In this article
You might like
No items found.
See insights on how 25k+ customers spent on Ramp in 2024
4.8 stars
1,900+ reviews
Error Message
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Spending made smarter
Easy-to-use cards, spend limits, approval flows, vendor payments —plus an average savings of 5%.1
4.8 Rating 4.8 rating
Error Message
No personal credit checks or founder guarantee.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Get fresh finance insights, monthly
Time and money-saving tips,
straight to your inbox
4.8 Rating 4.8 rating
Thanks for signing up
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Table of contents

What is an electronic receipt?

Electronic Receipt (E-receipt)
An e-receipt is a digital version of a traditional paper receipt. It's a proof of purchase that you send to a customer via email, text, or through an app or portal. Like paper receipts, they list transaction details such as date, time, items purchased, prices, and payment method.

Electronic receipts (e-receipts) are revolutionizing the way businesses handle transactions. E-receipts are a more organized, secure, and eco-friendly method for tracking business expenses. You can store them neatly on a cloud service or directly integrate them into your financial software.

Businesses that have transitioned to this digital method often discover advantages that stretch well beyond convenience, including significant operational cost reductions and enhanced accuracy in financial reporting. E-receipts make it easier to keep tabs on spending, streamline audits, and simplify expense reporting.

How do e-receipts work?

E-receipts compile all the details of your transactions into a user-friendly digital file that's at your fingertips whenever you need it.


When you finalize a transaction—whether by swiping your card in a brick-and-mortar store or confirming an online order—the system collects various data points, such as the vendor's identity, list of purchased items, costs, and taxes. Rather than being printed onto thermal paper, this information is compiled into a digital framework and delivered electronically.

This should include details like:

  • Vendor’s identity and contact info
  • Date and time of the transaction
  • Name/CPU of the product or service
  • Quantity of the products or services purchased
  • Price of each product or service
  • Total amount without tax
  • Tax rate and tax amount
  • Total price with tax
  • Payment method


E-receipts are versatile. While email-friendly PDFs are among the most popular formats, electronic receipts can also be delivered as plaintext, HTML, or image files. This flexibility is designed to match varying business requirements around data storage, accessibility, and operational handling.

Data capture

For organizations that process a lot of business expenses, data capture is where e-receipts show their real potential. Advanced algorithms automatically sort the receipts into the correct expense categories—tagging them as “Office Supplies” or “Business Lunch,” for example. Automating this process minimizes human error and speeds up expense reporting.


The lifeline of e-receipts is the technology that powers them. For instance, email-based e-receipts use APIs to integrate directly with accounting software. The customer's smartphone, on the other hand, scans QR code-based e-receipts, making them more interactive and easily stored on mobile devices.

Real-world example

Imagine a business traveler dining at an airport restaurant. She pays her bill, and instead of receiving a paper receipt, she gets an email with a PDF attachment.

The digital receipt is automatically forwarded to her company's expense management system, where the built-in AI categorizes it under “Travel Expenses.” There’s no manual entry or scope for error, and she doesn't have to worry about losing the receipt before returning to the office.

To summarize, e-receipts are more than just digital twins of their paper counterparts. They’re smarter, faster, and built to integrate seamlessly into the digital infrastructure of modern businesses.

Business advantages of using e-receipts

1. Cost savings

One of the most immediate benefits of e-receipts is cost savings. Businesses can realize significant operational savings by eliminating the need for thermal paper, ink, and additional labor costs associated with manual receipt handling.

2. Improved accuracy

Think of expense management as a row of dominoes. A single mistake can trigger a cascade of errors, leading to incorrect financial reports, compliance issues, or failed audits.

By digitally capturing accurate transaction data from the outset, e-receipts prevent the first domino from tipping over. With the ability to automatically categorize expenses or integrate seamlessly into accounting software, e-receipts provide a level of precision and automation that paper receipts can’t match.

3. Eco-friendly

While their practical advantages are clear, e-receipts also offer an eco-friendly alternative to paper receipts, many of which are coated with substances that make them non-recyclable. In an increasingly eco-conscious world, the shift to e-receipts can be part of your organization's broader environmental initiatives.

4. Easier retrieval

E-receipts solve the problem of how to store receipts digitally. This makes it easier to find specific receipts when needed, whether it's for a routine review or an unexpected audit, streamlining your overall business operations.

E-receipts for compliance and simplified reporting

E-receipts help businesses untangle the complexities of compliance and make reporting more straightforward.

Easily searchable

Picture a vault where every receipt is organized, searchable, and secure. Whether they’re in a cloud storage solution or integrated directly into your accounting system, the ability to retrieve e-receipts via search quickly and easily is a huge benefit to your business’s reporting and compliance operations.

Streamlined audit trails

For most businesses, audits are like unannounced guests—you never really want them, but you have to be prepared just in case. E-receipts make these surprise visits less daunting. Their digital nature allows for straightforward audit trails, making it much easier for auditors to verify transactions and trace any irregularities.

Centralized reporting 

No one enjoys the scavenger hunt for crumpled paper receipts come tax season. E-receipts change the game by enabling centralized reporting. You can pull up all your transaction records on a single dashboard, allowing for effortless compilation and analysis. This not only speeds up reporting, but also makes it more accurate and comprehensive.

Automated tax calculations 

Errors in tax calculations can lead to penalties or even legal repercussions. E-receipts eliminate this concern by allowing for automated tax calculations. You can integrate them with your accounting automation software, automatically categorizing and calculating tax obligations based on the data captured during transactions.

Instant access for external parties

In many industries, compliance isn't just about internal management; it involves external scrutiny as well. Tax authorities like the IRS treat e-receipts exactly like traditional paper receipts for tax and audit purposes. If anything, they’re even more convenient for this purpose, too, enabling instant access for third parties.

How e-receipts integrate with Ramp to streamline expense management

Imagine if your expense management system could function like a self-cleaning oven, tidying up after each use, requiring minimal oversight, and performing efficiently. That's what you get when you combine e-receipts with Ramp's modern expense management software.

With Ramp, e-receipts find their own home. The software grabs e-receipts from platforms like Gmail, Uber, and Amazon Business and automatically sorts them into the correct expense categories. It's like having a self-organizing filing cabinet that never goes out of order.

Businesses that use Ramp can look forward to fewer errors, less time spent on tedious accounting tasks, greater financial productivity, and overall employee satisfaction—saving companies an average of 5% each year.

Try Ramp for free
Error Message
No personal credit checks or founder guarantee.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Senior Manager, Accounting, Ramp
Audrey Carroll is a Senior Accounting Manager at Ramp. Audrey is a CPA with over eight years of experience in the field. Prior to Ramp, she held various auditing and accounting roles at EY and Peloton, gaining valuable expertise in financial reporting and accounting guidance and regulations.
Ramp is dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes make informed decisions. We adhere to strict editorial guidelines to ensure that our content meets and maintains our high standards.


How Ramp helped Zola do more with less

“We’re trying to get into a good rhythm of closing the books within 10-12 days, and Ramp has been a huge, huge lifesaver and time saver for us.”
Joe Horn, VP Controller, Zola

How Gill’s Onions increased compliance, drove efficiency, and reduced tears with Ramp

How Dragonfly Pond Works leveled up expense management with Ramp

“Creating efficiency is an important part of an effective finance team. To scale you can’t only increase the size of the team. You have to complement with technology.”
Austin Mcilwain, CFO, Dragonfly Pond Works

How Girl Scouts of the Green & White Mountains saved 20+ hours per month with Ramp

"With the time we've saved with Ramp, we can do more of the analysis work and speed up essential processes like month-end close."
Stuart Rothberg, Finance Director, Girl Scouts, Green & White Mountains

How 8VC resolved accounting coding challenges, increased spend visibility, and cut time to close with Ramp

“With Ramp, we have complete control and governance over company-wide spend in real time...we can easily close expenses by the first week of the month versus the third or fourth week of the following month.”
Nichole Horton, Controller, 8VC

How Studs consolidated expense management, travel, and bill pay into Ramp’s single efficient platform

“Ramp Travel gives me the ability to set the controls I need, and employees the freedom and flexibility to book travel easily."
Andrew Clarke, VP Finance, Studs

How Mindbody & Classpass saved time, enhanced visibility, and improved usability with Ramp

“We were going to hold office hours, but it was so quiet that we never needed to. All the feedback was positive -- it was very easy to roll out.”
Heather Bruzus, Principal Accountant, Mindbody & Classpass