Why do we ask for receipts – can’t we tell what you’ve bought?

receipts blog header

Why do we ask for receipts – can’t we tell what you’ve bought?

You flop down on the couch, put your feet up on the coffee table, reach for that cup of tea, and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s Friday afternoon, and your work is done… and then your silence is interrupted by an email from us, sending your outstanding queries for the week.

You scroll though, and you can see things like Google, a coffee shop, an amount to one of your regular suppliers … you may at this point be wondering why we can’t figure out what these purchases were, and why we bother you to ask about them.


And we get that.


You’ve come to cloud accountants because you want things to be automated, without masses of paperwork, and, most importantly, you don’t want the faff of dealing with these things yourself.


But there is a good reason.


Even though your records are kept in the cloud, HMRC still requires proof of what your purchases are, and most especially when you want to be reclaiming the VAT on them.

This means that although we do know, of course we do, why you’ve paid a certain supplier, we are asking for the invoices to help you get as much back from these expenses as possible.


So how can we work together to minimise this?


  1. Get in the habit of snapping a picture of any and all receipts as soon as you get them, and uploading them to Dext. This takes 10 seconds!
  2. Those recurring invoices that are emailed to you? – Modify the settings so that they also get emailed directly into your ‘costs in’ Dext address, so they’re feeding in immediately
  3. Ask for receipts, and especially VAT receipts wherever possible. We know that many places are paperless now, and don’t want to print receipts, and that’s amazing! So again, get it emailed over, and get it sent straight into Dext.
  4. Give us access! Whilst we don’t want to be snooping in your private business, if there are log ins you can give us, so that we can extract information we need, without having to go through the middle man (you!) then please let us in.


All in all, please remember that we are only ever asking for info in order to help you out – to help you save VAT and tax, at the end of the day.

When it comes to accounts, information is power, and, as well as being helpful for tax-saving, having as good of an idea as possible of exactly where and why your money is going, the better we can work to get you to the places you want to be.

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