Scott Francis: How to Calculate the Real Costs of Production

Fujitsu exec shows why scanning saves time, money

How much money can going “paperless” make or save for an accounting firm?


To really understand the need, and not to mention value, of going paperless, organizations should start with quantifying their business operation and production process. Only then will they understand the costly labor of production—the time wasted by organizing and searching for documents, the costs associated with faxing, shipping and storage of paper files. Furthermore, they should determine if there have been customer service issues due to lost or illegible documents, which can undoubtedly incur additional costs and time.


Do you have any examples of accounting firms that made or saved money with a “paperless” solution?


Stambaugh Ness, one of the largest CPA and Business Consulting firms in the Central Pennsylvania business community, deployed its first ScanSnap scanners at client sites so that its audit teams, who frequently work offsite, could scan and email work papers back to the office instead of trudging boxes back and forth between locations. Prior to the implementations, the auditors were forced to manually carry thousands of papers back to the office and then, after they had been reviewed, return the documents to the client site. Utilizing the eight deployed scanners, the auditors were able to quickly digitize most of their clients’ audit documentation and return the documentation to them. The audit team members reviewed the documentation on their personal computers, then permanently stored them in the firm’s electronic document management system. The cycle took only a fraction of the time, leaving Stambaugh Ness auditors with more time to service customer needs.


In addition to the scan to email applications, Stambaugh Ness also stored all of the scanned documents into its electronic document management system designed specifically for CPA firms.


What’s “the next big thing” in the Fujitsu R&D lab?


Fujitsu has introduced the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 for PC and S300M for Mac to assist the mobile professional and the home-office worker. The Fujitsu ScanSnap S300/M is the world’s smallest double-sided, color ADF (auto document feeder) scanner. It is a compact, portable document imaging solution that converts paper documents into easily shared, organized and protected PDF files. Capable of operating via USB power connected to a laptop, the ScanSnap S300/M is the perfect solution for mobile users who don’t want to sacrifice functionality for mobility.


How does a firm get started?


Although implementing a document management or workflow solution can sound cumbersome and expensive, it is actually quite the contrary. The Fujitsu technology is reasonably priced and provides immediate ROI. Implementing solutions is relatively easy and scanning documents is incredibly straightforward. A business should start small. Run a pilot test in one area of your business operations before rolling out across the entire organization.


Scott Francis is senior director of product marketing for the Imaging Products Group at Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc. More at


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