ARIBA is the University's electronic procurement system, which manages all ordering, purchasing, receiving, invoicing, sourcing, payments and reporting through a single point of entry. All paper receipts and other documents, which support these processes must be scanned, saved as PDFs, and attached to ARIBA.

Scanning paper records does not automatically authorize the destruction of the original documents. Once paper records are scanned according to the requirements outlined in this policy, the electronic record can legally take the place of the paper documents, which can then be destroyed. ARIBA becomes the official “system of record” and as such will be responsible for maintaining the records for their legally approved retention period.

Note: If you are being audited or have received notice of an audit, if there is litigation regarding the records (or even pending litigation), or if there is a public records request, the original paper records should not be destroyed until the matter is resolved and the destruction hold is lifted, even if you have scanned them according to an approved scanning policy.

The requirements which follow are based on Imaging Systems, Standards for Accuracy and Durability – Chapter 434‐663 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). These requirements must be fully met to justify the use of scanned images as replacements for the original paper records.

Technical Scanning Requirements

  • Black and white, gray, and color paper records can be scanned.
  • Scanners must be set at a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch)
  • Scanned records must be saved as PDF files.

Note: JPEG is not an acceptable alternative to saving documents as PDF files.

Quality Control

  • Each scanned document must be visually inspected to ensure that the image is complete, clear, and easily read.
    • When necessary, scanned records should be compared to the original paper document to ensure accuracy.
  • The number of original paper documents must be compared to the number of scanned records to ensure that every document was scanned.

Image Enhancement

At times, there may be a problem with the final scanned image that makes it difficult to read and less than usable. If the scanned document is to replace the original paper record these common problems must be corrected.

Speckles, spots, or lines on the scanned image:

  • Clean the glass on the scanner

Scanned image is crooked or cut-off:

  • Place the document on the glass rather than using the document feeder

General readability issues:

  • Increase the scanning resolution to a setting higher than 300 dpi (dots per inch)
  • Scan in color rather than black & white
  • Adjust the scanner’s darkness/contrast settings

Watermark or background interferes with readability:

  • In addition to the above recommendations, check if your scanner has a "background suppression" setting and that it is turned on

Document is oversize (e.g., a European hotel folio):

  • Either make multiple scans, adjust the image size settings, or reposition the original so that all of the relevant text is captured

If the condition of the original paper record precludes a good quality scanned image from being produced, the paper copy of the record will have to be maintained. To avoid future confusion over the poor image quality, use a PDF editor to document the problem by inserting a text box into the scanned image. The inserted text message should indicate that the paper copy has been maintained and where it is located.

Minimum Security Standards

All University computers and computing devices must be properly managed and protected from intrusion and misuse by unauthorized entities. The following steps must be taken to ensure the security of the records in individual office as well as the computer networks at the UW:

  • Sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, must be obscured on all documents that will be attached in ARIBA.
  • When an employee leaves the department, it is the responsibility of the departmental Administrator/ Manager to close all related accounts and remove all access for the employee, including access to ARIBA applications through Astra.
  • System access accounts for users must be based on a unique identifier (login), and no shared account is allowed except as authorized by the system owner or operator and where appropriate accountability can be maintained.
  • A growing number of office machines, such as printers, copiers, and fax machines are now network-connectable. These devices may retain copies of documents that have been scanned or copied on them. In most cases it is possible to configure these devices to automatically delete stored information. We highly recommend implementing automatic deletion or, when that is not practicable, instituting a practice of manually clearing the device’s memory.


PDF icon ARIBA-Enterprise-Scanning-Policy.pdf130.01 KB