User GuideYou've downloaded the App and our logo appears on your smart phone – Now what?
If you’re already at the checkout and keen to start using Tax Receipt Log, then all you need to do is one thing. That is, set up your currency and tax. This will take all of about 20 seconds. So don’t stress.
To do this, press the Tax Receipt Log icon on your smart phone to open the app. Then press the Settings button on the bottom right hand of the screen.
This will open the Settings page. At the top of the Settings page is a button that says Tax Percentage. Press this button.
Scroll through the list until you find your currency. Or if your currency is not listed, enter your currency manually in the add new tax listing field at the bottom of the Tax Percentage page. Once you have selected or entered your tax listing, press Select at the bottom right hand of the screen.
You are now ready to enter receipts into Tax Receipt Log.
As a quick start Guide user, we’re assuming you’ll be happy to follow your nose from now on. But if you’re lost as to how to enter a receipt check out Section 2 of this user guide.
The first time you open Tax Receipt Log (TRL) you can go right into photographing a receipt – but sooner or later you will have to sit down and do a little setup and it’s easier if you do this first.
The screenshot to the right is the Main Page that you see when you open the app for the very first time.
What to do when you are ready to set up.
Open TRL and press the Settings Button at the bottom of the screen.
You will see six options:
- Tax Percentage
- Add Email Address
- Backup Reminder
- Add Unique ID
- Delete Before Date
1a. Tax Percentage
Open the Tax Percentage option and you will see a screen like that shown in the picture on the right.
The Tax Percentage Screen will allow you to choose the Currency Symbol, Tax percentage and Type of tax regime you operate under:
Eg: AUD 10% GST
Or GBP 20% VAT
Scroll down through the options and choose the preloaded setup best for you.
If your specific setup does not appear please use the Add New Tax Listing button at the bottom. Here you can manually enter your taxable percentage up to two decimal places.
When you are satisfied with the information you have typed in, press the Select button.
Note: You can return here later if your Government changes the tax percentage and enter the new value. (Hope this doesn’t happen too often)
The Select button will save your details and return you to the Settings screen.
1b. Setting Up Categories
In the Settings section you can set up your specific Categories. You might like to talk to your tax accountant about the best categories to use.
We believe Keep It Short & Simple is always best - you can always enter more refined categories later on your PC if you really want to get down to the fine gritty details.
TRL comes with some pre-loaded generic categories. If any of these do not suit you, you can delete them by pressing the delete button to the right of the category.
To add a new category, press the Add New button at the bottom of the Categories screen.
Type in a category. Then press Done.
Pressing Done will return you to the Categories page. Here you can either press Add New to enter another category or Close to return to the Settings page when you are done.
You are now ready to enter receipts into TRL.
1c. Add Email Address
The add email address feature allows you to add up to three email addresses that are permanently listed in the “To” field when you export your Tax Receipt Log data.
To add an email, press one of the blank white bars on the screen. This will open a text field where you can enter your email. Enter the email and press Done in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
This will return you to the add email page. You can enter another email by touching an empty white bar and repeating the process, or you can press Save and return to the Settings page.
1d. Backup Reminder
The Backup Reminder is an optional feature which you can set to remind you to export your receipts on a regular basis. The Backup Reminder defaults to the “Never” setting. You can keep it this way or scroll through the list and change it to Weekly, Monthly, Every Three Months, Every Four Months, Every Five Months and Every Six Months.
Press Select once the reminder frequency you wish to use is highlighted in the scroll bar. We recommend that you export your TRL data weekly.
In this section you can also choose to have every Tax Receipt Log entry automatically emailed to your nominated email address immediately after you have entered it. This feature was added at the request of accountants who use our software. Their clients enter an expense which is immediately forwarded onto them for filing. You may wish to speak to your accountant about this and ask if it suits them. To turn this feature on/off, toggle the on/off button. Then press Select at the bottom of the screen.
If you manage your own finances, we recommend that you switch this feature off and export on a daily or weekly basis.
1e. Add Unique ID
The Add Unique ID feature places an additional column to both the spreadsheet and html file. This column will include the text that you have entered into the Unique ID field.
This feature is useful if you are emailing your data directly to your accountant as it allows them to easily identify your file.
You can choose to not include a Unique ID, or you can enter your custom text by touching the white bar on the Add Unique ID screen. This will open a keyboard screen. Type in the text exactly as you want it to appear for your Unique ID, the press Done in the bottom right hand of the screen. Press Save to save your Unique ID and return to the Settings screen or press Cancel to cancel your text and return to the Settings screen.
1f. Deleting Data (Delete Before Date)
The Delete Before Date button is where you go to delete data once you have exported it. We recommend that you regularly export data, and once you have checked that this has been successful, that you then delete the date you have exported. This prevents your phone from getting clogged up.
To delete exported data, press the Delete Before Date option. This will take you to a screen where you are asked to enter a date. All data entered before the date you enter will be deleted. For example, if you have exported all of your files up until today, then you would select today’s date and delete all the files up until today.
To select the date, your phone will take you to a day, month and year roll. Scroll through each individually until you have landed on your desired date, then press Select.
This will return you to the delete before date screen. Select Remove to proceed with the deletion. Or, if you’ve realised you want this receipts to stay on your phone forevermore, select Cancel to return to the previous screen without deleting any information.
The Main Page of TRL will look like this initially (photo right) but after you have taken some photos of receipts, your Main page will look a little bit like the picture below.
The best way to use TRL is to take a photo of the receipt as soon as you receive it. We suggest this because, the date the photo was taken and the GPS location where the photo is taken will then correlate with the time and location of your purchase.
2a. photographing a Receipt
When the checkout operator hands you your receipt, whip out your smart phone, open TRL and press Take Photo. This opens your phone camera. Line the receipt up and . . . take a photo of the receipt!
A screen will then appear with a preview of the photo and if you are happy with the quality, focus etc. select Use Photo. If you weren’t paying proper attention when you took the photo and it has come out blurry, select Retake Photo.
Note: The photo of your receipt will appear as a link in the second column of your html file. In the .csv file the file name of the photo (derived from date and time of picture) of the photo is entered under the identifier column .
2b. Entering an Amount
Once you have selected Use Photo, a screen asking you to enter the TOTAL amount of your invoice will appear - this should INCLUDE any tax.
Note: In order to get a cent/pence amount, you need to press the decimal button. If you have a flat dollar/pound/euro amount, then you can click Done without entering a decimal and the last two zeros.
2c. Saving Your Entry
Now click Save and you are done – you can walk out of the store confident that you will not lose the value of that receipt even if you lose the bit of paper.
Tips and Tricks: If the store, restaurant or place of purchase is keen for you to get out of the way, we also find it easy to take a photo of the receipt once we return to our car.
If you are not concerned about GPS location, then back at your office on the same day works too.
At this point you can get back to the business at hand and exit TRL.
If you are in a hurry but want to add or edit details, you can do this later within TRL (just click on a receipt on the Main Page to be taken to the Receipt Entry Page) or once you have your exported file to the computer (more on this later).
Or, you can add more details while you have the entry open.
Tips and Tricks: In 15 seconds we manage to take a photo of the receipt, enter the total, select whether or not the item is taxable (it defaults as yes) and define a category. This is enough information for our accountant to do the rest nice and easily.
3a. Assigning an Expense Category
Assigning an expense category allows you to sort your receipts more easily. For example, a trades’ person might use this feature to separate between company expenses and expenses incurred on a particular job.
If you choose to assign a category, this will appear as an additional column in the exported html and .csv (spreadsheet compatible) file.
To assign an expense category, press Assign Expense Category. This will take you to your list of pre-defined categories. Scroll down through the list so that the category you wish to select is highlighted, then press Select. Your selection will be saved and you will automatically return to the receipt entry screen.
Note: If you haven’t set up your pre-defined categories, you can add a new category that is appropriate for your current receipt entry in the add category field at the bottom of the Assign Expense Category page.
3b. Adding a Note about Your Expense
Adding a note allows you to enter additional custom information about your receipt. For example, you might have a business lunch with a potential client who is not yet a part of your regular category listing. Or, you might have purchased both a personal and business item on the receipt and want to make a note to distinguish items.
If you add a note to your receipt entry, this will appear as an additional column in your spreadsheet compatible html file and your .csv file.
To add a written note about your receipt press Add Note while on the receipt entry page and you will go to a text entry page where you can add your note. Press Save to save your note and return to the receipt entry page.
3c. Recording a Voice Message
The record a voice memo feature acts in the same way as the note feature allowing you to give your receipt a custom message. For example, you might want to leave a detailed note for your secretary back at the office,
“Ann, this is a new client, he will need to be entered into the account system as a new expense category.”
However, as typing a detailed note into a smart phone is one of our least favourite activities, we included the recording a voice memo as an alternative feature.
To record a voice message press on Record Voice Messsage on the receipt entry screen.
Press Record to leave your memo. Once you have left your message, press Stop. You can listen to your message to ensure it has worked properly, or simply press Close to save the message and return to the receipt entry screen.
Note: Voice memos are available as a link to a .aac file in the third column of your html file. The identifier column in the .csv file will is the name (derived from a date/time stamp) of your .acc file.
We recommend that you regularly export your TRL data to yourself or your accountant. Sending it to yourself will protect the data. Do this on a regular basis - weekly if you enter a lot or monthly if you never lose your phone (or jump into swimming pools with it in your back pocket).
You export the data by emailing it from your phone to an email account on your computer.
To do this press Export Data button found on the Main Screen of TRL (pictured right) at the bottom of the screen.
Doing this will open the screen pictured below.
Enter the date you wish to export from and to by pressing in the date field. This will take you to a screen where you can scroll through to select your desired date - typically we select from when we last exported to when we are exporting now.
Using the yes/no tabs at the bottom of the Export screen you can select to not include the audio, photos or notes in your export. You may wish to do this when sending to your accountant as s/he is likely to only need to see photos if you are audited etc.
Once you have selected your export from and to dates, press the Export button at the bottom right hand of the screen. This will take you into your phone’s email.
On this screen you can enter any email address you need to. If you would like to add an address that is permanently included in your export emails you can do this in the main settings section of TRL (See Section 1C) .
The subject of your email will automatically default to
"Tax Receipt Log - (Date From: ##/##/##, Date To: ##/##/##)".
If you wish, you can delete this and change it to whatever you like.
You can add a message into your email by clicking inside the email’s text field.
Note: Exported data does not automatically delete from your phone. This is because sometimes emails get lost on their way. We suggest you wait until you have received and checked the email before deleting the data you have exported. See section 1f for how to delete data in TRL.
In the email you receive there will be a number of files attached. Wesuggest that you select (ctrl+a) all of the files and then copy (ctrl+c) them into a predesignated folder (we do our folders monthly) with a name such as TRL_2011_July. All the emailed files from July 2011 should go into this folder. This makes tracking and accessing any files very easy.
The files included in the attachment are named according to their date and time taken and will be:
- .html file (spreadsheet compatible file)
- .csv file (spreadsheet file)
- .jpg files (picture file, one for each receipt)
- .aac files (audio file, if you have recorded voice messages)
- .txt files (plain text file, if you have written notes)
5a. The html File
The html file(pictured below) is presented as a table with all of your data available for easy access. If you want to just look at the data the html file is great. It has the hyperlinks to all the photos, note files and voice memos. The html file also includes a summary of each entry, the categories and a total.
5b. The .csv File
The .csv file is opened with your spreadsheet program (e.g Microsoft Excel). This is the file that you use for tax purposes and which your accountant will be most interested in (he’ll only want to see the photos if you get audited).
We suggest that you compile the data from each successive email export of TRL to one big main .csv file for the tax year, quarter or month (or you can do whatever your accountant wants too).
Doing this will let you sort, total, do more sums and generally observe the data and your budget. This way you can easily make decisions about whether you can afford that flight in a supersonic jet fighter . . . . or not!
I'm using an iPhone - why can't I see TRL photos in my photo gallery?
Tax Receipt Log stores your photos in a seperate folder to your iPhone Camera roll. Therefore you cannot view your photos via your iPhone camera roll. If you wish to view your photos, open TRL. Then on the main page open the entry of the photo you wish to see, then touch the image to zoom it to your full screen.
How do I Delete an Entry?
If you need to delete an individual entry, you can do this once you have exported your data and are viewing it in the spreadsheet compatible file.
To delete all entries before a certain date i.e after you have exported your data, please see section 1f. Delete Before Date.
At present there hasn't been a need for TRL users to delete individual entries within the app. However, if you would like this feature to be included in our app, please email us and we will consider it for the next version.
Tip: If you do need to delete an entry, but are worried that you will forget once you have exported your data, we suggest you add a note to that entry stating "Delete!"
I updated my iPhone and all my Tax Receipt Log Photos disappeared. What happened?
We are working to try and fix this. In the meantime, please export all TRL data prior to updating your iPhone's iOS.
I have 2 businesses. Is there a way I can seperate them within Tax Receipt Log?
Yes. There are two ways that you can do this.
1. Purchase Tax Receipt Log for BOB. This version of our app works exactly the same as Tax Receipt Log - it just uses a different logo. This way you can use TRL for one business and TRL for BOB for your other business.
2. Create two lists of categories e.g. 1-Office and 2-Office, where 1 is for the first business and 2 is for the second. You can then sort the data for the two businesses once you have exported it and are working with the spreadsheet.
When I get the email I can't find the spreadsheet sent from my phone!
The email that goes from the email address you nominate will have a number of files attached (this will vary depending on how many entries you export at a time). This will include a photo for every entry in jpg format and a text file for every note. It will also include two other files.
One is an html file. You can open and this and view all the data in a Spreadsheet format. It is named for example 20110127131115.html (the date sent is used as the identifier).
The second non jpg file is a *.csv file. It will be named, for example, 20110127131115.csv
If you have Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet software installed, this file should be associated with it automatically and will open your file within that program. Or, if this is the first time you will open a .csv file in Windows, you will need to choose an appropriate spreadsheet program.
If you are exporting a lot of entries, it may be necessary to scroll down through the attachment section of your email to find the .csv and .html files.
Can I change the date of my entry?
As yet TRL saves the date of your invoice as the date the photo is taken. We are looking at making this an adjustable feature. In the meantime, if you need to change the date for your entry, you can do this once you have exported the file into a spreadsheet.
Well that’s all from us.
If you have any questions or suggestions please email us at info@ taxreceiptlog.com.
Have fun with all the spare time you will gain!
And, Thanks for using Tax Receipt Log. If you like it please tell all your friends and enemies. If you have a problem please tell us and we will do our best to sort it out.
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