What is Dext and Why Do We Love It?
This article will quickly explain what Dext is, how it works and the benefits of using it. This isn’t a paid advertisement by any means; we just really like the software!
What is Dext (Formerly Receipt Bank)?
Dext (formerly "Receipt Bank") is a software application that allows business owners to electronically capture and store their receipts. Supporting documentation is securely stored electronically so it’s available on any computer or connected device. No more need for the shoe-box full of receipts.
After making a purchase, the business owner uploads the receipt to Dext. The software then uses optical character recognition to extract information from the document. No more manual entry.
Extracting the data helps eliminate user error. Dext will separate out:
- Date of purchase
- Where the purchase was made (supplier name)
- Amount of purchase
- Sales tax paid
- Currency of purchase if applicable
Now that all of this information is recorded electronically, Receipt Bank can be connected to bookkeeping software such as Xero to really streamline things. We’ll talk more about how this works below.
How Dext Works (General Overview)
We’ll start with the general idea and then dive into a more detailed explanation of how to use Receipt Bank. The general steps are:
- Make a purchase
- Submit the receipt to Dext
- Dext extracts information from the receipt
- Publish the transaction from Dext to your bookkeeping software
- Recycle the paper document
Or here’s a prettier explanation of how it works courtesy of the Dext website.
Dext and Joe at The Drake
Joe is having a beer at the Drake with a client. Joe pays for the beer and the bartender asks if he would like a copy of the receipt. Joe says “yes” so the bartender hands him a copy. Joe then proceeds to take a photo of the receipt and leaves the paper on the bar.
The bartender gives him a funny look as Joe walks away, confident that the receipt is securely stored electronically.
How to Use Dext (Details)
Now let’s dive into the details of how to use Dext. It’s not complicated, but there are a few different ways it can be used.
There are three ways to upload receipts to Receipt Bank:
- Take a Photo - Use the phone application (iOS/Android) to take a photo of the paper receipt
- Email - Email the receipt as an attachment
- Web Application - Use the web application to upload the receipt directly from your computer
Take a Photo with the Phone Application
For paper receipts, the easiest method is to snap a photo with the Receipt Bank application on your phone. You can then add any comments or description that you like before submitting, or just hit submit.
That’s it, the document is in processing and is going through optical character recognition to extract the data. Here’s a quick video on how to do this.
This video 👆 says "Receipt Bank" which has since been renamed to Dext.
Pro Tip - If you have multiple receipts to take photos of, use Multi-mode to quickly photograph each one in succession.
Email the Document as an Attachment
Dext also allows you to email in attached copies of supporting documents. During setup you’ll be given a unique email address that can be used to upload your receipts. You can customize the email address but it always ends in @dext.me
Attach the supporting document and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org (or whatever the unique email address is that you specified).
Again, that’s it - the document is now being processed in Dext.
This method is great for invoices or receipts that are sent to your email inbox. You don’t need to print them out or click save; just forward them to your Dext account.
Pro Tip - If you have recurring receipts sent to your inbox (software subscriptions etc.), you can set those to auto-forward to Dext so you don’t ever have to think about it.
Upload Documents Directly from Your Computer
The last method to upload receipts is to use the Dext web application to upload documents directly from your computer.
Login to your Dext account and click the green “Add Items” link. You’ll then be able to drag and drop items from your computer to upload them to Dext.
Pro Tip - This method is great when you have one or multiple files stored on your computer. You can upload a large batch of documents all at once.
How Dext Helps
There are a few key ways that Dext helps to simplify and speed up bookkeeping and document storage.
- Claim every expense - You’ll stop losing paperwork so you can claim every expense and reduce your tax bill.
- Eliminate data entry - Optical character recognition reads your receipts so you can save time and avoid user error.
- Store documents securely - No more storing paperwork in a jumbled mess. Documents are securely stored online so you can easily find them.
- Expense reports made easy - Dext helps you get reimbursed quickly with expense reports.
We use Dext for Avalon’s bookkeeping and we implement it for all of our clients. It is a great tool that can help simplify the many bits of red tape that are required when running a business.