Scott Francis: Scanners Offer Out-of-the-Box Productivity

Fujitsu VP pinpoints the ROI

Where does a scanner fit in the accounting workflow?

With the continued momentum and focus on the “paperless” office, Fujitsu scanners have become an integral component of modern accounting and tax firms, streamlining workflow and enhancing business efficiencies. Many CPAs require a scanner to digitize documents so they can avoid the mess of physical file cabinets and centralize all their information on a shared network drive, making them accessible by more than one person at the same time. Scanned documents also can have indexing and search capabilities, and some data can even be pulled into accounting and tax programs without re-keying.


Is any special software or training required?

All Fujitsu scanners come with software ready to use right out of the box. The ScanSnap product line is designed for total ease-of-use requiring little to no scanning experience right from the first scan. Fujitsu’s higher-end scanners can be deployed immediately using the included bundle or can be configured alongside hundreds of third-party solutions, offering scanning experiences that range from easy to highly sophisticated.


How much money can scanning save for a 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 high cost of labor in production – the time wasted by organizing and searching for documents, as well as 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?

Yes. Stambaugh Ness, one of the largest CPA firms in central Pennsylvania, deployed its first ScanSnap scanners at client sites so 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. The system electronically digitized and stores documents, such as audits, tax preparation and other accounting-related tasks, inside virtual file folders for easy access and retrieval.


Scott Francis is vice president of marketing at the image products group at Fujitsu Computer Products of America. Visit or


Where to find May’s flipbook issue

The Journal of Accountancy is now completely digital. 





Leases standard: Tackling implementation — and beyond

The new accounting standard provides greater transparency but requires wide-ranging data gathering. Learn more by downloading this comprehensive report.