3 ways to make business bookkeeping easier with document scanning

3 ways to make business bookkeeping easier with document scanningIt seems only fair to point out from the get go that we are not bookkeeping experts. But we have worked with plenty of bookkeepers in our time, not to mention business owners, so we’ve picked up a few things along the way.

Specifically, we’ve seen the challenges that come up time and time again – and the ways that we’ve been able to help our clients overcome them with our scanning superpowers. We’re pretty sure Marvel is working on a new franchise based on our work, but in the meantime we felt it was our civic duty to share a few foundational tips with you.

1) Get your receipts scanned

You know the receipts you get from shops or out of machines in car parks? The ones you carefully save and detail in your expenses claim form and then file away in boxes in case you get audited or you need the VAT number at some future point? Well they’re printed on thermal paper. Which means they’ll be pretty much illegible long before your next set of company accounts have been completed. The best way to ensure you have access to that data for years to come is by scanning your receipts. Auto Entry and Xero accounting systems both have excellent apps that allow you scan these from your mobile while on the move – but if you are time poor or have lots of them, we can do it for you.

2) Create a shared drive so everyone can access information

How many people need access to your invoices, receipts, purchase orders and so on? As well as any team members there’s also your accountant and your bookkeeper if you have one. Sending endless emails with bulky attachments – or worse, hard copies – is a pain. Far easier to have everything scanned and stored digitally in a central location that can be accessed by anyone who needs it in real time. This is also helpful if you need to get hold of a document on the go. Systems like Dropbox and GSuite can even be accessed from your phone, making it much easier to get stuff done when you’re out and about.

3) Use OCR to make finding stuff easier

So, you’ve successfully created an online archive and everyone who needs it can access it – well done you. Now, where exactly did you decide to store the Christmas party deposit receipt? Beryl is asking for it, and she doesn’t like to be kept waiting. Was it under C for Christmas? Perhaps D for December? Receipts paid? Current receipts? If you opt to give your files the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) treatment when they’re being scanned, you’ll be able to simply type in the word ‘Christmas’ and any printed documents containing that term will magically* appear. We can OCR in up to 35 different languages, which we think is pretty impressive. Can you even name that many languages? (*It’s not actually magic, just clever technology).

So there you have it. You’re not so skeptical about Marvel wanting to work with us now, are you, hm? If you’d like to engage our scanning services before we get so famous that we have to triple our rates, get in touch with the team today.

Does my document look oversized in this?

Does my document look oversized in this?Size – it’s a big thing in the media these days. But in this case we’re not talking waistlines. Oh no, we’re far more interested in paper sizing. And as far as we’re concerned, the bigger the better! Because oversized document scanning is one of those things that is more complex than it might sound, and you know we love a challenge.

We do ours on a Canon OCE large format scanner, which can scan in colour or black and white. It can deal with documents up to A0 in width and basically as long as you like (within reason – there’s a limit to the amount of physical space we have in the building so let’s not try and break any records, ok?). To give you an idea, we’ve done aircraft drawings that have been over 40ft long! We’ve also done drawings of nuclear power station parts, but we can’t tell you any more about that or we’d have to kill you.

Work that scanner!

To start an oversized scanning job we actually have to alter the office layout, pulling the scanner away from the wall and rearranging the tables so as to allow the documents to feed through and out the other side. It’s a very manual process and takes a delicate hand (ideally two), especially since many of the oversized documents we deal with are quite fragile, for example if they’re printed on mylar or drawing paper.

The Canon OCE scans at 300DPI (dots per inch) resolution rather than 200DPI, which essentially means that the images it produces – saved as either a TIF, PDF or JPEG – are of a higher quality. Which is pretty important given that most of the oversized documents we scan are things like architects plans, engineering plans, site plans (any plans, really), technical drawings and so on, which have to be very accurate at any scale.

We can also scan documents up to 15mm thick, so original mounted prints will fit through – ideal for insuring artwork.

Don’t try this at home

A warning before we wrap this up (which we will do in a moment, because while we find the intricacies of scanning oversized document scintillating, we know not everyone does): don’t be tempted to fudge the process on your normal sized office scanner.

There’s always one clever clogs who decides to chop up a schematic drawing, photocopy the individual pages and then glue them back together. Or scan sections and stitch them together digitally.

This does not work. You inevitably wreck the scaling or end up with a crease line over an important bit of piping which means the new building you’re constructing will be flooded with sewage every time someone flushes the loo.

If you need help making architect’s drawings, engineering drawing, vehicle schematics or whatever more portable, please ask us instead – we’re only too willing to help.