Pile Of Receipts -iStock

Tame Your Paper Tiger With Neat Receipts

If piles of cash receipts make you feel trapped like a circus cat come tax time, this scanning device could bring relief.

Pile Of Receipts -iStock


SAVE  TIME | Everyone has their own idea of Hell On Earth, but sorting a year’s worth of scrunched up cash receipts spilling out of plastic bags and bureau drawers is a one-way trip to bookkeeping-Hades for pretty much anyone.

I’ve tried various organizing and recording methods, but my favourite is NeatReceipts, a mini “scanalizer” that reads, records and analyzes data from both sales receipts and business cards. It also allows you to print out copies with multiple receipts on a page.

While there are some Internet complaints about its card scanning capabilities, I’ve found NeatReceipts a big help for cash receipts even though the software is most effective when reading U.S. dollar currency slips. When working in Canadian dollars, the receipt image is recorded, and some information is read (date, vendor, category), but some of the time the remaining info must be manually typed in. At first that bugged me, but once I got into the swing I found the overall recording process easier with NeatReceipts than any other method I’d used.

Neat Receipts ScannerThe NeatReceipts website says that Revenue Canada permits the destruction of original hard copy books and records but that you need to keep the electronic record copy for a minimum period of six years from the latest year to which they relate (CLICK HERE for more info). For safety’s sake, I stuff my crumpled originals in a banker’s box, setting aside any receipts tied to warranties. And I use my printouts for end-of-year accounting.

At $199, NeatReceipts scanner isn’t particularly cheap (for $80 you can buy just the software to use with your own scanner), but it can save you time and will certainly make accounting paperwork more orderly. To me that’s worth a lot.—Ruth Rainey

For more on NeatReceipts visit www.neatco.com

Photo: iStock

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