Calculate Subtotal and Tax on Receipt Mobile App

MikeMike Member Posts: 3

It would be useful if the Receipt Mobile App could calculate subtotal and tax since this is a stupid-simple logic to build. Here is the user case:

  1. Take picture of receipt, mobile app recognizes Total
  2. Add Tax (eg. HST 13%)
  3. Based on added Tax, app automatically populates Tax amount and Subtotal amount.

It's a bit silly that an accounting app can read a total amount from a photo, but won't automatically calculate tax amount or subtotal. It's irritating having to calculate this manually to post the receipt.

This is based on experience on Android phone

edited August 30, 2018 in Mobile Feature Ideas


  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Mike.

    Unfortunately, this is by design. It's because of how some countries have taxes that don't apply to the entirety of a given receipt. A good example for that would be how basic groceries are tax exempt in Ontario, but some items you would buy in a grocery store aren't. We can't account for this eventuality if we automate the process, so we keep the verification step of the receipt-entering process manual.

    In short, it makes it less likely for difficult-to-correct mistakes to happen.

  • kgoedeckekgoedecke Member Posts: 1

    Hi @Alexia I disagree here. That's why you select the tax. It's fine that you can select the tax from the checkboxes. If the user selects VAT 19% for example then its clear and it would just help if the software would do the math. Whats the problem/reasoning not to do that?!

  • kkmkkm Member Posts: 1

    How about some buttons or bulk actions? So you don't automatically fill in the tax amount but we have some tools to quickly calculate and add the tax amount. Currently the slowest process in my accounting is manually calculating taxes for every receipt :s . Also I absolutely love Wave and am amazed that it's free but will totally pay once/if you put up your paywall. But yea that tax calc on receipts is :'(

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @kgoedecke and @kkm.

    Are tax totals not displayed on receipts in your respective countries? To use Mike's example, in Ontario, receipts always show the total before taxes, the amount of the taxes, and finally the actual total. There are no calculations required, you just have to add in the amount of the tax when you validate your receipt in Wave.

    @kkm, let me reassure you right now, Wave will remain free. We do offer a few services that are paid in certain countries (payment processing, payroll and professional services), but the accounting and invoicing tools are to remain free.

  • MikeMike Member Posts: 3

    @Alexia: no, tax totals are not calculated by the mobile app - it has to all be entered manually, which the biggest pain when managing receipts using the mobile app.

    The app will pre-populate the Total amount, but the Tax and Sub-total amount is always blank and you have to enter it manually, even if you set a tax amount.

    Here is the scenario, just to be clear:

    1. Take picture of receipt
    2. Wave app processes receipt and updates Total field
    3. Add Tax % (eg. HST - 13%)

    Expected Result: Subtotal and HST fields are automatically updated (since total and % tax is known)

    Actual Result: Subtotal and HST remain blank and need to be manually filled in, even though you've told the app what tax % to add.

    As you can see, it's a bit silly that the app can't do this calculation for me since it's such an easy piece of logic. Instead I need to open up a calculator app and do the calculation myself, and then switch back to the Wave app and manually enter the values into the Subtotal and HST field.

    I don't think it's too much to ask that an accounting app by able to do the following calculations for me:
    Subtotal = Total / 1.13
    Tax = Total - Subtotal


    edited June 27, 2018
  • MikeMike Member Posts: 3

    @Alexia: no, taxes are not automatically calculated on the mobile app - its all manual. My example is what I want the app to do as a feature request, which it currently does not. The mobile app will fill in the Total field once it processes the receipt, but the Subtotal and HST field are always blank, even after you add a Tax, so you always have to manually enter the subtotal and HST, which is really annoying.

    Here is the scenario to make sure it's clear:
    1. Take picture of receipt on mobile app
    2. App processes receipt and fills in the Total field
    3. Add Tax (eg. HST 13%)

    Expected Result: Since the app has the Total amount and the tax %, I would expect the Subtotal and HST amount to be automatically calculated.

    Actual Result: Total and HST field remains blank. You need to calculate this yourself outside of the app and manually enter it in the fields.

    I am just asking for the following basic logic to be added to the receipt form, given Total and Tax % is known (using HST as an example):
    Subtotal = Total / 1.13
    HST = Total - Subtotal


    edited June 27, 2018
  • cliffbizcliffbiz Member Posts: 9

    I second @Alexia receipts do show total figure for tax including any discounts given. The feature is fine unless what the users are asking is for wave to automatically read the tax charged.

  • AanandAanand Member Posts: 4
    I agree that if you select a tax to be applied (ie 5% GST in Canada) the receipt app should auto populate.

    I am finding that when I select 5% GST the receipt app does not apply any tax and there is no way to edit the tax amount. Where as if I finalize the receipt on the web version and select 5% GST the tax is automatically calculated based off the subtotal.

    Am I missing something in the receipt app that will enable the same functionality?
  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @Aanand,

    There was an issue preventing users from adding the amounts for taxes on the Receipts app on Android devices. It was resolved a little earlier today. If you update your receipts app, you'll be able to add your tax amounts without issues. Let me know if you run into any problems!

  • AanandAanand Member Posts: 4

    @Alexia thank you for the information. After the update, the tax amount is automatically being populated once the type of tax is selected.

    However, now any expenses that are uploaded by the receipts app show as a credit in the expense account instead of a debit.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @Aanand,

    Can you show me a screenshot of where you're seeing this, and of the details of that receipt? I tried replicating it on this end and everything seems to record accurately. If you can show me where this is appearing as a credit instead of a debit, I might be able to better explain the issue you're facing.

    edited October 4, 2018
  • andynoiseboyandynoiseboy Member Posts: 13

    +1 on this request. Having to manually input the VAT content (20% here in UK) to every receipt, either uploaded or photographed with iOS app, feels like a glaring omission. If I tick the Tax tickbox I'd really expect the simple maths to be 'computed', that's the beauty of computers isn't it?

  • JeremyGJeremyG Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I’m new to Waves, but have been looking for an app to solve my capturing of receipts for a while. I’m enjoying the Wave interface but agree this is totally frustrating. I’m in Australia, so 10% GST applies to most items. Having to manually calculate the GST on each receipt is so user-unfriendly given I am able to apply the tax in the first place. Unfortunately, a simple Excel spreadsheet makes all this much easier!

    Can this be update please??

    Also, I can’t seem to remove a tax from the Add/Remove Tax screen. Is that just me?
  • Ryan_WRyan_W Member Posts: 452 ✭✭✭

    Hey @JeremyG ,

    We appreciate your feedback about applying taxes to receipts! I know that Alexia has explained why this is designed that way, although I recognize that this doesn't ease frustrations in the cases you and others have described above.

    Are you trying to remove a tax from the Settings > Sales Tax page on the browser version? If so, are you getting a specific error message? I know that you can't delete a tax if it's still associated with existing bills or invoices, but if you've removed them accordingly and are still having difficulties, please let us know!

  • tendhometendhome Member Posts: 1
    I rarely have tax exempt items to scan as groceries tend to be a personal expense. This kind of ruins the flow of an otherwise wonderful app.
  • BarsinBarsin Member, Moderator Posts: 2,041 ✭✭✭

    Hey there @tendhome

    Though our mobile team's efforts are currently reprioritized, we are always hoping to make improvements on our system and will continue to do so in the future.

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