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8 Use Cases for Document Imaging Solutions in Finance

December 19, 2017

8 Use Cases for Document Imaging Solutions in Finance

Any industry that relies on paper can benefit from document imaging solutions, and the more paper there is to process, the greater the benefit. One of the industries that is most dependent on paper and paper-intensive processes is financial services. Banks, brokers, risk management professionals, accountants, and others involved in finance are drowning in paper documents. The only logical way to manage the volume of paper is to convert those documents to digital files using document imaging solutions.

Sales of document imaging solutions are in-step with the adoption of electronic content management (ECM) software; the scanners convert paper documents to files that can be shared, organized, or archived. And the ECM market is booming. According to one analyst, the ECM market is expected to grow from $4.4 billion in 2012 to $7.5 billion by 2016, and finance and banking are big consumers of both ECM and document imaging solutions.

Using document imaging to turn paper into data offers any number of benefits for financial firms – decreased data retrieval time, lower storage costs, better efficiency, better record-keeping and reporting, etc. Paperless processes supported by document imaging solutions have become essential to the financial services industry.

Here are eight common use cases for document imaging solutions in the financial sector:

  1. Regulatory compliance – Passage of regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the Patriot Act are forcing companies to step up the quality of their bookkeeping. Audits are more rigorous than ever before and the penalties for non-compliance are much stiffer. To ensure that paperwork is properly catalogued, stored, and retrievable, more financial institutions are converting paper records to digital format, using document imaging solutions to support ECM.

  2. SLAs and client compliance – Many financial services companies have agreements with clients that all records will be properly processed, stored, and easily retrievable. Storing paper documents electronically makes it easy to conform to client contracts and service-level agreements.

  3. Simplified business processes – Document imaging solutions can simplify routine business processes. Even simple tasks, such as invoicing or tracking accounts payables, can benefit from paperless processes. Scanning invoices into a centralized data repository makes it easy to monitor payment schedules, track P&L, and securely archive paperwork for tax records.

  4. Document routing and approvals – Routing paper documents for executive approval takes time and can lead to errors, such as misplaced paperwork or missed corrections. Scanning paper documents for electronic approvals is simpler, more secure, and easier to manage and log. It also breaks down geographic barriers since approvals can be made via the Internet, without having to rely on fax machines or couriers.

  5. Tax filing and secure signatures – Similar to secure document routing, CPAs are using secure data archives to share documents with clients, including tax paperwork for review and signature. Electronically signed taxes and forms can be processed electronically, creating both an audit trail and speeding processing so important deadlines are never missed.

  6. Secure records archiving –More than other businesses, financial service firms have to keep records for a longer period of time to keep track of stock purchases, financial trades, portfolio performance, tax records, and the like. Using document imaging solutions to digitize that paperwork not only eliminates paper storage, it makes data easier to catalog and retrieve. It also secures the paperwork from fire, flood, and the ravages of time, since digital archives can be backed up on virtually any medium, or even stored in the cloud for offsite secure access.

  7. Streamlining loan and mortgage applications – In banking processing a mortgage of loan requires proof of income, tax forms, financial records, and many more paper documents. And since complex loans can take some time to complete and approve, applicants aren’t always available for timely approvals and signatures. Converting loan applications to paperless processes streamlines the process, making it easy to attach all the relevant paperwork to the same file and circulate it electronically for fast reviews, approvals, and signatures.

  8. Big data analytics – Financial performance and market trends can be difficult to map out, but with big data analytics financial departments and institutions can get more accurate insight about fiscal trends to make more precise business decisions. To support big data analytics, all the relevant data has to be available, including both synchronous database archives and asynchronous data such as forms and written paperwork. Converting paper documents to digital form means new data sources can be included in big data analytics.