As a professional road warrior, I sometimes feel as though I am drowning in receipts. Whether I'm traveling for a client or for my own education, keeping receipts is a must. Fortunately, a number of software applications can help keep all of those receipts organized. In this article, I will discuss five good choices.
Note: This article is also available as an image gallery and a video hosted by TechRepublic columnist Tom Merritt.
NeatReceipts (Figure A) is the app I use to keep up with all my receipts. It's been around for many years and is mature and stable. And unlike the other apps on this list, NeatReceipts is PC based. It's also the only app discussed in this article that is not free.
The thing I like most about NeatReceipts is that it's so easy to use. Simply insert a receipt into the included scanner and click the Scan button. Once the receipt has been scanned, NeatReceipts uses optical character recognition to turn the receipt into a searchable document. It works really well for creating expense reports and you can use it to scan business cards and other types of documents. NeatReceipts also allows you to organize your receipts (and other documents) into a folder structure that makes sense for you.
NeatReceipts sells for $179.00 and includes a portable scanner.
Certify (Figure B) is a free app for keeping track of your receipts. It's a cloud-based app, so you can use it through a web browser. However, mobile versions are available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry.
The software seems to work well, but using it involves a bit of a learning curve. Receipts have to be uploaded to a "Certify Wallet." You must then enter and categorize your expenses. After that, you link the expense to the corresponding receipt.
One thing I do like about Certify is the way expenses are categorized. Certify asks you for relevant information based on the application category. For example, if you're entering an expense for a hotel stay, Certify will ask you for the check-in and check-out dates, the hotel's name and location, and the reason for your stay.
Shoeboxed(Figure C) is a free mobile app lets you photograph receipts with your phone's camera. You can then choose whether the receipt is reimbursable or deductible. If you choose the Reimbursable option, the app prompts you to add a contact for the reimbursement. In addition to receipts, the app is also designed to scan business cards.
One thing I really like is the app's Trips feature, which helps you keep track of vehicle mileage. It's great for those of us who routinely forget to look at the odometer.
Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker is available for iOS and Android.
OneReceipt (Figure D) is another free mobile app that's designed to help you to keep track of receipts. This app is somewhat simplistic in the way that it allows you to photograph and tag receipts. However, I do like that OneReceipt can link to your Google, Yahoo, or Outlook mailbox so that receipts can be mailed to you.
One of the really nice things about OneReceipt is that it is location aware. When you provide a new receipt you can manually enter the name of the place where the receipt came from. However, the software also uses your GPS location to try to automatically populate the vendor name.
OneReceipt is available for iOS.
Receipts (Figure E) is a free app from Tidal Pool Software. Of the mobile apps I have discussed in this article, this one is my favorite for two reasons. First, unlike the other free apps I have mentioned, Receipts does not make you set up an account. You can use it right out of the box. And second, it has a clean interface that is easy to use, but it doesn't sacrifice features to achieve that.
Receipts can photograph and categorize your receipts and then build comprehensive expense reports based on the receipts you have assembled.
Receipts is available for iOS and Android.
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What apps have you relied on to keep your receipts in order? Share the pros and cons of the tools you've tried.