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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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10–11. Track Documents with RFID

Radio frequency identification (RFID) was invented in 1999 at a think tank located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It involves the attachment of a tiny transceiver to an object, allowing it to be tracked by a network of receivers. The most obvious use for RFID is inventory tracking at the pallet or case level within a business location, since this allows for a tightly confined tracking area, moderate RFID cost, and tracking of what is frequently a company’s largest-dollar asset. The long-term intent of RFID backers is to create a large-scale RFID tracking network capable of tracking inventory across large areas, so that companies have a precise picture of where their inventory is located anywhere in the supply chain, on a real-time basis.

It is also possible to use RFID in the accounting department. One possibility is the tracking of documents. Though many accounting departments already have document scanning systems in place that would appear to render RFID unnecessary, consider again—what about truly sensitive documents, such as signed legal documents, internal audit work papers, insurance folders, archived documents, and the like? In many cases, employees remove these documents from their customary locations and leave them all over the accounting department, making it more difficult to locate when they are needed on short notice. Perhaps adding RFID tags to these types of documents and adding receivers in the accounting area would ...

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