Receipts automation

From Eitan Burcat
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Problem:

  • Dealing with receipts is tedious:
    • The information gets printed out or sent by email in a non-standard format, and has to be typed in again by the recipient in order for it to get used.
    • Current scanning abilities (OCR / Mechanical Turk) are error prone.
  • Information on receipts can be useful for:
    • Taxes
    • Budgeting
    • Personal data mining
  • There's no standard for a digital way to transfer the information from the issuer to the recipient.
  • There seems to be little incentive by some sides to help automate the process.

There seems to be an easy way to solve this:

  • Link from the receipt (using a URL / QR-Code) - to a standard format that contains the receipt's information - digitally on the web.
  • Use this standard format by the recipient in his different systems. This way, manual error-prone data entry can be prevented. With a click on the link - the correct data will be fed to the recipient's system.
  • Note: automating the process could lead to privacy concerns, that today's manual processes is obfuscating

Example 1

  • I get a receipt from Office Depot with a QR-Code on it.
  • The QR-Code contains a link to the web. On the target page on the web - a JSON format of the receipt appears digitally.
  • I scan the QR-Code with my FreshBooks iOS app. The JSON is fed into my accounting system.

Example 2

  • I get a receipt by email from Orange.
  • In the email I have a link to a JSON version of the receipt.
  • When I press the link - a Chrome extension recognizes the page, and feeds the information into my FreshBooks accounting system.