Resource Scanning Equipment Suggestions

hbplifestyle

New Member
This day and age going paperless is becoming more common for bookkeeping. My client wants me to start scanning all his bills. On TV I've seen a commercial for a device called "Neat Receipts." Has anyone used this particular piece of equipment or have suggestions for something reasonable in cost for a virtual bookkeeper.
 

LeeDrozak

Community Leader
I use it and love it. I opted for the portable scanner since I am on the road quite a bit but am also considering the desktop version as I picked up a new client who wants to go paperless and has "boxes" of paper documents.

I certainly would recommend Neat Receipts over the others because of the versatility to scan business cards, receipts and even documents. The nice thing about this company if that when new versions of software come out you have the option to purchase at an upgrade price.
 

cyndijorgensen

New Member
I have had it for about a month now. I am most excited to be able to generate tax reports so that I can integrate the information into our QuickBooks. They did have a 30 day trial going, just pay shipping for 30 days. You could check that out and then see if it is a piece of office equipment you want to invest in.
 

shamrockadmin

New Member
I haven't used the scanner that was mentioned, but do have the fujitsu scan snap. a bit pricey, but it works fast, scans both sides, and rarely jams which is important when scanning lots of contracts, policies, etc.
 

OTBAS

New Member
I've used the NeatReceipt desktop scanner for about 3 years now and LOVE it. I have clients that send me all their company receipts in a "next day" envelope. Normally, I would have to go through and scan each one separately or group them together on an 8x11 sheet of paper in order to scan them...but NeatReceipt desktop has the 3 ADFs -- top one for 8x11 sheets/documents; middle one for the glossy store/creditcard/restaurant recepts; bottoms one for business cards. Press the "scan" button, and the software scans the documents into the expense report.
Once everything is scanned in, I take a quick look at the expense report, might have to tweak an item or two (but not often); then I take the "Expense" report and export it as a .csv file into Excel, and send that Excel file back to the client.

It's a time-saver.

Janice
 

MelissaBologhVA

New Member
I have one of those All in one scan/copy/faxes. I have a scan app on my work tablet on the off chance I need to scan something and I'm not in my office. I can email it to myself from there. I thought about getting just a scanner,and then having everything be digital, but out of habit, and because I'm kinda old fashioned, I like having hard copies of EVERYTHING. So I have something that can do everything. :)
 

MGMcCoy

New Member
I have used Neat Desk for several years. I own and operate a small family ranch, so not a large business, otherwise I am retired from a company that used similar though much more elaborate systems. Bear in mind that Neat desk is not anything other than a basic receipt scanner with OCR attached to a pretty rudimentary database. If you are thinking Microsoft Access, think more rudimentary than that. What it does good is scan and organize receipts (expenses). What it does less well is scan income receipts like W-2 forms, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-B, etc. It is NOT a double entry type system. It does not distinguish well between income and expenses and the reports do not allow for much in the way of separating the two. You can establish a subdirectory structure to separate the reports. There are a few work arounds, I have tried several, but none that I am perfectly happy with. You can assign receipts to a few tax categories, but you can't add categories like "Schedule F" for farm related expenses. They also do not seem to offer modules for specific categories of business endeavors. Searches are very tricky, awkward, and time consuming. If you are looking for a specific receipt for, say, $1,234.56 you first have to do a key word search, then after it finishes that enter a filter for "Receipt" then "Amount,", then "Equal to" then you can just enter a number, right? No! If you select the $00.00 and type 1234.56 it blanks back out. Instead you have to use the cursor to select only the first two zeros and type 1234, then you select the two zeros after the decimal and type 56. Pretty awkward and, as I said, time consuming as you make database corrections before taxes. I also have issues with crunch time crashes. Tax time is when you generate reports, and that is when you find how weak the database really is. Access can have thousands of records just for a reference point. If you have a lot of receipts, and in the ranching business I do, the system crashes when my receipt numbers get over about 500. I get the message "Neat has stopped working" and the database must be restarted. Contacting customer support has cost me about 20 hours on the phone with support to no avail. I have loaded the system on a newer computer, and still have the same issues. Finally today, support gave up on me and told me to generate smaller reports. I pointed out that the Neat website clearly says that they offer solutions for small business and industry as well as home use. If they are unable to handle a micro business like my family ranch, I am left to wonder who their target market really is. In summary, I like a bit of what neat offers, but the programming is not very robust nor do they seem inclined to listen to their customers. One look at the contact protocols for service issues and you will not that they deliberately try to make it difficult to contact a human without first buying a platinum support plan. If you are unhappy with the support you receive, contacting a company officer is impossible. I feel they do not want to talk about what they can do to provide a more useful program. Their philosophy seems to be what you see is what you get and what it will always be. I will be looking around for something better. I may still find myself working with Neat Desk next year, but it is very frustrating. I find their closed door policy very odd. Most companies want to hear from their customers. I suggested they start a forum for customer feedback, the CSR paid lip service to that but I felt that was all he was doing. One solution I will be trying is to export my data to Access after scanning and before reporting. If that works, I will develop my tax reports from that and perhaps Neat Desk will still have a part to play. As it stand right now, all I will say is I like the scanner pretty well, I have had better but not cheaper or smaller. It seems very reliable and requires very little maintenance and is reasonably fast. The OCR is second to many others but still pretty accurate. The database is a weak link, but I will still need to generate my Backup Documentation images with it so I need a work around for that. The included pdf convertor may be 90 percent of that problem and perhaps purchasing Adobe Professional will help if I print to Adobe instead of saving as a pdf using the included converter. If anyone else has experienced these issues and can offer suggestions, I would be ecstatic.
 

SimtekServices

New Member
I use a desktop scanner (a Canon) but am leaning towards something like the Fuji Snap Scan as it will save me time when doing batch scanning.

My concern over Neat Receipts is whether you can extract your sans for use elsewhere (major requirement), and whether you can use the scanner outside the software.
 

Amanda2221

New Member
I have been eyeing the NeatDesk for years now! It's so nice to hear all of the good reviews, especially after 3 years! I'm the type of person that just hates paper and wish everything was electronic. I scan things in and just have an adobe document of it, but really like all of the features. I've never heard of Fuji. Is that compatible? I wonder if anyone has used both of them?
 

happyvirtually

New Member
Recently I was looking at some scanning options because I really had thought that maybe I could find somewhere that might rent equipment like this to help me get rid of my giant paper monster. The review I saw for the Neat scanner was not very good. The price tag on this is far too high for what the reviews results panned out. As a fix, at least for now, I have been using my Evernote Premium account to scan some of my paperwork into my Evernote account. Depending on what your end product needs to be used for, this might be a decent answer to the problem, especially since a Premium account on Evernote is about $5 a month.
 

MGMcCoy

New Member
I use a desktop scanner (a Canon) but am leaning towards something like the Fuji Snap Scan as it will save me time when doing batch scanning.

My concern over Neat Receipts is whether you can extract your sans for use elsewhere (major requirement), and whether you can use the scanner outside the software.[/QUOTE


Yes, you can export scans for use elsewhere. I routinely export to pdf and to xlsx (Excel) and I am hoping it will export to Access, but have not tried that yet. Other export formats may also be available, TXT, Rich text, etc but I have not needed that so can't say for certain. I would not expect a lot of flexibility based on my experience with the program so far. It always seems limited when I have an idea to make my life easier and Neat Support is of little help.

No, I do not believe you can use the scanner outside of its proprietary software. It's driver does not show up on my computer as a recognized scan device in my other programs.
 

Pam's VAS

New Member
I use a desktop scanner (a Canon) but am leaning towards something like the Fuji Snap Scan as it will save me time when doing batch scanning.

My concern over Neat Receipts is whether you can extract your sans for use elsewhere (major requirement), and whether you can use the scanner outside the software.
The Fuji Snap Scan is QUICK and EASY to use! My vote would stay with Fuji than move to the Neat Desk. I have heard some awful reviews regarding the Neat Desk.

Fuji comes with great out of the box software but can also integrate with other software applications as well.
 
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