This post is for anyone who finds him or herself traveling for business and occasionally has to scramble to find a vanishing receipt when it’s time to submit expense reports to get reimbursed. I didn’t think I was going to have to write this post, but after coming across several colleagues who were missing this information, many more senior than myself, I realized it was my duty to spread the gospel that is Genius Scan (Genius Scan + if you’re feeling fancy).
So what is Genius Scan? It’s a handy app, available both on iPhone and Android operating systems, where you can use your camera as a scanner and then push the scanned image in PDF or JPEG format to wherever the appropriate destination may be. If you want the free ad-supported version, then you’ll be moving your files from your phone to your PC via email, which is fine. I did that for a while myself, but if you’re willing to break the bank for $2.99, you can get a few “cloud” storage type of options that make this process more efficient where you can upload your scans directly from the app. So far, I’ve been using Dropbox for this purpose, and I must say, that feature alone was worth the price of the app for me. Genius Scan is also compatible with Evernote, Box, and Google Drive (formerly known as Google Docs). But wait! There’s more! Genius Scan+ also has the ability to print to an Airplay printer if you’re craving a hard copy for your archives. I’ve never used that feature but it has a certain “cool factor” to be able to print from your phone.
Genius Scan is a business traveler’s dream come true. It takes me 1.3 seconds or less to snap a picture, and then I never have to worry about the receipt again. I was first introduced to this app when I was working at a client that informed our team it wanted receipts for all expenses if we wanted to be reimbursed for our expenses while traveling. When I say everything, I mean absolutely EVERYTHING, including the $1.45 muffin I got into the habit of eating every morning (chocolate in case you’re wondering). This took me from a per diem I could use at my discretion and an average of 2 receipts per week (hotel and parking my car at the airport) that I needed to track to no per diem and roughly 15 receipts per week. You could call it an administrative nightmare – multiply all of that by 2 for a given pay period, and the odds of losing a receipt or forgetting to ask for one at some point is not all that unlikely. Now I realize the cost of a muffin or cup of coffee isn’t going to break the bank, but that’s not the point. Even if you remember to collect receipts from every place you decide to have a snack while you’re on the road, it’s still annoying to carry all of that paper around and key in all of those transactions to get reimbursed. It’s still not an ideal use of time to get the expense reports ready, but life is much simpler having this app at my disposal.
Lastly, I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t point that according to Genius Scan, this app has more than 2 million users, which is a bit peculiar to me since in a room full of 10-12 people that travel all the time with receipts on top of receipts, I’m the only one that had the app. I felt embarrassed for them. I hope you’re part of the 2 million already, but if you’re not, do yourself a favor and avoid the unnecessary shame. You’ll thank me later.