Many people keep receipts either as documentation for their business or to track their finances for budgeting purposes. But storing receipts can quickly become overwhelming and trying to find one receipt out of hundreds can be extremely frustrating.
Rather than keep all of those little pieces of paper, why not convert them to a digital format that can be easily stored on your computer and accessed at anytime. Organizing your receipts is relatively simple through scanning. Whether you buy a receipt scanner, a document scanner or even just a portable scanner, converting your receipts to a digital storage system can avoid a lot of future headaches.
Here are a few additional advantages to scanning receipts.
Keeping Track of Purchases
Many people keep receipts on products they purchase for proof of warranty. If you did not fill out warranty info upfront then a receipt would be needed to show when exactly you purchased the product. Finding a 2 year old receipt is not always an easy task, depending on how organized you are, but having a digital copy of the receipt stored on your computer makes finding it much easier. Sometimes you may also need a receipt for a rebate offer. In those cases it is nice to have a copy scanned in since most rebates require you mail in the original.
Tracking Business Expenses
Business people who do a lot of traveling must keep track of every expense they incur for company reimbursement. That means they must keep each and every receipt for purchases they make while traveling for their company to turn in at a later date. To avoid the loss of any one receipt or a mistake in accounting, it is better to have a copy of all of your business receipts for your own use. Some business travelers find it even better to buy a portable document scanner to scan receipts while they are traveling rather than waiting until they return home.
Preparing for Tax Season
Many people need to keep receipts for doing their taxes. In particular, anyone who is self-employed or runs their own business from home will need to keep receipts for tracking their expenses for deductions at tax time. If you wait until a month or two before your taxes are due to start going through your receipts things can become overwhelming pretty quickly. But have all of your receipts scanned and organized digitally can make tax time just a little less painful. Plus, it is easier to store all those scanned files for the next few years (in case of an audit) than it is to keep original receipts.
Buying a Receipt Scanner
Before you buy a receipt scanner, be sure to check out the customer reviews at Amazon and other vendor websites. All models seem to have very mixed reviews.
Most of the bad reviews seem to focus on software issues although some people complain about customer support. But there are also as many good reviews with happy customers.
In a situation like this, you are always taking a chance so weigh your options carefully. If the bad reviews concern you but you really need a receipt scanner, check out some of the alternative options but be aware that they will not have the same functionality.
Alternatives to Receipt Scanners
What are your alternatives? Consider our document scanner reviews or a portable scanner. These options won’t have the software functionality that makes scanning receipts super easy, but they also tend to be less buggy. They can also be used for more than just scanning receipts.
Even a photo scanner can be used to scan receipts but the functionality for handling text isn’t as good. Also, if you primarily scan documents in addition to receipts a photo scanner can’t handle large volumes like a dedicated document scanner.
Finally, don’t forget to consider space. A portable unit won’t have as much functionality as a full-sized scanner but it will take up a lot less space. And if you travel a lot, you can even bring it with you.