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Scanned bank statements?

Scanned bank statements?

Hi All,

One of our clients has just handed us another 50 bank statements to process . . . that's going to take a long time . . . we've tried scanning them but the output is so random and there's so many errors that it seems likely that we'll just have to revert to traditional methods.

Does anyone know of any product that scans paper bank statements in a way that is tailored for each statement type and which produces intelligible and accurate output?

Thanks for reading and considering my question . . . hopefully some of you will have helpful suggestions.

          Chris.

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25th May 2010 10:22

Use Xero - Fast Cash Coding

I think there is now a way to make these kind of jobs pay.  I recommend that you get an admin person or temp to type the bank statement transactions into an Excel spreadsheet.  Then upload the data to Xero and use the Fast Cash Coding feature (see video here) to post all of the transactions really quickly.

Hope this helps.

Adrian Pearson
Top Accountants

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25th May 2010 10:39

Download?

Any chance of getting your client to download them from the web in a csv fornat?

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25th May 2010 11:10

scanning bank statements

Adrian . . . Paul . . . many thanks for your suggestions.

With regards to keying it into Excel, yes . . . I most definitely want this info in Excel but I do NOT want to have to key it in. There MUST be a better way. The bank has already keyed in all of this information. It's there . . . . I want to access it with the minimum amount of work.

Downloading in CSV format would, I imagine, entail the client having internet banking and us having access to it. I foresee  many problems there . . . not least of which is the issue of security (the fewer people that have access to our clients' internet banking the better) and trust (not everyone is going to feel comfortable about giving another party access . . . even if that is restricted access . . . to their bank account).

My thoughts are these:- the information is on the bank statement . . . nowadays we can do an OCR scan . . . isn't there a product that can help us to make sense of such a scan?

 

                Chris.

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25th May 2010 11:54

Let the client download

Re Internet Banking, I agree with the security point - so ask the client to do the download and email you the file.  You don't need access to their bank account.

In future tell the client to send downloaded bank statement info or expect to pay a £250 data entry fee on top of the normal job price.  This would cover the cost of manually copying the entries into Excel if they won't do it the modern way.

Adrian

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25th May 2010 12:58

we wouldn't want to come over all Big Brother-ish

Many thanks, Adrian, for your post.

In many ways I can see where you are coming from but I would be disappointed if this were the only solution. I'm sure that you have a different client mix than our practice. Our practice has quite a few farmers who are mainly past retirement age and most certainly not computer users. I don't want to penalise these clients . . . they haven't done anything to deserve that, and it would be impossible to insist that they all get computers . . . get online . . . and start using online banking. Also, we wouldn't want to come over all Big Brother-ish . . . there's been enough bodies in recent times telling them how to do their banking without us starting to dictate to them too. Besides, just keying it in and charging the client strikes me as retrograde. There's got to be a computer age solution. Goodness me . . . the information is already there! Right there! Surely we can access it?

Thanks again, Adrian, for your reply.

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25th May 2010 17:13

Good Question

I have been thinking of how best to get clients to provide the bank stats in CSV, and as you point out it is easier said than done.

I didn't think about scanning the paper copies to some data recognition software. Even if the software cost a pretty penny, the savings in bookkeeping costs could be huge.

Unfortunately I don't have the answer Chris, but will be keeping a keen eye on this thread.

 

Mark

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25th May 2010 19:32

PDF

I often   scan documents directly into PDF  and use a file converter  to MS Word.  It also possible to convert from PDF to MS Excel although I have not  yet attempted  that.   If you search on-line  there is a choice of software to use. Some of which offer a free trial period.

 

Anthony Gilbert

UK Tax & Property

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25th May 2010 22:20

AutoRec from WoodsWhelan

Good evening Gentlemen,

I have been informed through an enquiry on our website there was a discussion about scanning Bank Statements.

Our product AutoRec combines with Omnipage to solve this problem. Customers of ours are doing Bank Recs and subsequent analysis, we reckon about 50 to 85% faster , depending on the size of the batch of statements handed into the practice/bureau.

It is a three step process of simply SCAN - PROCESS - ANALYSE

SCAN - Scan Bank Statements in order, earliest first (ensure running balance ties in in consecutive pages)

PROCESS - The layout of AutoRec means the user can interact with the resultant OCR breakdown and correct where a "non-numeric" has ocurred, for example a heavy crease on the page

ANALYSE - Once the running balance has been verified and achieved, the user clicks buttons for debits and credits analysed by description, and also if reconciliation needs to take place against an accounting module or a clients payment records, this is do-able also

 

The output is an excel worksheet with different sheets for direct debits (and transfers), Cheques and Lodgements, outstanding Cheques

If your accounting package allows automatic upload in CSV format then even better, these various worksheets are easily uploadable as CSVs.

Please visit our website to see some customer testamonials. We are new to the market - since last October, but some of our customers tell us they've been searching for a similiar solution for about 10 years. Im an accountant myself and it was through doing these kinds of jobs that I began researching OCR and when I finally teamed up with my colleague Brendan Woods, a programmer, we programmed a simple, robust solution for this frustrating task.

regards,

 

Robert Whelan

Managing Director

Woods Whelan ltd

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26th May 2010 07:50

AutoRec

Hi again, everybody . . . I have had a look at the website suggested:-  http://www.woodswhelan.com/AutoRec.asp

To be honest . . . I am very interested (excited, even, in a way that only a nerd can be!).

This AutoRec software seems to be EXACTLY what I need . . . exactly what I have envisaged for many years.

Furthermore, it is NOT expensive. It is certainly within the price range that could enable me to just go for it . . . as a sort of experiment where the hypothesis is (to my eyes anyway) virtually proven.

Next step? Will have to arrange a demo if possible.

Watch this spce.

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By Anonymous
27th May 2010 10:51

Bank statements to excell

I have used Omnipage to scan bank statements, using the option within Omnipage to put into excel. Once in excel the simple solution is to analise figures into columns. Omnipage is worth having for scanning text documents to edit but also does a good job of converting lists written in Word into excel (some clients do not use excel unless they absolutely have to). I have upgraded since but Omnipage came free when I bought a Canon scanner some years ago.  At the time buying the Omnipage software on its own would have cost more than the scanner!

 

 

 

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27th May 2010 16:42

Scan, Crop and Save

My HP scanner has a crop facility, which I use on each bank statement to leave only the data.  This can then be saved and brought up under various OCR facilities - I prefer ABBYY because it lets you add, delete and merge columns and rows to get the best finished result.  If you don't want to crop your scanned document, ABBYY also lets you select a table area, which produces the same result.  However, there is no easy route to Excel from bank statement, unless the banks can provide the raw data either in Excel or csv.  I process large numbers of bank statements into spreadsheets.  Clients need to be advised not to write on or tick their bank statements, as this makes the job twice as long.

 

 

 

 

 

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By ASBaird
27th May 2010 16:50

extracting information

Celaton are experts at extracting information from paper and feeding it into work flows etc

www.celaton.com

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27th May 2010 17:27

Sounds like a job for "BankLink"

Accountants in New Zealand and Australia use the "BankLink" system to securely gather (and code) their clients' bank statements.  In a single download, accounting practices can securely gather their clients' bank statements from over 100 banks and other financial institutions.  Software provided by BankLink then enables transactions to be rapidly coded and facilitates the collection of additional information from the clients.  There is no need for individual downloads, CSVs, scanning or access to clients internet banking.  The system is totally secure and is used by over 4000 practices.  The good news is that BankLink is coming to the UK and we have a pilot programme currently operating with a number of UK practices!  Practices interested in further information may contact us at [email protected]

 John Dunkerley - BankLink UK

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30th Nov 2012 19:22

Criminal investigations

In the course of criminal investigations by the police and other investigating bodies bank statements are routinely scanned into Excel.  There is proprietory software available to do this.  Some is specifically 'geared up' to bank statements so that, for example, where different banks put columns in different order on their statements the software will 'recognise' the statement design and produce a consistent Excel spreadsheet format whichever bank the statement is from.

Also some bank statements do not show the date (or date in full) on every line (particularly where there are multiple enties on the same day), but the spreadsheet needs to show the full date in every row and the software can take care of that.

The software is not particularly cheap!

Sometimes it is bundled in as part of a package for (for example) the management of fraud investigations, e.g. FACET (Fraud and Asset Confiscation Enquiry Tracker) and Alphascan TS.

There are also firms that will scan documents for you into Excel (such as Pearl Scan Solutions).

No doubt there are lots of other suppliers out there.

But this is not for the purpose of preparing accounts, and so this stuff is not big on, for example, analysis of expenditure - but of course once the data is in Excel . . .

A word of caution.  Be careful if you have bank accounts in different currencies - when you aggregate the Excel information you get results in a new currency "Dollsterleuros"!

David

www.accountingevidence.com

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Cloudcounter
07th Jun 2012 15:12

Hi David, 

Hi David, 

I would love to have a quick chat re the bank statement scanning software you currently employ as I'm confident you will find that AutoRec will be significantly cheaper and probably, much more accurate solution than what you're using. If nothing else, I'd be delighted to give you a quick demo. You can take a look on www.ocrex.com.

 

Regards,

Brendan

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By chatman
28th May 2010 19:15

Celaton

 Just looked at the Celaton web site, but still have no idea what they actually do.

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28th May 2010 20:42
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03rd Jul 2010 08:59

AutoRec is the answer

 

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 Hi All . . . back again . . .Just a quick note to let any interested parties know that since I last posted to this thread I have indeed had a look at the AutoRec software. Not only were we impressed . . . we were actually SHOCKED by just how amazingly fast this software enables us to do a bank analysis. We were so impressed that we bought. On the spot. It was so reasonably priced that we would, we felt, have been fools not to take the gamble . . . and it was a gamble that has paid off . . . big time! We’ve had a chance, since, to use the software on a day-to-day basis and, believe me, it hasn’t taken long to both become au fait with the software (the training/installation process helped immeasurably of course . . . they are decent, helpful guys) and to drastically reduce the time we invest in bank analysis.

Howsaboutthis . . . a biggish bank analysis that took more than a week last year took less than a day this year.

That’s a lot of time, folks, and as we all know . . . time is . . . well, you know what time is!

And we have been getting results like this day after day after day after day.

I can’t see how any practice wouldn’t benefit from this software and so I have no hesitation in recommending it. Anybody who has ever considered the potential of extracting information from bank statements with the minimum of work should at least check out the website which is:-

http://www.woodswhelan.com/AutoRec.asp

I’d also respectfully the powers that be at AccountingWeb to have a look at this software, to review it properly and to let us all know what THEY think of it themselves.

 

      Chris.

 

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qscl900
07th Jun 2012 15:08

AutoRec

lh3f9764bg1g wrote:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi All . . . back again . . .Just a quick note to let any interested parties know that since I last posted to this thread I have indeed had a look at the AutoRec software. Not only were we impressed . . . we were actually SHOCKED by just how amazingly fast this software enables us to do a bank analysis. We were so impressed that we bought. On the spot. It was so reasonably priced that we would, we felt, have been fools not to take the gamble . . . and it was a gamble that has paid off . . . big time! We’ve had a chance, since, to use the software on a day-to-day basis and, believe me, it hasn’t taken long to both become au fait with the software (the training/installation process helped immeasurably of course . . . they are decent, helpful guys) and to drastically reduce the time we invest in bank analysis.

Howsaboutthis . . . a biggish bank analysis that took more than a week last year took less than a day this year.

That’s a lot of time, folks, and as we all know . . . time is . . . well, you know what time is!

And we have been getting results like this day after day after day after day.

I can’t see how any practice wouldn’t benefit from this software and so I have no hesitation in recommending it. Anybody who has ever considered the potential of extracting information from bank statements with the minimum of work should at least check out the website which is:-

http://www.woodswhelan.com/AutoRec.asp

I’d also respectfully the powers that be at AccountingWeb to have a look at this software, to review it properly and to let us all know what THEY think of it themselves.

 

      Chris.

 

 

Two things:

Chris ... if you see this ... call us because A, I want to thank you and B) we have a completely new, much improved version of AutoRec that I want to show you.

 

One more thing ... we've renamed/rebranded the company from woodswhelan to OCRex and have a new website at www.ocrex.com. Also, you can now get a free trial of the new version of the software ... something we couldn't provide with the first version. 

 

Thanks,

Brendan Woods

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By chatman
03rd Jul 2010 14:59

What did AutoRec cost?

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04th Jul 2010 10:59

Costs? Well, it depends on whether you already have a scanner or not. The whole thing including a scanner, the software, installation and more than half a day with the guys in the office explaining things cost us £1,100 including VAT. There'll be an annual charge too (which is totally acceptable to us because as new bank format statements come along they will have to prepare new templates etc. and I think they are currently working on a new version of the actual software too) which I think will be in the lowish hundreds.

All I can tell you is that for us . . . we consider it to be the best investment we have ever made in this practice. The software LITERALLY (and I don't use that word lightly as I hate exagerration and hyperbole) paid for itself within a couple of weeks. You just have to ask yourself what costs your practice most. Surely the answer to that is staff time, staff costs. Ask yourself too . . . how could your practice generate more funds, take on more work? Surely being able to do each job in less time is the answer to that. Or how about being able to take a little more time off work to be with family and friends? Or being under less pressure in January?

AutoRec is, frankly, the answer to a dilemma that I have puzzled over for twenty or thirty years. Since the advent of computers it seemed clear to me that we have been wasting our time re-working information that has already been processed for us by somebody else (i.e. the banks when they prepare the bank statements). Why should we have to analyse again what has already been analysed.

And, you know . . . to be a little radical . . . what about our clients? Couldn't we keep up our good standards and maintain or even reduce the level of our fees at the same time? I don't know how everybody else works but when we prepare a bank analysis we want to do a full and proper job. We want to analyse each and every entry . . . even if there are thousands and thousands. Standards are important to us.

AutoRec must surely be worth a look? To us it was worth investing in. Big style!

 

                Chris.

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04th Jul 2010 20:41

Flabbergasted

I didn't realise there were so many businesses with 1,000s of bank transactions that didn't do their own accounting!

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05th Jul 2010 11:41

Flabbergasted? Indeed?

Ever try to do accounts for an independent grocer?

Or an independent filling station?

I'd like to be working in the rarified environment that you must be working in!

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05th Jul 2010 12:50

You make your own atmosphere

My clients are either big enough to have their own bookkeeper or I show them how to keep complete records; or they are small enough to keep complete records.

I wouldn't be interested in a client who made thousands of transactions without knowing what was going on.

In the rare occasions I have done work for somebody like that I have asked them to get online banking and list cheques and invoices.

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05th Jul 2010 13:25

culture

Well, fair play to you . . . doesn't work as easily as that where I am though.

Must be a culture thing.

Anyway, this is all very well . . . but we are at danger of going WAY off topic.

 

             Chris.

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11th Jun 2012 16:04

AutoRec Software

Hi guys, 

Brendan Woods here from www.WoodsWhelan.com.  Just to let you that WoodsWhelan has rebranded and is now called OCRex and our new website is at www.ocrex.com. Note also that we have a new, much improved version of AutoRec available. A free trial is available from our website. If you have to process 100+ per year, there is value in AutoRec. If you're processing 500+ pages per year, you should save thousands in time savings. 

I'd be delighted to offer a demonstration to any interested parties. My new email is [email protected]

Regards,

Brendan

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26th Mar 2013 10:28

New Version of AutoRec.

 

We launched the second version of AutoRec in June 2012 with over 240 Accounting practices now using the software.  You can export data from 100's of pages to Excel in minutes rather than the hours/ days it would take to manually type up. AutoRec will convert files from any office scanner into a spreadsheet form. Accuracy is increased over other recognition technologies because AutoRec applys a bank specific template to each page. This allow AutoRec to: Recognise dates and numbers more accuratelyRecognise multi-line descriptionsRecognise cheque numbersRemove unnecessary lines such as BALANCE FORWARDIgnore advertisments and other irrelevant information Have a look at what they say about our software.http://ocrex.com/testimonials Email today for a live demonstration for your practice. It takes approx 10-15 mins.[email protected] or check out our website http://ocrex.com/home

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31st Mar 2015 15:01

Bank statement reader

To let everyone know that a new bureau service has been launched - Xaltia Data Services where  you can have your bank statements turned into accurate and consistent excel spreadsheets on a pay-as-you-go basis.

They use the Altia software that is trusted by police forces and financial investigators in the UK and abroad and will handle just about any bank statement from anywhere in the world.

See if they can help at http://www.xaltiatech.com where you will find out how to use it and how little it will cost.

Regards

 

Ian

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