Neat Accounting Review 2024

Our Verdict

Excellent encrypted storage, a lackluster accounting tool

During our testing, Neat has proven that it’s excellent at what it does. It’s an excellent central hub for all business documentation (knowledge bases, process documents, contracts, etc.), receipts, and invoices, and makes it super easy to search your documentation, find exactly what you need, and securely share it with team members, business partners, and clients.

The issue is that’s pretty much the full extent of what you can use Neat for. If you need encrypted online file storage, this platform is a must. However, you’ll still need to invest in a different accounting software solution to handle invoicing, expense tracking, project management, time tracking, and tax filing.

All in all, Neat can be worth it, provided you’re specifically looking for a file management app, but it’s not a viable solution if you need accounting and invoicing functionalities.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Fantastic customer support
  • All documents encrypted both at rest and in transit
  • Keyword search and filters to quickly find a specific document
  • An excellent mobile app for both iOS and Android

Cons

  • Inflexible pricing with a yearly commitment
  • No invoicing capabilities (from October 2023)
  • Overall lacking true accounting functionality

Neat Plans & Pricing

Neat offers a single pricing plan at $200/year. There is no option to pay monthly, so you’ll have to commit to a full year of using the software and pay the full price upfront. Thankfully, there’s a 14-day free trial, so you’ll be able to test the app in practice before committing to an annual subscription.

The high price and no monthly subscription, make Neat really inflexible. As a result, it’s only a good choice if you plan on using every feature it offers and know for a fact you won’t be switching to a different provider during the 12-month subscription period.

In addition to the base platform, Neat also offers two paid add-ons;

  • the VIP Service at $50/year and
  • Automated Insights at $150/year

The former involves 1:1 coaching and a dedicated support team, while the latter revolves around reporting and analytics. Seen as most accounting software solutions include reporting and analytics as a core feature of the base platform, Neat is quite a bit more expensive than alternatives.

Neat Overview

Starting price $200/year
Best for File storage, organization, and sharing
Customer support Email, Live Chat
App integrations QuickBooks, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, Google Contacts, Mailchimp, Outlook
Security & Compliance AES-256 encryption, role-based access, third-party audits, third-party penetration tests
Payroll
Reporting & analytics ❌ Paid add-on
Mobile app
Double entry
E-signatures
Auto-alerts and reminders

Features

Neat is primarily a file management platform, meaning all of its features are geared towards securely storing and sharing business documents. In other words, Neat isn’t your typical accounting software since it lacks one key functionality you’d expect of an accounting tool — invoicing.

That said, the platform can be used to store invoices and receipts, so you can create a searchable database of all key financial documents. Neat has a few other uses as well, so let’s take a closer look at its core functionalities:

Data Storage and Organization

Neat lets you store unlimited files on a secure cloud server, as well as access and share them with your team from anywhere, thanks to the intuitive mobile application. The files are encrypted both at rest and in transit, using bank-level encryption (AES-256).

You’ll also be able to add an unlimited number of users to your account, meaning you can share business documentation with your partners, vendors, and clients as well. The data can be organized into folders and sub-folders and is easily searchable via a search bar, so you can find the exact document you need in seconds.

You can also leverage Neat’s built-in data extraction to gain valuable insights from your existing documentation, such as dates, taxes, payment methods, vendors, and more.

Receipt Tracking

A screenshot of Neat's expense management feature

With Neat, you’ll be able to easily upload all your expenses, organize them, and save a ton of valuable time on data entry. You can simply snap a photo of the receipt through the Neat mobile app, email the receipt, or drag and drop a document to upload it. Additionally, you can use one of the compatible scanners to scan all your receipts and have them automatically uploaded to your account.

You can then add these receipts to expense reports, as well as organize files by expense type, tax category, and various other parameters. Whenever you need to review the data, you can utilize the quick keyword search or advanced filters to find exactly what you need.

Reconciliation

A screenshot of Neat's reconciliation feature

Neat helps you consolidate all of your data and manage all documents and transactions in one place. This includes invoices, receipts, bank transactions, and email data, so you’ll never have to worry about data discrepancies or missing transactions.

Every transaction is automatically matched to the correct source, using Neat’s proprietary algorithm, so you won’t have to reconcile off of bank statements. This spares you the manual data entry, saves you time, and ensures that all of your transactions are accurate.

Tax Prep

A screenshot of Neat's tax preparation feature

Having access to all your financial documentation in one place greatly facilitates tax prep. You can connect your Neat account to over 10,000 financial institutions to ensure that every receipt and invoice is connected to the right bank or credit card transaction.

Neat also enables you to easily send all expenses for the current tax year to your tax or accounting software. You can export tax categories, expenses, and document images to eliminate duplicate data entry and ensure complete accuracy.

We really like the chat function as it lets you track correspondence with your accountant directly in Neat, as well as leave and receive comments on the platform, so you won’t have to deal with lengthy email chains.

Integrations

Neat natively integrates with a handful of third-party apps and tools, such as Outlook, Google Contacts, Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp, Quicken, and H&R Block.

It also integrates with QuickBooks, one of the best accounting software solutions on the market, so if you’re looking for both file storage and core accounting capabilities, these two apps are the perfect pair.

Another notable integration is with TurboTax, so you can export all key documents and ensure complete accuracy during tax season.

Neat Customer Reviews

Neat has a solid overall user rating, averaging over 4.0/5 stars on the majority of reputable review sites. The users praise it for its unlimited file storage, the ability to classify and assign categories to each document, and the tool’s ease of use. Most notable however is the praise for the customer support team. Almost every single review on Trustpilot mentions the high-quality support.

A customer's review of Neat

Among the most common complaints are unexpected crashes, loss of older scans, and the lack of flexibility regarding pricing.

What Is Neat Good For?

Neat is great for scanning receipts, uploading invoices, and securely storing all crucial business documents. It also helps you easily search for the files you need, as well as share them with your team, business partners, and clients.

With Neat, you’ll be able to easily track your monthly spending, ensure every transaction is matched to the correct source, and make sure you have all the documentation ready for tax season.

You can also utilize Neat to generate in-depth reports on the financial health of your business, but keep in mind that Automated Insights is a paid add-on with a rather steep price tag ($150/year).

Neat vs Top Competitors

Software Neat QuickBooks Odoo Wave
Best for File storage, organization, and sharing SMBs that want to automate invoicing, payroll, tax filing, and time tracking SMBs looking for an app that combines finance, sales, HR, and marketing Free invoicing and accounting
Starting Price $200/year From $18/month Free for one app Free core platform + flat fees for every transaction
Free Trial 14-day free trial 30-day free trial 15-day free trial N/A
Payroll Paid add-on
Reporting Automated Insights as a paid add-on Customizable professional reports Advanced financial reports Standard financial reports
Mobile App

Neat vs QuickBooks

Neat and QuickBooks are two fundamentally different apps, but they work remarkably well together, thanks to their native integration. Neat helps you store and organize all your invoices, expenses, and other key business documentation, whereas QuickBooks facilitates all other financial aspects of your business, like invoicing, payroll, and time tracking.

If you’re looking for an accounting software solution alone, QuickBooks will suffice. We recommend adding Neat to your software stack only if you need to handle a large number of documents and want an easy way to scan/upload, store, and search for them.

Get to know QuickBooks more in our QuickBooks review.

Neat vs Odoo

Odoo is a comprehensive platform with dozens of modules that can help streamline and automate everything from document management and accounting to sales, marketing, and CRM. It’s also extremely cost-effective, considering you can get all apps in Odoo’s arsenal for just $24.99/month per user.

The potential drawback of Odoo is that it can be quite overwhelming due to the sheer lack of features and functionalities. So, if you need a simpler platform solely for document management, expense tracking, and financial reporting, Neat might be a better choice for your business.

Find out more in our Odoo review.

Neat vs Wave

Wave is an excellent option for SMBs that only invoice a handful of clients each month. Its core invoicing and accounting features are completely free, and you only pay a flat fee (1% for bank payments; 2.9% + $0.60 for credit card transactions) per transaction. It also offers payroll and mobile receipts, though only as paid add-ons.

Neat doesn’t offer invoicing or accounting, but instead focuses on document management. That said, you can combine these two apps to cover all of the financial aspects of your business and have a secure, centralized, easily searchable document hub.

Get the low-down in our review of Wave.

How We Test Accounting Software

Here are the main factors we consider when testing, reviewing, and comparing accounting software solutions:

  • Pricing — The available pricing plans, free plans, and free trials, as well as the overall value for money the software offers.
  • Features — All the core features and functionalities, together with paid add-ons.
  • Integrations — The native integration capabilities of the platform and the availability of the API (Application Programming Interface) for creating custom integrations.
  • Automation — Different automation capabilities of the platform and their level of customization.
  • Ease of use — The UI (User Interface) and the navigation of the platform, as well as the required technical knowledge to fully utilize all of its capabilities.
  • Third-Party Reviews — Feedback provided by users of the platform on reputable third-party review sites.

How To Choose the Best Accounting Software

If you’re unsure whether Neat is the right solution for you, here are some of the key aspects of accounting software you should take into consideration to ensure you make the right decision:

  • Price Allocate a monthly or annual budget and make sure that the software you’re considering aligns with it. Go over all the different pricing options and add-ons, as well as consider the potential cost of upscaling the software.
  • FeaturesCarefully go over all the features available on different pricing plans/tiers, and make sure you opt for a plan that covers all your business needs.
  • Scalability — Check if the tool supports unlimited users or if you’ll have to pay extra to add new users to your account later down the line. Also, try to ascertain whether or not you can switch to a different pricing plan as you grow and expand your business.
  • Ease of useUnless you have extensive technical knowledge and experience with accounting software, it’s best to opt for an easy-to-use platform so you don’t end up spending valuable time and hundreds of dollars on implementation and training workshops.
  • Integrations Check what third-party apps and tools the software integrates with. Ideally, you want one that integrates with your existing software stack, so you don’t have to worry about duplicate data entry or data discrepancies.
  • Customer supportPay attention to the available methods of contacting customer support, as well as their working hours. Also, take into account what other users have to say about the quality of customer support.

FAQs

Is there a Neat app?

Is Neat software free?

Are Neat scanners obsolete?

Which is the easiest accounting software?

What software do most accountants use?

Aleksandar Stevanovic

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…