A proper mobile scanning app is not just for people that are self-employed, or run their own business.
You can also use it for other tasks in your daily life, like scanning coupons or QR codes so that you always have them at hand whenever you need them. Like for example in the Gym or at the grocery store.
In todays post though, I’d like to talk more about the business case.
Pretty much anyone who pays taxes should use an app to help tame the accumulated piles of paper receipts, invoices and other documents that you need to keep for the tax-man.
The best app for this job that I’ve found so far is Scanner Pro.
Sorry Android users, this one is only available on iOS so far. I do hope though that they will release it on Android as well, as this scanner really blows the competition away.
With Scanner Pro you can do all the usual things you’d expect from a scanning app, but the scans it produces are of such a high quality that you can actually ditch your small-office scanner, seriously.
It also comes with cloud-storage export, as well as a fax function. So whenever some backward company (Like, ahem, the IRS) requires you to actually fax something, simply scan it and fax it away right from your iPhone or iPad.
I’ll show you all about this app now, and give you some hopefully useful tips that I’m personally using to make my bookkeeping a little easier.
Scanner Pro Review
Scanner pro is the perfect companion for any small business owner.
It makes gathering and filing receipts, documents & invoices really a breeze. If you know me, you will know that I could be considered the laziest person when it comes to all this paperwork stuff. I really hate it, pardon my french but there is just no other word to describe my feelings towards the need for administrative tasks that are involved in my business.
But even I, am able to keep up on everything by using Scanner Pro, and that really says something!
Scanner Pro Features
Scanner Pro comes equipped with all features you may need during a busy day.
Lets have a look at each feature individually:
Cloud Storage Integration
Scanner pro integrates natively with iCloud, and optionally (enabled by default) auto-uploads every scan to your iCloud drive.
So right out of the box, your scans are backed up and available on all of your iOS devices, as well as your Mac (For which there is also an app).
Scanner Pro allows you to also connect to six other cloud storages, as well as via WebDAV which allows integration into a variety of other Business solutions, or if you’re running your own Cloud storage like for example ownCloud.
The managed Cloud Service integration is available for:
- Google Drive
You can set up any of these integrations to use auto-upload as well.
Text Recognition (OCR)
Scanner Pro also comes equipped with it’s own text recognition, so that you can make (almost) all of your documents also searchable, or easily copy & paste text.
The OCR feature works best with machine written text, not so well with scrawly handwriting. That is not a failure of the app though, it’s the way OCR works in general.
The OCR integration recognizes 21 different languages, which is pretty remarkable, and especially useful for online businesses that are bound to deal with all kinds of invoices and documents in different languages.
Looking at the available scanner options, there really isn’t anything amiss.
You can select different page sizes, all default sizes are supported, even the European A4 format.
If needed, you’re also able to enter custom dimensions for your scans.
You can also create different folders in your Scanner pro app, for example you could have one folder for Invoices, and another one for receipts.
This feature is especially useful in combination with Workflows, which I will get into a little bit later.
The Radar is a little helper feature, it can be quite useful but isn’t 100% foolproof, yet.
Basically you’ll get a list of documents that weren’t scanned yet, but are saved in your devices photo folder, camera roll or photos app.
You do this with a single tap of the radar icon at the top of your scanner screen. The results are not super accurate yet, and I get a lot of unrelated pictures that aren’t of documents. Like for example the Wardrobe I just wanted to sell on eBay… 🙂
Now this, is the best feature of Scanner Pro. I love it so much, because it does everything for me that I would normally have to do manually.
You can program your scanner, to execute specific actions in the selected workflow.
Any time you create a new scan, you can select a workflow of what the app should do with the scan.
I use two different workflows a lot, I have one workflow for Invoices and another one for receipts.
Invoices for example are automatically emailed to my bookkeeping software (I use Xero.com) so that they can be automatically filed and saved there, and then a second email goes directly to my accountant which also has the Invoice attached.
Here is an example:
So whenever I create a scan, and if it’s an Invoice I simply select the workflow for invoices.
The app then emails the invoice to xero.com and my accountant (It brings up the email screen before sending it, so that you can customize the message or simply tap “send”).
It also saves the invoice to a folder in my iCloud drive, specifically for invoices and the file names are by date, so you can always find specific dates very easily.
You can also create more actions, and save scans to any of the other Cloud Storage services, you can forward them somewhere else with your messages app, save them to your photo app or rename scans in a customized file name format.
As you can probably see, Workflows are extremely useful and a huge timesaver. That, and they also keep everything tidy even if admin tasks aren’t your thing.
I’ve always had problems getting all the paper receipts one receives outside of business emails and automated invoice attachments, to my accountant. It was always a big task for me to get these things in order.
Thanks to this Workflow feature, all I have to do nowadays is whenever I get a receipt I’ll whip out my phone and take a quick scan, tap on the workflow and I’m done.
And the beauty of it is, this app isn’t just making my accountant happy because he doesn’t have to constantly remind me of my receipts anymore, but it also makes year-end tax returns way easier and cheaper because everything is in order and saved + categorized in my Xero account.
I think for anyone who is rocking an iOS device, has to deal with some type of paperwork (Who doesn’t), and wants to bring some order in the chaos to have more time for meaningful experiences.
This app is a must-have for you.
The cost of freedom you ask?
It’s $3.99, US. That’s it, a steal if you ask me. For the cost of a cup of coffee, this app has changed my life for the better, and I’m really not exaggerating here.
If you don’t believe me, talk to my accountant 🙂