Are you wondering how to convert scanned images into searchable text?
Some scanned documents (PDFs) aren’t searchable until optical character recognition (OCR) is applied.
In the video below, I show you how to convert a scanned document (PDF) into searchable text using OCR. But why would you do this?
Suppose you use your local scanner to scan a 100-page debt agreement. You do so because you desire to electronically search for the words “covenants” and “debt ratio.” Once you create the PDF, you hit “control F,” so you can search the document. But you get a message saying the document is not readable. What should you do? Convert the scanned pages to readable text using OCR.Then you can search for whatever words or phrases you wish.
Once the scanned document is readable, use “control F” to activate the search box in Adobe Acrobat. Then enter the words you are looking for. This is so much easier than reading 100 pages and still not finding the information you desire.
Do you ever need to convert and combine Word and Excel files into one PDF? With Adobe Acrobat DC you can do so. Here is a video demonstrating how you can convert different types of documents into one PDF.
Like you, I am continually looking for ways to be more productive. I buy books, watch videos, and take note of how others work.
I like to see the offices of other CPAs. Here’s mine.
Docking Station – I use a docking station that allows me to push one button to disconnect and place my laptop into a bag for travel. The docking station provides connectivity inputs behind my computer. Rather than disconnecting several wires to “set my computer free,” I push one button.
50″ Monitor (on a swivel hinge) – This monitor is about two feet behind my desk. I use this screen as a fourth working monitor. For example, when I am reviewing financial statements, I sometimes place the balance sheet on the 50″ screen and a second copy of the financial statements on my lower center monitor. Then as I review the remainder of the statements (e.g., notes), I can glance at the balance sheet.
The 50″ monitor hangs from a swivel hinge. The swivel hinge allows me to tilt the screen in other directions when I am sharing information from my laptop with others in my office. We also use the monitor to watch webcasts.
Todoist Checklist – I place all my outstanding to-do items in Todoist. Since Todoist integrates with Outlook, I usually have Outlook docked on the 50″ monitor. With just a glance, I can quickly see what I need to complete. With one click, I can add a new to-do item. And the to-do items I add on my laptop show up on my iPad and iPhone Todoist apps (and vice versa)–this integration is why I started using Todoist.
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner – When I receive physical paper documents, my usual first step is to scan the paper and place it (the paper) in my shred box. I use this scanner several times a day. I like the scanner (but I have had problems with paper jams). Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner for PC and Mac (PA03656-B005)
Deluxe Shred Box – My deluxe shred box is a box top. I know, sophisticated, huh?
Landline Phone – I keep my phone over on my side table to keep it off my main desktop.
iPad – This is my favorite device. I use it mainly outside the office, but I place it on the corner of my desk, so I can quickly pick it up as I go out.
The Physical Library – I order most publications electronically, but for my physical books, I keep them handy here.
Adjustable Standup Desk – In my attempt to be a (little) more healthy, I bought this standup desk about three years ago. About once a day, I will print and stand while I review a set of financial statements–mainly to get my rear out of the chair. There has been a great deal of press lately about professionals (slowly) killing themselves by sitting too much. This desk does adjust down to the level of my main desktop, and it is mobile, so I use it–when I’m tired of standing–as an extension of my main desktop.
Paper-in Tray – I use a three-level tray for my incoming paper. The top shelf is for newly arrived paper information.
Corner Meeting Spot – I use this corner area as a place to meet with partners and staff, especially if they bring paper copies in to discuss.
Coffee Maker – This is probably the most important appliance in my office. No coffee, no Charles.
Whiteboard – If someone needs to draw an idea out, here’s the place. I sometimes take iPhone pictures of the information drawn on the board and then store it in Evernote.
In this article, I provide you with four steps to delightful accounting presentations–even if you are a CPA. Yes, this can be done!
If you’ve read the book Presentation Zen, you know that many speakers–without intending to–hide their message. In watching CPE presentations and board presentations, I have noticed that (we) CPAs unwittingly hide our message. How? We present slide decks that look like intermediate accounting textbooks–chock full of facts, but too much to digest. And do we really believe that those attending will take those slides back to the office and study them?
My experience has been those slides end up in the office dungeon, never to be seen again. We have one chance to communicate–in the session.
Four Steps to Delightful Accounting Presentations
It is the presenter’s duty to cause learning. So how can we engage our audience (even those sitting on the back row playing with their cell phones)?Let’s start with the slide deck.
1. Make Simple Slides
Make simple slides.
I try to have no more than two points per slide, and I leave out references to professional standards (at least on the slides).
What happens when you see a slide that looks like it contains the whole of War and Peace? If you’re like me, you may think, “Are you kidding? You want me to consume all of that in the next three minutes. Forget it. I will not even try.” And then you begin to think about your golf game or your next vacation. So, how much information should you include on a slide?
Nancy Duarte recommends the glance test for each slide. “People should be able to comprehend it in three seconds.”
2. Include a picture related to the topic
Include a picture.
For example, if I am presenting to auditors, I might display a picture of someone being bribed. Verbal information is remembered about ten percent of the time. If a picture is included, the figure goes up to sixty-five percent. Quite a difference.
People love stories. If your presentation is about bribes and you have not audited a bribery situation, Google bribes, and you will find all the stories you need. If you can’t find a story, use a hypothetical. Why? You are trying to draw your audience in–then maybe they will put that cell phone down (your most triumphant moment as a speaker!).
Also engage your audience with questions.Stories get the juices going; questions make them dig. And, if they answer you, there is dialog. And what’s the result? Those talking learn, the audience learns, and, yes, you learn.
Move. Not too much, but at least some.
A statue is not the desired effect. Moving like Michael Jackson is also not what you desire (moonwalking was never in my repertoire anyway). But movement, yes. I walk slowly from side to side (without moonwalking) and will, at times, move toward the audience when I want to make a point. So, am I constantly roaming? No. Balance is important.
Now, let me provide a few thoughts about presentation software and handouts.
Presentation Software and Handouts
If you have an Apple computer, let me recommend Keynote as your presentation software. I do think PowerPoint (for you Windows users) has improved, but personally, I prefer Keynote.
If you need to provide detailed information, give your participants handouts. I sometimes provide narrative summaries in addition to the slide deck. Then, if you like, refer your audience to the supporting material.