At the end of last year we promised big things in 2012. Well, the new year is just over six weeks old and we’ve already launched some pretty cool stuff. We’re not slowing down though.

In December we launched our updated, snazzier-than-ever expenses system. The new system is lightning fast, dead simple and has decreased the amount of time our users spend raising expenses dramatically. This got us thinking about how we could improve our expenses system further, and we came to the conclusion that the only thing better than raising expenses quickly is not having to raise them at all.

It’s a Snap

With our new receipt scanning app (which will be available for iOS users in the next fortnight, and Android users shortly thereafter) all you have to do is take and upload a photo of the receipt or invoice for an expense, and all the details will be automatically captured and fed into your Crunch account, ready and waiting for you the next time you log in.

It’s simple, functional, seamless, and best of all completely free for all Crunch clients.

Wait, how does this work?

We’ve teamed up with Receipt Bank, who are seasoned veterans at receipt scanning and data capture, and are providing the back end of Snap. Once uploaded, the important data (the value of the expense, VAT, name of the supplier etc.) from your receipts will be captured by the Receipt Bank team, and will appear in your Crunch account as an expense, with the original image attached for your records, within three days.

Snap feeds data through our API, and all authorisation is done through OAuth, meaning the whole process is as secure as possible and none of your personal data ever leaves your Crunch account.

Can I upload a million receipts?

To begin with there won’t be a hard limit on the amount of receipts you can upload, however we will be operating a fair use policy and recommending people try to average ten receipts per month – Snap is designed for use when you’re out-and-about or in a hurry, not as a wholesale replacement for our existing expenses system.

We understand there will be an initial flurry as people test the app, use it to clear expense backlogs, and see what happens if they upload pictures of their cat (hint: nothing) – but expect to have your usage throttled if you consistently upload a large number of receipts every month.

Once we have established what normal use constitutes we may revise our fair use guidance. We’re also planning to introduce pay-as-you-go “bundles” in the near future for people who wish to upload lots of receipts – more information on these soon.

When can I start using Snap?

We have a phased roll-out planned for the next few weeks. When you are able to start using Snap you will receive an email telling you how to get started. This email only applies to your account, so please don’t forward it to other Crunch users. The roll-out has already been scheduled, so unfortunately begging your account manager for early access won’t do any good!

The iOS version of the app is in the final stages of testing, and we will be looking for clients to test the Android version shortly – if you’re particularly keen keep an eye on our Twitter feed to make sure you’re in the first batch of testers.

I don’t have a smartphone!

Don’t worry, Gordon Gekko – you can still use Snap. All you have to do is attach an image of your receipt (up to 2MB in size) to an email and send it to a special email address from the email account you sign into Crunch with. This method of submission will work as soon as you receive your activation email so keen Android users can use it to get their expenses uploaded while they await their app.

I’m already a Receipt Bank user!

No problem – contact your account manager and we’ll sort everything out.

So what’s the catch?

There is no catch – we’re rolling the service into the standard Crunch subscription as a time-saver and a cool extra.

We’ve been testing it internally and it’s been labelled everything from “useful” to “mind-blowingly fantastic” – we hope everyone has similar experiences.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them into our feedback area, get in touch with your account manager, or ping us on Twitter.