Why accountants need a good document scanner
Batch scanning saves you 1 hour of work for every 100 pages that you need to scan. (compared to flatbed scanning)
With automated data capture you save additional hours of time previously spent on manual re-typing.
Data capture services such as Datamolino can automatically split your batch scans into individual transactions and send the data to your accounting software.
Scanning invoices and receipts and attaching the images to your accounting transactions is very practical and is becoming standard these days. Basic scanning helps you to find your documents faster, without the need for looking through papers in binders or shuffling paper on your desk.
Once the invoice or receipt is scanned, there are tools such as Datamolino, Entryless or Receipt Bank that help you to process the data without the need for manual data entry.
The scanning can still be a hassle. Scanning documents one by one can be very time consuming and may take longer than data entry. Scanning is here to stay for a bit, at least 85% of invoices still come in paper format. How can you save time on document scanning?
Buying a better scanner can give you huge time savings and makes your practice much more effective. You can scan your documents in batches. This is very quick. If you would scan 50 invoices one by one, it could take you more than 30 minutes on a flat-bed scanner. Scanner with an automatic document feeder can get the job done in 2 minutes. For 200 invoices, you look at a time saving of 2 hours.
Datamolino loves multi-page scans
When you upload a multi-invoice scan to Datamolino, it finds the relevant invoice and receipt data and splits the file into individual transactions for you. This is a huge time saver. You do not have to scan one invoice per page. Datamolino can deal with all your invoices and receipts scanned in one file, multi-page and single-page at once. (this is not standard with data capture services).
Even better. Most scanners can email. You can just set the scanner to email the scanned files into your Datamolino folder. This is the most effective way to deal with paper invoices.
Datamolino works great with Xero, Sage One and Excel.
How do you choose a good scanner?
Choosing a new piece of technology can be a bit confusing. Look for scanners that have automatic document feeder (sometimes called automatic sheet feeder or ADF / ASF). The scanner should be able to scan both sides of a single page in a single pass. Some scanners have blank page removal and ultrasonic sensors that check for double feeds so you can scan with more confidence.
One of the best scanners on the market is Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 which won the reddot design award 2014. Another good scanner is the Plustek Smartoffice PS286 Plus or PS288.
Key take aways:
– invest in a good quality scanner – it will pay off in saved time and hassle
– save time with batch scanning
– start using a data capture service that extracts the data from your scans into your accounting
– use the time savings to build out your accountancy practice