Everyone has receipts. Everyone. Some do have more than others, and I believe that pastors and ministry leaders are part of this group. So here’s my workflow that has made handling receipts easier than ever.

I’m sure you’ve dealt with the flood of church receipts. Donations, rent, insurance, advertising, online service, printing, office supplies, etc. The list goes on.

There are many ways to handle receipts, but I’ve found that the best option is to digitize them. As I’ve been told by trusted sources, you do not need physical copies of your tax forms, or receipts, but that you merely need to be able to provide physical versions (which includes printing off a digital version). NOTE: I am not a lawyer, or a CPA and so I encourage you to look into this on your own.

Because of this, I’ve created a workflow I hope is useful to you showing how I handle receipts (and really any paperwork besides notorized documents or others such as birth certificate, passports, etc). This is a great method for personal as well as business finances and can be done with a group of people who all have their hands involved in the finances or by yourself.

Take a picture

First, I take a picture of my receipt or document with my phone. I use an app on my iPhone called Turboscan Pro (iTunes Link, Google Play Link). If you want a free option, I also like the Evernote app Scanable (iTunes link, I’m sure there are good free Android options too).

Fix the picture

After taking the picture, I’m able to correct the dimensions and crop the document or receipt (they both try to auto crop, but sometimes you have to edit it).

Send the picture

The reason I like Turboscan Pro more than Scanable is that it provides a preset option for email so you can repopulate the recipient, subject line, and even if the image will be sent as a JPG or PDF.

How I have this set is so that it gets sent to my Evernote account and tagged with my Receipt tag so that my next step is extremely easy.

Process the receipt

This step can be done by anyone on your team or yourself. In my situation, I have a saved search in Evernote that shows me all of my unprocessed receipts so I can blast through all past expenses and income for the past week within a matter or minutes. I have this setup so that I have my personal finances, 2 churches, and 1 business’s finances all separated and easy to access and process. (checkout my blog post explaining how I use Evernote).

4 things I love about this system:

  • Collaborative
    • Anyone can send a receipt, and even anyone can process them (tweet this).
  • Organized
    • I can search for an amount and find it on a receipt because Evernote makes images searchable. This allows me to find a receipt from a few months ago with ease (tweet this).
  • Clutter-Free
    • I only keep the receipts I believe might be useful within a couple weeks. Besides that, I throw everything away which allows for a very clean workspace, and keeps me from getting a huge archive of papers (tweet this).
  • Safe
    • Not only are they organized, but because they’re backed up on my computer, my external hard drive, and on the cloud, I never have to worry about loosing an important document (tweet this).

PRO TIP: There are a lot of businesses offering to email you receipts, take advantage of this and skip the first two steps!

I hope you found this useful! How have you handled receipts in the past? Is this a system you could imagine using? Any questions or suggestions with it?

If you think this would be useful to a friend, please make sure you send them the link to this post below!

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