Scanning/Adding Receipts: Why?
Hey YNAB Forum-ers (okay, that needs work...)!
A pretty common request that comes through the feedback & feature request channels is the ability to be able to scan/attach a picture of a receipt to a particular transaction.
So we've been curious for more detail on what that would allow you to do or make easier for you. Is it strictly an organizing need? Tax reporting? Small-business use? Something else entirely?
Hearing more detail about how people want to use it would help contextualize this one—thanks!
I'm sure this has been said before, but the thread is long for me to find something to upvote so I'll say it in my own words. Note that I am new to ynab.
Sometimes I make big shopping trips to places like Costco, where I make hundreds of dollars of purchases in wildly different categories.
Recently we moved, so in one trip we spent $700 on home furnishings and food. In other trips, I might buy both clothes groceries (enough for each to matter to my budget) from the same store. So what I want isn't receipt scanning and storage, but receipt parsing, like expensify, so I can seamlessly select a category for each item. Of course, I'd suggest using an API from a company like expensify for that, if possible, and probably charging extra for the features.
If anyone from YNAB sees this, you guys should consider working with VeryFi's APIs to integrate their receipt scanning tech into YNAB somehow. It's scary accurate and fast, and provides line-item itemization of receipts and invoices. It's amazing. I moved my receipt scanning and archive from Expensify over to VeryFi and am very pleased with the improvement in performance and functionality.
Look to Veryfi. It is amazing and works with QBO and Xero etc. for biz. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it could also sync with YNAB and I could use it with my personal side to get things organized! I love to dream :)
But seriously YNAB Gods... get ahold of Veryfi and figure out how to make an integration. YNAB + Veryfi = LOVE!!
Attaching images of receipts is my most urgent "want." I'd use it for storing receipts connected to tax-deductible expenses on my personal tax return.
Scanning wouldn't be necessary. All the transaction data (except for splits) already gets automatically imported into YNAB. Scanning would only be helpful if it automatically did splits for line-items, but I know that would be technically challenging.
1) Open YNAB to review expenses;
2) See several Amazon purchases;
3) Ask, "How should these be categorized?" (No idea at a glance, because only order number and amount are shown.)
4) Search through email to connect charge with receipt;
5) Categorize accordingly;
6) Repeat for all Amazon purchases;
7) Hate the tedium;
8) Wonder, "Why can't I just forward receipts to YNAB for easy matching?"
For me, the biggest thing is healthcare related receipts. Between FSAs and HSAs, saving receipts is a must (thats just one use case - there are plenty more in this 2 year long post I would also align with). Going to the local pharmacy to pick up a script along with some groceries (or just the Rx, doesn't matter) and having that in the app to refer back to for both categorizing and using for reimbursement to FSA or HSA (I have both) would be great (plus all the other reasons posted in the last 2 years). Better than the shoe box I have right now anyway.
I get the sense this is not a YNAB priority however (two year discussion with no real commitment either way). If the hesitation is storage cost related, perhaps set a limit and then charge extra if you want more space (just like other cloud services).
Faness one suggestion might be to allow for hyperlinks within the memo lines. Right now, what I do for my receipts is add them to my google drive and then put a link to them in the memo - but then to go to the image I have to copy/paste the URL, as opposed to being able to click on it. It won't allow for the receipts directly in YNAB, but will at least make it slightly more user friendly for the work around?
Hot topic. I appreciate that YNAB is listening. My main use case would be for taxes (e.g. deducting some expenses). Maybe instead of storing the data, perhaps a solution can be done leveraging a cloud provider that people have (e.g. Dropbox)? Trello has a nice example of Dropbox integration, for instance. You can “attach” a document to a card (nothing more than a Dropbox link really), but the user experience is as if that document is attached to the note.
I'd also like having this feature. My use case at the moment is that I don't keep paper versions of receipts, and keeping the picture in YNAB seems to be the most appropriate place for it. It will also help if I am splitting transactions at a separate time from when I have attached the receipt. Thanks