As certified bookkeepers, we’re no strangers to time-poor business owners keeping a personal stash of crumpled receipts in their car glove box, and it’s a part of our job to make this simpler for them.

So, let’s talk about managing expenses for a second – and what might be the better option for saving you time, keeping the books clean and streamlining your numbers to make tax time a breeze. In short, is Dext or Hubdoc for Xero the better option for beautiful business?

Both Dext (previously called Receipt Bank) and Hubdoc are similar programs that connect to Xero. Primarily, their document and data capture features make them good options for importing bills, invoices and receipts – both paid and unpaid – into Xero with only a click, or the sending of an email. However, while both work in a similar way, there is one that reigns supreme in our experience. Let’s dive in.

Is Hubdoc for Xero or Dext the better option, and why?

Overall, we always recommend that our clients use the full suite of what Dext has to offer, despite Hubdoc coming free with a Xero subscription. Not only has Dext had much longer to develop its features, but overall it’s simply a better product – and as certified bookkeepers, we’re always looking for the path of least resistance to getting bills in, reconciled and cleanly reported for Uncle Sam.

Some of the things we love the most are:

More user-friendly – For businesses with a lot of staff, being user-friendly is key. Not only for offering the ability to implement things like user controls, or being able to easily split invoices – but also down to allowing for full visibility and segregation of every expense from employee to department. 

When your team members can easily and instantly scan a receipt on the go rather than carrying a wallet stash for the trip back to their office, it’s a great way to take a bird’s eye view of your expense flow without any delay. This helps you to understand both where you can cut down on expenses, and where your budgets actually might need more support. Remember: when something is easy to use, the rule of thumb is that it will be used.

Better functionality – Unlike Hubdoc for Xero, Dext allows for paperwork matching. This is where something might have been reconciled in your bank account, but there’s no paperwork to accompany it. With Dext, you can match the image with intel in your accounting software, like supplier name, total amount or invoice or receipt date – this makes sure it’s picked up without any heavy manual detective work from your certified bookkeeper

And speaking of cleaning up, Dext also allows for converting PDF statements into CSV, which is really handy for eliminating any manual extractions needed when a bank doesn’t allow CSV downloads past a certain period. Plus, now you can also put cost or sales documents through Dext.

Superior AI – For more complicated expense management requirements, Dext’s AI evolution is simply superior. Even from an order perspective for us as certified bookkeepers, it’s super handy to be able to pull up receipts to a certain supplier via Dext’s desktop archive so our clients can see what increases have applied to them over time. Plus, Dext has the best text recognition for difficult-to-read and multi-line images by a large margin, which is paramount if you’re scanning a lot of handwritten receipts or invoices (tradespeople or those who still use paper-based systems).

Some other things we love about Dext over Hubdoc for Xero in a nutshell:

  • For repetitive expense tracking, you can create supplier rule creation accounts;
  • Split expenses down into categories with detailed granularity;
  • A tracking log for ultimate transparency and visibility;
  • Ability to drag and drop images for ease of input;
  • Easy-to-use dashboard and no lag when integrating to Xero.

Why should you invest in data capture software anyway?

Paperwork is a non-negotiable part of business, and any certified bookkeeper worth their salt will be dedicated to easing that headache for their clientele. So, software that automates the entry of expenses, streamlines approval reviews and eliminates the paperwork pile is always a good investment.

Imagine that your staff purchased some equipment last year, and with the ease of Dext – upload the receipt instantly. Ten months later, that piece of equipment proves faulty. So, while you’ve never physically held a copy of that receipt in your hands, the warranty remains in the system and is easily retrieved for a refund or replacement.

From a compliance point of view, Dext over Hubdoc for Xero is invaluable. 

Dext holds records for five years – even if you cancel the subscription – and it’s not a hassle to reactivate to download files onto your own storage system if needed. This is, in many cases, the ATO’s preference as well, given that hard copies of documents often don’t last for more than a few years when printed on standard thermal paper.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you utilise a program like Dext over Hubdoc for Xero, but when it comes to making business more beautiful, it’s our pick every time. 

We are certified bookkeepers who are experts in bookkeeping for small businesses.

We hold the Dext subscription for our clients, as well as offer training for DIY expense management if needed. Have a no-obligation chat with us today to see if it might be right for you and your business.