A couple months ago, FreshBooks added an awesome feature to its online billing and accounting software: attaching expense receipts to invoices. I am a big fan of the integrated document management, which makes digital documents always available for quick and easy retrieval. Plus, receipts can be attached in several file formats from whatever device is convenient. Check out this video from FreshBooks showing users taking pictures of receipts with smartphones and tablets.
On my desktop computer, I clicked on the “attach image of receipt” link while adding a new expense. A “choose file” button appeared below the link, and after I clicked on it, a file explorer window opened. I navigated to the file’s location on my computer and double-clicked it. That was easy enough to meet my expectations.
After tapping my finger on the “attach image of receipt” and “choose file” buttons on my tablet (a 10.1″ Samsung Galaxy Tab 2), it prompted me to select an action from several options as shown in the screenshot below. I chose the camera function. After I took a picture of the receipt, it was automatically uploaded and attached to the expense in FreshBooks. I don’t think it can get any easier than that!
My smartphone, which runs on Android, is capable of doing the same thing as my tablet. However, I can’t quickly launch FreshBooks, enter the details for a new expense and attach a receipt with my smartphone’s small screen and cellular connection. My solution is to use Evernote, one of my favorite mobile apps for taking digital notes. The Evernote widget includes a camera button for quickly uploading pictures. I uploaded a picture of the receipt with the Evernote app on my smartphone, and when I was later on my desktop computer, I downloaded the image from Evernote’s web application. I then went to FreshBooks, added a new expense and attached the receipt image.