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. Janette:

    Wow! What a wonderful idea. As a teacher I know I spend several thousand dollars on my classroom every year, but lose the receipts. I end up with a standard deduction every year.
    This would be fantastic!

  2. Ignacio:

    Being in the military, this scanner would be an awesome addition to keep me organized when being dispatched to different parts of the world. I never am able to hold on to receipts long enough to place them in folders when i get home. It has always been nearly impossible to get myself organized because of this during tax time. This would be a great addition to my travels as i can take it in my laptop bag and scan the receipts in when I am away from home!

  3. HI….I think its great thing to think about it we always loose our receipts but with this neat receipts scanner makes its very easy it would be very good and we can use for multipurpose so it will keep my receipts on track . great job i would be very happy to have a nice thing

  4. Jenna:

    I would like the scanner to scan in recipes from magazines and library books.

  5. Jessica:

    I am always losing receipts, and my current storage method is throwing them all in a drawer, and at the end of the year emptying the drawer into a clasp-envelope. I have 5 years worth of receipts. Do I need to purge?! This would totally help with the receipts that I have to turn in for reimbursement too, and rebates!

  6. Angie:

    Great Review. I have never heard of it, but have to get one! We have our own trucking business and small acreage farm. I believe that this would be useful tool to have. Thanks for the review!

  7. Our taxes are files. We had to pay more this yer. It was an unpleasant surprise.

  8. April:

    Wow, a NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner would totally streamline my day! I have to keep receipts for tax and accounting purposes and hate having to sit down with a big accumulated pile, enter the information into my computer, and then stuff the pile in some file folder somewhere. Paperless freedom, be mine!

  9. Megan C.:

    I have had my eye on one of these for receipts! Would be awesome to win! BTW, the posts you have made about TBW and all the comments have been my lifeline through this mess and I know it has been for many others as well… so thanks!

  10. Kafi:

    My husband travels a lot for work, and always has to build in an extra 1/2 day upon return to do his expense report. This would allow him to use his airport time to get it done, so he is ready to play with the kids as soon as he gets home.

  11. Cindy:

    Whenever I send in rebates, I never get to make a copy of it, so i just send in the original. Some rebates I never get back since I don’t have the original receipt anymore so i can’t send it in again so I’m out of luck. This would be a great tool to keep track of which ones were successfull

  12. Beth:

    This would be so great to keep track of our reciepts!! I have receipts all over and end up losing some and not being able to find what I’m looking for. And then when the time comes to figure out my budget it is a mess! Not to mention the unsightly eyesore it creates. And with my husband making less money and our first baby on the way I really need to get our budget on track. thanks for the opportunity to win something so useful!

  13. Nichole:

    I would love this! I too have been interested in the NeatReceipts system since I first heard about it. I have receipts everywhere and this would go a long way to help me be more organized and stick to a budget.

  14. Sara:

    This would be a great tool!

  15. Suzanne:

    I would love this for my husband. He travels on weekends selling service/labor and parts at motorcycle race tracks up and down the east coast. If he could scan in the invoice slips and send them to his shop they could process the credit cards right away and then there may not be any issues of a fraudulent credit card purchases.

  16. Laura:

    I knew about these with the last job I had – they got them for all the sales people who traveled – it made expense reports SO much easier! My doctor’s office also uses a similar device for scanning medical cards – talk about saving paper! I’d love to have one to keep track of regular budget expenses – groceries, gas, and the like. This year, we’re going to have more deductions than last (new baby, large charitable donations, education expenses, side business expenses) and it would be so nice to have a scanner like this one to just run the receipts through to manage and track.

  17. DeannaY:

    What an awesome tool to keep an office and business organized. I would really like this product.

  18. Brian C:

    Great review. I am like you and have been postponing owning one of these for a year or better. I am on the road 5 days a week and always have trouble getting my receipts together for the eventual expense report. Not to mention it would be great to send the scanned receipts via email to our accounting department at the end of the week instead of having to mail it in. Even if I don’t get picked, the review was helpful and I might have to purchase one.
    Thanks, Brian C

  19. gina:

    My husband is always going on business trips and LOSING HIS RECEIPTS!!! We could REALLY use this!!

  20. Bobbi:

    Wow, this is cool I would love this because I am just now getting ready to start my first online business and it would be very helpful! I think it would be an excellent way to keep everything in one place and easily accessible. Thanks,

  21. What a cool machine!
    I am the queen of receipts! I have them EVERYWHERE!
    This might help me stay more organized!

  22. Kelly Kraft:

    With the mobile scanner I could easily keep all of my caregiving receipts, school receipts, and medical receipts in proper order. Since we access our receipts for caregiving and medical four or five times a year depending on which program or which developmental doctor we are visiting. It would probably cut my time in 1/3 and the bulkiness down to a jump drive. Zapping important information to medical personnel would be heaven and mean we could proper attention to medical needs faster. Currently we are driving to Eugene everytime we need to accesss developmental issues. Thanks so much.

  23. LoriO:

    With multiple clients, multiple receipts, multiple to do list, and multiple everything else in the world it would be great to have a scanner so I would no longer have multiple piles!

  24. Kate:

    I just started keeping track of my and my husband’s income and expenses in a filebox for next year’s taxes. We haven’t been married very long, and I’ve never had to file my own taxes, so this year was kind of nuts. I already don’t like having a mass of papers to keep track of for next year’s taxes and however many years after that. I’m also thinking about starting my own home bakery, and as you said, this would be super helpful for self-employment purposes!

  25. Maria:

    I have yearned for the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner since I first read about it a few months ago! I am a newly single mom with care of my 3 children and am trying very hard to find the most efficient ways to budget our resources and keep very accurate records without holding on to mounds of paperwork. One of my children has a lot of medical visits and expenses and I think the NeatReceipts scanner would also be a tremendous help in keeping track of doctor visits, instructions, testing results, and medication changes and expenditures.

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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.

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