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How To Store Scanned Documents In Accounts

Scanned documents can be attached to accounts in Collect! This allows you to quickly display diverse information related to an account.

This document defines:

* The method Collect! uses to manage different document types.

* An advanced method for attaching scanned documents to accounts.

Requirements

- Use scanners
- Review Help on Attachment
- Use Windows directories
- Review Help on Import/Export

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Overview

Attach scanned documents to accounts -- any number of scanned images.

* pictures
* word processing documents
* invoices
* legal records
* NSF checks
* medical records
* credit bureau reports
* email

and any other document that you can display in Windows can all be attached to an account and recalled instantly. No need for collectors to waste valuable time searching over crowded file cabinets to pull the right piece of paper.

Collect! is extremely flexible. If Windows can display the file type Collect! can attached it to an account. Plus each attachment can have several indexes that make documents fast and easy to retrieve.

The beauty of this is that whatever the external file information is, an operator can quickly and easily retrieve it to screen without ever leaving the account.

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Working With External Files In Collect!

Collect! lets you use the complete flexibility of Windows to handle different external file types. You can create any number of files attached to an account.

* Collect! needs to know the full file path and name of the Attachment record. For example, D:\WebPages\1004a.html

* You need to be sure there's an Association in Windows for the file type.

tip.gif See your Windows Help documentation if you are not sure how to create an Association in Windows for a file type. Most standard files are already associated and you don't have to do anything.

* When you select the filename in the attachment, Collect! uses the functionality of Windows to open the correct program and display the file.

tip.gif Windows can only display files when a program that reads the file is installed on your computer. For instance, Word opens when you try to display a .doc file, or else Word Perfect opens, for some users. Excel opens when you try to display an *.xls file. What opens when you try to display a *.png file? It could be Internet Explorer unless you have a graphics program installed on your computer. File types are associated with programs that you have installed---programs that are meant to read that particular file type. Another example is *.pdf files. These are very popular now, for long documents from the web. What does Windows look for to read these files? Windows tries to launch Adobe Acrobat Reader if it is installed on your computer.

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Collect! Attachment Form Basics

The Collect! Attachment form is used to attach miscellaneous information to a Debtor record. The Attachment form contains several indexed fields for fast access, and also contains quite a few user definable fields.

You have numerous fields available to help you describe your attachments. If you don't need a lot of descriptions you can just leave the fields blank.

One special field is the 'File' field. It is 255 characters long and lets you store a fully qualified Win32 filename. The 'File' field contains the name of the file that is attached to the account, for example: D:\WebPages\1004a.html. When you double-click the filename, or select the File Open icon to the right of the filename, the file is displayed by Windows.

See Also:

- Beyond the Basics

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Automatically Attach Files To Accounts

To use this method, each document must be linked to an Debtor's account in Collect! Create a list that contains the account File Number and then the name of the file you want to attach to this Debtor account. Then import the list into Collect!.

tip.gif The Import/Export feature is enabled in the Demonstration database for your examination. However, the module is Optional and may have to be purchased before you can use this feature in your working Masterdb database.

Typically such a list can be generated by some of the scanning systems with OCR (Optical Character Recognition.) Create a list containing at least the following information.

1. Debtor File Number (Account Number) - this is used to
connect the file to a Debtor record.

2. File Name - this is the name of the scanned image file.

This information should be either fixed length or CSV ASCII format. Your scanning/OCR software should be able to create a file based on information scanned in. The two items shown above are the minimum amount of data required to make it work.

The import program must create an Attachment record for each file you want associated with an account. In the Attachment record is the filename of the Attachment. The Debtor File Number is used to attach the scanned file to the correct Debtor.

To import a batch of scanned (or other) documents, examine the Debtor's Attachment record, and decide which fields you want to use to describe the Attachment. There are several fields in the Attachment form that are indexed and available for searching via the Browse menu Find By option.

By using the output of your OCR software and importing the data into Collect! you can create a well indexed set of documents instantly available.

tip.gif If you have an ASCII text file from a credit bureau or another agency, and it contains the Debtor File numbers, Collect! may be able to read this directly during the import routine, eliminating the need for creating a list and/or OCR scanning. Please see How To Attach Credit Reports To Debtor Accounts.

See Also:

- Import/Export

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Document Imaging Case Study

Our client manages receivables for a large number of apartment complexes for clients of theirs.

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Problem

For each account our client receives, they have several paper documents. Each operator must be able to instantly retrieve all relevant documents for an account from their Desktop computers. Additionally, team based contact management and financial tracking to follow payment and charges history is a necessity.

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Solution

Using a high performance scanner, a WORM (Write Once Read Many) jukebox, and Collect!, all requirements were met with an excellent cost benefit ratio that did not include the purchase of additional file cabinets.

As new accounts come into the system, they are first entered or imported into Collect! Then associated documents are scanned and placed onto the WORM jukebox. These documents are simultaneously attached to the appropriate account in Collect! This completes the data entry portion of the operation.

At that point in the life of the account, letter series are run, and finally unresolved accounts are routed to operator work queues. As the operators contact accounts, the associated contracts are instantly available to be faxed or emailed to the individuals.

This system is simple, clean and cost effective, and allows this organization to streamline their operations and realize increased efficiency.

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See Also

- Attached Documents

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