Friday, 8 May 2020

Three PC and Mobile Receipt Scanning Software Programs for SMEs

If we’re honest, we’d all like to be more organised than we are. Generally, this isn’t just a trait limited to one set demographic, it’s something that transcends everyone’s life. Ask your colleagues, family, friends or neighbours and the honest answer will probably be something like, ‘I’m organised, I think. But, I could be better.’

Our organisational skills (or lack thereof, in some cases) are highlighted when it comes to keeping track of our expenses. Unless you have already invested in a receipt scanner, the odds are that your professional or personal receipts are stuffed in a drawer, stacked precariously on shelves or have become forgotten, having been left in your wallet.

However, if you’re frustrated and finding it difficult to be organised, don’t despair there is a solution. An OCR receipt scanner can be the answer to your problems, helping you to keep track of your expenditure and better budget for the future.

Here’s a look at three PC and mobile receipt scanning programs that could help you to transform your finances and change your life.

Receipt Bank

Trusted by accountants, Receipt Bank is one receipt scanner that has a superlative reputation. Perfect for SMEs, Receipt Bank has plenty of useful features. Users can scan receipts on the go using the mobile app or transfer files using Dropbox, via email or through a simple drag and drop interface.

Receipt Bank features an OCR receipt scanner that proficiently extracts relevant data from receipts or documents, diligently organises the relevant information and makes it as easy as possible to share data with a bookkeeper or accountant – all you need to do is to take a picture!

Posting your receipts to receipts to the allotted field on the Receipt Bank website automatically synchs each to your accounting software. This can make it very easy to meticulously calculate expenses and reimbursements for your employees and provides you added peace of mind that vital data can be saved, stored and easily accessed.

IQBoxy Expenses (update - this is no longer a recommended option)

A simple and affordable receipt scanner, IQBoxy is also feature-rich. Users can scan, email or upload their receipts, or even dictate information through Apple Watch. Not only that, IQBoxy regularly updates its technology to ensure optimal automation.

Customers can choose either a free account or pay to subscribe and unlock extra features. The free account offers basic receipt scanning and storage capabilities. Subscribes have scan receipts and documents until their heart’s content, track their journey length and expenses with mileage tracking and create expense reports.

Subscribers of IQBoxy Expenses can also fully integrate the software with QuickBooks Online to streamline and simplify bookkeeping.

Xpenditure (update - this is no longer a recommended option)

In addition to efficiently tracking your expenses, Xpenditure has a wealth of features that makes keeping control of your personal or commercial finances a cinch.

The expense management tool can be easily integrated with QuickBooks Online for seamless expense reporting. Not only that, Xpenditure features a meticulous in-built OCR receipt scanner and features the option of having an account for up to 1,000 users.

The basic monthly subscription supports up to 15 users, making Xpenditure ideal for small businesses with mobile teams or field-based employees. Users also have the option of upgrading to Xpenditure Pro for a negligible extra cost per month.

Able to manage the expenses of a larger workforce, Xpenditure Pro integrates an expense approval process that saves time and amplifies the reimbursement process. Perfect for managing the finer details of any business trip, Xpenditure Pro allows users to record hotel and flight reservations with ease.

These are just three examples of superior receipt scanning software programs for SMEs. If you’re looking to tighten your business finances or maximise profit whilst streamline processes, any one of the above software is bound to help.

Update: New Leader of the Pack in Receipt Scanning OCR Technology Tabscanner  

Tabscanner's OCR technology is worth considering if you are a software developer which needs a receipt scanning API. The company claims to be the most accurate receipt scanning technology in the world. See the video below for more details:

Monday, 16 September 2019

Five Cloud Accountancy Statistics to Make You Sit Up and Take Notice

Like it or not cloud accounting is here to stay. It’s universally-agreed that cloud accounting has completely revolutionised traditional accountancy practices, transforming the sector and, alongside receipt OCR (optical character recognition) technology, propelling us towards a new frontier in digital accounting.

Blue-chip and SME’s alike can benefit from cloud accounting. Streamlining processes, providing easy access to vital information whilst bolstering existing security for sensitive information, the benefits to cloud accounting are extensive and penetrating.

There really isn’t much more to it than that. However, before you accept this statement as gospel, or if you’re someone that needs cold hard data to back up claims, why not read these five cloud accountancy statistics. They’ll surely make even the most cynical cloud computing and associated technologies, such as a receipt scanner, retractor a believer in the power and potential of cloud computing.

67% of Accountants Prefer Cloud Accounting

If you’re under the impression that accountants are stubbornly remained loyal to traditional practices, refused to employ cloud computing and receipt OCR tech, you’d be incorrect. In fact, 67% of accounts prefer cloud accounting.

Advocates of the technology believe that cloud accounting makes their role easier. Simplifying and speeding up client collaboration whilst improve the quality of service that accountants can provide their clients with, cloud accounting is increasingly becoming the norm in the accounting profession.

58% of Blue-Chip Companies Employ Cloud Accounting

According to Accounting Today’s ‘Year Ahead’ survey, as many as 58% of blue-chip companies have adopted cloud accounting. The percentage tends to fall in accordance with the larger the company, but generally-speaking, it’s apparent that cloud accounting is outstripping traditional desktop accountancy.

This isn’t hard to understand when you consider the benefits of cloud accounting. Receipt OCR technology and cloud accounting can be easily integrated – and given the ease and convenience of cloud accounting it’s not too much of a stretch to say that in the very near future 90%-plus of blue-chip companies will adopt cloud accounting.

53% of SMEs in the US Believe Cloud Accounting to Be Essential to Integrating Accounting, Invoices and Payments

SMEs in the US believe that it makes sense to integrate cloud accounting, invoicing and payments. This is a notable increase on statistics in years past and heralds the dawn of a new era is accountancy.

The concern most often voiced by managing directors, CEOs and CFOs was the issue of security – and the reason why many companies are yet to integrate cloud computing to an all-in-one solution.

Ease-of-use and accessibility were also mentioned as potential drawbacks, however with the increasing prominence and understanding of cloud computing and receipt data extraction technology, those less educated in the process are increasingly seeing the benefits of adopting the solution.

66% of Businesses May Not Be Handling Paperwork Properly

As hard as it may be to believe, as many as 66% of businesses may be putting their financial future in jeopardy just by mishandling paperwork.

Filing cabinets, cupboards and drawers and not an effective means of safely storing vital commercial information. By automating processes and storing client information, invoices and purchase orders to the cloud, businesses don’t ever have to worry about losing paperwork every again. Documents can also be safeguarded, permitting access only to relevant parties.

Moreover, its estimated that it takes companies a minimum, on average, of 5-6 days to retrieve lost documents. 44% of companies said that it can take as long as a week to retrieve their documentation and some even said that it took a month. Documents stored on the cloud take seconds to retrieve.

83% Of Clients are Demanding More from Their Accountants Today Compared to Five Years Ago

Leading accountancy software, Sage has reported that 83% of clients are demanding more from their accountants than they did five years ago. This is a clear indication that accountants need to evolve to provide a competitive level of service to their clients – and thus grow their business.

It also means that its paramount accountants reduce the administrative burden by automating time-consuming tasks, like data entry. Cloud technology and other technological solutions such as employing an accurate receipt scanner are great ways that accountants can free up value time and improve brand authority and client retention rates.

These are just five statistics that should convince any business owner to employ cloud computing. If you’re not already, what’s stopping you?

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

CSR in the UAE: Why the UAE Is an Amazing Place to Live

The UAE is home to over 8.4 million expats, who make 80% of the total population. They have many reasons to relocate here because it is one of the best places to live in the world.

Nonetheless, in this article, we are going to go beyond the most commonly cited reasons like high-paying jobs and excellent business opportunities. We are going to see how CSR initiatives and sustainability projects make the UAE an amazing place to live.

How CSR Makes the UAE an Ideal Place to Live 

Thanks to Corporate Social Responsibility, companies have the opportunity to help society with different projects that target specific problems. To cite a few examples:
  • Help the environment with eco-friendly initiatives 
  • Support vulnerable populations (ex: children with special needs) 
  • Boost scientific research and technological development 
  • Improve the quality of life of society as a whole 

Therefore, thanks to such initiatives and projects, the society of the UAE improves constantly because CSR increases the quality of education, technology and infrastructure. In addition, it improves the security and health of people.

Furthermore, nowadays, thanks to companies like Companies for Good, businesses in the UAE can implement CSR initiatives easily because they can take part in team building activities focused on the most important needs of society.

Sustainability for Better Quality of Life and a Bright Future 

It is smart and wise to invest into the sustainability of society because future generations depend on it. That is why the UAE government believes and invests into sustainable cities and communities, to protect nature and the environment, as well as to improve the quality of life.

A perfect example is The Sustainable City, which is a 46-hectare property development in Dubai. With over $354 million USD in funding, it aims to create an eco-friendly and modern metropolis. One of the unique projects of this kind in the world, similar to Japan’s Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town.

The Sustainable City is the first net-zero energy development in Dubai. It includes:
  • 500 villas 
  • 89 apartment 
  • Plenty of offices 
  • Healthcare facilities 
  • Multiple outlets 
In summary, it offers all the services and solutions that any citizen could need because the objective of this project is to bring an authentic solution to how normal cities function. Innovation at its best. 

The houses include environment-friendly features like reflective paint to combat the thermal heat gain. Furthermore, they utilize construction waste to build furniture for public spaces. Nothing goes to waste in The Sustainable City.

Therefore, the UAE is leading innovation in sustainable development for the future. In consequence, it makes it an even better place to live because they care about the future generations, which is a crucial aspect when you consider a country to expatriate.


The UAE is doing great efforts to secure the future of its new generations, thanks to CSR initiatives and sustainability projects. They are making it an amazing place to leave, and in consequence, more people look forwarding to calling the Emirates their new home.

Friday, 11 January 2019

The Best Games to Play at a Family Reunion

As children grow into adults, they’re encourage to spread their wings. In some cases, this ‘taking flight’ sees them soar away from their family – often to different parts of the country, even internationally.

On those occasions when families do reunite, enjoying one another’s company, sharing experiences, reminiscing, playing games and laughing are essential to keeping the affection and security of a family nucleus together. Why? Well, it’s paramount that families know wherever life takes them, however far the geographical distance may be, they’re always a family.

Now family gatherings do vary in style. Some are raucous events, filled with unreserved emotions. Others are more subdued affairs. But, what cannot be argued is that playing family games online, or off help bond families together – and should be a part of any reunion. We recently had a wedding in Portugal and it rained one day, so we decided to give a few modern games a try. Here are some games that you can suggest playing to your nearest and dearest the next time you all are together.

Hot Potato Camera

Who doesn’t like a selfie with the family? Who doesn’t take more than a handful of pictures at a family reunion before posting happy, smiling faces to Instagram?

It’s safe to assume that whipping out your Smartphone to capture that picture of a long-lost uncle, second cousin or even a sibling you haven’t seen in years brings nothing but joy to a family reunion.
 But, why not try something a little different?

Have everyone sit in a circle, set the self-timer and pass the camera around, pointing the viewfinder at everyone’s faces in turn for just a few moments. Let everyone take a picture in-turn and see how long they can hold their smile. The slowest person to take the photograph is the loser.

You could make it even more fun by determining that the person left holding the camera when it flashes must wear a silly hat, do an impression or sing a song – just make sure no-one drops your Smartphone. Like fun online party games, like The Name Game, Hot Potato Camera rewards speed with side-splitting laughter.

Family History Photo Swap

With a little preparation, a family history photo swap game can really pay off. Before your family gathers together for the first time in ages, ask them to bring with them old and new pictures that mean something to them.

When game time comes, spread the pictures across a large table and ask everyone to name when and where the picture was taken. This is a great way to reminisce and reconnect with times in your life that have long since been forgotten.

Have everyone sit around the table and in-turn choose a picture that they believe speaks to them. Share stories and discuss what you all were feeling at the time. Unlike some family games online, the family history photo swap doesn’t encourage competitiveness, but it does bond everyone together – and after all, isn’t that what a reunion is all about!

Water Balloon Toss

This is a great game to play in the soaring heat, especially for playful families with young children. Certain to put anxious smiles on everyone’s faces, water balloon toss is not for anyone who hates getting wet!

Separate the family into teams of two: brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, aunties and uncles are fine – whoever you feel will work the best as a team. Form two parallel lines with teams facing one another.

One person starts by tossing the water balloon to his or her partner. Once it has been successfully caught, each person moves a step back. Then again. And again. And again. The team who manages to catch the water balloon from the greatest distance is the winner – but be careful! Catch the water balloon too softly and it’s likely to slip from your fingertips. Catch the balloon too firmly and you’re likely to get wet!

Tug of War

A good-natured tug of war is a great way for families to bond. Unlike online party games that need an internet connection, mobile devices and a reliable family member to organise and mediate the game, you only need a rope (and maybe a set of gloves) to have some rip-roaring fun with everyone in the family!

Separate your family so into two, making sure that each team has members of equal physical prowess, grab a strong rope and after a 3-2-1 count get everyone pulling. Now, this isn’t the best game for elderly family members, nor is it for young children, but if your family are dedicated to physical fitness, it’s a great game to test everyone’s strength and resolve.

Why not make the contest a little more interesting by having a battle of the sexes, or battle of the mum’s or dad’s! You may discover that your cousin Joe is far stronger than you thought!

These are but a few of the different types of games that you can play with your family when you all come together for the first time in what seems like forever. If you’re considering which of the family games online is sure to get everyone excited, ecstatic and energised, you really need only consider The Name Game. Visit Joinup.TV and sign-up today to make your family reunion one that you’ll hold onto in your memory for years to come!

Monday, 24 July 2017

How I Sold My Car Last Week For a Great Price

My car is a real wreck, damaged almost beyond repair. The car was a gift to my son and after just 1 month he had crashed it. Thankfully all my nagging about using his seatbelt paid off and he was unhurt. But the car was a mess.

I managed to drive it home but it was stuck on the driveway looking like an "eye sore" and my wife has been on my back about it for the past 3 weeks. Anyway, to save anyone else this nagging, ooops I mean having a broken car on your driveway, I thought I would share how I sold it really fast for a great deal after weeks of no interest.

Initially I did what I would usually do and put it in the classifieds. I quickly realised the people who buy cars on these sites don't want an accident damaged car, they want one which is running. So I lowered the price. Still no joy. I added it to a couple more websites and still nobody even contacted me to make a single inquiry.

Then a good friend of mine (thanks Phil) told me about Sell The Car USA and the next day I had sold my car. Well technically it was the day after that I got paid and gave them the car, but it was agreed on that first day. Amazing!

Anyway if you want to sell a broken car give Sell The Car a shout. They are awesome. I believe they operate across The States. Basically they want cars which they can repair then sell, or recycle. They actually paid me more than I was putting on the classifieds websites, which was even better.

I fully recommend Sell The Car USA to sell any damaged, non running or broken car. The staff are nice, the service ultra fast and the price they paid me (direct into my bank account) was very reasonable.

Visit if you need a quote and they will give you a valuation within a day.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

3 of the Best Luxury Resorts in the Maldives

Earlier this year I got engaged and we are busy planning the wedding. Well actually my better half is doing much of the planning and one of my jobs is organizing the honeymoon. It was such as fun task that I decided to blog about it.

Firstly I had to decide on the destination. A friend who works for a company offering Maldives honeymoon packages told me that the Maldives was the best seller. They also sell packages to other top honeymoon destinations like the Seychelles and the Far East, but Mike told me that the Maldives was the top dog. I enjoyed browsing the different countries and ended up agreeing that the Maldives would be the best place to go for a romantic break.

At the moment I am still in the deciding process. I have nailed it down to 3 resorts in the Maldives. These are all 5 star and very luxurious- we are going to splash the cash this time. The resorts each have their own merits- namely awesome villas and amazing beaches, with turquoise clear water.

Below I will list the 3 resorts and add some photos (taken off the Only Exclusive Travel website). If you have any preferences or recommendations; please leave a comment below to help me decide. I still have a month or so before we will be booking. They are in no particular order:

1. Soneva Fushi
This is a very well rounded island in terms of facilities, amenities and the paradise island factor. They have gone for a natural vibe with traditional architecture which has a lot of individuality and character. Some of the villas look quite large so I wonder whether this one is better for families and groups?
Soneva Fushi - a picture of paradise

2. Jumeirah Vittaveli 
Check out the photo below, which is what made me almost fall in love at first sight with Jumeirah Vittaveli. Who could resist the villas on stilts over the water? You are guaranteed privacy at this resort and I would expect the water ripples to reflect off the ceiling- this is one of those little things I love about accommodation near water. 

I was leaning towards one of the water villas with a sunset view- should be magical. But the Ocean Suite Villas are the ones in the photo and I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't try one of those. The company does bespoke packages so I am sure they will be able to give use a few days in one and a few days in the other. The villas on stilts are only accessible by speedboat, so I think 3-4 nights will be enough. Then we can stay on the island to make more use of the facilities like the spa and beach.

Jumeirah Vittaveli with their romantic floating villas

 3. Amilla Fushi
This resort struck a cord with me because of the minimalist design. I have been getting into Feng Shui and minimalism in my work life e.g. less clutter. Therefore the photos of the well appointed, modern villas were very attractive to me.

At Amilla Fushi you can choose a villa with it's own infinity pool (see photo below). I adore infinity pools, especially if it was just outside our room and private. I just seem attracted to all the other photos too- as a Brit I like the way Fish and Chips is advertised at such an opulent resort. The ground seems to be sand in most places, which is great as it looks very white. Plus the way the sunbeds are spaced out and everything else makes me think that this would make a very comfortable place to stay as a couple, without feeling isolated.

Amilla Fushi villa with infinity pool

Which one would you choose? Have you been to another luxury resort in the Maldives for a honeymoon or romantic break?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Fishing, Cleaning and Sunbathing

This month has been glorious weather in England up north. Usually we get more rain and cold in August. It has been overcast but warm: perfect for me. No need for suntan lotion or a hat, or worrying about wearing black.

I have been taking this opportunity to go fishing. Below is a photo of a relative taken the other day:

Unfortunately this time it wasn't to be. I have had a bit of success this summer but all pretty small fishes in the nearby rivers and lakes. Nothing compared to the best I photographed below on my last holiday abroad:

This would be my dream catch

There have been a couple of sunny days which I have used for a spot of sunbathing. We even broke out the BBQ and crochet set one afternoon. I tend to get eye bags and a tan is the ideal way to get rid of them.

I am not very good at sunbathing - it is just so boring. So after 10 minutes or so I need to do something. After the usual chores like trimming the shrubs back and mowing the lawn, I decided to clean the paving on the patio and side path.

What a boring job, but certainly less boring than just sunbathing. The problem is that you tend to slouch over when jet washing paving, which meant it did nothing for my tan. Anyway I whizzed through it and then applied a paving sealer in the hope that will stop me needing to clean it again anytime soon. Apparently it should help keep the paving clean for many years. Lets see.

The sky is threatening rain today so it is touch and go. If it brightens up a bit I shall cycle to the shops. We have an old bike with a rock hard seat. I found a seat cover for less than £3 on eBay (including postage) which has made an amazing difference. So I am eager to use it when I can. I do not do rain though, so I have to be sure hehehe.

Anyways that's my little update, signing off for now. Hope everyone is also having a good summer.