Top 10 Tips: The Ultimate Guide to Bookkeeping Success

Are you new to Dext Prepare? Maybe you remember it being called Receipt Bank? Either way, let us help you get the most out of the software! Patrick Bartholomew, Trainee Client Support in our  SB Digital team shares his top tips to use Dext Prepare in the most effective way.

10 July 2023 - Ryan Pearcy

Are you new to Dext Prepare? Maybe you remember it being called Receipt Bank? Either way, let us help you get the most out of the software! Patrick Bartholomew, Trainee Client Support in our SB Digital team shares his top tips to use Dext Prepare in the most effective way.

What is Dext?

Dext Prepare is a piece of software that connects to cloud accountancy software packages such as Xero and Quickbooks to automate the extraction of data from invoices. So this means, rather than manually sitting there and entering information about invoices into your accountancy systems, Dext does the hard work for it. Simply upload a PDF or scan it through to a dedicated email address and Dext Prepare will extract the key information such as supplier name, invoice total, VAT amount, and line details, saving business hours and creating greater efficiencies. It can even know to automate postings to specific nominals too!

Save time by using the Auto-Publish function

Auto-publish can be found in both the ‘Suppliers’ and the ‘Customers’ lists in Dext as a switch option for each individual contact on the system. Once switched for a supplier or customer, Dext will not require you to review their uploaded documents in the future and will automatically publish their items into the next accounting system, based on the accounts and tracking categories you have uploaded into Dext. This can create time-savings for users where they are having to manually publish items for a supplier or customer, which are consistently coded in the same way every time.

 Extract line items from invoices

As Dext Prepare normally extracts invoice information and processes it as a single line (based on a total amount), turning on the ‘Extract line items’ function in the suppliers list can be useful for dealing with long invoices with multiple lines. If this is switched on for a supplier, Dext Prepare will automatically extract information for individual lines on an invoice, meaning that you are saved the effort of having to manually key in the information for each individual line of an invoice. This is especially useful when supplier invoices are related to multiple nominal account codes or tracking categories/classes, as it will allow users to map individual lines to these different mappings within Dext Prepare.

Avoid accidentally setting up new suppliers

The ‘warn me when creating a new supplier’ switch is an excellent way of ensuring that new contacts that shouldn’t be made, or contacts containing errors, are not created accidentally and published into the linked accounting system. This function can be found in the ‘Connections’ section of Dext Prepare under the ‘General (connected system name) Settings’ header. If active, Dext Prepare will notify you whenever a new contact is picked up that is not in your Xero or Quickbooks list and you will be able to decide whether this is correct or not. This in turn will avoid your accounting systems from becoming cluttered with unnecessary contacts and help keep your Dext Prepare suppliers page tidy.

Connect to ApprovalMax

Another great feature with Dext is that it integrates with ApprovalMax. ApprovalMax is an invoice approval system which can set up complex approval workflows based on a range of criteria picked up from Dext Prepare and once approved can publish to Xero and QuickBooks. This means you can capture items in Dext Prepare and have these sent directly to an individual for approval with a couple of clicks of a mouse, or even none if auto-publish is set up.

Automatic alert for duplicate documents

When uploading documents to Dext Prepare, it will quickly identify whether any invoices have already been recorded in the system, ensuring no invoices are double counted. If a user attempts to upload a document that has been previously uploaded to the system, it will flag the document as an error and not allow this document to be processed. This is especially useful when multiple users are working in a single Dext Prepare license, as it prevents any double counting of invoices where different users may have uploaded the same document. It is also helpful for a single user to check whether they have or haven’t already added a document.

Invoice Fetch

Invoice fetch is an especially useful function in Dext Prepare, as once set up, it will allow invoice information to be added to the system with no manual processing, even if a purchase is made with a wide variety of suppliers. It works by connecting to supplier portals and receiving invoice information directly from them, meaning there is no need for users to scan or email them into Dext Prepare. The connections are simple to set up within Dext Prepare and can be found under the ‘Connections’, then ‘Costs’ tab. There is a long list of available suppliers (see list

Create reports

Employees are able to create and publish expense reports by uploading cost items and adding these to their own reports. These can be managed under the ‘Expense reports’, enabling them to quickly upload their own individual expenses and utilise Dext Prepare’s invoice capture function to prepare expense reports, saving them time keying in information. These reports can also be submitted to the relevant approver and published once approved, meaning the approval process, report creation and individual costs for employee expenses can all be managed within Dext Prepare.

Reformat bank statements

Although Dext is primarily used for uploading costs and sales items, it can used to extract bank statement information and reformat them into an exportable Excel document. This means that users are able to get bank information into a more usable format when an export to Excel is not possible directly from the bank provider.

Use the Dext app wherever you are

The Dext app is an extremely useful tool if you need to utilise the expense reports and invoice capture technology of Dext on the go. The app works by using the same login as the cloud browser version, so everything processed and uploaded in the app will be the same as the online version. The app also enables users to take photos of any receipts or invoices using their camera for when they are away from the office. So whether you are travelling around the UK on a business trip, working from home or abroad wanting to check on your business’s expenses, the Dext app is available to use anywhere with an internet connection.

Dext Commerce and Dext Precision

As well as Dext Prepare, Dext also offer Dext Commerce and Dext Precision for users. Dext Commerce automatically fetches your clients’ sales data from multiple e-commerce sites and point-of-sale platforms to help save you time. Dext Precision, previously known as Xavier Analytics, takes all of the data you have fed into Xero or QuickBooks Online and alerts you to any discrepancies. Both are valuable tools that can help bolster your finance package.

Sound valuable but not sure how to set these up or want to know more? Get in touch with the SB Digital team.

Our SB Digital offering can help businesses to identify opportunities to streamline existing technology, provide training on new business software and advise on other areas where costs can be cut and technology used more efficiently. Regardless of your sector or specialism, our team will show you how to maximise new or existing software and uncover the data that could help drive your business forward. Get in touch by calling 0330 058 6559 or emailing


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