Shoeboxed gets smarter e-receipt scanning

Receipt scanning by mail service Shoeboxed unveils a new version of its digital receipt scanner that does a better job at helping you manage your expenses. We give a spin.

Shoeboxed announced this week that it has improved the way it handles digital receipts sent to its online filing system. The company, which scans and hosts paper receipts, business cards and full-size documents, can now pick out specific information from forwarded e-mails containing purchase information, and put it into one of the system's 15 purchase classifications.

Like users would do with purchases on travel services like TripIt and Worldmate, simply sending the confirmation e-mail to your Shoeboxed address means that it gets filed along with the rest of your expenses. The goal is to make it easier for customers who are already using Shoeboxed's receipt scanning by mail service to blend in purchases they make online.

The company says the new technique is 95 percent accurate and removes the need for customers to enter in purchase information manually. This is a noticeable improvement over the previous system, which would simply paste the information into a blank message without giving it a title or a expense category. The new system also pulls in things like vendor names and the total amount spent, which can be compared and cross-referenced with other expenses it tracks from your paper receipts and scanned photos you've taken of receipts from your mobile phone.

E-mailed receipts are now automatically categorized, including how you paid for it and where you bought it from. CNET

I gave it a spin earlier today on 10 different receipt confirmations from different vendors and had a 100 percent success rate on it accurately figuring out where the item was from, how I paid for it, and its price. It also did a pretty good job on categorizing the purchases, getting seven of the 10, while leaving the remaining three blank.

One thing it doesn't pick up on, which is worth mentioning, is the actual purchase date. It only keeps track of the date it was sent into the system. This isn't a big deal, since you're probably going to be forwarding items the same day you're purchasing, and you can also see the source copy of the e-mail from Shoeboxed's interface. But it's something to keep in mind if you're planning to forward a bunch of old purchase confirmations.

The receipts by e-mail service is completely free, although other parts of Shoeboxed, like its paper scanning, and mobile photo transcription require signing up for a paid monthly plan.

Previously: Shoeboxed now tags scanned receipts for you

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