Automatically sum up receipts

I’m scaning about 300 receipts a month - each with the same structure - and I’m wondering if there is a way to automatically sum up the totals of these receipts.
In general this should be possible as the job is only to add the $xxx.xx values behind the text "total: " for each receipt.

Is there already a solution for this or something similar?


You could write a script to do this. It would parse the text layer of an OCRd PDF. Use a regex or similar techniques to find your “total: $xx.xx” string, and add them to sheet. The inbuilt Script > Sheets > Column Sum & Mean Value script could do your adding.

There’s the downside. You either trust the script and don’t audit the results. (Bad idea.) Or you compare every parsed receipt to the output. By the time you’ve done the later, plus the time spent creating, debugging, and keeping the script up to date, you’re probably not saving any time.

Other than a custom solution in DEVONthink - there’s software on the market that does what you want, BTW.

As long as this software is <$1000 enterprise grade style i’d be intersted :wink:

I’m sure you could find something for, say, $999.50 … or less 8)


i am evaluating devonthink also, and this is one of the features that i am looking for can you tell me the names of the software you are sugesting.

I am really pleased with the way and power of your software and am preaty much convinced to use it. but that feature for receipt treatment is really usefull.



I think the suggestion above implies that you would have to write your own script to do this.

What confuses me is that there are receipts and there are receipts. Your script would have to check for all possible formats of a receipt. In other words, given any random receipt, which of several numerical text strings would you extract as the total for that one receipt? Or perhaps I’m missing something.

In general all receipts look quite the same.
But for the beginning a script that will check for a custom specified string/number value would do the work.

Sum of receipt: Search for a line with “Total:” followed by a number.
Take this number als the total.
-> done.

I think there is a competition product that tries this out of the box but i’m not sure

I’m also looking for a solution like this.

This seems to be an obvious and very common task for document management, so I’m amazed that neither DevonThink is prepared to do this (even in the “Office” version), nor are there many other applications out there which can do this.

In fact, after too many hours googling around, I found only two applications (have I been blind not to find more???): Neat ( Neat looks fancy, but has disastrous user feedback and does not even allow to download a trial version, so I skipped it. Paperless user feedback is also mixed, but for some at least, it seems to be very usable, and it comes from a long-time Mac company and has a “true” Mac GUI, so I’ll give it a try.

But what I’m wondering is this: what Paperless differentiates from DevonThink is simply that it has this feature to record amount, VAT etc. alongside each receipt PDF, and then calculate totals and subtotals from that data.

The “rest”, which is probably 90% of the software, is basically an implementation of what DevonThink also does, only less mature and much less feature-rich.

So, of course, I would much prefer to use the trusty “base engine” of DevonThink, but with the one additional feature of Paperless.

This is such an obvious feature, so I’m wondering why DevonThink is missing it?


Which software did you have in mind?

I had a hard time finding any. (See my post above.)