What is Forms Processing

What is Forms Processing

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If you work in an industry which involves lots of forms being filled out by hand, such as in an on-site environment or forms returned through the post, it can be incredibly time consuming and costly hiring people to input this information in a digital form. While it’s all very well employing an entire data entry team, there is a much more efficient way to transfer this information onto a computer system, meaning information is processed much more quickly.

There are lots of companies for whom accurate data entry is extremely important. Companies handling medical records, for example, or market research companies need to make sure that all of their information about customers and clients is kept up to date and managed as effectively as possible. If it isn’t, this can be irritating for customers who have to constantly remind people at the company about their updated details, and it could potentially be dangerous.

Forms processing involves scanning hard copies of forms with the scan correlating to a data entry form. The information from each box on the form is lifted from the paper onto the system, with the fields on the screen filled automatically. While someone should check all of this information against that on the form to make sure it is accurate, this is much faster than getting someone to manually enter each individual field.

It works by using sophisticated software to identify specific characters and words by using the shape and strokes of the pen to determine what the entry in each box most likely says. This has been tested with thousands of handwriting samples to pick up on the subtle nuances of lettering styles and handwriting types. If there is a field the scanner cannot identify, it will be submitted for human verification, meaning that everything is checked over to ensure it says what it is supposed to.

In an age where speed is crucial in the workplace, it is vital that you find ways to streamline the way you run your office. It can take a very long time to enter information box by box from a form, and if the attention of the data entry worker starts to wander, it may be entered inaccurately or certain aspects might be missed. If this is the case, it can end up being extremely problematic in the long run.

If you are interested in minimizing the costs and time spent on the admin associated with manual form processing, you could consider investing in a new system to speed the process up dramatically.

About the Author
Barney Francis works in document scanning and processing, and provides advice on the benefits of outsourcing such operations to businesses – large and small.
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