During an average year, a small business can generate an incredible number of documents, including accounts receivable ledgers, accounts payable ledgers, vendor invoices, payroll records, tax forms, contracts, and countless more. Many of these documents must be stored for years, while others for the life of the business, taking up valuable space that you could use for other purposes. Additionally, with all of these documents in a single location, either on-site or off-site, the chances of loss increases significantly, whether from a fire, a break-in, or a natural disaster. One option to reduce the clutter and protect your documents is to use a document scanning service.
The Benefits of Document Scanning for Small Businesses
A document scanning service can convert your paper documents, photographs, slides, blueprints, engineering documents, books, microfiche, and more to electronic formats that are easy to store, search, and display. After conversion, any paper records that are past their retention can be destroyed, while the rest can be stored in a more convenient location. The benefits of document scanning include:
- Electronic storage: Permanent electronic copies of all records provide a backup for your physical documents, and the copies can be stored in multiple locations easily, including cloud storage.
- Less clutter: Archived records can be moved to a secure facility elsewhere, such as a storage locker, allowing you to save space while still having access to the electronic copy as needed.
- Improved security: With more than a single copy of your critical documents, it is less likely that they can be destroyed accidentally.
- Fewer documents: Documents past their retention date can now be destroyed, while you still have the electronic copies available for future reference, if required.
- Searchable documents: In electronic form, with descriptive file names and metadata, it will be much easier to find a particular document when required.
For many small businesses, a document scanning service is an ideal way to protect and preserve records indefinitely, and it can also make bookkeeping and tax preparation easier in some cases.
The Document Scanning Process
Services and features can vary according to your needs and budget, but the process typically involves:
- You pack and ship your documents to the scanning service
- The documents are inventoried and prepared for scanning
- The documents are scanned into one of several file formats
- The electronic flies are indexed, and descriptions and metatdata are added
- Electronic copies of your files are sent via physical media or over the internet
- The original documents are returned or shredded securely
The process is simple, and it can be repeated on a regular basis as you generate more documents.
Document Scanning Service in Maryland, Washington, DC & Virginia
At QFI, Inc.,we offer complete document scanning and processing services for small businesses, with secure storage at our facility for your documents during the scanning process. Since 1985, we have been helping businesses in DC, Maryland, Virgina, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to process their documents and convert them into easy-to-use electronic formats.