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Top 7 New Features in SparkReceipt in January 2024


An illustrative picture of January

January was once again a month of fast-paced development for SparkReceipt. In this article we'll go over the major changes and improvements added into the app. Most of the features are based on user feedback, so thanks a lot to all of you for your feature suggestions.

TLDR; Here is the list of all features and improvements discussed:




1. Payment Method Auto-detection


You can now add your payment methods to SparkReceipt and the AI will automatically detect which one of them was used to pay for the transaction.


The AI detection is tries to match a payment method in the following priority:

  • Credit or Debit card based on last 4 digits for exact match.

  • If not found, then try to match a Credit, Debit or Cash simply based on transaction details (debit, credit or cash transaction mentioned).


To enable payment method auto-detection, add your payment methods in the new Payment Methods view in the web or mobile apps.


2. Invoice Number and Receipt Reference Auto-detection


In many countries, the invoice number or reference number from a receipt is required in accounting. I am very happy to announce that this feature and its AI auto-detection have been added to SparkReceipt.


3. Set Custom Exchange Rate for Transactions


SparkReceipt has supported accurate and live currency conversions for a while now, but what has been lacking is the ability to override the exact exchange rate. You see, all credit cards and banks use their own, higher rates for converting the currencies instead of the official conversion rate. If you'd like to set the exact amount paid, or the exact custom rate used, that is now possible.


For convenience, you can either set the final amount paid in your own currency, or the custom exchange rate in the rate edit dialog.

4. Webhook Support


One of the most requested features by the end of 2023 was Webhook support. This feature has been published in January, and I wrote a dedicated article on ideas how to use it. In short, webhooks can be used to set up complex automation workflows with services like Zapier, Pabbly Connect, Make.com and more.


5. Document Bulk Editing


A much requested feature to bulk edit and delete receipts and documents has been added to the web application. With the bulk editing feature, you can select multiple receipts and:

  • Insert them to a category.

  • Add or replace their tags.

  • Assign them a payment method.

  • Change their currency.

  • Move them into the trash bin.


If you'd like to request any other mass assign or edit functionalities, hit us up at sparkreceipt@valorbyte.com.

6. Japanese and Chinese OCR for Mobile & Web

Until now, SparkReceipt really only supported latin character sets when reading paper receipts scanned with a camera. This has now changed, as both the mobile app and the web application can scan Japanese and Chinese script from paper receipts. The Chinese OCR uses either simplified or traditional Chinese, depending on your locale and currency settings (see below for details). The AI is assisted by ChatGPT, which understands both Japanese and Chinese already, but this update helps in auto-detecting information from receipt images. The mobile app can auto-detect which script should be used, but the web application uses the following criteria to activate the detection:


  • Japanese: Either a Japanese region is detected or selected, or preferred currency is set to JPY.

  • Traditional Chinese: Region is set to either Taiwan, Hong Kong, or currency is tracked in TWD or HKD.

  • Simplified Chinese: Activated when region is set to Mainland China or Singapore, or when preferred currency is set to CNY or SGD.


7. German Version of the Web Application


Among all of SparkReceipt's users, the German population has been the most vocal in requesting a translation. And here are the good news: the web application has now been updated with a German translation.


The work for a German mobile app has also been completed, and will be live in the App Store and Google Play shortly.

8. Bug Fixes and Improvements


As always, a lot of bug fixes and smaller improvements have also been done to the app. Here is a short list of the most notable ones:


  • The web app now has a (much) larger preview of the receipt or invoice. It makes making small corrections more effortless.

  • The web application now has a dedicated PDF viewer, instead of embedding the PDF directly in to the app. For many users, this change does not change much, but is notably important for e.g. Chrome users with PDF embedding disabled for privacy or other reasons.

  • The web app OCR has now been improved by utilising a more effective technique to extract more accurate result from skewed and uncropped documents.

  • Downloaded receipt & document names are now much more descriptive, and follow the format "{{date}} {{merchant}} {{currency}}{{amount}}", e.g. "2024-01-30 Walmart USD59.99.jpg".

  • Blank document warning: the application now warns if you accidentally are about to leave a blank document in to the app. This can happen if you decide to e.g. create a new expense, then navigate away from that view.

  • All report types now have information about the account user that generated them.

  • PDF reports now use more efficient compression to reduce file sizes.

  • The app uses a smarter method to detect document dates with varying formats more effectively. As a result, a lot more date formats should now be auto-detected correctly.

  • You can now share photos and PDF files directly into the iOS app with the Share Extension.

  • Fix mobile document scanning for devices without flash capabilities (such as some older iPads).

  • Fix for a bug in the mobile app that prevented creating new categories for items in the "Documents" folder.



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