When it comes to running a business, having and using an email specifically for your work is crucial. Not only do you use it for corresponding with associates and clients, but you may also use it for receiving and sending information. Many business owners like yourself opt to have their receipts sent to them electronically via email, so then they can easily forward it to their bookkeeper or office manager.

Even though saving and forwarding receipts from your email may be more efficient than physical copies or taking snaps of each receipt, it still takes a great deal of time you could instead be spending on more important tasks. You still have to sift through your emails, organize receipts by job, and input all of the data by hand. You need to manually enter each digit and category detail, including description, class, quantity, and price. Even if you save yourself the pain of searching for receipts, your bookkeeper or office manager still needs to take time to key in all of the important information.

There is another major issue resulting from manual data entry: the potential for errors. While computers can retrieve and enter numbers automatically, people are very prone to making mistakes while inputting each digit, job, property, and class by hand. Not only are typos a very probable possibility, but oftentimes businesses find duplicates in the data entered by hand.

How can you save the most time if not by email? Well, when you automate your import process, you no longer have to worry about time wasted or errors made. Home Depot®’s loyalty program, Pro Xtra®, automatically updates your data upon making any purchases. All you need to do is link an email, phone number, credit card, or debit card to your Pro Xtra account, present the information to your cashier at the checkout, and your receipts are then uploaded and saved in your account for twenty-four months!

Keep in mind that the IRS requires that you keep some records for around 7 years (You can read more about how long to keep certain files here.). That is why it is important that you also create a label in your inbox; all emails from a selected sender (in this case, The Home Depot receipt email) will be put into your label automatically upon creation.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to create a label and filter your emails into it using Gmail:

1. Go to the left sidebar and click on Create new label.

Create label to organize Gmail emails     2. Name your label appropriately, then click Create.

Create new label name in Gmail

3. Go to your inbox and find one of your emailed receipts from The Home Depot. Click More.

Find Home Depot email and select more in Gmail

4. Select Filter messages like these.

Filter messages like these in Gmail for Home Depot emails

5. Click Create filter with this search in the bottom right.

Create filter with Home Depot search in Gmail

6. Check Apply the label: and select the label of your choosing.

Apply label for Home Depot receipts in Gmail

7. Check the box at the bottom Also apply filter to (number) matching conversation(s).

Apply filter and match Home Depot receipts in Gmail

8. Click the Create filter button.

All of your Home Depot receipts should now be filtered into your new label whenever you receive an email!

Even when you use Pro Xtra and email labels, you still have to review the information from your account and enter it by hand into QuickBooks. There is an easy solution to this dilemma right under your nose, and it is called HammerZen. HammerZen is an Intuit-approved app designed to automatically import receipts from The Home Depot into QuickBooks. In just minutes, you can upload hundreds of receipts that would have taken you hours to enter into the computer!

When you let HammerZen do the dirty work for you, you eliminate the possibility of any errors and increase the accuracy of your reports! Why would you not want to expand profitability by boosting your company’s efficiency?

To start saving yourself a significant amount of time and money, here are a few steps you should take:

  1. Create a Pro Xtra account here
  2. Add your credit card, debit card, and phone number to the account
  3. Get a Home Depot Sales Tax ID
  4. At the register, provide the cashier your phone number and job name, or use one of your linked cards to pay and tell the cashier the job name
  5. Once you make it back to the office, import all of your purchases into QuickBooks with HammerZen in just a few minutes!
  6. Repeat!