Guidelines for Electronic Receipts

One of the great advantages of streamlining expense reporting and purchase orders is the ability to go paperless! Following some simple guidelines for electronic receipts your organizations can easily save trees, save time and stop worrying about losing copies!

There are many business software tools to help you and your organization stay organized that allow you to record expenses electronically.  There is no need to keep filling shoeboxes with receipts or to keep losing out on personal reimbursement because of lost receipts.  It can be as easy as taking a picture and uploading the receipt directly into the system your organization chooses to use.

So once you take a client out for a meal, need to expense your trip, or need to be reimbursed for company supplies, you can file your expense from your mobile phone or a tablet.  Imagine getting out of a taxi and being able to immediately take a picture of your receipt and have your expense processed for reimbursement before you finish a coffee.

But wait! Accountants and CFO’s worry about a paperless procurement or purchasing process due to regulatory concerns from tax authorities, particularly if the tax man comes knocking on the door.  There is that fear that the government or some anonymous auditor will come asking for your shoebox of receipts.  It might be time to go over some guidelines for electronic receipts to clear up some confusion.

Does the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) and IRS (Internal Revenue Services) require you to keep all paper records associated with electronic records?

In a nutshell, no. Both the IRS and CRA have published some guidelines for electronic receipts. If you use Procurify or any other cloud service to take pictures of invoices, receipts etc, that should be sufficient (following established guidelines and recommendations) for tax/audit purposes.
Guidelines and further information can be found here:

CRA – http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/kprc/typs-eng.html
IRS –  http://business.time.com/2013/04/02/guidelines-for-electronic-tax-receipts/

*In no way does this constitute official tax or legal advice.

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