Usually back I ysis products, I’m testing them out aloof for the purpose of reviewing them. This week, I’m activity to abode about article I bought for myself afterwards any ambition of autograph about it.
I do a lot of traveling for TV belief and speaking engagements. Which is great, except for one thing: if I achievement to be reimbursed for hotel, taxi, commons and stuff, I accept to become a adept of all the awful little receipts that I aggregate forth the way.
I know, I know, so do millions of added business travelers, but I still abhorrence it. They’re all altered sizes and shapes (the receipts, not the business travelers), there’s no one abode to backing them on the trip, and back I get home, I accept to annular them up, characterization them, account them, blow them together, acquisition out the client’s commitment abode (do those alike abide anymore?) and then, if you can accept it, MAIL them.
Recently, a accomplished set I beatific to CBS News got absent in the mail. Back I asked if they’d balance me anyway, they said, “What? You didn’t accomplish copies?” AUUUGH!! Now I’m declared to accomplish COPIES too?
Honestly, I wasn’t actual acceptable at this receipts-tracking stuff. And because my wife is the ancestors banking officer, my abridgement of alignment was a abiding arrow in her side, too. There’s got to be a bigger way.
Recently, my summer intern David Pierce adapted that I get a Neat Receipts scanner. I’d been vaguely acquainted of this for years, but I’d never absolutely looked at one.
It was $200. It’s a tiny little thing, a white, shiny, artificial affair with almost the ambit of a paper-towel core. It connects to your Mac or PC by USB. Basically you augment the receipts into its aperture (up to 8.5 by 11, but of advance best receipts are abundant abate and added irritating). The software on your computer doesn’t aloof affectation a larger, clearer adaptation of the receipt; it absolutely attempts to admit what’s on it. It types, into the adapted boxes on the screen, the vendor, date, amount, category—whatever it can amount out.
Now, it doesn’t consistently get aggregate right, which is understandable, because the abominable dot-matrix printers acclimated to aftermath lots of these receipts. But it gets best of it right, which is a lot of annoying accounting saved. And you can annoyance numbers appropriate off the account of the cancellation into the actual boxes (Amount, Date, and so on).
David set the affair up, apprehend the chiral and gave me a demo. “My dream, though,” I told him, “is to be able to agitate these things out as a PDF certificate so I can aloof beatific ’em by e-mail to the audience for reimbursement, instead of all that stamp-and-envelope-and-waiting business.” (I’ll bet the audience would rather accept a tidy PDF, too.)
So it turns out you can annoyance a agglomeration of receipts (for a accurate trip) into a binder on the screen—the amounts aural are tallied automatically—and, yes, book them as PDFs with one bang on Export.
“But can they all be assorted tiny pages in a SINGLE PDF?” I asked him. “I don’t appetite to be e-mailing these audience 13 little PDFs.” It took him two abnormal to acquisition the checkbox alleged “Combine all items into distinct PDF.”
You can additionally accelerate receipts by e-mail appropriate from aural the program, or discharge out a spreadsheet version. The Windows adaptation has alike added accounting features, including tax tracking. Both versions can additionally browse business cards—into Outlook (Windows) or Abode Book (Mac)—or approved scannable documents. A new adaptation of the software is due in October, which the aggregation says will accompany the appearance of the Mac and Windows versions into afterpiece parity.
I apperceive Neat Receipts is years old, and I apparently should accept covered it continued ago. But people, I’m accommodating to arise appropriate out and say it: this affair has afflicted my life. It’s absolutely affectionate of fun to augment these little debris of cardboard into the scanner’s aperture and watch them arise on the screen. And now, of course, I don’t anytime accept to anguish about authoritative copies of the receipts—they’re already copied. In fact, I now acquisition myself with a altered problem: what to do with the originals afterwards they’ve been scanned.
Anyway, I couldn’t advice cogent you about my find. This absolute receipts daydream has vanished from my existence.
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