Managing and taking charge of your finances means staying on top of your expenses and expenditures. In this case, your receipts are of so much value as they help keep these records. However, storing your receipts in files and drawers risks damaging and destroying them since they are fragile.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, business person, or simply want to stay financially updated and organized, you need the best receipt scanner to digitize your expense and expenditure records. This is because scanning receipts helps keep them safe, secure and organized.
We know that your receipts are important to you and we plan to keep it that way. For this reason, we have searched high and low for the best receipt scanners on the market to help you stay more organized. We also have a buying guide to help you make an informed purchase. In addition, we will share some of the best receipt scanning apps in case you want to go this route.
What Is A Receipt Scanner?
We are sure you are familiar with photo and document scanners, but a receipt scanner? What is it and what does it do? So let's get into it.
If you are a freelancer, solopreneur, small business or a big corporation, you know how important keeping track of every purchase and expense is to your business. The best receipt scanner saves you so much time and labor; rather than having to save and file each receipt individually, go ahead and manually enter accounting data and store your bulky receipts file in a drawer.
This is possible since receipt scanners convert your physical receipts into digital files that are well organized and easy to track. A physical receipt scanner will look like a typical scanner or printer, with different varieties like portable scanners. On the other hand, a receipt scanning app is downloadable on your smartphone and uses the camera to capture and scan the receipt.
This article will focus on the best of both worlds, physical receipt scanners and receipt scanner apps to help you stay on top of your financial decisions. Depending on your line of work, you will find these receipt scanners to be a valuable addition to money management.
Why Do You Need the Best Receipt Scanner?
You may be wondering, "Do I really need to scan my receipts?". If so, below are some benefits of using the receipt scanners to digitize your receipts.
1. To Prevent Loss and Damage
If you have a file in your drawer with hundreds of receipts, it may be challenging to keep track of each one of them. In turn, this may lead to losses of valuable receipts due to a poor storage solution. In addition, since receipts are printed out of thermal paper, they are susceptible to damage when exposed to heat and pressure. This is the reason why receipts in your wallet or files stored for longer periods fade, leaving only a blank piece of paper. For this reason, you need to scan receipts before they begin to fade and waste away.
2. Easy Sorting and Tracking
Looking for a receipt from several months ago among your heap of files and documents is equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack unless you have a receipt scanner or software. Fortunately, once you have your digitized receipts, looking up an old record only requires you to search the input name and have it pop on your screen. In addition, you will find some receipt scanners with an OCR feature that copies the contents of the receipt, making it easier to search and sort.
3. To Protect Your Health
The Ecology Centre, a Michigan-based environmental NGO, found receipts to contain harmful chemicals that may be a health hazard. From the study, 93% of the receipts had Bisphenol A(BPA) and Bisphenol S(BPS), which are absorbed into your bloodstream through the skin and negatively affect your metabolism, hormones and other bodily processes. Therefore, scanning receipts as soon as you get them is key to protecting your health.
4. Reduce or Manage Paper Use in Your Business
Let's face it paper use does have consequences in terms of cutting trees to make paper and the environmental effects of poor paper disposal. However, if you are keen on your ecological footprint, it may be time to switch out excessive paper use for the best receipt scanners in your office.
Rather than preparing and printing vouchers to reimburse employee receipts, you can use a receipt scanner to create expense reports and manage reimbursements. In turn, this helps to reduce the paper trail in your business.
5. Declutter Your Office
Rather than have a pile of receipts and documents on your desk, which is not a pleasant sight, to begin with, you can use the best receipt scanner to declutter your space. Once you scan documents and receipts and have that clutter away, you can focus more on the task ahead.
6. Remote Employee Reimbursement
With some businesses moving towards remote working, you may have instances where employees need to buy supplies and charge the expense to your business. For this reason, you'll need to have a receipt scanner to ensure that you account for all transactions and expenses.
What is the best receipt scanner?
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Best Receipt Scanners
1. Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500
- One touch scanning to searchable PDFs, JPEG,...
- Scan up to 50 double-sided sheets on...
- Wi-Fi connectivity delivers wireless scanning...
- Scan anything from business cards to A3 size...
- Scan documents directly to the cloud and...
The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 is the best receipt scanner we have seen on the market and for a good reason. To start with, its automatic document feeding technology allows you to feed up to 50 receipts at once, reducing manual labor otherwise. In addition, this receipt scanner has a scanning speed of 25 double-sided pages per minute, which is not common with other document scanners.
In terms of resolution, this scanner offers up to 600 dpi, which is more than enough for scanning receipts. Another cool feature is the intelligent scan correction, which checks your scans for quality and makes necessary corrections like auto-rotation, auto color detection and blank page removal.
Versatility is also at the heart of this Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 to ensure that you get your money's worth. With this scanner, you can digitize your receipts, documents, photos, handwritten notes, drawings and even business cards. However, you will need another software like the CardMinder or Fujitsu ScanSnap to maintain the contacts from the business cards.
2. Doxie Go SE
- 【Go Paperless】Doxie Go SE delivers smart,...
- 【Fast, Easy Scanning】Doxie makes it easy...
- 【Tiny + Battery Powered】Doxie is tiny –...
- 【Amazing Software and OCR】Included Doxie...
- 【Protected by DoxieCare】Every new Doxie...
Scanning receipts and documents is challenging if you run your business on the go since you cannot carry a heavy scanner with you. Fortunately, the Doxie Go SE portable receipt scanner lets you stay on top of your business expense management. In addition to its compact design, this scanner does not need to be connected to a computer to scan your documents.
The Doxie Go SE scanner uses a rechargeable battery rather than a direct AC supply. This ensures that your scans are ready even when not near a power supply source. In addition, this scanner can scan up to 380 pages on a full charge, which is more than enough, especially if you have a small business.
Although it is a portable receipt scanner, the Doxie Go SE offers up to 600 dpi resolution, optimal for receipts and other documents. In addition, the scanning speed is 8 seconds per page, which is relatively fast considering the battery power.
Another feature that sets this scanner apart from others on the market is its local storage. Thanks to the MicroSD card, you can scan and store your scans locally on this machine. The storage limit is 4000 scan copies, after which you can sync them with your computer using the present USB port. In addition, your scans are searchable and also accessible on your phone through the Doxie App.
3. Epson WorkForce ES-500W
- Wirelessly scan to your smartphone, tablet or...
- Get organized in a snap : scan up to 35...
- Easily scan stacks of paper : robust 50 page...
- Powerful software included : easy scanning...
- Compatible with most software : the included...
The Epson WorkForce ES-500W is in so many ways similar to the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 scanner. For starters, it has a sheet capacity of 50 documents so that you can scan many receipts at a go. In addition, you will like that it has an auto document feeder so that you don't have to spend hours scanning documents one by one.
With a scan speed of 35 pages per minute, you don't have to spend hours waiting for your digital documents. The Epson WorkForce ES-500W also features OCR technology, which extracts data and text from the documents for organizational purposes.
You will also like that this scanner comes with accounting software to help with expense tracking. You can also export your reports to Excel or QuickBooks to better manage your business' finances. Additionally, the scan resolution is at 1200 dpi, which is high compared to other scanners we have reviewed but still ample for receipts.
4. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i
- One touch scanning with Quick Menu options...
- Scan up to 12 double-sided pages per minute -...
- Compact and portable design is USB or AC...
- Intelligent automatic image processing...
- Scan documents directly to the cloud and...
If you search for a budget scanner that will not disappoint on the quality, this Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i will be an excellent choice. Although it is inexpensive, you are assured of its quality thanks to the Fujitsu brand name. Additionally, the design is compact enough to fit your desk without taking up too much space.
With a scan resolution of 600 dpi, this nifty scanner is perfect for digitizing your old photos, receipts, business cards and other paper documents. However, you will need CardMinder software to maintain the business cards' contacts. In addition, this scanner supports duplex scanning.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i has a 10 sheet capacity. However, the auto document feeder is a plus to ensure that you quickly scan many documents. You will also like that its scanning speed is 12 documents per minute, relatively fast for receipt scanners. In addition, it also has intelligent scan correction to ensure that you get quality-looking scans.
5. Epson WorkForce DS-40
- Wirelessly scan critical documents — scan...
- Lightweight and travel-friendly — at 1.1...
- Scan to popular cloud services — scan to...
- Create editable text and searchable PDFs —...
- Connect to document management software —...
Last on our list is this Epson WorkForce DS-40 that provides beast performance, although it has a compact design. This portable receipt scanner allows you to scan documents, business cards and receipts on the go to stay on top of business. In addition, you can carry it anywhere since it is very lightweight.
In terms of resolution, this Epson WorkForce DS-40 provides a resolution of 600 dpi, which is more than enough to scan receipts. The scan speed is 7.5 pages per minute, meaning that you don't have to spend hours scanning documents. In addition, you can upload the scanned files to cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote and others for easy storage and retrieval.
Unlike the Doxie Go SE portable scanner, this Epson WorkForce DS-40 cannot scan independently. However, you can connect it to your phone, tablet or PC to enable scanning. In addition, it supports WiFi connectivity, making it easy for you to access digital copies on your devices.
How Do You Choose the Best Receipt Scanner?
Considering that many receipt scanners are on the market, it is important to know what to look for before settling on a specific one. Below are a few features that will make or break your receipt scanner.
Not all receipt scanners come with a feeder. If they do, you will have to manually feed your receipts and documents unless your scanner has an automatic feeding technology feature. Typically, the feeder can support different files, regardless of their shapes and sizes. However, the downside comes when considering the maximum feeder capacity. For example, some folders hold up to 50 documents, while others hold less. So, depending on the size of documents you process in your business, be sure to pick a feeder capacity that will be supportive.
Resolution is one of the most important features to consider when buying the best receipt scanner. It is the total count of pixels, horizontally and vertically, that make up an image. Ideally, you want your scanner to capture the receipt as it is in terms of color and details. Fortunately, most scanners nowadays have a resolution of 600 dpi, enough to scan documents and receipts.
c). Scanning Speed
Time is of the essence, especially when scanning hundreds of documents frequently. For this reason, a receipt scanner with an automatic feeder is more suitable since you don't have to feed one receipt at a time hence saving time manually.
The scanning speed of each document is important to factor in. You will find that most of the best receipt scanners on our list have a speed of 23-30 documents per minute. In addition, you will find models like the Epson-WorkForce ES-500W and the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 to have a duplex scanning speed of 25 documents per minute. This, paired with the automatic feeder with a maximum capacity of 50 documents means that you do not have to spend hours of your day scanning.
MicroUSB connectivity is revolutionary for connecting your scanner to a laptop ot desktop. However, if you use more devices in your business, there is a need to have an even better connection. For this reason, it is best to go for receipt scanners with WiFi connectivity since it allows you to access the scanner using other devices. The Doxie Go SE, for example, allows you to scan documents directly from your phone.
e). File Export
Organizing and sharing scanned documents and receipts is one of the major reasons for scanning. The scans are typically exported in PDF, image format or other sharing supported formats. Either way, you want the documents to be editable and searchable. In addition, you may find scanners that allow you to export the digital files to cloud storage or in Excel format using document management software. Therefore, ensure to choose a receipt scanner compatible with a document management software and one with drivers, such as WIA, ICA, TWAIN, etc.
f). File Backup
Finally, you want to make sure that your digital files are backed-up. For this reason, look for a scanner that supports a removable USB drive or a MicroSD. This allows you to save scans and transfer them to your computer for storage. In addition, if your scanner has WiFi connectivity, you may wire-transfer the files easily.
Best Receipt Scanning Apps
Receipt scanning apps allow you to scan and digitize while on the go using your smartphone. They are perfect for solopreneurs, freelancers and small businesses that do not have many documents to scan. In addition, you may find that receipt scanning software does more than scan and integrate the information on receipts to your accounting software.
Automating your accounting allows you to focus more on growing your business and less on looking at documents and receipts. Therefore, this section of the article will focus on the best receipt scanning apps to stay on top of your finances. In addition, we will share a guide on how to choose a receipt scanning software app that will work for you and your business.
What are the Best Receipt Scanning Apps?
Let's get started.
1. Zoho Expense
Although Zoho Expense is new to the world of receipt scanning and expense reports, it has stellar features that make it the best receipt scanning app on the market. To begin with, Zoho expense has a free receipt scanning and storage package that allows up to three users. This makes it perfect if you have a small business and not many expenses to track.
Another interesting feature about this receipt scanner app is that it supports multiple currencies. This is a plus if you receive payments in several currencies or travel a lot. In addition, this software has other traveling benefits like automating payments, setting work travel policies and allowances and approving travel requests.
If you are looking for a receipt scanner app with corporate features but at an affordable rate, Expensify will be your go-to document scanner. The app does the receipt tracking and expense reports generation for you so you can focus more on the business and yourself.
With the automation of most processes like expense reports, approval and next-day employee reimbursement, this mobile app ensures speedy and efficient workflow. For example, you will only need to confirm anything flagged for managerial approval. In addition, there is a mileage tracking feature that helps you stay on top of your travel expenses.
3. QuickBooks Online
If you are looking for a receipt scanning app with added accounting software, QuickBooks Online is it. Both on iOS and Android, the mobile app is user-friendly and straightforward. So whether you require receipt scanning and organization or expense organization, this app makes managing your business' finances relatively easy.
Apart from being a receipt scanner app, QuickBooks Online offers additional accounting features like profit tracking, inventory management and financial reporting. In addition, there is also a tax categorization feature that organizes your receipts in terms of tax, especially if you are a freelancer and depend on tax-write-offs to save some extra cash.
Sometimes you may require receipt scanning assistance, especially if you are drowning in old files, receipts and documents. Shoeboxed is a receipt scanning company that you can outsource to take the load off your hands. You could choose to mail your receipts to the company, which then scans and exports them as digital copies. In addition, the team at Shoeboxed also categorizes your receipts into one of the possible 15 tax categories.
Another cool feature about Shoeboxed is that it lets you scan business cards. This means that you do not have to go through hundreds of cards to extract the contact information. In addition, you can choose to use the mobile app if you want to scan receipts and business cards yourself, add custom tax categories or track miles.
5. FreshBooks Apps
FreshBooks Apps is a cheaper accounting software alternative to QuickBooks Online. Scanning your receipts on the go is super easy with this mobile app. In addition, you also get a 30-day free plan to test out the software before committing.
Another selling feature about FreshBooks' is its professional invoicing feature. This lets you attach scanned receipts to client invoices on the go. Additionally, you can see when the client has viewed or paid the invoice to manage your payments and expenses. Finally, you also get to enjoy accounting software benefits like generating financial and expense reports.
Other Receipt Scanning Apps include:
How to Choose the Best Receipt Scanning Apps
Below are features that make up the best receipt scanning apps.
a). Multiple Capture Options
A good receipt scanner should have several image capture options. This could be by supporting direct receipt scanning from your smartphone mobile app. The software could also connect to a physical scanner to scan receipts and other documents.
b). Accounting Software Integration
Accounting software integration, in addition to expenses management, helps to keep you in the loop about your business's financial position. In addition, it helps you transfer reports for accounting in a relatively easy workflow.
c). Optical Character Recognition(OCR)
OCR capabilities allow scanners to capture and extract the information on receipts, aside from just scanning. This takes away the tedious workload of entering data manually. Additionally, you want your receipt scanner app to have intelligent features that allow sorting the extracted data into different categories and fields.
d). Ease of Reviewing and Modifying
It's also important to check that the scanning and expense tracking app has additional analytical features. These include a dashboard, functions, and analytic tools that help track, review and modify documents and other entries.
As we have seen above, some receipt and expense tracking apps have paid subscriptions to unlock certain features. However, it would be best to choose affordable software depending on your business structure. In addition, you may choose to go for a third-party scanner if you already have a bookkeeping and expense tracker.
Taking charge of your finances and your business requires managing your expenses. As a result, you will need the best receipt scanner to convert your receipts into digital copies. This way, you can retrieve your receipts easily, edit and make necessary payments if need be. In addition, you also get to enjoy benefits like mileage and expense tracking if you are using a receipt scanner app.
Image Source: scannernote.com