Update: In February 2017, Shoeboxed Australia rebranded as Squirrel Street.
Remember the days when you used to put all your receipts in a shoebox? Maybe you still do. Maybe you get the wad of receipts from your wallet and put them in the glove box of the car – sort of feeling guilty that you won’t just make time for it now, because you know that ink is probably going to rub off before you prioritise the oh-so-exciting task of cataloguing receipts!
Shoeboxed was designed to solve this problem for you, so receipts are something you think about once and don’t have to think about again.
Shoeboxes are just for shoes
Shoeboxed Inc was founded by it’s now CEO Taylor Mingos in 2007. The company’s growth in Australia was good, especially with integrations with Xero and MYOB early on. Back in 2009 and 2010, when I was first starting in the Xero ecosystem, the discussion was between Receipt Bank and Shoeboxed and nothing else.
In mid-2015, Simon Forster would have been running the Australian arm of Shoeboxed for many years, bought up the rights to the technology for Australian and New Zealand business owners. You can read more about the amicable split here. Simon Forster is now the CEO and Founder of Shoeboxed Australia.
The purpose of this article is to tell you how Shoeboxed ensures that shoeboxes are now only to be used for shoes. This article does just focus on the Australian version of Shoeboxed. I wanted to tell our readers the difference between the Australian and US versions of Shoeboxed but I wasn’t able to find any information as shoeboxed.com always directed me to shoeboxed.com.au no matter how I tried to find the US version.
What does Shoeboxed do?
Shoeboxed scans everything that you send to them, extracts the data from the pages and human verifies the key fields required for your accounting and taxes. There are many ways you can get the data to Shoeboxed – one of their most popular methods it the Magic Envelope. The Magic Envelope is basically a branded reply paid envelope sent to you as often as want to remind you to stuff your receipts from your shoebox… or wallet… or glove box into the Magic Envelope and send it off to Shoeboxed for processing.
What does processing at Shoeboxed mean?
Shoeboxed has offices in Sydney and one of their biggest points of difference is that any documents you send to them are processed in Sydney and not offshore. Shoeboxed is all about supporting the Australian economy and they employ mums seeking part-time and flexible schedules, students and the long-term unemployed.
Every receipt is scanned in at Shoeboxed’s Sydney office and the software pulls the information from the receipt and stores it inside Shoeboxed with a copy of the image. This information is then verified for accuracy against the actual receipt before the receipts are then bundled up and returned to you.
Returning the receipts to you after submitting them to Shoeboxed via post seems to be a rare thing in the case of these paperless add-ons – great for those that want the security that they always have the original data.
As you may know, at WhichAddOn.com we compare and review the key add-ons in a category. We recently reviewed the top add-ons in debtor management with our 3-part series, The Ultimate Debtor Management Comparison. We will be putting the top paperless add-ons up against each other this week. We have picked Shoeboxed, Receipt Bank, Invitbox, Entryless, Expensify and Bill.com as the notable add-ons to mention at this time.
Looking at Shoeboxed for this review, there were a few stand out features worth mentioning – some good, some not so good. Either way, I thought it worth understanding the features and in some cases, why they are the way they are.
Shoeboxed stores the files in Shoeboxed for you
Shoeboxed stores the files in Shoeboxed for you but doesn’t put a copy in the accounting system you are using. Shoeboxed integrates with Xero, Quickbooks Online and MYOB. Personally, I think its the copy of the source documentation that brings about the time-saving and functionality of these paperless apps from a processing point of view. Shoeboxed does provide a link to the document from Xero, for example, which means you can click the link and it will open a copy of the document back in Shoeboxed once you have logged in. In the past, a valid argument for this was that Xero charged for the file storage, but now they don’t.
The keyword search that helps you find your documents quickly inside Shoeboxed is great and certainly something you wouldn’t get just using Xero – at this stage. There is a new global search function coming – it’s just not here yet.
Shoeboxed for Travel
Shoeboxed is great for travellers as it has a trip log and it handles multicurrency. You can either have the foreign currency information pushed into your accounting system, or you can ask Shoeboxed to calculate the receipt in your base currency and push the expense across into your accounting system in the converted amount.
Reimbursable vs Deductible
A handy little feature when uploading receipts is that you can mark them as reimbursable vs deductible. When you are verifying the information in Shoeboxed, you can add a client name and a project name for even greater detail on what that expense is all about.
The pricing plans are broken down based on how many documents you process through the system. The basic plan is only A$26.95 per month and you can process up to 50 documents a month, then next level is A$49.95 per month for 150 documents and so on. Read more about the pricing here.
The best way to work out if Shoeboxed is right for you is to try it. You will need to put in your credit card to access the 30-day free trial. Get it here. Knowing what other paperless solutions like Receipt Bank can do, the biggest reason I would pick Shoeboxed over others and put up with the limitations of documents not coming across into my accounting system would be if I want all my information to stay in Australia.
In our final comparison later this week on all the solutions Marlon and I have been reviewing, we will give a detailed list of all the features and how they differ between each.