Tax Day Celebration (or Commiseration?) – NeatReceipts Review

April 15 is one week away. Have you filed your taxes yet? I’ll admit that I have not. We’re paying this year, and I’m putting it off until almost the last minute. I’ll probably file over the weekend and mail payment on Monday.

One of the hardest parts about being self-employed and doing my own taxes is categorizing all my receipts at tax time. So far my filing system includes a folder on my computer and a file folder in my filing cabinet. When tax time rolls around, I pile the receipts in different categories and enter the info in my tax program.

It would be a lot easier if I kept things categorized throughout the year, but I hate dealing with the bulky scanner in the other room, and I don’t want to add any more file folders to my already huge filing system.

Enter NeatReceipts. I’ve been wanting to review this product for a while now. It seemed like it would be a great solution for keeping track of tax deductible receipts. When I was contacted by the NeatReceipts company about giving away their product, I jumped at the chance to review it. Did it live up to my expectations? Read to find out!

The NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner

I reviewed the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner, which is designed to be…well…mobile. At 10.8”W x 1.6”D x 1.3”H and 10.6 oz., it’s certainly portable. It would easily fit in any laptop bag. Included in the package were the scanner, an installation CD, a USB cord, a quick start guide, calibration paper, dry cleaning paper, and alcohol cleaning paper. The Neat Mobile Scanner comes in Mac and PC versions. I tested the PC version.

The quick start guide and installation CD were easy to follow, so setup was a snap. I appreciated the little sticker placed right across the USB connection port, warning me to stop and run the installation CD before connecting the scanner to my computer. As someone who sometimes skips ahead of the directions (or doesn’t read them at all), it probably saved me a headache.

Installation took me about 10 minutes, only because I didn’t turn my antivirus completely off before beginning. Once I turned it completely off, as stated in the instructions, it took about 30 seconds. The instructions also remind you to turn your antivirus protection back on, so you don’t leave your computer unprotected for long.

The NeatReceipts Process

Once I had the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner set up, I was ready to begin scanning. Upon opening the program, I was given the option to watch a short introductory video. Having learned from my mistake of not following the directions, when it came to turning off my antivirus program, I opted to watch the short video. It was very clear and informative. Once I knew what I was doing, I felt comfortable trying to scan a few documents.

The scanner is set up to scan documents that are up to 8.5” wide. I scanned a couple of receipts, a business card, and a document, which I inadvertently scanned upside down. The NeatReceipts software categorized all three types of documents into the correct categories: receipts, business cards, and documents.

The software also correctly imported the information on the receipts and business card. Plus, it correctly oriented the document I had scanned upside down.

Once scanned in, it was easy to categorize my receipts into folders to keep track of my expenses. When categorizing, the NeatWorks software makes it easy to choose categories from Schedule C, so when tax time rolls around, your receipts are already neatly split into the correct categories.

There are many different options for importing and exporting data. NeatReceipts works with .XLS (Microsoft Excel), .RTF(Word), .OFX(Outlook), .QIF (Quicken), .TXF (Turbo Tax), .IIF(Quickbooks), .CSV, HTML, and Plaxo formats. Plus you can create quarterly or end of the year tax reports from within the software. And if you want to scan something into a PDF file, saved directly to your hard drive, you can do that too.

You can also search your receipts. I tried a couple of searches, and it pulled up the correct receipts every time. That’s I feature I personally would find very useful.

My Opinion

I’m kind of a techno-geek, so I thought the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner was really cool.

The Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Small and portable
  • Reads the info on receipts, so you don’t have to type in the info
  • Intuitive organization system

The Cons:

  • One more piece of equipment to keep track of

Overall, I can see where the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner would be very useful for the self-employed person. Especially if that person travels a lot. It would be nice to be able to scan in receipts while on the road, rather than dealing with a big pile of receipts when I get home.

I only tested it for a short time, but during that time, I didn’t have any computer or technical problems.

If I traveled more, I’d be tempted to buy myself a NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner. But since I’m frugal and don’t travel that often, I really can’t justify the expense as a necessary one. I wouldn’t mind receiving one as a gift, though.

Disclosure: I was provided a review unit of the NeatReceipts scanner, which I will need to send back to the company. All opinions are my own.



Author

By , on Apr 8, 2010
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.

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{93 Comments}

  1. Jennifer:

    I would absolutely love to have one to give to my husband for Father’s Day. He travels a lot and always has a handful of receipts and business cards. The other day he was asking where I had put his receipts after he returned. I would be much easier for him to put them into his laptop while in his hotel room.

  2. This would be so useful for all the military items I need to keep track of (when Hubby is deployed there is a LOT of legal paperwork) or for our budgeting purposes, or even for just scanning my kiddos artwork easily! I love the idea of being able to search for the receipt and having it automatically filed appropriately!

  3. Marcia Saylor:

    I would love to have this to keep all of our receipts separate. We raise Haflinger horses and Australian Cattle Dogs on our farm and I have to keep all receipts separate for tax time, plus our personal receipts. This would be a God send. Thanks!

  4. Leighann:

    This would be a great tool to have to keep track of medical receipts for flexible spending account reimbursement! I always seem to lose track of these receipts and often miss out on money that we could be getting back. Thanks!

  5. Joyce:

    I am my DH’s bookkeeper for his home based business, so this would be very helpful in keeping track of everything! I am the detailed organizer, he definitely is not! It is all I can do to get him to post receipts on a spindle for me. He does do field work for his business but I know he would not use it when he is out and about so I really don’t need it to be mobile. I would just use it in our home office. jgs0925 at gmail dot com

  6. Alex:

    This would be great to keep track of all my soccer referee expenses to take them off on my taxes.

  7. JI:

    I have been looking at this and other paperless solutions for sometime. This scanner appears to be on par if not better than most of the available options. I think pairing this scanner with the Paperless software by Mariner would be one of the best solutions available.

  8. brad:

    My wife and I keep all of our receipts for both personal budgeting and business expenses. The ability to easily digitize these receipts would be a godsend! I’ve tried with a traditional flatbed scanner and the process was far from optimal.

  9. Jaime S.:

    My husband and I have to keep track of reimbursable medical supplies and expenses for his insurance (that includes diapers, otc medicine) for him to be reimbursed later. This would make that soooooooo much easier.

  10. T:

    I use my debit card exclusively – no cash. I track my spending at mint.com, but sometimes I’m shopping at Meijer for something other than groceries – and it’s hard for me to remember what I bought, so I can break it down for my budget. This would be perfect, so I could search those receipts to see what I (and my forgetful husband) was actually spending money on.

  11. Maria:

    This would be awesome for personal budgeting!

  12. Jennifer:

    I would scan documents, tax deductable receipts and all the little notes i right information on and then loose around the house

  13. For me, it would definitely be keeping track of my receipts for tax purposes. I’m terrible about that, right now. It’s not good.

  14. ML:

    I’ve had my eye on this mobile scanner for awhile. I love that the software automatically imports and categorizes receipt information. Convenient, and good for de-cluttering paper-strewn desks.

  15. tlc:

    This is a great idea, if for nothing other than cutting down on clutter! Went out of state for a minor surgery and came home to ALL the receipts stuffed together, now must sort travel and medical receipts, portable scanner would be great for anyone!

  16. Ika:

    just need scanner that is portable and can be tucked away. mainly would use it for tax purpose as well

  17. Meghan:

    My new job requires some traveling. This would be ideal for keeping track of receipts while I’m traveling for work. My husband and I also keep a very strict budget so we current hold on to all receipts until we enter them into quicken. We keep receipts for any purchases that have warranties until the warranty has expired as well.

  18. Tricia:

    I would love one! Then my pile of receipts would be INSIDE the computer instead of 6 inches on TOP of my desk! :)

  19. PETE:

    To reduce the clutter in my house.

  20. Pam Bridger:

    Actually I wish I’d had one of these about 13 years ago when I first started into business for myself as a Medical Transcriptionist. Expense receipts are like gold, as you know, when you start trying to itemize every possible expense to counteract some of the whopping self-employmnent taxes we have to pay! Please enter me in the drawing!

  21. boomeyers:

    Hi Lynnae! I can’t imagine something so wonderful that would eliminate all the paperwork floating around my house and in my filing cabinet!! Less paper = a good thing! :-)

  22. Oh how I need this receipt scanner. The only reason I put off doing my taxes each year is because of all the receipts I have to go through for my direct selling business. Not only would this make tax preparation so much easier but would help with paper clutter for other things like warranties or keeping business cards from conference organized and handy.

  23. Mike:

    I would love this, I would be able to take it to school with me and scan documents into my laptop.

  24. Bill Pitcher:

    I’d like to have one of these because I notice that many receipts fade over time. For example, I keep all my home upgrade receipts in a special folder. I hadn’t done any upgrades for a while and when I finally did go back into this folder I noticed that I had a few almost blank pages that were once receipts. I had to overwrite them in pen. Now I make copies of my receipts in hopes that the copies will last longer.

  25. Terry B.:

    I have a 5 year old Son who has Down Syndrome. I would use the scanner to scan my receipts that I have to keep for his SSI payment. I have drawers and drawers full of receipts that would be a nightmare to go through if I got audited! I would love this!

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