One of my least favorite tasks is dealing with paper – whether it is filing, shredding, organizing or having to save receipts for tax purposes there is paper everywhere! I have managed to tame most of the paper monster by scanning my files and bank statements but I still had stacks of receipts around for my tax record keeping records and I really wanted to get rid of them. I needed a way to easily tame the paper beast.
The NeatReceipt scanner was a solution that I heard about from a couple different sources as a good product for scanning and organizing receipts. Not only does the device scan a receipt so there is a digital record the OCR software also extracts information on the receipt such as vendor, date, tax, total and method of payment. This information can then be imported into Quicken or QuickBooks which makes tracking expenses and tax information muck easier.
Another great feature of the software is the ability to assign a tax category to a receipt during the review process. After the receipts have been assigned a tax category then a report can be run based on the categories for tax preparation. This is much easier than the spreadsheet tracking that I have traditionally used to keep track of business expenses!
The installation of the software and the scanner was straightforward – installed the software and then plugged in the scanner and was ready to go! I had a stack of receipts to scan so I started feeding the receipts into the scanner to see what would happen.
The first couple of receipts did not scan that great which turned out to be my fault as I was placing them in the scanner with the wrong side down. Once I figured out the proper way to scan I was scanning I was scanning like a pro! I scanned in about 110 receipts in about an hour (give or take some as I didn’t track my time as closely as I should have). Once the receipts are scanned they are marked as unreviewed in the neat software until they are reviewed to make sure that the information extracted is correct.
The software did an excellent job of extracting information from the receipts that were scanned. Once again I did not keep an exact count but I would estimate that 95% of the information extracted from the receipts was correct which made for light editing on my part. Even if the error rate was higher it is still much easier than manually keying in the receipts!
Overall I really like the NeatReceipt scanner for scanning and organizing my receipts. There are some things that could be improved, such as the software speed and the ability to scan without always having to press the scan button, but I would still recommend to anyone who has a lot of receipts to scan and organize.
Note: The NeatReceipt scanner reviewed in this article was purchased by the author with her own funds.