Everyday there are new apps being introduced to give us tools to make our lives, both personal and professional, a little easier. One that has recently caught our attention is an app called Swipefin. It is the first entirely mobile receipt tracking and tax preparation tool that has been created with small business owners and independent contractors in mind.
Swipefin, first released in November 2014, is designed to ease the tax preparation process for both tax professionals and their clients. It is a free app available for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch). It is currently not available to Android users. Swipefin can track expenses charged to debit cards and credit cards, using a proprietary algorithm to identify the category of the expense.
Setup is simple, requiring a user to setup an account, followed by logging into the user’s bank accounts through the app. Once the bank accounts have been linked, transactions will import into the app. The user can see the transactions and swipe left if it is an individual expenses or swipe right for business expenses. To edit the transaction, a user taps the screen and then can edit the transaction data and even add a picture of the receipt. Edits can be made to the merchant, date, amount, category, and notes.
Users can email the data for the year to an accountant for tax reporting. The accountant would receive an Excel document that would show a summary of spending by category. Individual tabs are populated for each category, which show every transaction that hit the category.
Swipefin is a significant improvement over a box of receipts, given the reporting capabilities and ease of use. Independent contractors and small business owners will have backup for their business expenses and basic reports showing the breakdown of expenses by category. This breakdown will also help tax professionals, as it will provide the data in an organized fashion.
Security is important whenever bank accounts are involved. The vice president of Swipefin has stated they use the same technology as banks to secure accounts. Swipefin is a ‘read-only’ app, so it cannot make any bank transactions. Also, the app logs the user out whenever the app is closed.
BSSF does not endorse the use of any type of software or apps. We are just informing you that such an app is available.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steven is a Staff Accountant Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz. He works with a variety of closely held businesses and nonprofit organizations.