This article is based on my conversation with Kalliopi Vlastas, General Manager of Receipt Bank US. It took place in the week leading up to their Next Generation Event, a virtual event to be held on February 23, 2021. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web, and other thought leaders such as Ron Baker will be featured speakers. Registration for the event is free at Next Generation Event. As a teaser, Receipt Bank will have a very important announcement next week during the Next Generation Event.
My conversation with Kalliopi was part of a larger conversation on the Scaling New Heights podcast around stacking technologies for extreme automation. For the full podcast episode, listen here.
Question: What does Receipt Bank do, and who uses it?
Receipt Bank is for any accountant or bookkeeper who is ready to automate the obvious. It is for anyone ready to eliminate manual processes within their practice, invest in their firm and make bookkeeping a profit center. It is for those bookkeepers who spend countless hours collecting receipts. And it is also for those who are not collecting receipts for every client. Many bookkeepers are forced into guesswork and back-and-forth with their clients which keeps them from having the ability to “audit-proof” their clients.
Receipt Bank provides automatic data collection and extraction using a mobile app with in-app messaging. Clients can submit images through the mobile app, email invoices and receipts or have vendors email documents. And Receipt Bank also has invoice fetching for over 1,200 suppliers. Regardless of the source, Receipt Bank captures data directly and integrates it with applications like QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Xero and Bill.com.
Question: I know there are bookkeepers who are familiar with emailing invoices and receipts into a system, but they are not familiar with fetching. What is invoice fetching?
Invoice Fetch allows you to eliminate guesswork by having Receipt Bank automatically collect your bills and invoices from your suppliers. There are currently over 1,200 suppliers ranging from AT&T to Zoom. A classic example involves Amazon, which allows you to purchase almost anything. As a bookkeeper, you don’t necessarily know how to categorize an Amazon receipt when it comes into your inbox. You usually must reach out to your client, who doesn’t know which one of several Amazon receipts you are talking about. Invoice Fetch will fetch that transaction automatically for you, along with all the relevant information, so you know exactly how to categorize it.
Question: You mentioned audit-proofing clients. How does Receipt Bank help clients be audit-ready?
We help audit-proof and disaster-proof your clients. With Receipt Bank, all transactions, receipts and data are maintained for up to seven years. We have a very intuitive and robust search engine, allowing you to easily access that client’s data and pull all the relevant information. You can access specific information through a granular search.
Question: How does Receipt Bank fit with other technologies and how do you prevent gaps in information?
“Tech stacks” is the big buzzword these days. Our goal is to understand what technologies our partners are using, integrating with the technologies and making sure we have the right workflows. Receipt Bank sits at the beginning of the process. It is your means of getting essential client data that is then distributed to other platforms. It powers the other platforms in the tech stack by extracting the data coming in from receipts, invoices and bank feeds. Then it prepares the data for publishing into the General Ledger or into other solutions like a bill pay solution. We suggest our partners use Receipt Bank as a single repository for all data. Since the integrations are so intuitive, everything that is pushed into Receipt Bank is pushed out to the correct integrated solution.
Question: When receipts are sent in by an employee, how does Receipt Bank delineate between reimbursable expenses and company credit card expenses?
Receipt Bank manages that through supplier rules and automation, even at the employee provisioning level. Employee receipts can be directed either as being paid by a company card or identified as being paid for by the employee’s card. They can then be pushed for reimbursement, including through an integration with Gusto to reimburse through the payroll process.
Question: How is Receipt Bank different from other solutions that do data parsing, even the ones that also do fetching?
We welcome research, side-by-side comparisons and thorough evaluations. Receipt Bank is the leading free accounting and bookkeeping platform, with 2 million receipts processed last month alone. With every single one processed, our algorithm gets smarter and smarter. It knows exactly how to categorize and extract information. In fact, we have the best extraction accuracy in the business at 99 percent. Even with sloppy screenshots, faded documents or blurry handwritten receipts, Receipt Bank extracts data accurately.
We put a lot of emphasis on onboarding, and we fully support our partners through onboarding. We help our partners set up automation and supplier rules. That way, they are set up for success from the beginning and aren’t left to map the maze on their own.
Question: Tell us about Receipt Bank’s journey – both over the past ten years and where you are going from here.
Receipt Bank is a wildly different company from what it was ten years ago when it started in the UK as Receipt Arm. Now we are in six countries around the world with dedicated solutions for every single one of those countries. Over the past couple of years, we have seen a great amount of change, because we are obsessed with the industry that we serve. For example, in making bookkeepers’ lives easier, we began serving the U.S. market on QuickBooks Desktop, both non-hosted and hosted. In fact, we recently launched an integration with QuickBooks Desktop through Right Networks.
Our recent news is that we have brought Xavier Analytics, a UK company, into the family. This was our first acquisition, a course of action we plan to continue. Xavier is a fantastic product that caters to advisory services. It provides a robust analytics platform and measures the accuracy and completeness of the data you have for each of your clients. Bookkeepers wanting to move into advisory services will find Xavier a powerful tool to help bookkeepers use that treasure trove of information.
There is a lot more to share about how Receipt Bank will continue to evolve. The best way to get that information ahead of your peers is to attend the free Next Generation Event. That’s a virtual event to be held on February 23, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern TIme.