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Beware - Not Backward Compatible
on January 6, 2009
(NOTE: see my update on NeatWorks ver 5 below)
I have been using NeatReceipts for a couple of years now. I generally like the product, but I am now using BOTH the 'Classic ver 1.5.9" and the new Ver 4.0 software because NeatWorks broke a covenant with its' early adopters. They broke two of the cardinal rules of product development (1) never, ever, under any circumstances forget your early customers and their data and (2) never remove vital features from the product.
First, they "forgot" their "Classic ver 1.5.9" users. Versions of the software from 2.0 up thru the current ver 4.1 cannot recognize or import any of the receipts or documents scanned into the earlier version. I have personally talked to them about this for almost 2 years. At first, in early 2007, they repeatedly stated that they were hard at work on a migration solution. We depended on that statement, telling them how important it was for us to be able to access our archived data - for inventories, insurance and tax records.
But they finally just abandoned this effort and offered everyone a discount to upgrade to a later version. How is that going to help with restoring archived data? The data and file formats for their .elrec and .eldoc seem fairly simple - a scanned image and some recognized text fields. Why can't they import those formats like they allow for jpeg and tiff images?
They offered no acceptable reasons beyond that we are no longer working on that feature and "would you like to upgrade?". They seem oblivious to the frustrations they have caused a large number of their early customers. We even communicated with Rafi Spero, one of the companies owners. If he couldn't make it happen, you know they don't care about you as a customer. BEWARE THIS COMPANY.
Secondly: The "Classic" version allowed users to create folders and subfolders, etc. This was a fantastic way to organize receipts for cash, various credit cards, checks and debits, by year and then by month. Or to organize a copy of receipts for an inventory by broad categories and then further by store, year or vendor. So the initial features of both subfolders and the ability to copy receipts from yearly tax records to inventory folders was extremely useful and helpful in elimnating paperwork clutter.
The new ver 4 software does not support nested folders or copying receipts to other folders. Every time you scan a receipt, it goes into a folder. But all folders are on the same level. You can show and hide folders, but this is an extremely clumsy process and causes users a lot of extra work in trying to organize their invoices and receipts. If you want to copy a receipt, you have to scan it AGAIN. How brain-dead is that?
Bottom Line: This company has proven that, at their convenience, they will ignore or abandon prior versions of the software and remove vital features.
To fix some of their current short-coming, as mentioned above, it would not surprise me to see them create a new version of their software that is incompatible with what they are selling today.
DO NOT TRUST them with any vital data that you may need in the future.
UPDATE: 2-11-2010 - I have been given a preview of the new NeatWorks ver5 software. I don't know when it will be released but it seems to have (finally) added back in some of the features that went missing with ver 2 and onward. Now they also have a chance to allow for importing old receipts (".elrec" files) from their "Classic" users. If they do Import ".elrec" files many Classic users will be happy that their data is no longer "orphaned". I will then change my opinion and rating of NeatWorks and their products because they did admit to these past mistakes, listen and respond to their customers and "the true test of your character is how you respond to those mistakes."