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Why we've built receipt processing into our software

30th Nov 2022
Brought to you by
coconut logo
Coconut’s simple bookkeeping and tax app is specifically designed for sole traders, helping them...
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

At Coconut, we’ve just launched a feature that makes it even easier and faster for accountants and their clients to process receipts—drastically reducing the time spent on bookkeeping tasks. Here’s how it works, and why building this feature into our product is especially important in the run-up to Making Tax Digital for Income Tax.

Wallet full of receipts

At Coconut, we’ve recently released a number of features that supercharge our ability to help accountants and clients deal with receipts much more efficiently—doubling down on our promise to ensure that bookkeeping with Coconut is significantly faster than it is with traditional cloud accounting tools. 

For instance, a few weeks ago we launched our new ‘Receipts Library’. This feature makes it easy for clients to upload their receipts via Coconut Web, and for accountants and bookkeepers to review them via the 'Receipts' tab in the Accountant Platform. Accountants can now also upload receipts in bulk on their clients’ behalf (particularly useful for ‘receipt shoebox’ clients) and the first release made it possible for accountants to edit and create associated transactions, as well. 

Now we’ve taken things a step further. We’re really excited to share that we’ve now built Optical Character Recognition (OCR) into our Receipts Library, meaning that our software will capture the key information from a receipt, and based on that information, suggest which transactions from a client’s bank feed that it could match. This functionality also works with bulk receipt uploads, meaning that you can process many receipts in seconds. 

Read on to find out more about how our receipt processing system works—and we’ll also explain why speed isn’t the only thing that makes this new feature a game-changer for accountants with smaller clients. 

How Coconut’s Receipts Tool works

We’ve built our Receipts Tool in such a way that it’ll work for you no matter how hands-on your clients are. 

If you usually process your client’s receipts on their behalf, then this is how you can use it to save precious time on bookkeeping:

  • Take pictures of your clients receipts and upload them directly (individually or in bulk) from the Accountant Platform.
  • Our software will capture the information in seconds: including the total amount, date of the transaction, and merchant. Based on this information, where possible, Coconut will automatically suggest a matching transaction from your client’s bank feed. Don’t worry, you’ll always have the chance to approve this.

  • If there are any remaining receipts, e.g. for cash purchases, you can create new transactions from the receipts and link the two in seconds.

Alternatively, you can get your clients to upload the receipts themselves from Coconut Web, and you’ll be able to use the Receipts Library to sort them out in the same way. 

Why incorporating receipt processing into Coconut is key

With Making Tax Digital round the corner, this new feature plays a big role in ensuring that accountants and bookkeepers can service their clients as efficiently as possible. 

Ease of use for you and your clients

As accountants are undoubtedly aware, there are already specific software tools out there that enable accountants and/or their clients to process their receipts, with dedicated features to do so.

The problem is that Making Tax Digital for Income Tax is already a huge upheaval for sole trader and landlord clients; these clients might already be loath to adopt just one piece of software required to comply. Getting them to use other tools on top of that—for tasks such as receipt-scanning—could result in even more reticence from them, and additional onboarding, cost, and maintenance for you. 

But with these new Coconut developments, you’ll be able to manage all of your clients’ receipts in one place, without needing to use or pay for a third-party tool.

Make the most of a major growth opportunity

Sole traders and unincorporated landlords are high-volume, low-margin clients—and many accountants may worry about how much MTD ITSA will increase their workload. But features like our Receipts Tool enable Coconut Partners to streamline their workflows with their smallest clients, and focus on making the most of major MTD ITSA revenue growth opportunity.

For example, we know that many accountants work with manual clients—the sort that might deliver a shoebox full of receipts to your office during Self Assessment season. These new features that we’ve built into the product mean that we can serve them even more effectively.

Try it out for yourself

Want to find out more about Coconut, and how we’re helping practices all over the UK get their clients ready for MTD ITSA? 

The best way to understand how Coconut's software works is to book a chat with one of our team. We’ll walk you through how everything works for both you and your clients, and answer any questions you may have.

Book a Call