Can local government actually go completely paperless?

Ask any Records Manager what their #1 most frequently asked question is, and I guarantee the answer is:  Can I destroy a paper original after scanning? 

We are here to shed a little light.

The answer, in brief, is “Yes, but…..” And the longer the retention period of that record is, the louder that but gets. So, let’s look at this question in a little more depth.

Physical Document Destruction: Records with a Retention Period of Less than 10 Years

Can you destroy the paper original of a record after scanning? YES

It is perfectly acceptable to keep a scanned document in lieu of its original; the scanned document just needs to be designated the record copy and retained for the full retention period.

And in fact, I think we can all agree that digitizing records is a great way to speed up retrieval, allow access to multiple users at once (you don’t have to track down the person who has the file), protect essential records, etc. And let’s face it, destroying paper source documents can really free up a lot of physical storage space, which will reduce your physical storage costs.


We always give the caveat that a government needs to run the conversion to “paperless” by any affected parties, like the government’s auditors, or the federal or state agency to which the document is being submitted. 

Also, the agency needs to make sure that the record would be acceptable evidence in court. A judge may require that an agency prove the authenticity of a scanned copy — that it’s an exact copy of the original — and, if they are not satisfied that the scanned copy is an exact copy, require the original to be produced.

Otherwise, how long a government agency retains an original after scanning is up to the agency.  In general, we give a soft 6 months recommendation, and we do tell agencies to make sure a visual quality control check is done on every single scan to make sure that it is a complete representation of the original.

Physical Document Destruction: Records with a Retention Period of 10+ Years

We recommend if the document has a retention period of 10 years or more, they retain the original.  And that’s exactly on target with what I recommend.


Even though there are rules in place to try to ensure that electronic records are accessible, usable, and authentic for their full retention period, there are gaps in those rules. (They were last updated in 1998.) 

Of course, the law is always changing...

So be sure to stay up on new, current, and modified laws and policies.  For Pennsylvania Customers, check out some links below that will help you further your research!

Helpful Links:

1. Records Management Executive Order

2. Records Management Directive

3. State Records Management Manual

DSU Technology is a leading document and content management provider.  please visit to learn how to digitally manage your records.

PDF or Tif?

Once documents have been scanned, a determination needs to be made as to how those images will be stored. In general, the two primary choices are to store the files in either PDF format or TIF format. While there are a few technical differences between the two, it is more of a preference choice than a technology choice. 

PDF files are created using Adobe Acrobat software. The main advantage the Adobe claims for PDF is its portability. It doesn't matter what operating system you have or what type of hardware you have. You need to have Adobe's Acrobat Reader software, (or the more affordable NITRO PDF, contact us for more info) . PDF files are becoming more and more popular because of their ease of use across many different platforms. 

TIF files have been the traditional format for scanned images. The TIF standard has been around for a long time and many of the more current operating systems include a TIF viewer as a standard part of the installation. This makes TIF format nearly as portable as PDF. When making documents easily editable in Laserfiche, TIF images files are recommended over PDF.

Both formats require roughly the same amount of storage space. In other words, a PDF file of a page and a TIF file of a page will be just about the same size. The decision on which to use is often based more on how the files will be used than on any technical issues. 

The key issue is how will someone search for a particular image. If the files that have been scanned are "monolithic", PDF is usually a better choice. Monolithic means that the user will generally know which file they need and will search based upon the file name rather than on a more detailed index structure. For example, if there is a separate file for each client, and when you need some information, you want to pull the whole client file, PDF would be a good choice. 

On the other hand, if you intend to have a great deal of indexing done to the images, say with Laserfiche or SohoDox the images will typically be stored as TIF format files. In this case, there is almost always some type of database associated with the images. The database allows for and keeps track of all of the index information. 

The bottom line is that, unless you are using a document imaging software program to scan, store, and index the images, you will probably want to store the images in a PDF format. If you are using a document imaging package, you will probably end up storing the images in a TIF format. The good news is that either format will work. 

Laserfiche Mobile

Laserfiche Mobile: Quicker, Better, Safer

Smartphones and tablets are revolutionizing the way people interact with business content. As more and more content flows in and out of organizations of all sizes, it is becoming harder and harder to optimize the decision-making process by getting the right information into the right hands at the right time – particularly when decision makers are travelling, meeting with clients, or participating in industry events.

DSU Technology – your local, trusted Laserfiche VAR (value added reseller) – has been committed to empowering organizations with the tools they need to make timely, intelligent business decisions. Laserfiche Mobile is an app for the iPhone and iPad that enables users to securely access and work with documents inside their Laserfiche repository from a mobile device. Administrators can take advantage of Laserfiche Mobile features such as extensive security, document libraries, geotags, and more. This app enables employees – whether onsite or offsite, executive or field employee – to stay connected and productive anywhere in the world!

As a fully integrated part of the Laserfiche product line, Laserfiche Mobile provides an end-to-end solution that extends governance, risk and compliance standards to mobile devices, simplifying IT administration and oversight even as the bring your own device (BYOD) trend gains momentum. With mobility and convenience come risks of the mobile device being stolen and confidential data falling into the wrong hands. DSU Technology is committed to using the best practices for configuring security within Laserfiche Mobile to make sure only authorized individuals have access to the documents stored in the Laserfiche repository.

Don’t Let Information Get Lost in the Shuffle

Don’t Let Information Get Lost in the Shuffle

Information trapped on paper and PDF forms impedes business processes and limits organizations’ flexibility and adaptability. Laserfiche Forms overcomes these limitations by accurately capturing vital information and launching business processes right from the start.

With Laserfiche Forms, customizable online forms can be embedded into – or linked from – any page on your website, intranet, or public portal so that it’s easy for employees, customers, and other stakeholders to access, complete, and submit them.

Best of all, Laserfiche Forms is a single application that gives end users the freedom to design completely unique forms while IT retains central control.

Design and Modify Forms without IT Involvement

You don’t need to be an IT expert to use Laserfiche Forms. An easy-to-use form builder allows you to quickly create forms to suit your specific needs – no coding or scripting required.

·       Easily create attractive forms with preconfigured templates or customize them with editable fonts, colors, uploaded images, and layout.

·       Drag and drop a wide variety of fields, checkboxes, and radio buttons onto your form to collect the exact information you need – in the precise format you require.

·       Configure form elements so that they are hidden or displayed based on selections made in other fields, improving the user experience and ensuring that you don’t collect unnecessary data.

·       Change the look and feel of your form – or add or delete questions from it – at any time without help from programmers.

Ensure Accurate and Secure Data Collection

By design, Laserfiche Forms provides a simple and intuitive interface for inputting data.

·       Reduce the need for your staff to rekey or manually validate information like name, address, and phone numbers by automatically pulling data from your primary applications to prepopulate forms.

·       Improve the user experience and the quality of your data by establishing required fields so forms won’t be submitted with incomplete fields or incorrect data types.

·       Guarantee the security of confidential information with user credentials to ensure that access to submitted data is limited to authorized personnel.

·       Prevent bot-generated spam on public forms with CAPTCHA verification.

·       Maintain records of submitted information by automatically saving completed forms as TIFFs or PDFs in your Laserfiche repository.

Accelerate Business Processes

Get the most out of your ECM investment by extending your business processes to the point of capture. Laserfiche Forms makes it easy to capture information, process it quickly, and ensure that it’s accessible to authorized employees throughout your organization.

·       Organize and prioritize user tasks with customized task categorizing.

·       Quickly implement process improvements or add additional users to a process without help from the IT department.

·       Make it easy for users to approve forms by simply hitting reply to an email notification.

·       Increase transparency by creating reports that show the current status and progress of each process.

·       Ensure no step will ever be overlooked or forgotten by automating form routing in Laserfiche Forms’ business process modeler.

·       Set-and-forget processes with Timer Event functions that launch processes on a set schedule or after a waiting period, or reroute a workflow if a deadline has passed.

·       Build on existing business processes by pushing information and forms into Laserfiche Workflow or your Laserfiche repository.

Functionality, Meet Flexibility

With powerful business process management tools, Laserfiche integrates seamlessly with the applications employees use every day. It empowers you to manage all organizational content – both structured and unstructured – throughout its life cycle, so you enhance productivity, improve efficiency, and minimize overhead.

Laserfiche’s workflow engine also gives you a platform to map, model, and manage your business processes. With reporting features built right in, you can quickly uncover and eliminate bottlenecks within your business processes.

·       Streamline operations by automating manual, repetitive processes.

·       Ensure that information is an asset that is consistent, reliable, useful, and available.

·       Facilitate compliance with failsafe security and auditing features.

·       Improve visibility into your business processes with easy-to-understand reporting.

·       Model, execute, and manage business processes without writing code.

·       Kick-off business processes directly from the Laserfiche Client, Laserfiche Web Access, or Laserfiche Mobile.

·       Trigger workflows based on actions taken in third-party applications like CRM, GIS, ERP, and more.

Easy to Design, Configure, and Extend

More than just simple workflow automation, Laserfiche Workflow builds on the capabilities of Microsoft .NET to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, business rules, and data. Built-in activities help you build workflows quickly, while extensible rules and a built-in script editor support custom C# and VB.NET scripting. A graphical Workflow Designer enables you to create workflows by flowcharting your business processes with an intuitive interface for testing, modifying, and supporting workflow activities. Laserfiche Workflow builds on the capabilities of Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) so you can extend its functionality to all your line-of-business applications.



Welcome to DSU Technology! (Formerly DocuScan USA)

Our team pushed hard last year to improve our knowledge, our skills, and our customer service.  The more we talked the more it became abundantly clear that we had one focused mission in mind; To help people run their businesses more efficiently with their documents and their business processes.