New Economy; New Rules: Discounted Microfilm Scanning, Microfiche Scanning, Aperture Card Scanning, and Imaging Services

Category: Microfilm Scanning

Microfiche Jacketed Cards Duplication

Microfiche Jacketed Cards are the 4 inch by 6 inch index cards that contain frames of 16 or 35 mm film inserted into the jacket of the cards.  These cards are a special type of microfiche cards. They are made of two layers of film in such a way that it allows for frames of microfilm to slide between the two layers. The strips of microfilm that are place into these slots are sometimes made up of separate and individual frames.

These frames are not secured in the slots and thus individual frames can slide sideways and may even overlap each other.  When this happens, the frames would need to be moved back to their separate position.  Sometimes, frames can slide and fall off of the cars.  If care is not taken immediately, these frames can get lost.

In the process of digitizing microfilm jackets, is is important that the frames are not touching each other because the scanning system require some space between frames to separate the images from each other. This is referred to as image detection.

When jacket fiche cards are duplicated, the resulting duplicates look similar to the originals but they are no longer cards of jackets frames. Instead, they are a one piece of 4 by 6 film with pictures of the original frames embedded into the film.  In these new duplicated cards, the images are fixed and thus they can no longer move out of position.

If the event that the duplicated cards require microfilm scanning, as stated before, the images need to have some separation to facilitate frame detection.  So make sure that images are not overlapping, before duplicating the original microfiche jackets,  is is important to make sure that the frames within the jackets have to moved out of position, and if they are, they should be move so that frames are not overlapping or touching.

Although images are scanable even if they are touching, a more time consuming and costly process may be required to separate the frames from each other.

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Microfilm Scanning Quality

When performing a microfilm scan, there are many issues that need to be considered to assure that the resulting quality is the best possible scan.

To start, you need to determine how much information you want to capture from the film.  At first,  this may seem to many like a dumb question, thinking that the more the better.  In many instances that is the case, but there is a limit to this benefit and at one point there is a cost to pay that counteracts some of the benefit.

The two question to answer before starting the microfilm conversion process with respect to ultimate quality are Film Scan Resolution and File Type.

The film scan resolution is often refer to as DPI or “dots per inch”.  The DPI is important because it determines the size of the dots or points that make up an image. If you look at a one inch by one inch square of an image and zoom in on it so that you could see the dots that make an image, you would be able to see rows of dots that change color.  A resolution of 100 would have 100 dots going across the one inch.  A 300 DPI image would have 300 dots in this same row. To fit more dots in the same distance, they would have to be smaller and more compact.  More dots means that the image would have better chances of been higher quality.

More dots also means that there is more information.  More information also means that the image is bigger in terms of file size.  This is the down side to a higher DPI.  End users are sometimes affected by this issue for a couple of reasons. One is the hard drive space that will be needed to store the images. If the project is large, the difference in drive space may be significant. The second issue has to do with the end users system and  its ability to handle the images quickly. The larger the files are, the more information the system needs to process.  If going with larger DPI, the end user needs to make sure that the operating system, the processor in the computer, the network, and all other components, are ready to deal with the larger images and can achieve the desired results.

In addition to the DPI scan resolution, determining the file type is also important.  There are various image types, including gray scale, j-peg, tiff, and others, and some various compression types withing these selections. Grey scale images offer the possibility of generating very high quality images with lots of details but it is usually much higher in file size.

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CPA Document Scanning

CPA offices of all sizes can benefit from a paperless work flow office. Many large and some medium size CPA offices have adopted some type of imaging process, but many have not. This is more apparent for the medium to small size offices.

So why have the larger firms gone paperless and not the smaller ones?

The benefits are many for all firms.  From a cleaner, more organized process, to cost savings and better service, Document Scanning solutions should be an easy decision for all. Yet many firms stay with traditional systems that they simply fill comfortable with.

The answer may lie in how comfortable people do get with their current system as well as the reluctance in trying something new.

It is safe to assume that everyone can understand the benefits of Document scanning but to help make the transition,  it may require an expert in Document Scanning,  Document Solutions, Document Scanning Equipment and Office software and equipment networking. A professional with all these skills can set all the required components, including all the essential software, scanners and printers. Equally important, a Document Scanning professional should also provide the necessary training to assure that everyone in the firm is capable of performing all the necessary functions of their job.

It does not stop here.  A professional Document Scanning service provider needs to be available for support even after the system has been completely set up and is working well.   A fear that is shared by many CPA firms is that help may not come quick enough when needed.

There are generally three main parts to a Document Conversion system. The first one is often the Back File Conversion of existing customer files.  This process is usually perform by the Document Scanning firm using highly efficient equipment.

The second stage of the Document Conversion Process involves setting up all the required Hardware and Document Handling Software.  The Document Scanning Provider needs to consider the CPA Firm’s requirements and needs when considering the proper Document scanning Solution for the client.  For example, some firms will need to be equipped with their own Document Scanning Equipment to scan incoming documents on an as-need basis. Other firms will prefer that the Document Scanning professional continue to provide the Document Scanning services on an on-going basis.  In this case, the firm may not need to invest in scanning equipment.  Other significant considerations is the Document Handling software required.  Some CPA firms may make this decision based on personal or organizational preference.

The third stage involves the ongoing service and support.  At times, a CPA firm makes the decision to go paperless base on the assurance that a professional Document Scanning firm will guarantee  this ongoing support after the initial document conversion. CONTACT US

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