Review: ReceiptWallet

Keep track of all those little slips with ReceiptWallet. (January 19th, 2009)

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Product Manufacturer: GGT Enterprises, LLC

Price: $39.95 US

The Good

  • Simple, powerful interface. Integrates with Quicken, SpotLight, Quick Look, and Cover Flow. Powerful reporting facility - great for expense reports. Online knowledge base. 21-day demo available on site.

The Bad

  • Automatic recognition of scanned receipts may be unreliable.

If you're like me, when you buy anything, you grab the receipt and shove it into your pocket or into your purse, if you carry one. Later, when your pocket or purse is full of paper, you go through all the receipts, trying to remember what each one was for, and if they are worth keeping.

If you've made a New Year's resolution to change that, ReceiptWallet can help you out. It keeps images of all the receipts, and will sometimes automatically recognize the amounts, dates, vendor, and other information from the receipt - or let you enter the information yourself.

ReceiptWallet main screen

ReceiptWallet Main Window


There are four ways of getting your receipts into ReceiptWallet:
  1. You can use ReceiptWallet to drive a scanner, and import directly.
  2. You can use the iSight camera on your computer as a scanner.
  3. You can scan receipts into image files using some other program (I used TIFF as a transfer format).
  4. If you buy something online, you can print your receipt as a PDF file and import that into ReceiptWallet without ever using a physical scanner.
The people at GGT Enterprises recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap, a portable scanner that hooks up via a USB port.

Once you put your receipts into ReceiptWallet, all your receipts are at your fingertips; organized, searchable, and printable. If you remember a few details on the receipt, you can type them into the search widget in the toolbar. ReceiptWallet supports Spotlight searching as well, so you don't have to launch ReceiptWallet to find a receipt. If you don't remember the store or other details, you can flip through your receipts using Cover Flow and Quick Look in Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard.

You can define categories where you can keep your receipts organized, either manually or automatically in Smart Collections. These are computed from the information collected within each receipt. ReceiptWallet comes with five predefined smart collections: Today (all receipts dated today), This Week, This Month, Last Week, Last Month, and This Year.

 ReceiptWallet Smart Collection screen

ReceiptWallet Smart Collection Dialog


When you need to show your receipts to someone, ReceiptWallet's reports are handy. You can define reports that summarize all the receipts in a category with a total amount spent. You can print out images of the receipts as part of the report. You can even define custom reports such as "All the receipts where the vendor is Apple Computer" or the category "Macintosh Software" - just what you need for tax time. Once you have such reports defined, you can export the report in QIF format, for inclusion into Quicken or a tax program.

 ReceiptWallet Report screen

ReceiptWallet Report Window


You can also put non-receipt data into ReceiptWallet. For example, you can add product manuals to ReceiptWallet's database, and never have to wonder where you put that bit of paper again. You just add the manual as a receipt with a dollar amount of $0.00, then you can add a description, and Spotlight can index it.

ReceiptWallet's automatic recognition works well on PDF files, but seems less accurate on scanned receipts. The only problem I found was that the OCR (recognizing the details of the receipt from the scanned image) did not work very well. From browsing their web site, it appears that the most problematic bit occurs when you scan receipts directly into the program, rather than import images or PDF files, but personally, I didn't have any trouble. Of course, no one puts the vendor name, date, amount, and so on in the same location on their receipts, so it's a hard problem to resolve. I thought the program worked well and is priced just right.

by Marshall Clow


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