New user perspective: an hour in the Receipt hub, friction burns

New user, so chance I’m missing something. But fresh eyes can be useful, so here’s my take.

Context: sole trader, used Google Sheets for the last 10 years, MTD forcing use of something more … complex. Single client at the mo (1 invoice / mo), transactions are mostly purchases (a dozen a month).

The good:

  • Dropbox integration, and being able to hoof all my receipts into a folder and have QF import them for processing, is wonderful
  • The receipt tagging/processing approach in general is ace; it’s nice to be able to step through, process the simple stuff there and then, but skip the receipts that need more research (eg invoiced in $, but I need to check bank statement to see what I paid in £)

The bad:

  • Keyboard integration is poor. This is almost pure data entry, so almost everything ought to be doable with keyboard alone. Every time we have to take our hand off the keyboard to mouse-click on something triples the time this task takes
  • When you start tagging a receipt, there’s one single field on the right to fill in: so it ought to already have the keyboard focus, rather than forcing us to mouse to it and click first. (You already know how to do this - when a user goes to log in to QF, you put the cursor in the username field automatically on page load. Please do it on the Receipt tagging page too, and everywhere else it makes sense)
  • Of all the fields to ask us to enter first, the Receipt Total is the worst choice, surely — it’s almost always one of the last things visible on a receipt, so the first thing we have to do, every single time, is mouse over and scroll the receipt down, then scroll back up again. Date, or supplier name, would be better
  • It’s mentioned elsewhere on this forum, but: the relatively small size of the receipt viewer (esp for those of us rocking a big monitor) forces us to mouse over and scroll up and down to find the data we need to enter. A zoom control, and then having the receipt/invoice scale to fit the whole thing in the viewer first would be great

Anything you can do to reduce friction on these screens saves us a ton of time, because we’re going to be doing this a lot. And the time really adds up.

Anyways: if you have been, thanks for listening :slight_smile:

Hi @howie_m

Firstly - thank you for your feedback! Many of our features or changes are as a result of user feedback shared on our community forum, so it’s certainly in the right place.

I’d like to address your “the bad” points if I can and try and help.

We do offer keyboard shortcuts which is available to users with either a Power User Subscription or using Affinity. This list has also grown since it was first introduced, due to feedback from our users.

I agree we could improve this, and I’ll make a recommendation to our development team.

Not necessarily. If you enter the value, the first thing we’ll do is search for an existing invoice with this amount.

If you have already created the purchase but haven’t yet uploaded the invoice or document to go with it, entering the value would help match it up.

We don’t have a huge amount of control here, a lot of it comes down to your browser.

The width was adjusted last year following user feedback (Receipt Hub UX/Layout), so it does now show more. Things such as zoom and scroll etc., is the part that’s controlled by your browser.

I use Chrome on Windows which automatically shows zoom and scroll on PDFs and images. But I’m aware that for some users this doesn’t appear.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the response, @QFMathew :slight_smile:

Comes back to the user context, I suppose - I’m one of the glut of incoming sole traders who probably have significantly simpler needs; I’ve bought a load of random bits and pieces from Amazon etc over the last three months, and just need to get the details into QF as smoothly as possible so I can bang out a VAT return. And as a sole trader, every minute you add to this process is a minute less I get to spend with my family… and boy does it add up when you’ve got 40 receipts to enter. Dinner’ll be cold tonight.

I can see how the existing approach may have been fine for other types of business: but larger businesses just don’t feel the friction as intensely as smaller ones. Streamlining the UI, removing every unnecessary mouse-click, benefits all though.

On keyboard integration: the thing I really found hard was the lack of navigation within a screen, rather than just needing to get to different sections of QF as a whole.

If you walk through the receipt tagging process and count the number of times you have to take your hand off the keyboard and use the mouse, it’s way more often than it ought to be. Once you’re actually typing in the fields, you can Tab between most of them, but not all - once you get down to Project Tags, Tab stops working. You can’t tab to the Paid in full bit (which for me is always going to be the case), nor the “Create” button without mousing over to them.

For bigger businesses where every purchase has been through a PO process, it may make sense to confirm the amount was typed correctly, I suppose, but for smaller businesses it’s a lot of extra friction on every single receipt entry.

And once you’ve entered the Receipt Total, if QF wasn’t able to find a matching invoice (which it never will with me - I’m an animator, so every single purchase is ad-hoc, a cable, a drive, printer paper; and every single one was Paid in Full already) so there’s no need to tell me, and then make me mouse over to click on a button to make a new purchase …

Screenshot 2022-03-04 at 11.56.30

… and then when you put the rest of the fields on screen, I have to mouse up and click on the first one before I can start typing again.

At least if you set the focus to the Create New Purchase button when it appears, I could just hit Enter.

90% of my use of QF is going to be this receipt tagging screen. It’s what my accounts consist of. So I think the frustration just comes from knowing that my future is going to involve an awful lot of work / mousing / clicking that could be removed with a more streamlined UI.

And it doesn’t need to be at the cost of making things harder for bigger businesses; while it’d be great to have a user preference for “never bother searching, just put the whole tagging form up for each receipt”, at the very least make it possible to tab to every field (including buttons), and any time you put a form on screen (or put new fields up), set the keyboard focus appropriately. That’d make things better for all sized users.

I’ll just jump in here and say that if you’ve set up with automatic bank feeds then you’re better off not ticking “paid in full” for items that were paid directly from the bank account that has a feed - it’s less effort overall if you leave these purchases unpaid in the receipt hub and then tag the payment to the purchase when it appears on your bank feed. If you mark it paid in both places the chances are you’ll end up with duplicate transactions sooner or later.

Rule of thumb is only tick “paid in full” for items that were paid cash (if you maintain a petty cash balance) or paid with personal funds (in which case you mark them as paid from the drawings account rather than the current account) - things where the date of payment exactly matches the date of the receipt.

Good to know. In my case it probably wouldn’t be sensible for me to connect my current account - 97.395% of it is non-business related.

Heh - apologies for all the rambling; I wouldn’t be needing to lose a day learning all this complex accounting stuff if it weren’t for the fact my client paid for me to buy a bunch of computers to speed up one particular job: money that came in and went out, but just enough to nudge me over the MTD turnover threshold for this one year. So it’s interesting to learn about, but frustrating that it’s compulsory, and that I can’t go back to adding things up on a napkin next year… hey ho :slight_smile:

In my experience its a good idea to get a separate bank account for the business even if its just a small number of transactions. It makes life so much easier. With banks like starling and monzo the accounts are free so it doesn’t cost anything to have them

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