Shoeboxed Australia increasing prices from 1st June 2014

shoeboxed price increasesFollowing my recent review of Shoeboxed (in which I have to admit I was amazed with the service) I have just received an email indicating that price changes are coming and on the Classic plan which is a great plan for those of you that would like to use it for personal use, this brings an ~25% increase on the cost (you can see the full comparison table below).

I can happily say I am still loving Shoeboxed and will be sticking with them despite the increase. Shoeboxed has informed me (via Twitter) that it is their first price increase in four years and they will honour current prices for month to month plans until the end of the year (if you sign up before 31st May 2014) or annual packages until 30th June 2014. So if you have been considering giving Shoeboxed a try,  now is the time to get a trial, see if you like it and lock in an annual plan before the 30th June or the current monthly pricing until 31st December 2014. I personally feel this is a more than generous offer to lock in the current price for long enough to account for the price increase and a single price increase in four  years is not bad at all.

Shoeboxed does have a referral program which gets both the referrer (me) and referee (you) 10% off the price for 12 months and  (and yes if you click through to Shoeboxed from this post it will be as a referral) so that is one other way to get an additional discount for your first 12 months (and for me too :D).

So if you would like to give them a go, have a read of my review and give them a whirl. Now is definitely the time to lock in some cheaper prices.

Changes at a glance:

 Lite (<1st June)Lite New PriceClassic (<1st June)Classic New PriceBusiness (<1st June)Business new PriceExecutive (<1st June)Executive New Price
Monthly Price$19.95$16.95$39.95$49.95$99.95$129.95$177.77$249.95
Annual Price$199.00$169.00$399.00$499.00$999.00$1299.00$1777.00$2499.00
Per doc overage price$0.66$0.44$0.44$0.385$0.385$0.33$0.33$0.275

Full details of the price changes available on Shoeboxed’s Site

 

Squirrel Street – How all of my bills and receipts finally found a home

Squirrel Street (formerly Shoeboxed Australia) may have just taken me from being 100% reactive at tax time to 100% proactive and that (in my books) is a massive win! Although it has an unusual name Squirrel Street takes all the receipts out of your “shoeboxes” and makes them accessible online. For me, I hope that this will make preparing my tax return  more straightforward and streamlined and I may just be on the way to a 100% paperless tax return.

A major benefit of Squirrel Street is that their scanned receipts are Australian Tax Office (ATO) accepted, so for those of you that are Australian and submit a tax return to the ATO each year, Squirrel Street is an accepted storage mechanism for your receipts. For those of you outside Australia and New Zealand, Shoeboxed US also operates in the US and Canada as well so you are covered there. As a guy I can say that my tax return is usually the last thing on my mind each year, I find myself scrounging for my receipts, donation receipts, work related expenses and all the other things that I need to put together my tax return each year.

I also tend to submit my tax return online at the *very* last minute possible before the deadline as it takes me so long to set aside a day to hunt down all the receipts… so anything that makes my life easy is definitely a win. I found Shoeboxed some time ago, which since rebranded in Australia to Squirrel Street (to be honest I have no idea how I stumbled across it) but the idea of being able to shove all my receipts, bills and other documents into an envelope and have them magically appear online for me to search, access and categorise sounded like a dream come true.

For the first month I decided on the Business $99.95AUD plan which came with 500 “documents”. This includes documents that you mail in, scan and upload yourself (that you opt to have automagically processed) and snap and upload with the Squirrel Street Mobile App. This was more than enough for me to clear out the last year of backlog (I figured this financial year was more than enough) and get a really good feel for the service. With the exception of the occasional receipt that I have to re-label (as the receipt may have been entered with the company name of “Vendor” and another “Vendor Australia” where sometimes they could be one or the other) I have to say I am really happy with the results.

I have also set up a forward that takes the document details and automatically uploads them into Evernote to enable extremely easy searching of all the receipts via another mechanism (and I treat this as a good backup).

After you mail in a series of receipts you will start to see them appear in your account classified including the category (which can be automatically or manually set), total amount, total tax, date and company/person that was paid:

Shoeboxed Example Receipts Screenshot

As you can see from the above image, there are numerous categorisations, the Yellow categories are ones that I have added and assigned to a particular store/vendor that I want then to be listed under, it will also tell you (where it is listed on the receipt) whether it was paid by Cash/Credit or Debit Card/Cheque etc.

There are a range of other great features and I have to say I am really looking forward to having more of a play and finding out just how good the searching and reporting features are come tax time. As soon as we hit June 31st I am going to be giving Squirrel Street a run for its money to see just how easy it can make my life for submitting a tax return and keeping all the receipts on file for my records.

There are lots of other little features that I have yet to get my hands dirty with, I have dabbled a little bit in searching and sorting and uploading business cards as well (which is insanely easy from the mobile app). Support has been extremely helpful and been able to explain things to me when I ran into some early issues understanding how the email integration worked.

Why would you:

  1. You find yourself struggling to keep track of your receipts/invoices/bills throughout the year
  2. You want the time saver of just stuffing all your receipts into an envelope, posting them in, and having them appear in an account for you to categorise, search and archive
  3. You run a small business and need what you could almost define as an online bookkeeper
  4. You would like to better prepare for audits
  5. You would like to share your receipts electronically with your accountant (Classic plan and higher)

Why wouldn’t you:

  1. The price is something that people may be put off by, I guess it is one of those things you need to weigh the convenience against the price
  2. You prefer not to store your receipts and invoices online.

The two things I liked most:

  1. Being able to set up email rules on my mail account to automatically send monthly invoices from all my online subscriptions straight into Shoeboxed without any intervention from me
  2. Receiving free envelopes that can be fillled with receipts and sent back (available on the Classic or higher plans) that then magically appear in my online account (you can then opt to have everything shredded or instead mailed back to you). Correction: New envelopes are posted out after the old ones are received and processed

The two things that I liked least:

  1. User interface was a little confusing in the beginning, even as a geek it took me a while to understand where some things were and there were certain things in the UI that confused me then (and still confuse me now)
  2. The FAQs seemed a little bit light on information when I ran into problems which required me to contact support, (don’t get me wrong, the support was exceptional) I would just like to see their FAQs rounded out a bit.

Hints if you want to give it a go:

  1. Make sure you check out the Squirrel Street email address under your account, it will let you forward emails to the address which will then be processed and added to your account (very handy, especially if you set up some auto forwarding rules in your email client for those that come in each month).
  2. If you are in for the long haul, by signing up to the yearly plan you can get between 250 and 1000 “kick off” scans to help you clear out your backlog as well as 2 months free for the year. As I was not 100% sold on the idea originally I will admit I just did this by paying for a larger plan for the first month so I could give it a good trial first but they do have a 30 day money back guarantee.
  3. If you can go for the Squirrel Street Classic or higher plan you will get emailed “magic envelopes” weekly which are reply paid envelopes that you can just fill and send back, this makes the whole process brainless and painless :D. (Note: your receipts will not be returned to you on the Squirrel Street Lite plan).
  4. If you send/upload/email more documents than your quota for the month there will be overage charges (depending on your plan) therefore make sure you plan early and plan accordingly.

I will keep this updated when I post the next stage of my review in a month or so’s time.

*corrections made to Magic Envelope delivery details April 16, 2014 12:54 pm

*changes made to rebrand Shoeboxed Australia to Squirrel Street April 28, 2017 9:05 am