Start with Accounting

As part of our series on enterprise scanning initiatives, DocSolid summarizes five different approaches that our customers have used successfully, to get started and grow serious scanning across the organization. The fifth and final of these Scanbition Frameworks, is called ‘Start with Accounting.’ For the firm deciding to get serious about scanning and reducing paper burden costs, Accounting can be measured a starting point.

This Accounting Department project automates paper-based workflows by scanning incoming paper invoices and other accounting documents, integrated with the existing accounting software, to facilitate electronic filing and retrieval. After establishing success with this first scanning project, the firm extends its developed scanning, integration and workflow competencies to other areas of the firm – specifically the practice areas. The objective is to get an ROI on scanning in a paper-burdened back-office. Then use the internal case study built by that successful project to inspire the practice areas to pursue similar paper-to-digital advantages.

In most firms, front office (practice) formal scanning projects need to be sold to the users. In Accounting, users can be told that scanning is going to be implemented. So this Scanbition framework let’s a firm get started with the told approach, and build a case for the sold approach.

Note that scanning and image use in Accounting can either be a ‘front-end’ or ‘back-end’ process. Front-end scanning captures paper on the way into the firm, and automates subsequent workflow by using images instead of physical paper. Invoice approvals, matching and overall processing become more productive and more accurate. Back-end scanning means the paper runs through its traditional course of movements, and batch scanning of finished transactions is done after the transactions are closed. Back-end scanning in accounting gives no workflow advantages for processing, generally focusing on digital storage as its advantage.

For a firm looking to maximize the payback from scanning by automating workflows, front-end scanning is the best approach. Its methods must be productive, to reduce overall efficiencies. And this scanning operation must be tightly integrated with the accounting software. Therefore, the project becomes a strong test of the enterprise scanning system, which must later be integrated with the DMS software when it migrates to the practice areas.

Accounting software vendors often have their own integrated scanning solution, but these are one-trick-pony solutions, for accounting only, and therefore cannot be leveraged to an enterprise scanning platform. Scanning to the DMS in the practice areas, in Records, HR and other applications will require another solution, so it’s best to select a solution for accounting that can be rolled out to the rest of the firm.

DocSolid’s customer Duane Morris, a 700 attorney firm HQ’d in Philadelphia, is an example of a Start with Accounting enterprise scanning approach. Their KwikTag system first was integrated with their Elite accounting solution, many years ago. After successfully automating Elite with KwikTag scanning, the firm has moved scanning across the enterprise, to integrate with their Autonomy iManage DMS, and several other firm applications.

Start with Accounting is an effective Scanbition Framework for firms with these objectives:

  • Automate Accounting workflows by scanning related paper
  • Establish ROI on the project in Accounting, where hard cost reductions are easiest to quantify
  • Build an internal case study in the firm by a successful project in Accounting, then use this success to sponsor scanning rollout to the rest of the firm

For more information on this and other Scanbition Frameworks, contact , or use the information request form at the Contact Us page at our web site.

Steve Irons
Author: Steve Irons