- author: Ethan Willse
With over 100,000 users, Neat is a booming bookkeeping and document management software that caters to the North American market. In 2014, the company created a Wi-Fi scanner but decided to shift their focus to automated bookkeeping in 2017. Given their specialty in scanning technology, the focus of Neat is to help users import paper documents into a cloud-based system. The company has three plans available, all designed specifically for small-business owners.
Plans & Pricing
Depending on the size and needs of your business, there are three options available. There’s also a 30-day free trial if you want to get a taste for the platform before buying it. Each plan comes with a 30-day money back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the product. Compared to other bookkeeping software programs with similar capabilities (such as 1&1’s basic plan), the price of Neat is in line with its competition. Here’s a glance at each plan and its corresponding price tag:
If you’re a freelancer or sole proprietor, the Lite plan is the way to go. This plan supports one user only and cannot be integrated with Quickbooks. In addition, phone and chat support is limited to the first 60 days. Despite all of this, the Lite plan does have similar functions compared to the more advanced plans. You can still scan and import documents into your virtual cabinet. With the right cabinet set up, you’ll never lose track of important tax returns or purchase orders. Using the data stored in your interface, there are three reporting options: tax, spending, and expense reporting. Unfortunately, the data from reports cannot be exported into accounting software like the other plans.
- Price: $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year
The Premium plan comes with all the features of the Lite plan plus the option to add one more user (for two in total). Along with additional users, you also get 30 NeatVerify credits. NeatVerify is a feature that uses real people to cross-check the data entered in the system versus what’s on the paper document. Furthermore, you can integrate both Quickbooks Online and the desktop version. This is certainly beneficial if you require more advanced account functions. Lastly, this plan includes a “collaboration” tool. This tool allows users to add comments to documents and share files all through the dashboard.
- Price: $14.99 per month or $119.99 per year
With all the features of the Lite and Premium plan, the Business plan is the most advanced of the three options. The platform hosts up to five users and comes with 100 NeatVerify credits. While the Premium plan integrates with Quickbooks for desktop, the Business plan supports multi-business integration. When it comes to accessing support, you’ll get a toll-free number and VIP access (meaning bumped up in line). If you wish to purchase more NeatVerify credits, you can get them at a larger discount when you have the Business package. While it doesn’t differ much from the Premium plan, this option works better for small-sized businesses as opposed to freelancers or sole proprietors.
- Price: $24.99 per month or $249.99 per year
Features and Functionality
This cloud-based service functions more as a document management system versus full-fledged accounting. With that said, there still are some beneficial reporting tools that will help you to analyze your company’s financial position. Inarguably one of the best benefits is the ability to complete rid of your file cabinets and move it all to the cloud.
Here’s a glimpse at each plan and its features and functionality:
Even though it’s the most basic of the three, the Lite plan still meets Neat’s main goal: document storage. The platform is accessible via the web, desktop, or mobile app. Simply log in and you’re ready to roll. You can import documents by email, fax, uploading from your PC, or by scanning them. Once the documents are loaded into the platform, you can categorize them to meet your business needs. ID2 takes snippets of the data from uploaded documents and uses it to form real-time reports. With the ID2 data, you can track spending, expenses, and taxes. Furthermore, this data can be exported from Neat to other platforms. When tax time comes, you can easily share the tax reports with your accountant.
The premium plan comes with the same features as the Lite plan plus extra add-ons and integrations, more user accounts (2 in total), and receipt verification. With 30 NeatVerify credits, you can be certain that your data is accurate and there are no breaks in the process. When the data is ready to go, you can export it directly to Quickbooks, whereas with the Lite plan you cannot. Additionally, you can add on Constant Contact or MailChimp to auto-populate forms and further streamline your business process. The collaboration feature lets users comment on files directly on the dashboard to avoid back-to-back email communication. If you have questions and need help from support, you aren’t limited to the first 60 days like you are with the Lite plan.
With all the features of the Premium plan plus a little more, the Business plan is the most advanced and supports up to five users. You can share documents loaded into the platform with multiple users and grant access to your accountant or bookkeeper, depending on the document type. Instead of 30 NeatVerify credits, this plan comes with 100, making it easier to double check your data. Additional credits can be purchased at a quantity discount if you are a Business subscriber. Not only does the Business package come with Quickbooks integration, but you can also integrate it with multi-companies. Another feature that makes the Business plan stand out is unlimited, prioritized support. If you have any questions, you won’t have to wait long for an answer. For data collaboration among a large group, easy integration with third-party accounting software, and the most responsive support, the Business plan is the way to go.
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Ease of Use
Registering and setting up your Neat account is quick and simple. After registering, you’ll just have to download the mobile app and you’ll be almost all set. The platform’s main screen is where the “inbox” is located. This is the central location for all your stored documents that are imported through the application, email, and via web import. Below the inbox is the cabinet (similar to a filing cabinet). Determining how you want to store your documents in the virtual file cabinet is probably the more time-consuming tasks of setting up the platform.
The dashboard is easy to navigate, however, it takes a little bit of time to get used to. When you first log in, you’ll notice that the interface lacks complexity. Apart from a few menu items on the left-hand side, there’s not much too it. After figuring out where to find the tools, the platform is relatively self-explanatory. If you run into problems, there’s a link to directly access the help center from the dashboard. In addition to the live support available, Neat has various tutorial videos to assist users with a variety of tools available.
Add-ons and Integrations
While add-ons and integrations are scarce on the Lite plan, the Premium and Business plans both come with a handful of powerful additions. The most notable integration is Quickbooks (the online and desktop version). If you use the desktop version, it’ll come at an extra cost. In addition to Quickbooks, you can also integrate it with Sage. Integrating either of the two will make it much easier to export data from Neat to your accounting system. Not only can you integrate it with accounting platforms, but you can also integrate it with the below tools:
- Google: Easily access your Google contacts from the Neat dashboard
- Constant Contact: Auto-populate contact information into forms
- Mailchimp: Similar to Constant Contact, reduces data entry by auto-populating data
- H&R Block: File taxes and itemize your deductions through Neat
- Outlook: Sync your address book and keep your contacts up-to-date
Pros & Cons
- Option to integrate with Quickbooks or Sage
- Scan and store receipts using your mobile device
- Run expense reports based off your scanned documents
- No 24/7 live support
- No general ledger or advanced financial reports
- A limited number of add-ons when compared to competitors
The unique aspect about Neat is that the plan you choose determines the level of support you have access to. If you purchase the Premium or Business plans, you have unlimited access to phone, chat, and email. As an extra bonus, business plan subscribers get a toll-free number and quicker responses. With the Lite plan, Neat limits the phone and email support to the first 60 days. There is the option, however, to purchase additional support if needed. No matter what plan you choose, none of them have 24/7 live support.
Phone SupportYou can reach technical support at 888-898-3253, available M-F 9AM to 8PM ET. For billing questions, the phone number is 855-898-3253.
Live Online ChatLive support is limited to M-F 9AM to 8PM ET.
Video TutorialsNeat has a variety of video tutorials on their Video Training Center.
FAQNeed help outside of the standard business hours? There’s a FAQ page that might have the answer to your question.
There’s no doubt that Neat is more of an add-on software than it is a complete bookkeeping package. It’s certainly helpful when it comes to document workflow and expense reporting. Instead of relying solely on Neat, small-business owners would likely have to integrate it with Quickbooks or Sage to get more essential financial reporting tools. On the other hand, if you’re just a freelancer, Neat is an efficient way to store and categorize your documents. The Premium and Business plans are the routes to go if you need to export the data generated in Neat in order to analyze it in other programs. While Neat might not be the top player when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping software, it definitely has some tools that go a long way for small businesses.