Document Imaging ROI Calculator

This is a document imaging ROI calculator to show the return on converting paper records to electronic formats through document imaging and indexing. There are some notes below the calculator with more explanation on the fields. Enter multiple scenarios to gain a feel for the cost benefits of imaging, along with expense of continued paper usage. You may enter partial or zero values in any field, i.e. .10, 1.75, and so on.

  • Storage Mediums & Supplies

    Enter the amount(s) of full boxes and/or filing cabinet drawers in the fields below. If none applies, enter zero.
  • Labor

    Enter the number of administrative FTEs that interact with paper documents on a regular basis.

  • Storage Space

    Enter the amount of square footage devoted to storing your documents. For a square space, multiple length times width.

  • Imaging Pricing Factors

    No Prep means no preparation of documents is needed before imaging takes place on them.

    Moderate Prep involves removing staples, paper clips, and some document repair. Heavy Prep involves additional of the larger amounts of moderate type preparation, plus sorting.

Some Notes – The Cost of Paper Records

One of the cost factors in using paper as a storage medium for data involves certain supplies such as boxes, filing cabinets, & folders, in addition to the paper itself. There are others such as ink, staples, paper clips and so on but these were left out to keep to the most significant items.

The Cost of Labor

Another cost is usually thought of in terms of time – that is, the amount of time staff spends searching, retrieving, and then filing paper documents. Labor costs money though and so the FTE field addresses this. The formula is based on statistics regarding the average time staff spends in these activities every day, along with our own observations. Furthermore, we set it to half to keep to the low side in factoring time. Additionally, we set the pay rate part of the formula low to avoid artificially bumping the costs up. This results in not counting upper management or professional staff.

Storage Space

Paper records take up space. The storage space field in the calculator asks for the square footage of your space carved out to store documents. The rate is set very low, basically the equivalent of a garage that may or may not have heat.

Document Imaging Costs

Besides volume, there are additional factors that influence the rates for imaging services. One relates to the prep work that must be done to the documents before they can go into the scanners, as shown in the calculator. The other main factor is indexing. The purpose of indexing is so the user can quickly find the information they are looking for. There may be other smaller factors, but the calculator takes into account the main two – prep work and indexing.

The issue with quantifying preset pricing with document imaging is that not every organization will need the same amounts of indexing and prep work. And while the prep work can be put into somewhat neat categories, there are times the indexing cannot. So the calculator has a certain amount of indexing factored into the formula along with a choice of prep levels, which results in an imaging rate. Note: these rates are not ours but a sort of high-average.

The calculator is set up to be conservative with the cost factors with regards to staying with a paper-based records system. In turn, it overshoots the high end of the prices for imaging those records.


These are the last three fields of the imaging calculator and cover a range from 1-3 years. This takes into account the fact that different organizations have unique budgets and time frames, while still needing data on if imaging is worthwhile. We already know that it is but customers are often curious how exactly it plays out, and how soon they can expect a return on investing in this technology. The formulas are based on the lack of associated paper costs with an imaging solution, taking into account the price of acquiring that solution.

Is Document Imaging Worth the Investment?

Reset the calculator and plug in multiple scenarios to find out what imaging can return. You can also print/save to PDF for each of the settings scenarios you put into the calculator.