We’ve already walked through the extensive list of everything you can write off as a professional musician. This is good news, except that the more you write off, the more receipts you’ll need to hang on to. Your glovebox is packed with receipts; the result of months of saying, “I should write this off!” before you shove another handful of those little bastards into the abyss.
Let’s empty that glovebox full of receipts. Go download Piikki.
No, you don’t have dyslexia, that’s what they decided to name it. Piikki. And no, it’s not a piece of Ikea furniture. Though it would perfectly compliment a flübêænbàgên.
Odd spelling aside, Piikki is a fantastic app that will help you handle all of those pesky receipts.
What It Does
Piikki (this still doesn’t look right) scans your receipts and gives you the option of sending the scans to other various platforms. Not only that, it keeps a running total of all your categories so you can easily see how much you’ve spent on gear, food, and other things this year.
When you first launch Piikki, it opens straight into scanning mode. This allows you to get your receipt scanned as soon as possible. Turn the flash on or off and snap your receipt, easy as that. Within scanning mode, if your lighting is decent, Piikki will automatically snap your photo when you hold your phone still. (This will get awesome in a minute)
After snapping the photo of your receipt, Piikki automatically detects the edges. If you need to fix an edge or two, you can drag the edges around. Your photo is then cropped to show just the receipt itself.
Next you’ll input the dollar amount and category for your receipt. The time, date, and location are automatically detected and added to your receipt. Before you hit save, you’ll have the option of sending your receipt to a Google Drive folder, Dropbox folder, or Evernote notebook.
If you’re not already on Evernote, go download it right now. It’s free and it’ll change your life.
Google Drive and Dropbox are fine, but once your receipt is in Evernote, things get even more awesome. Not only do you have your receipts all in one convenient location, but once they are in Evernote, they become searchable. Search for “Schecter” and your Guitar Center receipt from last September shows up. Type in “Ibanez” and there’s your receipt from last week. Now if you would just buy better gear, you’d be good to go.
The Totals tab on the bottom will show you a graph of all your categories and their respective totals. From here you can email this as a PDF straight to your CPA.
The Ideal Use of Piikki
If you’re strict with your receipts and scan them every time you get one, they’ll never pile up. If you’re like me, you hate carrying around anything more than you have to. Since you have a receipt scanner in your pocket at all times, you can scan it and get rid of the receipt immediately.
But if you’re really like me, you’ll try to scan these in immediately, but also probably have a glovebox full of them you’ve been dreading to work through. To get through this, it’s time for some next level receipt scanning.
Go buy a cheap iPhone mount and attach it to the end of a mic stand. Put some sort of a dark background on the table. I put my old MacBook to good use. Remember the auto scanning feature from before? This is where it gets awesome.
Put a receipt down on your dark background and Piikki quickly scans a great picture with clear edges. Input your dollar amount and category, and you’re onto the next receipt. Here’s my setup from a recent receipt scanning bender. Notice that after the receipts are scanned, they show up immediately in Evernote, ready to be searched. I whipped through 70 receipts in no time.
Piikki is $3.99 in the App Store and worth every penny. It also actually might be a piece of DIY furniture, Ikea did not respond for confirmation. In any case go download it and get scanning!