If you've never stared woefully at a stack of business cards or receipts wishing you could magically digitize their info, I envy you. The NeatReceipts ($149.99) digital filing system might not be magic, but it's certainly much easier than entering all that information manually. The package includes a compact portable scanner combined with some nifty software that serves to extract and organize data from your business documents. It's a handy tool for both individuals and SMBs.
At 10.8 by 1.6 by 1.3 inches and 10.6 ounces, the NeatReceipts scanner will fit easily on any desk and won't weigh you down if you need to transport it. Setup is a simple matter of installing the software and plugging the unit into your computer's USB port, which is the only connection necessary for both power and data transmission.
Items must be scanned one at a time, and the process is a bit slow. Neat promises three to four receipts per minute, but it's more like 1.5 items per minute, as each item has to be processed individually immediately after scanning. Still, it's faster and easier than inputting the data by hand.
Of course, the software is an integral part of the system, and it did a pretty great job of organizing the information from the paper documents. Business cards are saved as digital contacts, while receipts become records of vendors and amounts, which will be useful at tax time.
The only issue I found was with receipts that had multiple totals, such as a restaurant with pre- and post-tip fields. Sometimes the wrong value was saved, but it's easy enough to edit in the app. This minor annoyance is erased by the inclusion of handy tools for creating tax and expense reports, as well as the option to export data to Quicken, Excel or TurboTax. You can also sync contacts with Outlook or your address book.
Additionally, NeatReceipts comes with a 30-day trial of NeatCloud, which backs up all of this data and lets you access it from anywhere. Beyond that period, a subscription costs anywhere from $5.99 to $24.99 per month.
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