Article, January 2007
by Mike Wayte,
member of the Boeing Employeesí Computer Society, Washington
mikejwsr(at)comcast.net (click to email author)
The SCANALIZER by NEATRECEIPTS is a hardware/software package that allows you to organize the paper products in your life. It is specifically geared to copying, analyzing, organizing and filing receipts (with provisions to identify and present Income Tax info) and business cards, and copying, sorting and storing documents.
One might say, I store my receipts and tax information in a file cabinet, my business cards in a cardholder and my documents in notebooks----why do I need a SCANALIZER?
Those thoughts were on my mind as I read the information on their web site. But the more I read, the more intrigued I became with the description of their product. After a few calls, one showed up on my doorstep, one week before the October member- ship meeting, where I was to give a demo of its capabilities.
Letís start with first impressions: the scanner is small as you can see from the figure. I thought, yes, it is small, but I already have a scanner, why do I need this one? If you travel, you can plug this little thing into your laptop via the USB cable and you are ready to copy and organize your expense receipts, catalogue those business cards you picked up and save that literature you collected. Now everything is orderly in one place. If you are at home, you will find the SCANALIZER quickly scans your material, rotates the receipt on the screen and puts the information in the proper storage slot. I have an HP 6110 all-purpose office machine and quickly learned it is much easier and quicker to push the receipt, business card or document into the scanner. I also learned that I had to adjust my 6110 to 200% so business cards could be read and stored into the database. For those of you who do not have photocopier capability, enter SCANALIZER. Run the document through the scanner and print out a copy.
We have all been exposed to sales pitches. I wanted to see if this thing could really do all the purported analysis of receipts and business cards.
The interface is very user friendly. The types of items we wish to file are an easy click away. When a feature comes up we see all the information categories into which data will be catalogued. There are about 20 choices and if you donít like those you can change the name of one you donít like to something you want.
I started with receipts: I collected as many different receipts as I could. One of the features is that the SCANALIZER has a database with 1500 stores/ vendors. Thus, many of your receipts will match the database and be so identified. For those that donít, you type in the name the first time (I was surprised to learn that COSTCO was not in their database) and it will be remembered. My receipts covered a wide range of sizes, shapes and suppliers. Everything from gas station receipts from Costco to Hertz Equipment rental statements. There were a few glitches, such as missing names, reading Costco zeros that look like phi ( ) as 8 or adding digits to the receipt.
Overall, however, receipts entered top up, top down, sideways (width limit of 8-1/2 inches) or anywhere between gave the same result. The accuracy was truly impressive. It also has the capability to allow you to split expenses from a single receipt, which can be multi-page. At present they do not have an archiving system but are working on it. Categories and vendors are determined by the user to catalogue and save receipt information. Sales tax is captured and isolated as a category. You can also identify a tax-deductible item. Tax-deductible items are gathered up and summarized for entry into your 1040. The IRS accepts the electronic receipt format.
Being a packrat I have many different kinds of business cards. A couple of my old Boeing cards resulted in a flawless copy and catalogue job. Other cards ranged from a complete job to an almost incomplete job. I showed 15 different cards at the meeting. Those with graphics (e.g. car repair shops with figures of cars) did not fare a well as a ďstrictly businessĒ type of card. The information that can be copied and catalogued includes name, company name, phone and fax numbers, email addresses and websites. Clicking on the website in the database takes you directly to the site. You can recall the card information by one of several methods including the personís first or last name, the company name, address or, like an internet search, information containing some data.
Finally, there is the document copy feature. Tell the SCANALIZER how many pages and how you want to file it, and copy away.
Did I also mention they have a great Help Desk using a version of instant messaging (or telephone if you really need help)? Top notch!
OK, how much does the SCANALIZER cost? The list price is $229.00, On the web Iíve seen it for as low as $180.00. NEATRECEIPTS has offered us the product for $170.00 at your front door. UPS ground shipping will be used to send the product to you. The procedure for ordering it is:
Call Guilia Umile of NEATRECEIPTS (pronounced Julia Umilay) @ 1-866-632-8732, ext 106; If she is not at her phone, leave your name and phone number; she will call you back. They take the major credit cards: Visa, MC, Amex and Discover.
http://www.neatreceipts.com/ Cost is $170.00, which includes shipping.
Note from Judy Taylour, Chair, APCUG Benefits / Services Committee: Guilia has extended the offer to all of the APCUG-member user groups.
There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this article as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the author. The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of which this group is a member, brings this article to you.Click here to return to top