Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Expanding Your App-Titude: A Monthly Look at Apps and Websites That Can Make the CPA's Job and Life Better

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Expanding Your App-Titude: A Monthly Look at Apps and Websites That Can Make the CPA's Job and Life Better

Article excerpt

I hate paper. Unless it's green, 2Vi inches by 6 inches, and has a picture of Benjamin Franklin on it, I want nothing to do with it. Many auditors carry portable scanners for fieldwork, but not all CPAs travel that well-prepared. We do, however, all have smartphones. And, fortunately, those phones, paired with a few special apps, can often serve as scanners. These handy apps have saved me from paper on many occasions.

DIGITIZE DOCUMENTS WITH SCANBOT

Scanbot captures digital copies of paper documents. It's fairly simple to use, produces accurate scans, supports background uploading to cloud services, has great optical character recognition (OCR), and even includes basic editing functions.

Upon opening, the app defaults to showing the camera in the first screen, but you can change whether the app starts with the camera or the documents list. The scanning process guides you with automatic edge detection and prompts such as "Too dark," "Too close," or "Move closer.'"Ihe suggested actions aren't required, so you can just tap the capture button when ready. I chose to use the app in "Automatic," where it senses when you're in the correct position, tells you, "Don't move," and after a moment, takes the picture itself. No fuss, no muss. The app also allows you to toggle into "Multi-Page" in which it will continuously snap pictures of new pages as soon as they are detected. It's a great way to capture multiple-page documents into a single PDF file. Once the image is captured, you can reorder, crop, and rotate it before saving. I found it easier to do those things later on my desktop.

Once you tap save, the scan is handed off for OCR processing or background uploading. Note that these functions are available only in the paid versions--$5.99 for OCR and $7.99 for both OCR and auto-upload. There is also a $9.99 VIP option, which includes a second copy (for giving to a colleague) of the Pro version. Because I prefer OCR on my stored PDFs so the text becomes searchable, I chose the $7. …

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