scanning, accounts payable, and more. When these functions are incorporated into the same system, data is immediately available with supporting documentation. 

Using an expense management platform can give time back to your staff across all business functions, so they can focus on core duties instead of mundane manual tasks. All the back-and-forth communication about approvals can be moved to the platform, where all the necessary data is easily accessible to everyone.

Use Integrated Accounting Software

Integrations take expense management software to the next level. Integrated accounting software links to your other critical business systems, such as an HRIS or procurement system. This increases efficiency and access to essential information for expense management.

For example, integrating with HRIS software allows you to set alerts for the end of employee contracts. If someone stops working for the company, you can immediately cancel their virtual card to avoid additional charges. This is just one benefit of integrated accounting software.

Implement a Digital Filing System

The time has come to replace clunky filing cabinets with digital filing systems. A digital filing system holds all company data electronically, usually in the cloud. Access can be customized by job function, security level, or position. Information is cataloged so you can find whatever you need with a quick search. 

The era of hybrid and remote work requires a digital solution for employees who might not be in the office every day—or at all. Implementing a digital filing system ensures all staff have access to the information they need, no matter where they are.

Final Thoughts

Paper receipts and manual collection processes are outdated and inefficient for modern businesses. Automating your receipt management will help you conserve resources, improve data organization, and free up your finance teams for other priorities. It will also improve your expense management overall with accurate data and streamlined reporting.


What are the challenges of manual receipt management?

Manual receipt management faces issues like lost receipts, lack of employee cooperation, time wastage, and increased costs.

How can automation streamline receipt collection and management?

Automation solutions include virtual cards, mobile receipt scanning apps, expense management platforms, integrated accounting software, and digital filing systems.

How do virtual cards streamline receipt collection?

Virtual cards automatically associate purchases with receipts, eliminating manual expense reports and simplifying receipt gathering.

What are the benefits of using mobile receipt scanning apps?

Mobile apps digitize receipts, store them conveniently, and integrate with payment systems, reducing paper clutter and improving efficiency.

How does an expense management platform improve receipt management?

Expense management platforms consolidate finance processes, streamline receipt management, reduce manual tasks, and enhance communication and approval workflows.

What are the advantages of integrating accounting software with other business systems?

Integrating accounting software with other systems ensures efficiency, eliminates manual data entry, and provides a holistic view of financial information.

Why is implementing a digital filing system important for receipt management?

Digital filing systems provide easy access, searchability, and customized access permissions, replacing physical filing cabinets.

What are the benefits of automating receipt management?

Automating receipt management conserves resources, improves data organization, frees up finance teams, enhances expense management, and delivers cost savings.

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