Receipt scanning software, special software that helps you image and digitize your receipts, offers numerous substantial benefits for individuals, families, businesses and organizations. And all of these benefits – as we will see in the end – add up to big savings in terms of not only time and hassle, but money.
Let’s take a look at 16 of the benefits that receipts scanning software can bring you.
1. Save Space
One of the main reasons people are drawn to digitizing their receipts with receipt scanning software is to get rid of paper clutter. This not only makes your area cleaner, but may allow you to maintain less or much smaller filing cabinets or other storage units.
2. Ensure Financial Data is Recorded Promptly Due to Multiple Convenient Input Options
As you know, when you fall behind on tracking your finances, the work pile progressively builds and it becomes more daunting to catch up. So it is wise to make sure your important data is accounted for on a consistent basis.
In light of this, it is a good thing that there are receipt scanning software solutions that can make inputting your data incredibly simple no matter where you are.
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- At home or at the office – A variety of desktop scanners with a range of features can be used to input your data.
- Neat’s NeatDesk system offers a desktop scanner with Automatic Document Feeder technology including a special input tray to support batch scanning so you can instantly scan even a large pile of receipts at once.
- OfficeDrop offers tools that let you scan directly to cloud storage from your own compatible desktop scanner without even opening a web browser.
- Shoeboxed offers a web-based uploader that you can use to submit receipts imaged with any scanner or imaging device.
- On the road – Various providers offer mobile scanners and apps that work with your own mobile devices so you can input your data from anywhere.
- Neat offers a portable mobile scanner that weighs less than a pound and needs only a USB cord for both data transfer and power so no cumbersome batteries are required.
- OfficeDrop provides apps that let you use your mobile device’s camera to scan information to be transformed into multi-page PDF’s on the go.
- Shoeboxed offers an app for uploading images taken by your mobile device’s camera, as well.
Options like this make it easy to keep track of travel expenses while still in the midst of your travels. You can even get it done while waiting at the airport.
- You can even outsource your receipt digitizing if you don’t want to bother with receipt scanning software yourself. With Shoeboxed, you can simply send your receipts to them and they will take on the rest of the labor to accurately get them into the system, ready for you to work with. You can either electronically send them images of the receipts that you’ve created or mail them the physical receipts using envelopes they pay for and track, after which they can return the documents to you or shred and recycle them as you wish.
What all this means is that no matter where you are, no matter what the time, you can input your receipts into your digital system in just seconds. So you never again have to forget to do it or lose a receipt before you get around to entering it.
Some refer to a “digital filing cabinet” when describing the storage of your digitized receipts. These receipt scanning software options, by keeping your data in such a cabinet, offer security on a couple of levels.
- Privacy – When receipts are physically lying around, anybody could access them and their sensitive information. When you enter them into a digitized system, they are stored in a way where that information can be kept private.
- With Neat, you can store them on your system where you can keep it safe.
- With OfficeDrop, the entire upload process is encrypted and the company boasts of many security measures that they take to safeguard your stored data.
- Shoboxed also offers encryption, monitoring and other strong security measures.
- Protection from Loss of Data – Once digitized, using backups properly, it is easy to ensure your receipts will not be lost, even in the event of a natural disaster such as a fire or flood. OfficeDrop stores your data in the cloud. Shoeboxed promises to do backups of your data for you so you don’t even have to worry about it yourself.
If you scan your new receipts consistently, you will always have crystal clear images of them long after paper receipts would have become crumpled, faded and nearly unreadable. Some receipt scanning software, like OfficeDrop’s, will help you align your images properly when you scan them in, as well, making it even easier to read them whenever you need to.
5. Make Tweaks or Comments on Any Receipt Easily with Editability
Once your information is in one of these systems, you can easily manually fix or modify anything you need to or add notes of any kind. With Neat, you can even drag and drop text from your scanned digital images.
Once uploaded, all your receipts are in one identifable place. Also, each system allows you to categorize and/or label them so you can easily sort in a number of ways when you want to find any particular receipt.
- In OfficeDrop, you can organize using folders.
- Neat is especially…well…neat…because its patented software uses “Intelligent Text Recognition” technology to automatically recognize various types of data on the receipt, such as the vendor, location of purchase, date, price and payment method and place each piece of information in the right field within the software so you can sort by any of them.
7. Find Receipts Easily with Searchability
Once your data is in any of these systems, you can use a search function to find whatever receipt you need in a flash.
- Neat has both simple and advanced search capabilities designed specifically for use with these types of documents.
- OfficeDrop lets you attach tags and labels to each document that you can then search by later.
- Shoeboxed also has searchability.
8. Access Your Data 24/7 from Anywhere on Almost Any Device
You can view or work with your files anytime you want from any location.
- With Neat, you can keep your data on a tiny flash drive that you can easily bring with you anywhere. Or you can put it on your network that you can reach while away from your home or office or on the road.
- OfficeDrop stores your data in the cloud and offers a variety of ways to access it on your computers or using special apps for your mobile devices.
- Shoeboxed stores in the cloud where you can access it, as well.
9. Share Data Simply and Safely
With your receipts digitized and stored, it is very easy to share them with partners or anyone you need to and to do so safely.
Any of the programs allow you to easily email data or images anywhere you desire.
OfficeDrop lets you grant access to particular files to whoever you wish and then monitor and revoke that access when you choose.
10. Work with your Data in Many Common Programs
- Neat’s software can export to Excel, PDF, Quicken, Quickbooks, Turbo Tax and more.
- Shoeboxed exports into Quickbooks, Salesforce, Evernote, Bill.com and more.
- On Mac, OfficeDrop will also integrate with Evernote, Google Docs, Dropbox and Gmail.
These are just examples and not even comprehensive lists of the programs and formats with which each system is compatible.
11. Create Reports
You can use your digitized data to create expense and other related reports in the different receipt scanning software.
12. Stay on Budget More Easily
In order to really stick to a budget, you need to track all of your expenses and other financial information. If doing so is a hassle, you may not consistently do it, leading you to miss your goals. When inputting and storing each receipt is as easy as these receipt scanning software systems make it, and you can access and work with them anytime from any place, you are far more likely to follow through with your financial plans.
13. Make Returning Your Purchases Easier
Part of staying on budget is making sure you return unwanted or defective items. But this requires having a receipt for each item you want to return. With these systems, you will always have the receipt you need available when you go to do a return.
14. Maintain a more Efficient Workforce
Having financial data so conveniently accessible and easy to work with means workers that rely on that data can better and more effectively carry out their jobs.
It also means that you either may not have to hire someone to do your bookkeeping or that whoever does it can do it while expending far less time and energy, freeing them to work part-time or spend more time on other important work.
15. Make Tax Time Easier and Less Expensive
A good receipt scanning software system will benefit you come tax time in a few ways:
- You can add tax information or assign tax categories to receipts when you scan them in, so when tax time comes, everything is prepared in a form you or your tax preparer can use.
- The best receipt scanner software systems, like Neat, can easily facilitate the creation of the reports you or your accountant will need to prepare for taxes and will even allow you to export the reports into the financial programs you use, such as Excel, Quicken, Quickbooks and Turbo Tax.
This will save you time, and therefore money, if you do your own taxes. And if you have a tax preparer do them, it will take them less time and you may then receive a less costly bill.
- Having every expense well documented may also benefit you financially by ensuring that you receive all of the tax deductions for which you qualify.
- The scanned digital images themselves are IRS acceptable. So if the IRS ever asks to review any of your receipts, you will easily be able to find and provide them within seconds.
Going paperless with your receipts, as well as possibly saving printing ink, may mean that receipt scanning software is better for the environment.
The Bottom Line: Simplify Your Life and Save Money at the Same Time
How often does an action both make your life much easier and save you money by doing it? Not often. But using receipt scanning software can do just that.
With batch scanning, mobile scanning, direct scanning to the cloud, integration with and exporting to many commonly used programs, easy report creation and so much more, the entire process can be extremely convenient.
And at the same time it offers:
- More space with less clutter
- Reduced paper and ink usage
- Protection of your sensitive data from prying eyes or loss
- Clear, legible, editable, organized and searchable records that you can access and share whenever, wherever and however you need
- Easier budgeting compliance
- Simpler purchase returns
- An easier, more straightforward tax process
- A more streamlined workforce in terms of activity and size
Efficiency is enhanced all around. And it is probably better for the environment, to boot.
Moreover, if you think about it, just about every benefit of receipt scanning software mentioned also custs costs and saves you money. And these are costs you save on not just once, but again and again for years to come. In the end, receipt scanning software pays for itself many times over.
Bonus: The Benefits Go Beyond Just Receipts
As if all of these benefits aren’t enough, consider that certain receipt scanning solutions will also bring you similar benefits in regards to other types of documents.
For instance, Neat has a special module in its digital filing software that stores business card images and data. So you scan the business cards and, just as when you scan receipts, software will intelligently extract the data and automatically organize it in the proper digital fields. You can then edit or add notes to the cards, search them to find what you need or even work with them in contact management programs like Outlook or in a vCard. You can also then sync them with your mobile device.
Neat will also allow you to scan in just about any other kind of document of any shape or size, including:
- Medical records
- Legal documents
- Insurance documents
- Product warranty documents
- Newspaper or magazine articles
- Personal or family records or documents
With Neat’s desktop scanner, you can even take advantage of its batch scanning technology to scan any combination of these in just one pass and the software will automatically recognize each document’s type and respond accordingly. Furthermore, with that scanner, you can scan up to fifty standard sized documents at once, even using two-sided scanning.
And once uploaded, all of the data from these documents will also be editable and searchable. You can even link various related documents to make it easier still to find them when you need them.
Receipt Scanning Software: A No Brainer
So whether for your own personal or family accounting or that of your business or organization, you can see that receipt scanning software can make life so much easier in so many ways, and that the best scanning software can actually pay for itself. That is why we highly recommend that you take advantage of this wonderful technology today!