Canadian Accountant Tech Review: Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600
The iX1600 looks like its predecessor but offers faster speed and connectivity
TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2021 – The ScanSnap digital scanner has long held pride of place in the firms of Canadian accountants from coast to coast. The iX1500 changed the audit process, helped practitioners go paperless and, during the pandemic, has helped thousands of accountants work from home.
With the introduction of the new ScanSnap iX1600, a desktop model that improves upon an already stellar lineup, fast document scanning has received another upgrade from Fujitsu. The iX1600 takes over as Fujitsu’s flagship, joined by the ScanSnap iX1400, a more pared-down version that excludes the built-in touchscreen.
With its simple, one-touch scanning experience, the iX1400 is the handier option if you’re trying to persuade your clients to adopt new technology — such as a digital scanner for their business invoices and receipts. All the features associated with a built-in touchscreen are available on ScanSnap Home software on Windows PC or Mac.
The iX1600, on the other hand, sells at a higher price point but provides better value because of its ancillary features. When both paper volume and speed are critical to the workflow of your accounting practice, this digital scanner is designed to handle it all.
Familiar but faster
Fujitsu did not change the overall look and feel of the iX1600. Put one next to an iX1500 and they look like twins. The iX1600 (as with the iX1500) connects to your Wi-Fi network or plugs into a computer via USB (cable comes included) to get the scans from the device to your computer screen — or to the cloud.
The onboard, 4.3-inch touchscreen is the centrepiece of the scanner’s operation. It’s here that you not only tap the “Scan” button, but also set up the workflows and profiles you need. For example, Fujitsu simplifies how multiple people can scan through user profiles. This way, each person’s preferred settings — which computer to scan to, or which cloud service to save to — remain the same.
The scanner comes with an attachment called a Receipt Guide, which allows users to load three kinds of documents, for business cards, receipts, invoices, and paper documents, even allowing users to load different-sized documents in each loading section to scan them at the same time. (Very handy for accounting practitioners still dealing with the old shoebox.)
Lift the front panel, put the pages into the feeder, press Scan, and that’s about it. It can handle up to 40 pages per minute up to Best mode (it’s 10ppm in Excellent mode) in colour at 300dpi, or 600dpi in monochrome (1,200dpi in Excellent mode). For scanning speedfreaks, that’s 33 per cent faster than the iX1500, although some reviews report higher speeds.
Scanning locally and to the cloud
If this is your first foray into ScanSnap scanners, you may not immediately recognize where to add cloud services. You have to do it in the ScanSnap Home software, where going to ScanSnap Home>Scan settings>Scan to cloud is your ticket in. Once there, you can access more than 10 cloud services, from popular consumer options such as Dropbox and Google Drive, to accounting and business services such as Hubdoc (now owned by Xero).
If you’re simply upgrading from a past model to the iX1600, your preferences can migrate through your account to the new model — albeit manually. Ted Kritsonis of the Canadian tech platform Whatsyourtech.ca, reports: “That was actually one thing I messed up when initially setting up the iX1600. I made the mistake of deleting the previous iX1500 first, instead of keeping it there as I onboarded the iX1600.”
Real value for Canadian accountants
The real value of the ScanSnap iX1600 lies in putting it to work regularly. For accounting firms and their clients, realizing the cost of the iX1600 should be easy, especially if going paperless is another of your goals. Scanning performance is one thing but the real benefit comes in the software that facilitates workflow and documentation efficiently. Put the two together and it’s hard to find a document scanning solution that can do it better right now.