Portable Receipt and Document Scanner

I first heard about this product several years ago and it has been on my wish list ever since. I definitely would not consider myself a hoarder, but I do tend to hold on to some things longer than necessary. That includes receipts.

In one of my desk drawers, I have an old cigar box that my father gave me long ago that holds all of my receipts. Every receipt goes in there. I have a large, red glass paperweight heart that sits on top of it because it often gets so full that I need to hold the lid down so the drawer will close!

My original intent was to hold on to receipts until the end of the month when I receive my bank statement and then balance my checkbook.  Yes, I balance my checkbook every single month when the statement comes and if I’m off by even a penny I go nuts until I can figure out why.  It’s always human error, of course.  So if you haven’t figured it out already, I’m pretty anal about some things.  I think it’s a good thing. 

Getting back to the box – I figured that once I balanced my checkbook I would go through the receipts and determine which to keep (large purchases or things I may need to return or purchases that were not yet reflected on the recent bank statement) and which to toss or shred.

Getting Started On My Taxes

Well, I haven’t done a very good job keeping up with the receipt box this past year. It was beyond overflowing just recently, but that ended up being a – sort of – godsend. Perhaps godsend it too much, but it did end up being a good thing. Here’s why:

I usually do my own taxes, using Turbo Tax Deluxe so I can itemize deductions. I installed Turbo Tax a few days ago and started going through some of the categories, even though we still haven’t received all necessary documents.

When I got to the deduction section for sales tax, the program asked if I wanted it to automatically estimate my sales tax paid for the year (recommended by the program) or if I wanted to calculate the amount myself if I have receipts (unusual according to the program.) So I went with the recommended estimation and it came back with $262. I looked at that and thought surely I paid more than that in sales tax throughout the year, so I grabbed my cigar box of receipts and flipped through to see how far back they went – about 7 months worth! Yikes, I was behind!

Had I had one of these last year, my taxes would be so much easier to prepare!

Why I need a Neat Receipts Scanner

I was determined to get as much as possible as a deduction, so I painstakingly went through the giant stack, one by one, and calculated the sales tax I paid on each purchase – it came to nearly $1000! – so of course that’s the figure I used on the tax forms. The only problem was that I now couldn’t get rid of the receipts – they have to be saved for at least three years in case of an audit.

Now, had I had a Neat Receipts Desktop Scanner and Digital Filing System, I could have been able to toss that giant stack of receipts and just hold on to the information in a computer file – no clutter!

Now I have a great reason to buy one of these babies – the IRS accepts Neat Receipts scans in lieu of actual receipts!

More uses for Neat Receipts and Neat Desk:

If you use expense reports for work, you know the pain of losing receipts before you’ve had a chance to submit them for reimbursement.  With NeatReceipts, you can digitize receipts anywhere – even on an airplane – and keep your expenses safe and secure.  The software even extracts key data that can be sent to PDF or Excel, allowing you to finish off a report in minutes, rather than months.

Is your stack of receipts this high?  Neat Receipts can help!
Is your stack of receipts this high? Neat Receipts can help!

There are two products available, NeatReceipts and NeatDesk. Neat Receipts is a mobile scanner plus digital filing system. It weighs in at less than a pound, is slim and easy to carry, USB powered and can scan pages up to 8.5” wide. This is perfect for keeping track of spending and organizing important paperwork.

Neat Desk is - you guessed it - a desktop scanner plus digital filing system. It’s a high speed automatic document feeder scanner that can function as a “digital inbox” for all the papers that usually clutter your desk. It can scan both sides of receipts, business cards and documents in a single pass. This one is your ultimate office tool for small business owners to help keep papers under control.

Things that Neat Receipts can do for you:

  • Save images and digital records
  • Create expense reports and track spending
  • Export to apps, like PDF, Excel and Quicken
  • Scan business cards to digitize images and contact info
  • Send contacts to Outlook or your Mac Address Book
  • You can also create your own contact management system
  • You can scan documents to create PDF files
  • Find documents with a simple keyword search
  • Organize and store documents in your digital filing system

Do you save your receipts?

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