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Receipt scanner?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by jungleexplorer, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    I am looking for a good receipt scanner. I have tried several different apps and I did not like any of them. What I would really like is a scanner (piece of hardware) that attaches to the micro usb port on the phone that can scan receipts with. I have done many searches and I don't think such a device exist.

    Here is my problem. I manage the accounting for a small non-profit. Up until now, I have done things the old fashion way keeping all the paper receipts. I want to move to paperless for 2014. My main problem is that there are several people that have expense accounts that live hundreds of miles apart. Most of these people are not tech savvy at all and if it is not drop dead simple, that cannot faithfully use it. Most of the apps I have tried require many steps to complete the scanning, saving and transmission of a single receipt. This way too complicated for the people I need to use it. I need an app that is one button simple. I need an app that I can program to do all of the steps automatically. All I need is a good quality image of a receipt. I don't need the sender to type in anything. I would like an app that I can program to automatically send me the image of the receipt after the person takes it.

    Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. Say, one of my people make a purchase at walmart. This is what I would like for them to be able o do. Take out their phone, push one button to launch the app, the app launches and they line it up on the receipt and press a button to snap the shot, the phone automatically focuses and crops the image and sends it to me. That's it. I don't need them to type any data, create any memos, type a report. I just need a good image at my end and I can do all the rest.

    I believe an actual piece of hardware would be better for receipts. Something like the MSI MS803 Multifunctional USB Mini Portable Document Photo Card Scanner, but for android.

    [​IMG]



    Any suggestions?
     

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  2. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert
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    Check out Camscanner. Will auto-crop, auto-sync, etc.
     
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  3. Thom

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    Welcome to Android Forums.

    This thread was moved to the forum where apps are discussed.

    Using the phone's camera is a possibility. Check out some of the apps that process QR codes.

    ... Thom
     
  4. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    I will try out camscanner. The problem with the apps I have tried, that rely on the phones camera is, that they do not have the ability to scan long receipts. According to IRS regulations, for a digitized replica of a receipts to be accepted, it must be an exact duplicate of the original. Most receipts are not that wide, but are much longer then what a smartphone camera can fit in a single shot with good resolution. If there is an app that would the use camera like a scanner, where you could start at the top and scan to the bottom, that would be the best.
     
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  5. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    Okay, I must say that camscanner did impress me with the quality of the result of the test receipt. But I can find no way to program it to automatically send the document to me. It takes many steps to send a document once it is created. That is just not going to work for the people I am dealing with.

    I did create a free account and the app will sync with the cloud storage automatically and that is better then nothing, but the online account has no way to tell it to forward the doc to me or even notify me that there is a new doc. It has no way to batch download either. Each doc must be downloaded individually and that will take a lot of time for me because I get possible 100 transactions a month between all the users. I do like the app though. I think I will write the creators to see if they will add the features I need, to the app or to the online account. Thanks
     
  6. BigRedGonzo

    BigRedGonzo Android Expert
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    Would it be possible to have camscanner sync to something like dropbox? You can get a minimal dropbox account for free. You could add a directory for each user and have it sync to that directory. That would identify the user and allow you simple access to the receipts. Just a thought...
     
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  7. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    It does allow you to upload to dropbox or google drive, but each document must be manually uploaded. I have scanned 20 receipts so far and am rather impressed with the app image quality, but the process of getting the app from the users to me is not very streamlined. It is a good start, but needs some common sense improvements in streaming the process of getting the receipts from multiple users to a single manager from where I sit. It does auto sync with camscanners cloud storage, but getting the docs off their system is laborious because each doc has to be downloaded individually as they have no way to select more then one document at a time. And then you have to go back through and delete each doc individually as well. Takes a lot of time. They really need a batch select option.

    I guess the problem lies in the way I think about internet and data security. To me data security means an external backup drive that is not connected to the internet in anyway. Let me see the hacker that can hack that! Cloud storage is the reverse of that what I consider secure. This is why I would like the receipts directly emailed to me, so that I can save the files and erase the emails. I know the world is trying to push towards cloud computing. I don't mind cloud computing, but cloud storage of sensitive data, in a world of hackers and rampant identity thief to the tune of fifty billion dollars annually, is about the dumbest idea I can think of.

    Is there another app like camscanner that might offer what I am looking for?
     
  8. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert
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    Camscanner will send emails of scans, but I don't think it will automate it. Dropbox or similar cloud storage is far more secure than emails anyway. Email is semi-secure at best.
     
  9. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    I don't consider anything that is connect to the internet to be secure (even the D.O.D gets hacked, and on a regular bases). In my opinion "Internet Security" is an oxymoron. I only say this to stifle any future discussion about what is more or less secure. It is all insecure and I accept that there are inherent risk in using the internet for sensitive data transmission. My goal is to lessen my exposure to attack. While email may be less secure then cloud storage, an email data breach (via node interception for example) would result in only in a single piece of data getting into the wrong hands ( I download all emails via pop3 and store them locally and delete them from the server), where as, a cloud storage breach would result in hundreds or thousands of documents getting into the wrong hands.

    I have written to the creators of Camscanner about the functions I would like to see added to either the app of their website. Hopefully they will take my suggestions seriously. If they would just add a batch select option the documents manager in the online account (very simple to do compared to adding a function to the app), I would be happy.
     
  10. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert
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    If you're worried about a breach of cloud storage allowing access to hundreds of documents, simply delete the copies stored in the cloud after storing them locally, same as you do with your POP3 emails. Effectively the same thing. You can automate sync to the cloud but not emails, so cloud storage simplifies the problem.
     
  11. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    Yes. I have already stated that I am aware of this. But if you would have read what I said, Camscanners online cloud storage has no batch select function for downloading or deleting so each document must individually selected to be downloaded, and then be individually selected again for deleting. This is an obvious over site of a common sense function by the designer, which makes the downloading and deletion of many files unnecessarily complicated and time consuming.
     
  12. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Being rude wont encourage people to offer help man. Just sayin' :beer:
     
  13. fdbryant3

    fdbryant3 Android Expert
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    Bitorrent Sync might do what you want. Basically you can create sync relation between the folder your saving the scan to and a folder on your computer or external drive. When you take the picture it is automatically sync'd to the corresponding folder on your computer and/or other locations you specify. No third parties involved.
     
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  14. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    I apologize if anyone felt I was being rude. It admit that it frustrates me when I find myself having to repeat what I have already stated multiple times and sometimes I feel as though some people just have an ax to grind and are not really here to help, but to just create an argument. It seems to happen with alarming frequency on forums such as these in my experience; I come to ask a simple question and get drawn into a ideological debate with someone trying to push a point that I don't agree with.

    Anyway. As a side note, I would like to let you know that I figured out where all the extra contacts came from that we were discussing on the other thread. Years ago, I used Picasa as a stand alone quick image editor and experimented with the face tagging function for photo album organization on my local hard drive. I had no idea that Google was extracting that data from my computer and uploading it to my account. Just thought you might want to know this and I apologize if you or anyone on that thread felt I was being rude.
     
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  15. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks. I will look at this.
     
  16. fdbryant3

    fdbryant3 Android Expert
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    I think you will find Bitorrent Sync can be a solution for a lot of issues involving moving data around in a more private fashion.

    Having been on both sides of the issue quoted above can I suggest simply not responding beyond a simple post saying thanks, that works for some but I really want something that doesn't involve a 3rd party (or whatever the reason their solution doesn't work for you). Having watched (and participated in) a number of posts that devolve into these types of ideological fights I've learned the best response is often not to. When someone posts a point of view that is divergent from your own it is natural to want to respond by explaining why, from your point of view, they are wrong and want to correct them. Since no one likes being told they are wrong they then feel a need respond in kind (often feeling a bit annoyed as they do so) and egos turn it into a vicious circle that just escalates from there. By just saying effectively "thanks but no thanks" it gives them very little to respond to. They of course may respond trying to press their point again at which point you simply don't reply (which of course means setting aside your own ego) that is going to be the end of it and eventually you may get a reply from some with a solution that is more applicable to you.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that to help you and whoever reads it. Sorry if it comes off a bit lectury. It took me a long while and lot of debates to figure out I can offer or reject a solution without having to prove why I am right about it. I've found that once I set my ego aside about it that time on the forums are much more productive.
     
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  17. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Trust me that noone here, especially a respected member like CrashDamage is here to argue lol. We're here to learn and "pay" for that learning by helping others.
    I appreciate your apology though. Thanks mate :beer:
    P.s, thats cool that you got to the bottom of that thing. I didnt realise you were the same guy.
    Yeah that thread did turn into a bit of a rabble lol but thats rare on here :)
     
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  18. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert
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    Hey, I was just trying to help...

    Anyway, Bittorrent Sync might work, but consider this - it would require installation and configuration of 2 apps instead of just 1 on the client's phones. More hassle and complication, especially for less tech-savvy clients. In such situations the KISS rule almost always wins.
     
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  19. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    fdbryant3. There is great wisdom in what you say. Thanks
     
  20. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    Crashdamage. You are correct. The people I am talking about can barely use an old flip phone and get the shakes when I ask them to doing anything with a smartphone. This is why I am looking for something that is drop dead simple and idiot proof.

    I tested out some more scanning apps like Genius Scan, but Camscanner is still the best by far. I think I will stick with it unless something else pops up that is better. I can handle downloading the docs one by one until they add the batch select feature I suggested (fingers crossed).

    Sorry if I came off rude. I do appreciate the help.
     
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  21. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    UPDATE: After using Camscanner for a week, I really like it. I had bought a mini hand scanner to use, but now see no use for it. There is one thing that I did not understand about it that has turned out to be the solution to the problem of access I was complaining about. The camscanner app synchronizes all data across all devices linked to the same account. I was under the false impression that each device would upload to the same online account and those files had to be manually download to each device, but this is not the case. When one person scans and saves a document, it is automatically uploaded to the cloud and then each other device gets that document whenever their device performs a scheduled sync operation. By contrast, any document that is deleted from the cloud sever or from a device, is also deleted from all other devices linked to the same account. Now my only question is, is there a way to run the camscanner app on my windows 7 PC with an emulator program? If this can be done, then it will solve my problem of having to log into the online account and downloading and deleting each document individually.
     
  22. boathead

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    sounds like you are nailing it down. probably blue stacks would run it on your pc, might be worth a look.

    BlueStacks
     
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  23. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks. I will take a look at bluestack.
     
  24. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    UPDATE. I got camscanner to work on my pc using Bluestack, but since the camscanner app provides no way to save files to local disk, it does not help me none. I still have to go to the website and download them one at a time and then delete them one at a time. So I am still looking for solutions.

    The camscanner app does download the files to my computer in the blueestack emulator, but I have yet to find where it is storing these files on my local drive. If I could find that folder, I could copy them over to where I want them in explorer.
     
  25. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer Android Enthusiast
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    Update:

    Well, I finally got everything the way I want. After searching for a long time I was finally able to find a way to sync my Camscanner doc files with a folder on my computer over wifi using a great little app called Cheeta Sync.
     

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