Receipt Scanners: Make Expense Tracking a Cinch

Receipt Scanners: Make Expense Tracking a Cinch

Receipts can be tricky to deal with, but with the right scanner, they don’t have to be.

The transmission and storage of digital receipts is important for businesses looking to streamline accounting processes. With the increase of remote workers, sending physical receipts for expenses through the mail is slow, and important receipts can easily be lost in transit. For small businesses or home offices, storing receipts can be a hassle, as thermal paper can rapidly degrade if improperly archived.

Receipt scanners can improve record keeping for you and your business, but not all scanners are created equal. Read on to find out what makes the best scanner for receipts stand out from standard document digitization devices, and what to look for when purchasing one.

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What is a receipt scanner?

What are the benefits of a receipt scanner?

What to look for in a receipt scanner

High-resolution scanning that can properly digitize receipt paper

Speed and versatility

Companion software for sorting receipts

Our recommendation: ScanSnap iX1600 Receipt Edition

 

Shop ScanSnap Scanners Now

 

What is a receipt scanner?

A receipt scanner is a digital document imaging device that has been specifically designed to aid in the processing of printed financial receipts. Flatbed scanners can handle a wider variety of page sizes and document types, but they’re limited in only being able to scan a single image at a time. Feed-based scanners can process more pages at once at a much faster rate, but many are made for standard paper sizes and lack the specialized equipment needed to quickly scan small receipts without causing jams or other errors.

What are the benefits of a receipt scanner?

Single-sheet scanners or even phone cameras may suffice for people who don’t process a lot of documents. However, anyone with more than a few dozen receipts from a business trip, or an extra-long receipt from a bulk-purchase shopping trip, knows what a time-consuming process scanning or photographing, then uploading, these receipts can be.

Dedicated receipt scanners often use rollers designed to handle multiple documents of varying sizes without jams or errors. They often include attachments that can help you stack and sort different size receipts and process them in the same scanning job. They can also accommodate extra large or long receipts, without the need to trim or take multiple scans. And when paired with the right software, these scans can be automatically named and sorted, making expense reports easier than ever.

What to look for in a receipt scanner

High-resolution scanning built for receipt paper

Receipts can be trickier to scan than other kinds of documents. Many receipts are printed on thermal paper, which can fade and degrade quickly if it’s not handled or stored properly. The best scanner for receipts will provide a digital image that’s as close to the original as possible. That way, if you’re scanning a receipt that’s a bit difficult to read, you can at least ensure you’re getting a one-to-one copy.

When looking for a receipt scanner, you want to ensure that the scanner offers a sufficient optical resolution, the higher the better. You also want to balance file size with image quality, especially if you’re scanning dozens — or hundreds — of receipts at a time. A scanner that offers 150 dots per linear inch (dpi) is the bare minimum you should look for in terms of image quality, with 300 dpi offering the sweet spot between quality and file size.

 

Did You Know? The ScanSnap iX1600 is PCMagazine’s “latest top pick among desktop document scanners”, earning an “excellent” 4.5 out of 5 rating. Click here to read the full review.

 

Speed and versatility

If you process a lot of receipts for expense reports, you need a receipt scanner that will naturally improve the speed and efficiency of your workflow. The biggest issue with scanning for speed is that, unlike standard documents, receipts rarely come in uniform sizes, and setting them up on a feeding tray without proper prep work can lead to frustration. Receipt paper also crumples and folds more easily than standard paper, so additional care must be taken.

The best scanner for receipts will include a receipt scanning mode and hardware that will help provide consistent, high-quality scans of your receipts. While speed is important, versatility is also vital. For longer receipts, having the ability to manually start and stop scans to capture a full sheet in a single image is a plus. This ensures you can automate as much of the process as possible.

Companion software for sorting receipts

Having digitized copies of your receipts is handy, but manually naming, sorting, and filing away those scans can eat up most of the time you’re supposed to be saving. Many scanners come with companion software that can help process large volumes of documents, while integrating with other devices on your home or office network.

Make sure to check the feature set of any included software to see if it suits your needs. You should also confirm the number of licenses allowed by your purchase, in case you need to install the included software across multiple devices, or allow multiple users on your network to access it.

 

Did You Know?ScanSnap Home software can automatically name your files and sort them into categories, making finding scanned receipts a breeze. Click here to learn how ScanSnap Home can help keep you organized.

 

Our recommendation: ScanSnap iX1600 Receipt Edition

We know you have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a home document scanner. We pride ourselves on having spent the last 50+ years designing and developing some of the most beloved electronics in the world, including our line of award-winning, easy to use, one touch ScanSnap scanners.

The ScanSnap iX1600 Receipt Edition  is built to handle your small or home office needs, and offers specialized receipt scanning features so you can process documents of any size along with your regular scanning workflow. The ScanSnap iX1600 Receipt Edition is optimized for those who use QuickBooks® Online in the home or the office. The ScanSnap iX1600 Receipt Edition offers even more with exclusive Invoice and Receipt OCR processing features for the ultimate in productivity when scanning, not just the scanned file, but the important data they contain directly into an existing QuickBooks Online* account. With Wi-Fi and cloud integration and an intuitive touch panel, the ScanSnap iX1600 ensures anyone in your home or office can scan their receipts right the first time. Click here to learn more and shop the full line of ScanSnap scanners.

 

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