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Harry Sealfon, CPA
Like many Certified Public Accountants working in private practice, Harry Sealfon does it all. “I’m the entire staff,” he says with a chuckle. Each year, as tax season dawns, Sealfon is visited by hundreds of clients who bring him their yearly records. These records vary from a bag full of receipts, invoices and forms…to hundreds of neatly organized pages… and some CDs with records from accounting software programs. In all, thousands of pieces of paper arriving with cumbersome and costly storage issues.“ I needed a way to move to a paperless process,” Sealfon says. And that’s where Kodak came in.
Accountant operating as a single-person business becomes overwhelmed with paper. Too much copying, too much storage. Time and costs involved in managing records of 350+ clients by himself becomes overwhelming.
Find a solution that will almost eliminate paper records, copying and storage issues while allowing immediate access with secure record keeping.
The KODAK i30 Scanner with associated software.
“I’d say my level of satisfaction is 95% or higher. It’s reliable, there are no technical issues, the set up and basic operation was easy. It works like a charm.”
– Harry Sealfon, President and Owner, Harry I. Sealfon, CPA, PC
Harry Sealfon is big on cost/benefit analysis. “I naturally think like an accountant,” he notes. So when he began looking into a solution to achieve his goal of an (almost) paperless office, his searches on the Internet and reading of accounting journal articles led him to find a low-volume production scanner that offered “the most bang for the buck.” After extensive research and price prospecting, he ordered a Kodak i30 Scanner online.
Achieving Objectives Quickly
“I looked at scanners from other manufacturers, but Kodak is a hometown company and the more I read, I realized that the i30 Scanner seemed like an ideal fit for what I wanted to achieve,” Sealfon says. After purchasing the scanner in February 2005, Sealfon quickly put it to work, utilizing basic functions to achieve his primary objective. “I wanted to have a client come in, sit down, hand me their input, put it in my scanner, chat with them for a couple minutes, and hand their documents back to them,” he says. “Clients are quite impressed when I explain what I’m doing and surprised to get their materials back almost immediately.”
Aside from delighting his clients, Sealfon’s deeper motive was to have all data electronically stored in clientnamed folders, and he quickly achieved this. “Now, with over 350 clients, I can quickly scroll to their name and find the file or form I’m looking for,” he says. Along with far easier access, he says the other advantages are significant.
- Greatly reduced paper use – no longer a need to make a copy of everything provided
- Storage space required and associated time requirements slashed
- Speed of scanning and processing
- Ability to find and send copies of requested documents to clients streamlined
Regarding this last point, Sealfon outlines his old process vs. the new. “Let’s say a client called and wanted a copy of their W-2 from 2004. I’d have to go to the storage room, find the right cabinet and drawer, locate the document. Come back, make a copy. Address an envelope and mail it. And then file the document again. And if they wanted an electronic copy, I’d have to scan it on my flatbed scanner and go through all that.” He’s currently working on exploring Kodak Capture Software Lite and the other programs bundled with the scanner to add even more functionality via expanded indexing and search capabilities.
Today, the CPA finds the file, prints it if desired, or e-mails a copy directly to the client. “Multiply the amount of time saved by multiple requests and you can see how the benefits add up,” claims Sealfon. As Sealfon files most returns with the IRS via their electronic e-file system, the advantages multiply.
Based in a suburb of Rochester, NY, Sealfon serves over 350 clients, mostly individual, with some businesses in his mix. To date, he’s scanned over 11,800 documents with his KODAK i30 Scanner and is extremely impressed with the speed and reliability. “I believe it’s rated at 25 images per minute, and for my volume and the way that I use it, that’s more than enough. It zips through stuff and there is rarely a misfeed. I can place a client’s documents in the feeder and just let it go.” To protect his data, Sealfon employs a CD writer with regularly scheduled backups.
In retrospect, Sealfon does have one minor regret. “I wish I’d purchased the i40 Scanner, which does duplex imaging. Many of the mutual fund companies and brokerages are now printing statements on two sides. This would have made the capture a slightly quicker process.”
Improving Document Quality
Sealfon appreciates the automatic image-quality features of his i30 Scanner, finding – for example – that even faint documents are enhanced ideally for improved legibility. “I’ve scanned documents of low contrast on my flatbed and found them unusable. If I let the i30 Scanner do the scan, the improvement in quality is remarkable,” he notes. The KODAK i30 Scanner comes with built-in Perfect Page Scanning with iThresholding, an array of features originally found on Kodak’s highvolume scanners. This advanced image processing allows users to get exceptional images consistently at full speed, even from poor-quality documents. Along with automatic image cropping and straightening, rescans are virtually eliminated, boosting productivity.
“I’d say my level of satisfaction is 95% or higher. It’s reliable, there are no technical issues, the set up and basic operation was easy. It works like a charm,” Sealfon says. “I’ve even been able to use this electronic capability as a marketing tool. Let’s say someone calls and wants a copy of a return. While I’m on the phone with them, I find and e-mail the file to them. Then I say it’s on the way, while we’re still talking on the phone. It’s a very easy way to impress a client, maintain and increase their level of satisfaction, and it creates good word of mouth advertising for my business.”