Paperwork! There oughta be a law...
Original post made by fed up, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2011
Well, I'm doing the taxes now, and I am just fed up -- we should get the same favor when it comes to receipts.
Businesses should be able to do whatever creative things they want with their receipts, but there should be a standard block at top (or top left) within a certain area, certain size type and clarity with one after the other: THE DATE, THE BUSINESS, THE TYPE OF PAYMENT (check, cash, credit w/last 3 or 4 digits), THE SUBTOTAL, THE TAX, AND THE TOTAL.
For health providers, there should also be a DATE OF SERVICE.
Paperless commerce is a promise too far off. Paper has enough advantages that I'm not sure the paper receipt will ever be gone anyway. But man, we should not have to hunt for the information on the receipts we need for everything from taxes to insurance to warranty fulfillment. I don't even like to think about the time we collectively spend!
Something like that could have a long lead time so no one could gripe about it, but it should be mandated like the check signing was.
I've got a simple high speed scanner that takes small receipts and database software that interfaces with Quicken. Whether working with receipts the old-fashioned way or scanning, having a format would be SUCH SUCH a huge help.