Pucker up for Lemon — Receipts Refreshed iPhone app

Nov 1, 2011
Tech

I’m by no means sour on Lemon — Receipts Refreshed, but before I rave about turning receipt piles into lemonade you should know that this app for iPhone and iPod Touch needs some work before it will have an impact on your life. Lemon — Receipts Refreshed is a smart web-based service directed at making […]

I’m by no means sour on Lemon — Receipts Refreshed, but before I rave about turning receipt piles into lemonade you should know that this app for iPhone and iPod Touch needs some work before it will have an impact on your life.

Lemon — Receipts Refreshed is a smart web-based service directed at making sense and order of your receipts. Through the supplementary iPhone app (actually, you could solely use the app version, but you’ll miss out on extras, such as a personalized lemon.com email address, ideal for online shopping) users take photos of their receipts, which are then used to create budget and tracking reports.

I was impressed that scanning receipts was so easy: Line up the paper edges with the on-screen box and snap the photo. Lemon even accounts for lengthy rolls with the add part option. Lining up the previous overlay with the to-be-taken image was difficult, but the final product was seamless. After the receipt is in the system, you’ll be able to immediately see the name of the store, the time of the purchase and the amount spent, and you can tag it with your own categories, such as business or personal or credit or cash.

I tried Lemon on several receipts, and its accuracy was almost 100 percent. I neglected to include the store portion of one receipt, so the app couldn’t identify it. There’s no way to modify or make notes to receipts, which is too bad, since it would be easier for me to just type in Target rather than retaking the photo. The images are stored on Lemon’s servers (and you can review at any time in-app by hitting the eye icon) and after a few days Lemon says it will digitize all of the items for additional readability. It’s not clear if a free account is required for this portion of the service (there might also be a restriction of 100 receipts per month, but this isn’t clear in Lemon’s app version), and I’m still waiting for my digital versions to become available.

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Lemon offers weekly, monthly or all-time reports, merchant and label tracking and several chart views. You can opt to send reports as XLS, CSV or PDF files to any email address, and can even opt to attach your receipt images (downloadable off of an emailed link), which is ideal for accounting or expensing purposes.

The ability to edit or add notes to receipts would be key for me to use Lemon on a regular basis, but I think developers are onto something with this service.

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