Electronic Document Imaging (“EDI”)

EDI faciltates outsourcing.

It allows us to put documents in front of people instead of taking people to documents. Coupled with cloud-based technologies like GOOGLE Docs – it gives access to authorized users wherever they are in the world.

While the paperless office may still be a pipedream, EDI is an important step along the way to the paperless workplace. Paper is still important as evidence though. Standards for document imaging are evolving, but it still makes sense for most organizations to archive paper documents as evidence.

The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) may still require paper documents as evidence that a transaction took place – unless you conform fully to the CAN/CGSB-72.34-2005 standard for Electronic Records as Documentary Evidence (available in paper format at major public libraries)

The CRA also publishes a guide to KEEPING RECORDS: (rc4409-9e)

Published by Rob Farrow

accountant, entrepreneur, former chef, occasional artist, angel investor, business advisor, corporate tax specialist

One reply on “Electronic Document Imaging (“EDI”)”

  1. We cannot deny that the advent of modern technologies has brought so much comfort to the lives of people. Even in the modern office, there are so many tools that businessmen can use to improve productivity and increase revenue. One indispensable tool that helps a company to move forward is Electronic Document Imaging (EDI).

    EDI helps an organization save money on paper, folders, toners, ink cartridges, storage space, courier charges, postage, shipping costs and wages to workers doing these tasks. Scanning of documents helps ensure that important documents are intact. Nowadays, the receipts, invoices or slips that are issued by most shops as an evidence of purchase can easily fade in a matter of days especially when exposed to sunlight. A drop of water or your sweaty palms can leave blots on these invoices thereby making it difficult to decipher the exact amounts if you delay the recording of these expenses. By scanning these documents as soon as they are available, one can reduce clutter in the office and simplify the handling of paper documents. Through good organization of scanned documents, efficiency can be achieved in an office as you can save on costs. Time spent on filing documents, retrieving them and looking for those that are misplaced will be significantly reduced if files are stored in computers rather than placed in folders filed inside cabinets.

    Managing these document images in the cloud allows collaboration among users in an organization. The files that are created and shared online can easily be accessed and viewed with just the click of the fingers thereby accelerating the sharing of documents. These files are stored securely in the cloud and colleagues can co-author documents in real time and locate files in a matter of seconds with the use of search tools.

    Electronic data imaging also plays a vital role in the proper recording of books of account – an important source of information in making very important business decisions. Accountants of today do their work from their homes and exchange of data with clients is done electronically using EDI in the cloud. EDI has made outsourcing of the bookkeeping function possible and has provided jobs for people from overseas. The benefits of EDI is clearly evident in the way global businesses operate.

    Especially for large organizations, EDI in the cloud should have advanced document control, tracking and protection features. Restrictions as to user’s ability to copy, print, or forward documents and even features that allows a user to wipe out and destroy documents should be in place to avoid problems in the future. A properly designed system wherein EDI stored in the cloud is used to its full potential could very well be a very powerful tool to propel businesses to new heights.

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