There’s no question that tablets are poised to change the DMS landscape with their portability and use benefits. Certainly, they have created a deeper level of interest in the areas of workflow, portals, and document management and exchange, with practitioners trying to figure out how they can best utilize these tools in the mobile world within which we live, work and play. Still, as with any technology, tablets cannot stand alone. They are just one more tool for your toolbox — a pretty cool tool, no doubt, but still, just another tool.
Likewise, a document management system cannot stand alone. In order for firms to truly realize the full benefits of their DMS, they need to be using all the tools available to them while continually working to fine-tune their workflow processes. These areas are so intertwined, that’s it’s impossible to talk about one without spilling over into the other. And while the information below is certainly not a comprehensive list of tools, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight just a few products that can support your DMS implementation. Be sure to also take a look at the workflow tools listed in the review at www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/10271301 for more ideas on supporting your DMS and workflow.
ABBYY — WWW.ABBYY.COM
ABBYY specializes in recognition, data capture and conversion technologies for a variety of industries. The company’s name can be translated as “keen eye,” which is indicative of the company’s focus on processing information that originates in paper documents and electronic images. The list of specialty applications ABBYY offers is too lengthy to detail here, but some of the specific tools you may find useful in your DMS deployment include the following: ABBYY FineReader (OCR solution that extracts data from scanned documents and converts it into searchable and editable text) and ABBYY PDF Transformer (transforms PDF files into editable formats and creates PDFs from Microsoft Office applications).
Canon is another provider of consumer, business-to-business and industrial digital imaging solutions that span a wide variety of industries and market segments. One product tax and accounting professionals will be particularly interested in is the new imageFORMULA P-150 personal document scanner. This portable scanner, also known as the Scan-tini, is ideal for mobile professionals. This is Canon’s first entry in the personal scanner market, featuring a compact and convenient design. At 11 inches long, it weighs slightly over two pounds. Utilizing a single USB cable connection, the P-150 offers plug-and-scan capability with no required installation of driver or imaging applications. Canon’s Scan-tini can handle batch scans of up to 15 pages per minute in black and white and 10 pages per minute in color, with ISIS and TWAIN drivers included.
FUJITSU — WWW.FUJITSU.COM
While there are numerous manufacturers of quality scanners, Fujitsu has definitely earned a reputation for being a premier provider of scanning devices, especially to the tax and accounting profession. With top-selling scanners at all levels of the scanner market — portable, desktop, workgroup and commercial — the company has secured itself as an integral part of today’s modern practice. One of the company’s most popular models is the portable ScanSnap device, with its most recent release of the S1100. This model is particularly popular with mobile professionals, weighing only 12 ounces and easily fitting in laptop bags. All ScanSnap models include productivity software and the ability to create searchable PDF files as well as the ability to scan to editable Word and Excel documents.
NUANCE — WWW.NUANCE.COM
Nuance is a company that specializes in speech and imaging technologies, with a goal of informing, connecting and empowering people to be more productive and creative. The company offers dozens of applications for document image processing and speech recognition. Examples of some of their products include the following: eCopy ShareScan (automates paper-intensive processes with your office copier or multi-function printers by capturing data in paper documents), PDF Converter (lets you create, edit assemble and securely share editable PDFs); OmniPage OCR software (converts digital documents into editable and searchable files); and PaperPort (combines scanning with PDF creation and document management).