As a CPA, you know the drill of handling vast quantities of paper for clients: tax forms, pay stubs, receipts, banking and stock market records, plus identification. Sure, some clients will offer you digital versions of these documents from the start, but there are plenty of holdouts who bring in a folio or the classic shoebox to your first meeting.
Your goal is to capture the data you need, quickly and accurately, and hand that mini mountain of paper right back to the client during that same meeting. Using a scanner seems like the obvious solution, but there are several aspects to consider before investing in equipment.
Contemplating compliance, effort and learning curve
Before you can even decide how best to turn paper into digital files, you might be concerned about maintaining confidentiality and conformity with regulations and professional best practices. That means ensuring that highly personal information – like identification and bank statements – is saved in a secure manner and accessed only by authorized people. Choosing safe digital storage and implementing processes to manage file security is just as important as locking conventional file cabinets and maintaining physical office security measures.
In addition, you want the scanner to be easy to use. After all, you’ve got hundreds (if not thousands!) of documents to prepare over the course of any given tax period. As a CPA, you probably don’t want to spend hours learning new technology or dealing with paper jams and mysterious error codes.
You’re probably looking forward to trading piles of paper for sleek digital folders that are searchable and work smoothly with your accounting software and systems. But success with that endeavor depends principally on the fidelity of the data captured during the scanning process. Poor image quality or cut off text can mean broken down processes, tracking down originals, and missing deadlines.
Meeting the stringent requirements of CPAs
It might seem impossible to find a scanner that can meet all of these conditions: simple to use, not too expensive, and easy to connect to secure storage. Fujitsu scanners are made to meet the rigors of tax preparation scenarios.
In a tight space? The Fujitsu fi-800R is an ultra-compact yet highly versatile scanner capable of scanning all types of documents, even passports and IDs. It includes robust features including reverse feeding and Active Skew Correction – an industry first! The model provides an agile and efficient scanning experience no matter how small your desk. Because of its U-Turn Scan and no need for a paper exit tray, the fi-800R fits into tight spaces. The PaperStream Capture software will also recognize pictures of faces, such as on an ID or passport, and will automatically rotate and turn them around to the correct position.
Anticipating vast amounts of paper? Maybe your business is growing, or your client base is firmly in the paper-only camp. The ScanSnap iX1600 – The newest flagship ScanSnap – is the one for you. It simplifies the scanning process for a variety of documents, making it easy to digitize your tax-prep practice.
Although the machine is complex, how you use it is so easy. The scanner includes wireless connectivity, an intuitive touch screen and advanced software that converts pages into fully editable files, including searchable PDFs. It includes automation functions, intelligently adapts to your preferences and continues to evolve to meet your needs, so you can work smarter. The iX1600 also has integrations with several popular cloud applications including, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive, to name a few.