Just pop the sheets in order and press the scan button right? Not quite. Scanning a few pages on the office scanner may seem like a simple procedure, but high volume document scanning is a complex process that requires considerable attention to detail and quality assurance at every step. From programming and indexing your document output, to the accurate capture of data for legal compliance, a professional scanning provider adheres to regulatory standards. If your documents are of any importance from a legal, historical or tax perspective, trust them to the experts. You’d be surprised how many people forget these essential steps when it comes to accurate, high-quality scanning and digitisation.
Before you take out the paper clips and fasteners, or remove the documents from their original folders and put them into a big pile, consider how you want them to be indexed. If you scan all of your documents in one hit without specifying the required indexation, you’ll end up with one massive pdf.
Specifying how your documents are indexed can help to break the files into groupings based on the information contained in each data set. This might include adding a data separator sheet between each section. This way, when the documentation is compiled, you can easily find and reference the information you need. Digitisation software can also be customised to sort information based on names, dates, terms, values and other variables.
It may seem like a simple and unforgettable step, but when you’re dealing with document volumes in the thousands, one unseen staple can cause mayhem. Not only can a rogue staple get snagged in a bulk scanner, but it can also interrupt the process, setting you back in time and page order.
In worst-case scenarios, staples can tear your precious documents and damage expensive scanning equipment. They can be dragged across glass scanning plates and scratch the surface, or they can get caught internally and require manual retrieval. This can put machines out of action for long periods or worse, require professional servicing and extra expense.
Resolution settings should always be adjusted to suit the type of document being scanned. Regular black and white business documents or invoices may not need high levels of resolution, but anything that contains imagery or hard-to-read information may require a different configuration.
Be mindful as to whether or not the documents are in colour, as a colour resolution setting can pick up specific image and text detail across a range of pigments. Using greyscale settings on a colour document could mean that some data becomes unclear or illegible. If a document isn’t clear, it may not meet compliance.
Best practice scanning means documents should be captured accurately the first time, every time. But that doesn’t mean the scanning stops when the scanner does. In order for pages to have a legal audit trail and meet with record-keeping compliance, pages should be reviewed and checked after the scan is completed. This is a quality assurance process that ensures images are visible, text is legible and that every inch of the physical document appears in the digital version.
Accuracy is also applicable to document succession. If files are captured out of order, it can be difficult to retrieve the necessary data later. The importance of accurate capture cannot be underestimated, especially if the digital documents are subpoenaed at any point. If you have a legal obligation to keep accurate records, using a professional document scanning provider such as Micro Image is the best way to ensure your documents are legitimate and admissible.
When checking for clarity and accuracy, it’s equally important to check for misfeeds that can result in missing pages or file order problems. These may not always be obvious, especially considering missing pages aren’t obvious in the digital file. Even when all pages feed seamlessly through the scanner, pages can get missed because they are statically affixed to another page. This can happen with even the most sophisticated and expensive scanners.
No matter how careful you are when feeding documents into a scanner, the only way to make sure all pages feed through separately and are captured is to visually ‘eyeball’ each page on the screen as it is scanned. This is what professional scanning operators do. To ensure all pages are accounted for, it is worth tallying up the number of pages scanned with the number of pages in the digital file. If pages are numbered, keep an eye out for any pagination deviation.
For over 40 years, Micro Image has specialised in document scanning, data capture and digitisation. We follow best practice principles in document processing to comply with all State and Federal record keeping and digitisation guidelines. Contact us or call us on 03 9427 7958.
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