Are Receipt Scanners Worth It? 6 Things to Know Before You Buy

Meredith Hart
Meredith Hart


Having a receipt scanner can make quick work of filing your expenses. Whether you're managing finances for your small business or filing taxes, you have to know where your money is being spent. Receipts from your purchases are likely to get lost in a sea of documents and miscellaneous papers. Physical documents can get damaged or destroyed.

shopper ready to use a receipt scanner

Converting your printed receipts and documents into digital files can be the solution to these problems, and a receipt scanner is the perfect tool for the job. Some receipt scanners include online tools that allow you to consolidate your receipts and access them from anywhere.

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Receipt scanners come in different forms from physical (eg. desktop and portable scanners) to digital eg. (apps and online software). But this tool can be an investment, so before you purchase one, you’ll want to understand the key features the best ones have. I've also compiled a list of the best receipt scanners to use for the most common business needs based on these features.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most important features to look for in a receipt scanner. You may not need all of them, but use this guide to find the perfect one for your needs.

1. Portability

If you need a way to manage expense reports and receipts for employees or contractors, you may need a receipt scanner that can be used on the go. This might come in the form of a stand-alone portable scanner or digital software.

The size of the scanner is important for portability, too. Look for a lightweight and compact device that could fit in a briefcase or backpack easily.

2. Online Accessibility

Similar to portability, having a receipt scanner that can be accessed online is convenient. You’ll have more capability to integrate with accounting software to speed up your workflow. You’ll also be able to access your receipts from anywhere at any time.

3. Storage Capacity

Whether you prefer physical storage or digital cloud storage, you’ll want to consider the limits included in your receipt scanner. WIll you be scanning receipts every day or multiple times a day? Will you use it for special occasions or only during tax season? This can help you determine the amount of storage you’ll want to have for your receipt scanner software or on an external hard drive.

Don’t forget the security of the storage you choose. You’ll want to be certain that your stored receipts and documents are protected by more than one layer of security. While printed receipts and documents can be damaged or destroyed physically, digital documents can fall into the wrong hands without proper security measures.

4. Speed

Scanning receipts for expense reports is arguably one of the least enjoyable tasks for any professional. People usually want to complete this task as quickly as possible, and a lightning-fast receipt scanner can help with that. Some scanners can take a snapshot of your documents as quickly as 7.5 seconds flat. This comes in handy when you need to scan several receipts at once.

5. File Types

Depending on what you’re using them for, your receipts may need to be in a specific format. Your tax preparer might prefer all your receipts be scanned and exported as PDFs while your work expense software processes JPEG images. Be sure to check what file types your receipt scanner supports so that you don’t have to convert them manually once they’re digitized.

6. Exportability

Finally, make sure your scanner supports your entire workflow after you scan your receipts. Will you be uploading them to cloud storage? Will you be emailing them to another individual? Your receipt scanner should be able to quickly export your scanned documents with ease.

Now that you have the key features of a receipt scanner, check out the best receipt scanner apps on the market today.

1. SAP Concur Mobile App

Best for: Corporate expenses

Apps: iOS | Android

Price: Request a quote

SAP Concur is a well-known expense management system that serves businesses’ expense and reimbursement needs. For companies with large teams that submit regular expense reports, the Concur mobile app serves as a receipt scanner, expense report system, mileage tracker, and more.

Manual entry of receipts isn’t required, simply snap a photo of the document and upload it to the system. The app stores the receipts online and stores them by date, so they’re always accessible. Scanning a receipt takes just a few seconds with the Concur mobile app and uploads instantly. Storage capacity is determined based on your business’s individual needs, so reach out to the Concur sales team for a detailed quote.

best receipt scanner: SAP Concur Mobile App Receipt scanner

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  • Upload receipts from photos
  • Online storage of receipts
  • All-in-one expense report solution


  • No up front pricing

2. Expensify

Best for: An all-around receipt scanning app

Apps: iOS | Android

Price: Free or subscription starting at $4.99

Expensify is a cloud-based app for both iOS and Android. It's a receipt management tool that connects with Expensify tools for expense reporting. This receipt scanner is portable, online, and cloud-based so you won’t have to worry about the expense reports or receipt files taking up space on your device. You can use your smartphone camera to take a photo of the receipt, the app will automatically pull out the charges. From there, you can associate the charge with an expense report.

Keep in mind that sometimes the receipt scanner is unable to perfectly capture the details of your receipt. Be sure to double-check the expenses to make sure the receipt charges are added accurately.

best receipt scanner: Expensify Reciept Scanner

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  • Free version
  • Cloud-based


  • Occasionally fails to capture all receipt details

3. Receipts by Wave

Best for: Freelancers and small business owners

Apps: iOS | Android

Price: Free with paid plans at 2.9% + $0.30 cents per transactionper use

Receipts by Wave is a receipt tracking app that can be used by small business owners (with about 10 employees) to stay on top of receipts. It syncs with your cloud-based expense reporting software that can be accessed both on mobile and from your computer. One main perk of this tool is that you can use it for free — making this receipt scanner option ideal for small businesses and freelancersjust starting out.

Your data can sync with the Wave Accounting app so you can stay on top of your spending. You can also export the data to a variety of accounting tools, such as QuickBooks and Excel if need be. Although this system doesn’t yet support two-factor authentication, all your receipts are scanned directly into your cloud storage so you have secure access to them when you need them.

best receipt scanner: wave receipt scanner

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  • Free version
  • Mobile and desktop friendly


  • Interface requires a bit of a learning curve

4. NeatDesk

Best for: Bulk scanning

Price: $379.99

NetDesk is a software/hardware combo that’s perfect for scanning picture-perfect receipts. You’ll need both the software and scanner together to get the best use of this product, but according to the Amazon reviews, it’s well worth it.

This receipt scanner reads and extracts information from whatever you scan. And at 24 pages per minute — it'll read your documents faster than you can. It can scan up to 50 pages at once and extracts important information for organized digital filing. NeatDesk exports every document to the NeatDesk cloud which comes with the software. Send your scanned receipts directly to programs like Excel, Turbotax, H&R Block tax software, and Outlook, just to name a few.

Unfortunately, this receipt scanner isn’t the easiest to take with you on the go, so keep that in mind if you choose to purchase it.

best receipt scanner: NeatDesk Receipt Scanner

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  • Scans up to 50 pages at once
  • Works with Excel, Turbotax, and Outlook


  • No mobile scanning

5. NeatReceipts

Best for: Team collaboration

Apps: iOS | Android

Price: Starting at $24 per month

If you need to share your scanned expense receipts with a team of people or have them reviewed by a manager, this app is for you. The neat receipts mobile app is available for iOS and Android users, and your scans are synced across devices. You can use this app anywhere you have access to wifi so it’s remote-friendly.

Simply use the tool to snap a photo of your receipt whether you’re in the office, at home, or offsite, and it'll recognize the text on the document. From there, you can create expense reports and even itemized expense lists. NeatReceipts supports all major file types including PDF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, and HTML.

You’ll even save time in your workflow as NeatReceipts integrates with the major account software tools and can be synced to your cloud storage system — that means your documents can be uploaded exactly where you want them in just one click.

best receipt scanner: NeatReceipts Receipt Scanner

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  • Supports a variety of file types
  • Remote-friendly


  • Extensive feature options may be overwhelming

6. Evernote Scannable

Best for: iOS users

Apps: iOS

Price: Free

iPhone or iPad users, there’s a mobile receipt scanner just for you. You’ve probably heard of Evernote as an amazing note-taking app, but it’s a multipurpose tool that can be used for even more organization needs. Just like most mobile scanners in this list, you have the ability to preview the scan, discard, or retake the photo if the first image isn't clear enough. The receipts will be saved to Evernote's cloud-based app, and can be accessed online from anywhere.

But here’s where Evernote stands out from the rest: You can edit your scanned receipts right in the app. Add text, audio, and even images to your scanned documents to make them as personalized as possible. This lets you organize your receipts using a criteria you set, not one that is determined by the Evernote storage system.

Best of all, you can search your scanned documents and they’ll appear in real-time as you type. How’s that for speed, online access, and storage?

best receipt scanner: Evernote receipt scanner

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  • Mobile-friedly
  • Edit scanned receipts


  • Takes longer to upload larger file sizes

7. Shoeboxed

Best for: Tax season

Apps: iOS | Android

Price: Starting at $18 per month

Sole proprietors, LLC holders, and freelancers have the ability to write off expenses when it’s time to file taxes, but how do you know what to expense? If you’re anything like most people, the short answer is to track everything and keep each receipt — then at tax time, sort through it all with your accountant. What a mess.

The Shoeboxed app allows you to scan receipts and keep track of your mileage for tax reporting purposes. It also gives you the ability to specify which expenses are deductible — making it the ideal tool for tax time.

Create expense reports directly within the app and export them to your colleagues or tax preparer right from your phone. The app works quickly — it takes just as long as snapping a photo and can handle different report types. You’ll finally get those receipts off your desk and into action with Shoeboxed.

best receipt scanner: Shoebox Receipt scanner

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  • Create expense reports directly in the app
  • Export reports from your phone
  • Specify which expenses are deductible


  • Pricing is steep compared to other apps

8. Veryfi Core

Best for: Data privacy

Apps: iOS | Android

Price: Starting at $13.75 per active user per month

If you deal with sensitive customer data or medical information, you’ll need a receipt scanner that is GDPR and HIPAA compliant. Veryfi Core gives you the ability to automate data entry of receipts and expenses that are sensitive in nature with best-in-class security features. It also automates tax coding and categorization to make tax day a little easier for you and your accountant.

Speed isn’t an issue for the Veryfi app. In just three seconds, it extracts data from your scanned receipt so you can organize and save it quickly. Your data can be accessed from anywhere, and you can collaborate with your team at any time.

For an all-encompassing experience, Veryfi works seamlessly with Logbook, Core, and Timesheets so all your important data is stored in one place.

best receipt scanner: Veryfi Core Receipt scanner

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  • Add teams for easy collaboration
  • CCPA, HIPAA and GDPR compliant


  • Pricey if you require multiple users

9. Smart Receipts

Best for: Custom reports

Apps: iOS | Android

Price: Free

No one’s favorite part of the day is scanning receipts so Smart Receipts makes this task a little less mundane. Designed by a travel consultant, this receipt scanning app was built with speed, portability, and accessibility in mind.

Once you've scanned your receipts into Smart Receipts, you can create customizable PDF, CSV, and ZIP reports without spending minutes selecting the file type for each scanned document. When you’re ready to organize your scanned receipts, you’ll find 20 different default data types to sort and filter by (e.g. dates, price, receipt categories, payment methods, and more.)

Another unique feature of Smart Receipts is its white labeling services. With these services, your company can create a customized expense reporting app for your users or customers.

best receipt scanner: Smart Receipts

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  • Easy categorization and sorting features
  • Create and customize various file types


  • Must upgrade to paid version for automatic backups to Google Drive

10. Vupoint ST470

Best for: An on-the-go, portable scanner

Price: $119.99

For crisp scans of important receipts and documents, the ability to scan high dpi (dots per image) is required. Vupoint ST470 scans up to 1200 dpi with a built-in color LCD panel to preview scans to ensure they’re perfectly clear.

One of the best features of this scanner is its 2-in-1 capability and portability. It functions as a desktop scanner, but it also has a detachable wand you can use to scan. This wand is the perfect size to take with you on the go, and it even comes with its own carrying case.

While the Vupoint ST470 doesn't give you the ability to connect to cloud services, it does have a micro SD card you can use to save your receipts on the go.

best receipt scanner: Vupoint ST470 Receipt Scanner

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  • Color preview panel for clarity
  • Scans up to 1200 dpi
  • Portable


  • No cloud connectivity

11. Brother ADS 2200

Best for: Scanning receipts quickly

Price: $329.99

The Brother ADS 2200 receipt scanner is great for business owners who scan receipts in bulk. For two-sided receipts and invoices, this scanner captures both sides at the same time, at a rate of 35 pages per minute. In addition to saving you time, it scans your documents directly to their intended destination — including email, computer folders, and USB drives. Supported file types include JPEG, PDF, TIFF, and PNG.

A drawback to the speed of this scanner is that it must be used in a home or office where it can be plugged in as it isn’t wireless. Its small compact size (5.8 x 11.8 x 7 inches) makes up for this as you can purchase a carrying case and take it with you if you travel and scan receipts away from work.

best receipt scanner: Brother

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  • Bulk scanning capabilities
  • 2-sided scanning capabilities


  • Must be plugged in to an outlet

12. Epson WorkForce ES-50

Best for: A multi-purpose portable scanner

Price: $99.99

The Epson Workforce ES-50 is a lightweight, portable scanner that allows you to scan receipts and other documents. It has auto-size detection to determine if you're scanning a small receipt or a full-size document and saves it accordingly.

It works with Windows and Mac computers via USB. All of the text from your scans is searchable, and the files can be uploaded to your computer and cloud-based tools for easy access online.

The Epson ES-50 scans a single page in just 5.5 seconds and uploads it directly to the online storage account included with the software. This receipt scanner works for both Windows and Mac computers so you can use it in an office with different operating systems.

best receipt scanner: Epson Workforce ES-50

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  • Portable
  • Auto-size detection for easy scanning


  • Single-side scanning only

13. ABUKAI Expenses

Best for: Expense reports on the go

Apps: iOS | Android

Price: Free for occasional users, then starting at $99 per year for frequent users

There’s a way to manage expense receipts without much effort? Sign me up! ABUKAI lets you scan and save your receipts in just two steps. First, take a picture of your receipt. Second, submit the receipt to save it to your phone.

The app handles processing your receipt and filing it in the expense report you've already set up, and reports are exported to the email address of your choosing.

Since this app sends your receipts directly to your email, you won’t have access to a storage system. Instead, you’ll need to search your inbox for the receipts that you need. Because of this, you may find value in this app if you only scan receipts on a limited basis.

best receipt scanner: ABUKAI receipt scanner

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  • Simple, 2-step process
  • Reports exported to your email


  • No storage system access
  • Not suitable for high volume scans

You’re Ready to Purchase the Perfect Receipt Scanner

If you’re reading this while standing in the printer and scanner aisle at Best Buy or reading it in a new window while browsing receipt scanners, keep in mind the six tips we discussed at the beginning of this post. A receipt scanner isn’t the cheapest purchase you’ll make for your home or work office so I hope this guide makes the decision a little easier.

While your receipt scanner doesn't need every bell and whistle out there, you want to make sure you have the features you need at a price you’re willing to pay for a decluttered desk and organized file cabinet.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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