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VIEWPOINT: Software that makes a statement 24 October 2013

Adamant that a large amount of time is wasted manually inputting paper bank statements into spreadsheets, David Elms has created a solution.

Analysing paper documents is a frustration many insolvency professionals face. Manually leafing through just a few pages is tiresome, but analysing trends over many pages is simply not practical.

There are many reasons that companies and financial institutions refuse to send documents in an electronic format that can be easily manipulated and analysed. These reasons range from the security of data to the bureaucracy of internal processes.

Once paper documents are received, the insolvency practitioner or case manager must assess whether value would be added by allocating resources to conduct a manual review – a task that is likely to be slow, prone to error and demoralising for the unlucky employee. And that’s just the start. Further time is wasted if the reviewer needs to copy some of the data into a spreadsheet for a more detailed analysis or to create visual effects to explain the analysis to others.

Using an automated solution to convert the paper documents to Excel and generate a summary of the data can help a firm to investigate more cases to a higher degree of detail, thus increasing the chance that investigations will pay off.

David Elms has a crisp ‘elevator pitch’: “StatementReader is a great application that has been proven to solve the issues posed by manual data entry for accountancy and insolvency firms. It converts and analyses scanned financial documents, such as paper bank statements, into structured electronic data quickly and accurately.

“As an accountant working in insolvency, I had the idea after becoming frustrated at seeing colleagues spending full days manually inputting data into spreadsheets. It was a laborious, time-consuming task and I felt there had to be a way to simplify the process.

“After analysing the market, I noticed nobody had created an elegant solution. I decided to quit the day-job in order to create one. Programming professional, Evangelos Tsiontsis, and I worked together and after a number of tests and demos we launched StatementReader in February this year, securing our first customer just weeks later.”

You should consider the following key features when deciding upon a bank statement conversion tool.

Adaptable bank layouts

The scope of documents that can be processed by the data extraction tool is crucial to how useful it will be to your firm. You should ensure that new layouts can be added and saved by the end user so that new documents can be processed immediately, without waiting for the software provider’s support team to create the new layout. StatementReader has a built-in tool that takes just a few minutes to create and save a new layout.

Accurate data

All applications that use an image to interpret text rely on the quality of the scanned document to accurately read the text.
StatementReader processes and manipulates all data before it is presented in Excel to enhance the quality of the output.

Automated analysis

Having accurate data in Excel is just the beginning – understanding the uses for this data, and having the skills in your team to be able to manipulate and interpret the data, will help you to make full use of it. StatementReader provides an automated summary of the data extracted from paper bank statements. This is provided within Excel, so it can be easily manipulated.

Flexible subscription options

The return on investment is crucial to any proprietary software installation. StatementReader has a pay-as-you-go subscription model that allows insolvency firms to pay per page, without any batch or time restrictions.
Therefore, insolvency firms only pay for what they use, and can also charge the direct expense to a particular case as a disbursement.
Annual and monthly subscription options are also available.

Batch processing

Scanned paper documents may be split into different files based on account period or account number. Within StatementReader the user may select a folder in which files of the same layout are located. This makes it very quick and easy to process many different files, which are then easily identifiable within Excel.

Technical questions

Key questions that should be answered when reviewing bank statements are:

  • Who was the bank account holder dealing with frequently, or in large total amounts, and when?
  • What are the round and recurring transactions, and when did these transactions occur?
  • In which months did the bank account holder have the most and least bank activity?

StatementReader is a specialist data entry tool for accountants and insolvency practitioners, which features a simple installation process and a high level of data security. Quick and accurate bank statement conversion ensures that time is not wasted on data entry, but is wisely invested in analysis.

For further information:

StatementReader can be downloaded from www.statementreader.com

Or, contact David Elms, developer of StatementReader:
Tel: (UK) +44 (0)20 3287 8283
Email: david.elms@statementreader.com
www.statementreader.com

 

 

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