Monday, 7 November 2011

Softology's Accounts and Financials Enabler - SAFE!

The old adage, ‘garbage in, garbage out’, means that it is sometimes easy to misfile information electronically when manually input.

What we have gained with increased computerisation, however, is that whereas finding paper misfiles manually can take days and, sometimes, forever, finding electronic misfiles is much more straight forward.

It is, however, still time consuming and onerous.

There is a solution in Softology’s Document Management System which we call Softology's Accounts and Financials Enabler or SAFE!.

The concept is that we take reports, in an Excel compatible format, load them into Excel and use the variety of information therein to locate the relevant document images.

In practice these reports are generally statements, expenditure reports, reports for client VAT, service charges, automatic payments and supplier transactions etc

There is, however, as much potential for this as there are reports in your accounting system.

Once in Excel we can very easily report on missing documents, invoices in the majority of uses.

SAFE! identifies misfiles (digits transposed maybe) conjoined fields and multiple field searching.

It can, in the twinkling of an eye, help locate misfiled or missing documents and save many hours of personnel time.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Solving a barcode problem

Firstly, welcome to Softology’s blog and thank you for having a look.

We intend that this blog should provide useful tips and information, on a regular basis, for users of Softology’s document management system and MobileDM software, as well as for document management issues in general.

Barcodes are really useful for speeding up the acquisition of paperwork. For example, with purchase invoices, you could stick a unique barcode label on the invoice, book the invoice into your accounts system  (putting the barcode number in a spare field perhaps, with a hand scanner or manually) and then, when the invoices are scanned, the software can tie the scanned image to the supplier account.

In Softology's system, we can, in most cases, pick up information from the accounts system to populate our database so that much more flexible searches are available, and we provide the option to OCR the whole document so that full text searches may be made.

Barcodes can go wrong though. If you look at the image of the barcode on a sticky label above, you will see a black line surrounding the barcode. This is the edge of the barcode label and can be caused by the way the light is absorbed and reflected when being digitised by the desk scanner..

In most cases it is ignored by the OCR barcode software and causes no problems. If, however, the label is small, this edge noise may be too close to the barcode and cause a misread.

The problem is simply solved by using a bigger label or smaller barcode.

Another useful tip, especially for invoices/pages that come with barcodes, utility invoices for example, is to strike through the existing barcodes before fixing the new barcode label.

You will find this helps because the OCR will only return one barcode from reading the page.