Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 26, 2008 / 26 Elul 5768

Keeping Receipts Neat

By Mark Kellner

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There may be a few dour souls who actually enjoy gathering up the receipts from their trips, pasting or taping them to paper, and assembling the package for the legions in accounting. I'm not one of them.


And you might not be one, either, which makes a product called Neat Receipts (www.neatreceipts.com) all the more interesting: the scanner-and-software combo is now available for Mac users, at $179, which is $30 more than the list price of the Windows version.


This is one of those rare instances when the hardware component is as appealing as the software. Usually, a piece of hardware is just that: utilitarian. Here, the scanner is small (large enough to let letter or legal-sized sheet of paper pass through) and compact — and powered through a computer's USB port. I can take this puppy on the road, carrying case included, and not have to worry about yet another power adapter.


Beyond the hardware, though, is the software. Neat Receipts has long been available for Windows users, with Mac-heads (now up to 10 percent of U.S. notebook buyers) on the outside looking in. The new version changes this.


The Mac version of Neat Receipts is still in its early stages. The idea is to scan, "read," or, actually, perform optical character recognition" of a receipt, and then take the receipt data and fill in categories then used for creating a report: vendor, item, cost, sales tax, method of payment, etc. You then can print out the whole thing and, if it all works, have something resembling the old paste-pot exercise, but legible and with numbers that add up correctly.


Once you install the software, connecting the Neat Receipts scanner to the computer brings up the opportunity to calibrate the device. This involves passing a glossy sheet of white paper with one line of printed words through the device, to make sure it gets the proper balance for scanning. Once calibrated, you're ready to go.


I had mixed results with the scanning process. Just about every receipt created an image, but only about half the receipts were read. I'll admit, I'd put some very old ones through, receipts printed using a tiny thermal printer like you get from a gas pump. But even a rather bold-faced receipt from the Delaware Turnpike offered a challenge.


For now, I'm going to chalk this up to this being early days for the Mac software; as the product matures, it'll refine features and add some. Moreover, if I can get a scan and have to annotate it manually, I figure I'm still ahead of the game. The resulting spreadsheet-like report has running totals, I can categorize expenses, and have report components which are legible. Again, I have hopes for a positive evolution here, just as has happened on the Windows side. There, scanned receipt records contain more information such as the participants and purpose of a business lunch, and there are more categories to select. Also, the latest version of the Neat Receipts Windows software lets you scan business cards and export the information to a contact manager such as Microsoft Outlook, something else that road warriors will appreciate.


On the Mac and on Windows, you can use the scanner to capture a document. The result is a searchable PDF file, from which you can extract data using other software. I'd wish that Neat Receipts would let other programs access the scanner, and that the PDF files it creates were smaller in size (Adobe Acrobat Professional can help with the latter). But it's a nice ancillary feature.


Overall there's promise here. If you need more organization in your life, it's a product worth buying, especially if the firm continues to work on the software, which I believe they shall.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

Archives

© 2008, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles