James Bourke, CPA, CITP, of the regional New Jersey accounting firm Withum- Smith+Brown, saves his staff and himself hours of rummaging through filing cabinets filled with thousands of clients' files by searching for forms using a document management system.Once a tax return has been completed at one of the nine offices in Bourke's firm, the form is scanned or saved electronically; the image is turned into a searchable PDF using optical character recognition software; and then Bourke uses the interface or the DM application to search for a file. For instance, he can use the name, number or address of a client, the tax type, or the year that the form was completed to find the correct form - and he can do it all from his handheld device.
"Most importantly, [OCR] allows us to access a huge amount of content immediately," said Bourke. "We have thousands of clients and over 300 staff, and there are manual file rooms spread throughout our offices. With OCR, we can search one electronic database for the content we want."
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