How To Redact Sensitive Data In PDF Tax Documents

Performing Manual Calculations

Paying income taxes can be a real nightmare for some, but we all pay taxes in one form or another. For example, when you work at your job to make money, taxes are deducted from your pay. Also, when you make purchases at stores, some percentage of the cost you pay goes towards sales tax. The same thing goes for owning property — you pay property taxes. But, how did income taxes all start?

Continue reading →How To Redact Sensitive Data In PDF Tax Documents

Speed Up Your PDF to Excel Conversion With Custom Excel Templates

Excel Spreadsheet Diagram

When working to convert PDF data into Excel, you can be swamped with the repetitive task of converting the same data everyday.

For handling large groups of PDFs, there’s the batch conversion feature in Able2Extract. Yet, this option is only ideal for full and automatic conversions.

What about multiple PDF to Excel conversions that need a bit of customization or scanned PDFs that can’t be converted in batch mode, but have the same layout per page?

You can use the Custom PDF to Excel feature to tailor your conversion. But as you can guess, it will get tedious to set up the same row and column structure each time.

Fortunately, in the Able2Extract universe, there’s a feature that makes the process easier: Able2Extract’s Custom Excel Templates. How?

Say you receive a PDF document with the same table structure on the same pages every week. Think invoices, inventory lists, regular data reports, and ledgers. These PDFs are always formatted in the same way. If you only ever work with data from one column in a weekly PDF inventory list, for example, you can use a Custom Excel Template to quickly pull out only that one column of data each time.

To show you, we’re taking a closer look. You can conquer the repetitive PDF to Excel conversions that need to be customized with this feature. Here’s what you should know.

1. Templates Are Easy to Set Up

A Custom Excel Template is simple to create. In fact, you can create your template as you set up your custom PDF to Excel conversion.  To start:

a) Open your PDF file in Able2Extract.

b) Select your content to convert.

c) Click on the Excel button on the toolbar.

d) In the Convert to Excel dialog that appears, select Define under the Custom option.

Selecting Custom Excel Conversion Option

e) Customize your PDF to Excel conversion by using different options from the Custom Excel panel. Don’t forget to preview your conversion results!

f) Once everything is set, go to File> Save Custom Excel Template As ….

Saving Custom Excel Templates

g) Name your template file and select the location to save your Excel template in.

And that’s it. You just created a Custom Excel Template you can use.  From there, you can continue with your conversion by clicking on Convert.

2. Templates Are Easy to Use

When you have a template saved, you simply load it in the application. The template can be applied to a PDF that is similar to the file for which the template was originally created. This means a PDF that has the same layout on the same pages as that first PDF.

a) In Able2Extract, open the PDF on which you’d like to apply your Custom Excel template.

b) Go to File > Load Custom Excel Template…

Loading Custom Excel Templates

c) Browse for and click on the template you saved. It will have a .pcvt file extension. Click on Open.

Selecting Able2Extract Excel Template

 3. Templates Let You Selectively Convert Data Instantly

When converting with Custom Excel Templates, you can selectively extract the data you need across tables or across pages. From multiple sections of a table to a few lines in a ledger, a Custom Excel template will let you skip any unnecessary pages or tables you don’t need.

Creating Custom Excel Templates

4. Templates Aren’t Automatic

One thing to note about this features is that you can’t automatically create or load templates. But all this means is that you gain control over the content and templates you want to convert and use at any given time as you just saw above.

5. You Can Modify your Template Conversion on the Spot

If a PDF file you wish to convert has more pages than the template you’ve created for it and all those pages have the same layout per page as the previous pages, you can use the “Extend” option to add more pages to the table structure.

a) When your template is uploaded and the Custom Excel panel appears, click on Extend…

Extending Custom Excel Page Range

b) In the dialog that appears, enter the desired page number in the To field.

Extending Page Range In Able2Extract

c) Click on Convert.

d) In the Save As dialog, select a location where the resulting Excel file be saved and give it a name. Click on OK.

As you can see, there’s always a way to speed things up. Next time you’re stuck with transferring the same PDF data into Excel all day, give this feature a try.

How To Easily Optimize Your Business’ Books

Optimizing Business Books

Every business has to face at least one tricky challenge in common: to keep its books organized. That might seem like an easy task if you are an accountant or a bookkeeper, but that’s not always the case.

The vast majority of small business owners end up having to organize the financial/documental part of the business by themselves to save some money or just to keep a close eye on them. Organization is a crucial part for every business’ success, and here are some valuable ways to start improving your operations today.

The first action you can take to integrate and organize your company’s books is to digitalize every single piece of document you might have. That’s right, even that small parking receipt from two months ago or that hotel bill that you paid during the last conference you attended–digitalize it! Documents that are stored in digital format (e.g., PDF, Docx, XLS) are much easier to handle and to access, which can be a huge time-saver. Or if you want to customize and convert the format of the documents you are storing you can use simple and extremely efficient tools such as Able2Extract  to get the job done for you.

Also on the same line of digitalizing documents, a crucial measure to increase your books data security is to upload it to the cloud. This allows companies to store all the information they need in the cloud, which means that the data will be saved in external servers that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Plus, some cloud service providers such as Welcome Networks presents the users with military-grade security for Virtual Desktops so they can have peace of mind about any hacking attempts.

Another highly necessary and important point to optimize books is to utilize online accounting software instead of the old fashioned offline desktop systems. Since these web-based applications allow you to send invoices, pay bills, do bank reconciliations, and to obtain reports of the most variables types, these web apps operate in the cloud and are the latest trend in the market.

An excellent example is SlickPie cloud accounting, a free software that even offers a source file attachment feature for companies to upload financial documents that are related to their transactions directly to their accounts, which can also be used in combination with Able2Extract to generate double the optimization value.

These software programs will drastically improve your business overall productivity since it will basically show you a financial x-ray of all your transactions through cash flow statements, balance sheets, and all other pertinent records registered in the system.  And the best part is – it will all be just one click away to be accessed from any desktop or mobile device.

All these solutions need to be integrated and applied to increase the effectiveness in the company’s books. This will strengthen the business with top trend tactics that are being used by the main players in every industry, and it will grant your company with advantage points over your competitors’ procedures.

By putting these practices into action, your company will save time, money, and it will be much more secure to provide any financial documents whenever they are needed, regardless of environmental conditions.

If you were still waiting for the right time to come to embrace digital innovations to fully optimize your company’s books, now is the time!

Improving Lean Document Management With Data Extraction

Successful Results Graph

In this day and age, the success of a company relies heavily on efficiency and productivity. As such, systems and services have been developed in order to cut down on waste and reduce the effort in managing workflows and document management. When reassessing the effectiveness of their workflows, companies across all industries use systems like Strength-based Lean Six Sigma.

With the level of data finance and compensation service companies handle, Strength-Based Lean and Six Sigma can work to improve the business process and records management.

What is Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma?

Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma is a system that focuses on assessing and identifying practices used within a company in order to improve it through methodical and active modifications. After best practices (and problems) are identified, steps are then taken to start restructuring the workflow according to the company’s goals and ideals.  Companies are then evaluated periodically to ensure the changes made are consistently effective.

This on-going process can show business owners where there are weaknesses, bottlenecks, and wasted effort in their system. As you can imagine, workflows that handle high volumes of documents daily require such evaluation to ensure data processing keeps going smoothly, accurately, and efficiently.  If not, business owners can then make adjustments accordingly in regards to both time and activity.

But working to apply that system to clientele data requires more than just a records management system. Companies like CM Global Partners specialize in applying Strength based LEAN and Six Sigma to sales compensation (Lean Sales Compensation).  As a consulting company, they assist in strategically planning and creating accurate sales compensation plans for their clients.

The Only Setback In The Workflow

However, in order to create customized Lean compensation plans for companies, they need to deal with the client’s information that comes in the PDF format, a locked down file format that prevents editing of any kind.

Consequently, they would extract the data manually by retyping scanned PDFs into Excel. They had used different software in the past, but needed accuracy. In addition, they needed a way of exporting their clients’ PDF data into Excel that would work with their system, Compensation Master. Their process always required the data to be audited and identical to data in the PDF file.

CEO CM Global Partners“We had an industry leading service,” says David Cocks, CEO of CM Global Partners, “Now we just needed a more efficient way to extract the data.”

Creating the most effective plans possible is CM Global Partners’ priority. So the company decided to invest in Able2Extract to help speed up the data extraction process. 

Using Data Extraction To Help With Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma

A case study was done to get a closer look at how and where Able2Extract fit in with their goals and workflow. Some of the benefits that resulted from their move to Able2Extract include:

  • $15,000 saved on average
  • 80% of time saved on data extraction
  • Streamlined their work almost instantly
  • Converted large sets of data in a matter of hours with extreme accuracy
  • Increased the productivity of everyone on the team

Efficient workflows need efficient systems. However, as CM Global Partners knows, these systems alone aren’t enough if they can’t bridge the gap between their system and their clients’ data. 

Read the full CM Global Partners case study to learn how the company successfully integrated Able2Extract with their Lean Six Sigma methodology.