The search for something to tame receipts

And starting to check out Expensify


I graduated high school before the Internet but I’ve been young enough to surf the new digital wave without blithering and drooling. I guess this is fuled by the fact that I hate clutter. When everyone was raving about CDs I was hating the clutter so I embraced Mp3s.

In this digital age of self driving cars and “the cloud” — why do I still have a box of receipts?

I decided there must be a solution and that I was going to find it. Here’s what I found:

Neat receipts
Hardware / software solution
$150 scanner + free year
$119/year or $15/Mo thereafter.

I like the idea of a scanner because I know it will mean better character recognition than a cell phone camera. I can say I was willing to pay for this solution in return for the benefit it would give me — but do you think I could find how much it would cost??? No.. @NeatCompany — You asked me to sign up for a free trial without ever telling me how much it would cost when it ran out. Do you not value my time at all? Do you think the idea of a “trial” is like BestBuy bait and switch?? This really irked me.

I retreated to Google and searched for “neatreceipts pricing” and was able to find a link to a hidden page on their store.* subdomain to give me the info. I would still go with this solution but… I read reviews that their Mac-based software slows down after 900 receipts. That would not work for me. Furthermore, I don’t even want to use software at all. If I had my druthers I would have a wifi/bluetooth or even USB mini scanner that would simply talk to an online web service. I want all my receipts to show in an app — when I’m at Bunnings trying to return my Ozito circular saw for the third time.

Expensify
App/webservice solution
$5/Mo

I searched for “receipts” on Google and Google Play and didn’t find these guys straight away which is scary because based on the reviews and my read on functionality, these guys are much better than Receipts by Wave and Smart Receipts (app only soutions mentioned below) that came up in first place. Maybe a bit of SEO is needed? I’ve actually started using these guys and will give a quick rundown in a sec.

Xpenditure
$5/Mo

This is exactly the same as Expensify in my quick impression. I also installed this app and tried them out but quickly deleted it because I liked Expensify’s app UI better.

Shoeboxed
$10/Mo (50 scan limit??)

I like the brand concept but there’s a limit to how many receipts you can OCR per month. I’m sorry but that is a complete deal breaker considering the competition their up against. They need to ditch that dumb policy.

Receipt bank
$21/Mo (50 scan limit??)

Same as Shoeboxed but costs even more for the limited functionality.

Receipts by Wave
(
App only soution)
$3 app
Reviews say it’s slow

I would have given this a try but the reviews on Google Play store were so damning that I figured I’d not waste my time. I have a lot of receipts I need to catalog and I need them to go into a processing queue, not have me wait two minutes for the app to recognise it. I get the impression that Wave is a software suite for accounting that split off this functionality. There may be some integration here but didn’t look further.

Smart Receipts
$costs but I found it doesn’t support OCR so it’s not going to help me at all.

Initial thoughts on Expensify:

Expensify for receipts is pretty good.

I’m liking it. I’ve used their “rapid fire” camera to catalog 100 receipts in only about 20 minutes. They go into a queue and slowly get put through “smartscan.”

The “travel” connotations in your logo stress me out. Not a good association.

I have one real beef though… The free trial includes 10 scans — no problem. I wanted to see how they’d present their upsell to me. Right on the 10th scan they popped up a screen. What I’m expecting is “subscribe now! put in your credit card!” I would have been fine with that but what I got instead was “I’m sure you’ll agree smart scan is great. Create a profile on our website today to unlock more.”

What the heck is a profile?

“Ok?” I’m thinking. I go on their website and find “Profiles” under the “Admin” section. I see the $5/mo option and I start thinking that is just their word for “subscription?” I select the $5 and it asks me to name my profile. I name it “Subscription…?” There is no save button so I push enter. That seems to do it. Now I’m expecting a next step: Put in your credit card? But no… Apparently because I went on their website and put in a named profile at the $5 level — thats all I need to do.

I searched through the website to find if I could put my credit card in some place but it wasn’t very clear. So what I have now is a couple of hours invested in this tool, a willingness to pay, but an anxiety that I’m going to loose it because I’m not sure when/how I’ll get to pay.

@expensify I don’t mind going on the web if I have to but just take me directly to a subscription page and charge my card so I know we’re straight. Golly.

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