Skip to main content
Category

Resources

Keep your restaurant ahead of the game with technology

By Resources

Keep your restaurant ahead of the game with technology

 

No matter how big or small, running a restaurant is tough work. From front of house all the way to restaurant manager, you have a million and one things to keep track of, and you can’t afford hold ups or mistakes because it could cost you a lot of money.

With the recent pandemic, the hospitality industry was hit hard. With restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs closed, we saw incredible developments in the sector. With DIY meal kits, home delivery services and even meal subscriptions, food and drink venues were able to adapt and change to meet the future.

It makes sense to keep up with the times, so why haven’t more restaurants moved to automated expense management?

Capture Expense works to streamline and automate business expenses through advanced coding and AI technology. With the front end being simple and intuitive to use, it is straightforward to implement and deploy throughout your business. Being made from the bottom up in the UK, we have full control over every aspect of the software and so do you. With the ability to cater to any need you may have, Capture Expense stands out from the cookie cutter expense management software on the market today.

The hospitality industry is a fast paced and complicated one, and you can remove another headache by using our software to take care of all the things you don’t want to be spending on, such as approving expenses, calculating business mileage, creating reports, and checking credit cards.

With our expense tracking app, you can easily upload and update expenses using your camera to take photos of receipts. These are uploaded and automatically processed, where the data is used to fill expense reports so you don’t have to spend the time manually typing in any amounts. The digital storage of receipts also means you can save time and space, eliminating the need for clunky filing systems and spending lots of time searching through by hand. You can search through the files by date and time as well as the content itself to find exactly what you need.

Worried about moving a lot of data to a new system? Have no fear! Capture Expense integrates all major Accounting, Payroll, HR systems. Once the expense reports are fully approved, administrators can integrate these transactions into their chosen back-office system, or multiple systems if applicable.

We support all major accounting and payroll software; we also support BACS payments. There are two types of integration, File Export/Import with the correct file format and specification which is the default approach, then real-time API integration, either your existing system or requirements determines the integration approach.

As well as integration going out, we also provide information to be fed in, such as users, projects, cost centres. We can also pull user record in from existing HR or other existing staff record systems.

Spending on the company credit card is also made easy as we utilise Open Banking, which allows real-time and direct integration to major UK banks. Cardholders are notified when their statement is available, Capture Expense automatically generates card expenses for the card holder to review and submit for approval.

 The process works separately to cash expenses ensuring the account balance each month can be reconciled with the total number of expenses that are generated in the process. Furthermore, these transactions are already categorised and with receipts already captured and stored in the software, the whole process can be automated.

This makes card expenses an extremely efficient to process, using Open Banking with Capture Expense removes any remaining integration tasks such as aggregated statement uploads and saves additional time for card holders and finance.

Travelling for work?  Capture Expense uses the Google API Distance Service to support claimants as they raise travel claims whether they travel by private or company vehicle, bicycle, or as a passenger.

A start and end address with any number of waypoints in-between and the distance is returned by the service. A number of options can be set including: avoiding motorways or toll roads, the service also uses the date and time of the journey to determine the most accurate distance. We default in miles but can set as km if required.

This ensure there isn’t an over-claim for travel costs, however if you do allow the claimant to update their own distance, we still compare the value with the calculated distance and determined the % difference to highlight at approval stage.

We care deeply about your experience with our product, as we want to make your life as easy as possible. We know one size doesn’t fit all, so your input is highly valued in creating a product that is best for you and your unique needs. Listen to one of our most recent reviews to hear for yourself: “The support we have received from James is fantastic; he always responds promptly with answers to any queries you may have. It is apparent how important it is to James and the team to improve Capture Expense continuously and so any feedback provided by us is taken on board and almost always implemented. You are never waiting too long for new features to be released. If there have ever been any minor problems, then these are fixed extremely quickly.”

Be it big enterprise or small start up, we are competitively priced to ensure you get the best value for money.

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today for a free demo and help your restaurant take a step into the future.

Sustainability and the Future

By Resources

Sustainability and the Future

 

With the recent coverage of COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, we felt it was only right we share some of the things we do and provide for your business to be as sustainable as possible.

As you are well aware, sustainability is incredibly important to our planet, as well as ourselves. We have access to finite resources, and our consumption and use of said resources is directly contributing to the degradation of the place we call home. Failure to address these issues will be disastrous, and at Capture Expense we feel it is our duty to aid you on your journey to a more sustainable future with the use of our software. This benefits any sector, from telecom, to construction, to IT, to manufacturing.

Business travel is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and businesses are under more and more pressure as well as increased regulations to measure and report energy use as well as providing plans to reduce emissions. Not only do investors have a vested interest, but so does society, with a forever increasing awareness and focus on sustainability. Providing clear cut data about your carbon emissions not only aids the planet but can increase your profitability as consumers are choosing the sustainable option over unsustainable alternatives.

Capture Expense can aid you in your journey with our CO2 calculator. This can be used to track CO2 produced from business travel, letting you know what carbon offset you need to make, or just to help you keep track of your impact.

This is an invaluable tool which is easy to use and provided to all Capture Expense customers. If you would like to learn more about this, contact us today.

Transforming from manual expense management to automated enables decision making to be at its most optimal, driving efficiencies and saving energy and time. Having all your expenses filed digitally means you can better keep track of overheads and can help you identify and focus on products or services purchased which are wasteful, allowing you to focus on areas for improvement, positively affecting your impact on the environment. Smart categorisation of expenses means you can easily view areas of most spend and put you on the path to identifying if it is necessary or not.

The software we provide at Capture Expense is in itself built on these sustainable principles. As our code is written in house from the bottom up, we ensure the code and architecture consumes as little resources as possible, which helps reduce carbon emissions. Although we often think being online is greener than working physically, even the internet and digital technologies have an environmental impact. These processes require energy to run, but where you source your energy is another key thing to think about. Do you use renewable sources, such as wind or hydro? This is just something else to think about in your businesses journey towards a greener future.

At Capture Expense we are dedicated towards creating a more sustainable work environment for all, so if you have any special needs in regards to sustainability, contact us and we can discuss your requirements.

Is good expense management limited to certain industries?

By Resources

Is good expense management limited to certain industries?

The short answer is no, expense management is not limited to large corporate entities, and here’s why.

So you’re a small business and you’re quietly growing. You are working hard to establish yourself and sell your product. You only have a certain number of hours in the day, and you want to make sure your time is spent doing the most important things. You want to make all the boring things like spreadsheets and banking to be as easy as possible, as your time is best spent with customers than doing admin. What can you do?

An easy change you can implement is using an expense management software. Small business expenses management is something that is usually left on the backburner, as something to improve when you have time. But the problem is, when will you find the time? With Capture Expense, our dedicated team will work with you one on one to comfortably set up your company on our system. 

You don’t want to be wasting money where it could be better invested elsewhere. Thankfully Capture Expense is one of the most competitively priced pieces of expense management software out there. And whilst we keep our prices low, our dedication to you is second to none.

What makes us stand out is the quality of our software. We are certified by the official UK wide government certification, Cyber Essentials, ensuring we use the best practises to guard against common cyber security threats. We also use the most advanced Cloud infrastructure available through Microsoft Azure. Our investment in technology means our customers data is protected and they can have the best experience. And finally, we are registered with the Information Commissioners Office, which means we are contractually committed to delivering our services in compliance with the GDPR.

We also pride ourselves on our responsiveness to our feedback. If you need a certain feature that is specific to you and your company, we will work around the clock to deliver it to you. Just listen to one of our happy customers for proof:

“It is apparent how important it is to James and the team to improve Capture Expense continuously and so any feedback provided by us is taken on board and almost always implemented.” – Stacy Hemmens, Business Systems & Procedures Supervisor.

Another great feature unique to us is our use of Online Banking. What this basically means is you no longer have to worry about banks taking days to process transactions, as Open Banking streamlines the process, and with our partner Moneyhub’s Banking API, you can choose the bank of you choice within the app when expensing business credit cards easily.

Moving to automated expense management can be a little daunting, which is why one of our dedicated consultants will work with you from start to full implementation to get you where you need to be. We also provide full and unlimited support at no further cost throughout the entire lifetime of the product.

As you and your company grows with your new found time being put back into the work you want to do, you will find the number of user records increasing as you gain employees. Capture Expense offers a discounted model as your usage increases which ensures the cost continues to work for your business as you grow.

So what are you waiting for? Get in contact with us today to request a demo and see how good it is for yourself!

Does HMRC Accept Digital Receipts?

By Resources

Does HMRC Accept Digital Receipts?

Well, the short answer is YES! but with a few exceptions:

Holding onto bulky Paper Receipts

Are you still keeping paper copies of receipts? Well, nothing wrong with that, but there are far easier ways of capturing and storing receipts.

These are called expense management solutions or expense reporting software, which deliver more and more value as they evolve and as technology becomes available and easier to leverage.

Software is typically mobile ready, as today, many use Mobile-First Design which is the better way to approach online product development. One reason is that the use of mobile devices overtook desktop computers in 2017, with 56% of the internet traffic coming from mobile, compared to 44% from desktop.

Mobile expenses provides all staff with a fast and easy way to store receipts digitally, which is to use the camera to snap and forget. This not only automatically stores a digitally copy of the receipt, but it can generate the expense details ready to submit, saving more time and even more convenience, helping change behavior for the better.

Capture Expense uses a cutting-edge Receipt Assist Service which combines AI, Machine Learning with OCR to deliver a 98% accuracy when taking a photo and uploading it to our solution, the data extraction happens in real-time in less then 3 seconds. This accuracy % is not possible with OCR alone which delivers typically around 75% of the time.

So, HMRC will, and do, accept scanned copies or photos of receipts and there’s no better way to, not only manage receipts, but automate the process using a simple cloud-based solution.

There are only a few exceptions

Any documents that have Tax (that is not Vat) must be kept in their original form, one of the most common example is an end-of-year bank interest document, supporting your Tax return and understanding is there’s any gain or loss.

These type of documents must been kept in their original form regardless of whether you receive a paper copy or an electronic copy as PDF. What it means is you can’t store a different format or version such as an image.

Don’t forget the back of the receipt!

Remember, if there’s information on the back of the receipt then you must save both sides, easy enough to take 2 photos, but make sure the software does allow you to save more then 1 receipts per expense.

Storing Digital Receipts

If you are moving to digital receipts make sure the storage server has sufficient redundancy (backup routine, frequency and failover) ask for information about how the data and images are stored and accessed. Its important to have a fully auditable system, with each stage of the process, from raising to approving an expense report. HMRC will require you to retain these records for a number of years, so you should be confident that they’re backed up securely.

Expense Management Solutions

With more and more options offering what looks to be similar functionality, how do you choose? Remember, not all systems are created equal, regardless of what some websites say. We can help by providing a report and a check list of items to consider when buying expense software for your organisation. I will say that if you’re based in the UK then its still far more advantageous to choose a UK supplier who will best support you with a local data centre, UK banking integration, HMRC compliance and UK regulations as standard.

Capture Expense provides a leading product and as a company we’re always happy to discuss all your options, not simply from the our own software perspective. Some of our consultants have 20 years experience in the industry and we’re always happy to discuss technology and finance more generally.

AI and Open Banking, the future of Expense & Spend Management

By Resources

AI and Open Banking, the future of Expense & Spend Management

Only half of businesses automate expenses.

If you currently use software to manage company expenses then you’re one of only 53% of businesses doing so; it can be a time-consuming process, many who use their own manual system for collecting and recording staff expenses can take around 8 days out of each month.

Thankfully there are solutions available in the UK that can manage up to a 75% saving, by reducing processing down to 2 days.

Capture Expense is one of them, a progressive web app that’s been built from the ground up by a team focusing on delivering maximum value, through modern, engaging design, as well as leveraging the very latest technology.

Corporate Card Expenses – Integration with All Major Banks

Here at Capture Expense we’ve spent 6 months on two R&D projects, which together, can almost fully automate the entire process of cash and card expenses.  If you’re familiar with card expenses some systems use electronic statements per account per month to upload into the software, staff then able to attach receipts, select a category and complete the form before submitting.

Capture Expense has now replaced this using Open Banking, a UK standard for providing banking services to third-party businesses. We provide a transaction feed directly to the card-holders, whether there’s one or several accounts, which automatically generates expense reports during the month.

They’re available through both expense mobile or desktop and as expenses are generated an alert is sent to each relative card-holder, indicating their expenses are ready to be reviewed and submitted.

Receipt Assist with Artificial Intelligence

We were an early adopter of Optical Character Recognition (OCR), implemented back in 2017 which enabled the software to ‘read’ the receipt as it’s captured via the mobile device. The software could then automatically populate the expense form, unfortunately the technology has a number of limitations which is made worse as we can’t fully control the quality of the receipt image; if you’ve ever used OCR for receipts its a feature that quote often requires manual update or correction by the user.

We quickly moved our attention elsewhere, as such, we’ve been working of delivering an entirely new and cutting-edge approach with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning that recognises the receipt structure and text format, whether its an image, PDF or even hand-written.

So far it’s incredibly accurate, achieving a 94% accuracy rate over the first 1,000 images we’ve passed through it. A great improvement on the 73% achieved using OCR alone.

Combining AI and OCR is our first step towards providing full AI services within the accounting process and the analysis of company spend in general. We’re spending time developing ways to use AI that will improve our software and services for you, just sign up below to up-to-date on our progress.

Expenses that are automatically itemised

As transactions are received from the bank they are categorised and receipts are matched with our auto-assist service. As Receipts are uploaded by card-holders OCR reads the merchant, date, currency, amount and description, together we highlight what information has or hasn’t been matched as positive or negativeicon which the card-holder can simply approve before submitting.

Card expenses have never been so easy!

Card Limit Notifications – even more value

If you set spend limits for card-holders they’ll receive an alert if they reach certain thresholds, these can be configured, but default limits are 50%, 75%, 90% of the limit. In many cases this helps to reduce spend but also keeps the claimant informed of the issue.

AI and Accounting… almost there

This is great step forward and we’re just getting started on a journey into the introduction of AI into expense management and accounting generally. We look forward to sharing further news but if you’d like to get involved, become a partner or use Capture Expense for your business, simply fill-in your details below and we’ll be in-touch shortly.

VAT on Mileage and Fuel Rates

By Resources

VAT on Mileage and Fuel Rates

 

Capture Expense stores company/private vehicles tax and fuel rates which allows the software to automatically calculate and store the correct mileage claims for staff as well as provide information for P11D forms.

Approved Business Mileage Rates

If you make expense payments to employees above a certain amount, you’ll have to report them to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and deduct and pay tax. Mileage Allowance Payments (MAPs) are what you pay your employee for using their own vehicle for business journeys.

You’re allowed to pay your employee a certain amount of MAPs each year without having to report them to HMRC, this is called an ‘approved amount’.

Capture Expense stores the approved rates and you can generate a reports which shows how much you’ve paid to staff versus the approved amount, which is determined by simply multiplying the employee’s travel miles for the year by the rate per mile for the vehicle. The total includes any type of vehicle they’ve used. The rates below were correct in 2020.

Type of vehicle   10k miles   >10k miles
Cars and vans         45p               25p   Motorcycles            24p               24p   Bikes                       20p                20p  As an example: Your employee travels 12,000 business miles in their car – the approved amount for the year would be £5,000 (10,000 x 45p plus 2,000 x 25p).

You can generate a report from Capture Expense which will show the amounts paid, if they’ve been paid anything above the approved amount, HMRC can be notified using form P11D.

Anything below the ‘approved amount’ then you won’t have to report to HMRC or pay tax, but your employee will be able to get tax relief (called Mileage Allowance Relief, or MAR) on the unused balance of the approved amount. You can make separate optional reports to HMRC of any such unused balances under a scheme called the Mileage Allowance Relief Optional Reporting Scheme (MARORS). Contact HMRC for more information here: https://bit.ly/3bGmPTj
 Advisory fuel rates
  Advisory fuel rates are the recommended repayment amounts when you are reclaiming the fuel element on business mileage. Including:
 – The amount of VAT to reclaim on business mileage in a personal vehicle- How much employers can reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars

The latest advisory fuel rates can be found here: https://bit.ly/2SSgOdG VAT and Mileage
  The advisory fuel rates are inclusive of VAT, so for example:
 VAT at 20% and advisory fuel rate being 21p per mile for a distance of 100 miles. The gross amount would be £21.00, which would equal 120% of the fuel cost, so the VAT element is calculated by dividing the amount by 6, thus VAT mileage amount would be £3.50. Expense mileage reclaim in a personal car:   45p x 100    =  £45.00
 (21p x 100) / 6  =  £3.50  Net     £41.50    Tax     £  3.50     Gross £45.00
 Expense mileage reclaim in a company car:
   21p x 100          =  £21.00
 (21p x 100) / 6  =  £3.50

 Net     £17.50     Tax     £  3.50    Gross  £21.00