Scanners can help small businesses digitise and streamline all their receipts.
Technophile: Digitise your paper records with a scanner
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500
The frame The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 has a comparatively slim profile for a desktop scanner, at only 30 centimetres wide and weighing about three kilograms. It also features a retractable paper tray that can be folded in to save space when not in use.
The specs The workhorse ScanSnap S1500 can scan 20 pages a minute at a resolution of 600x600 dpi. However, it cannot handle oversized documents. Once you install software on your computer, it connects and operates through a USB cable.
The ruling While not the best choice for rendering high-quality images or photos, the ScanSnap S1500 is a solid choice for the home office or small business owner who wants to digitise all paperwork, from contracts to receipts, on a daily basis.
NeatReceipts Scanalizer Professional 2.5
The frame The compact Windows-friendly NeatReceipts Scanalizer Professional 2.5 is built for the serious-receipt-collecting-and-scanning professional on the go. It is less than 27 centimetres wide and weighs just over 300 grams and can fit easily into any briefcase or laptop bag.
The specs The Scanalizer comes with software that allows it to scan receipts, and then turn them into data that can then be transferred to Excel spreadsheets. It plays well with all Windows PCs or notebooks and connects via a USB cable.
The ruling The Scanalizer does one thing and does it well, though don't expect it to decipher faded or handwritten receipts. However, its highly sophisticated software can help make organising all your business accounts while travelling a breeze.
Epson Perfection V500
The frame The sleek Epson Perfection V500 wins style points with its curved-surface, dark grey and black exterior and simple, four-button interface. It's pretty enough not to have to hide in a corner somewhere. Perhaps not coincidentally, it's also one of the best scanners for Macintosh computers.
The specs The Perfection V500 can handle documents that are letter-sized or smaller, but boasts 48-bit colour and a high-end optical resolution of up to 6400x9600 dpi, making it one of the better choices for photo scanning. It also connects to computers through a USB cable.
The ruling If scanning for you is as much an art form as it is a business necessity, the Perfection V500 is one of the better choices for you. But since it doesn't have an automatic document feeder, it might be annoying if you've got a ream of business to get through.