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Coconut targets ‘shoebox clients’ with new receipt capture function

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Firms using tax app Coconut can now upload bills and receipts to the platform using real-time optical character recognition without needing to use a third-party tool.

7th Dec 2022
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Specifically targeting accountants, the new Receipt Tool function from Coconut aims to reduce the amount of time spent on data entry, in particular with those clients who present practitioners with a shoebox of receipts.

Firms that usually process client receipts on their behalf can take pictures of the receipts and upload them directly (individually or in bulk) from Coconut’s accountant platform. The optical character recognition (OCR) function then captures relevant information, including the total amount and date of transaction, and where possible, automatically suggests a matching transaction from the client’s bank feed using machine learning. The accountant will then have the chance to approve or amend the match.

If there are any remaining receipts, for example for cash purchases, Coconut accounting partners can create manual transactions from the receipts.

Clients can also upload the receipts themselves via Coconut’s web tool and the accountant will be able to use the vendor’s Receipts Library to match them in the same way.

The Receipts Tool is available as part of a standard Coconut subscription.

Efficiency through data extraction

Speaking to AccountingWEB at the Live Expo event, Coconut CEO Sam O’Connor said that while there are similarities with products such as Dext, AutoEntry and Hubdoc, the primary focus of the new function is to allow accountants to convert the classic shoebox of receipts to financials as quickly as possible.

“The feature is a workflow tool to enable accountants with a pile of receipts to convert that to accurate financial records as quickly as possible,” said O’Connor. “The data extraction is used to create efficiency. There’s no time lag between uploading the receipt and it appearing in Coconut. The OCR does the legwork in creating that record, which can be created manually (or edited) by the accountant.”

According to O’Connor, other products in the receipt capture and processing arena have shifted upmarket and are now more geared towards working with bigger businesses such as limited companies, providing services like expense capture.

“Coconut accounting partners with tech-savvy clients are most likely ahead of the Making Tax Digital for income tax self assessment [MTD ITSA] curve, but as the deadline moves closer, there’s trepidation about the more manual clients using digital software,” continued O’Connor. “Our Receipts Tool means we can serve another chunk of clients, and support even more accountant partners on this journey to digitisation and greater margin on small clients.”

8 December 2022: This article was amended to remove an erroneous reference to matching cash purchases to bank transactions.

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By Paul Crowley
08th Dec 2022 10:38

'If there are any remaining receipts, for example for cash purchases, Coconut accounting partners can create manual transactions from the receipts and link them to a relevant bank transaction.'
This is gobbledegook
create a cash transaction and match it to the bank?

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
Tom Herbert
By Tom Herbert
08th Dec 2022 11:22

Good point Paul. Was typing from my garbled notes and mashed a couple of lines together by accident. Apologies, that's amended now. Thanks for keeping me honest :-)

All the best,

Tom

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