NeatReceipts Scanalizer: The Review.

Gadgets, Organization, Reviews, Tools, Useful Things by Richard

Recently, my girlfriend and I found ourselves in Office Depot. While waiting in line for an open register, we spotted a product with a strange name… the Scanalizer. The picture on the box (of a receipt going through a small, sheet-fed scannner) intrigued me, and I thought it would be a potentially very useful product, so I decided to check one out.

The Scanalizer is not just a scanner, it’s a tightly knit system of hardware and software that work together to turn your receipts, business cards and other documents into electronic form…effectively, it’s a low cost document management system in a box! It’s based around a problem that many of us have: receipts and documents piling up everywhere. Anyone can scan in their receipts using the software that comes with their scanners, but the power of the Scanalizer system is the “analizer” part. It pulls information right off of your receipts and business cards, totaling up your expenses, moving your contacts into a more manageable format, and much more. They’ve really packed a lot of power into the system. Out of the box, it’s got a database of over 1500 popular stores, restaurants and hotels. It reads Vendor, Date, Tax, Amount, Payment Type and Category right off your scanned receipts, and Name, Title, Company, Address, Phone/Fax, Web/Email fields off of business cards, then enters the information into the proper columns in the software. If it happens to misread something, you can easily fill the information in. If the Vendor on the receipt is not recognized, you can add it.

Okay, so you’ve gotten all of your documents and their information into your computer. What do you do with them now? You can throw them away. NeatReceipts is IRS approved, so if you ever do need to prove that indeed, you did buy that 30 inch monitor for your business last year, you’re taken care of. Your IRS agent will probably go easy on you because you’ve made their job so easy (think the exact opposite of what Maggie Gyllenhaal did to Will Ferrell in “Stranger Than Fiction”.) If you need to work with any of your information in any other program, no problem! The NeatReceipts software can export its data to Quicken, Microsoft Money, QuickBooks, Excel, Outlook, PDFs and more.

Here’s how scanning a typical receipt works: You open the NeatReceipts software, choose a folder to store your documents in, feed a receipt into the scanner, and click the “Scan” button. It doesn’t matter which way you orient the receipt, the software will rotate the image for you once it’s scanned. The scanned receipt is then Scanalized so that it can fill in the fields for you, then you’re given control. You are shown an image of the receipt that was just scanned, and given the corresponding fields for the data that was pulled in from the receipt, so you can verify it. That’s it! Drop that receipt into the trash, you’re done with it forever.

In my experience, the software was easy to figure out, was well laid out, and worked as advertised. The only issue that we had with the Scanalizer was getting it to properly read the information on some of our older and damaged receipts. After spending some time in the NeatReceipts forums, I realized that there was a setting in the software that would help greatly with those kinds of receipts. If they come in too light (because they’re old and faded, or the register was running out of ink the day that they were printed) you can adjust the darkness of the image in real-time so that it can be read better, then run the Scanalizer on it again. I found that generally if I adjusted the image to where I could easily make out the characters on the receipt, there was no problem Scanalizing the image.

The NeatReceipt Scanalizer system comes with a lightweight scanner, the NeatReceipts software, a USB cable, travel pouch, a desktop stand, calibration and cleaning paper, a wall mount holder and the User Guide., and will run you $199.95. I think it’s totally worth it to get rid of all those stacks of paper that your desk is buried in. NeatReceipts really does have a solid system here.


Comments (3)

3 replies on “NeatReceipts Scanalizer: The Review.”

Very nice review – buy you didn’t mention that its PC only – they do not have a mac version.

Thanks for the info about the Mac version. I hope the software is compatible w/ the PC. I have a Mac now, but use a Laptop PC as a back up system, as well as things like this that are PC only. As the Mac is a desktop, and my primary, it will make it easier to use. Nice product, though, and if I can use it, any OTHER fool could too. Thanx!

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