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Xodo’s Guide on PDF Files for Accountants

Jun 13 2023

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6 min

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Finance

Document Management

Tips

MS Excel


Read time

6 min


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Working with financial data means working with PDFs. Whether you’re new to the industry or an accountant, or even a financial analyst, there’s always a better, faster way to work with PDFs.

We have the perfect guide on how to deal with PDFs online – no matter your experience level! We’ll cover the following tips:

Beginner

  • Convert PDF tables to Excel spreadsheets for data analysis 
  • View, annotate, and rotate PDF pages with one PDF reader
  • Compare two different versions of the same PDF

Intermediate

Advanced

  • Crop out unnecessary PDF information
  • Make minor edits to PDF data
  • Redact sensitive PDF data

Beginner Level Tips – View, Compare and Convert PDFs

Tools can help you balance sheets, invoices, audit and payroll reports saved in PDFs more easily!

Convert PDF tables to Excel spreadsheets for data analysis

You need to analyze and calculate financial information from your client, and extracting table data manually from a PDF is time consuming.

Conversion output options for Xodo’s online PDF to Excel converter

Tip: The easy way to unlock data is to convert PDF to Excel. You can then edit and analyze the table data from your PDF statements accurately in a spreadsheet.

When converting PDF to Excel with Xodo, you can securely extract financial information in an instant. You’ll also be able to customize your converted tables into one sheet or merge them all together. 

View, annotate, and rotate PDF pages with one PDF reader

Viewing PDFs is the most basic PDF task you’ll need to get your job done. But what if you need to add notes? Or rotate pages to view tables? 

Tip: A full-featured PDF viewer lets you not only open PDFs, but also handle files with flexibility. 

Try Xodo’s PDF Viewer. Use it to rotate individual pages, annotate the file directly with your notes, and control how you view the file.

Compare different versions of the same PDF 

Audits can sometimes mean referencing previous versions or past PDF statements. Comparing differences between reports line by line is time consuming.

Tip: To automate the process, run the reports through a comparison tool. 

Use Xodo to compare PDF files. Once your files are uploaded, Xodo detects and highlights the differences between the versions and can even merge both versions into one file so you can spot differences at a glance.

Intermediate Level – OCR, Merge, Split, and Delete PDF pages

If you need to go beyond basic PDF viewing and conversion, you can work from the PDF itself. Check out the tips below.

Convert scanned PDF statements into Excel 

Most PDFs you’ll receive will likely be paper banking statements or forms that were scanned and then sent to you electronically. Before you can convert such files, you’ll need to run OCR on them first. 

Converting a scanned PDF to a searchable PDF with Xodo’s online OCR converter

Tip: Xodo has an OCR converter (Optical Character Recognition) that turns scanned PDFs into files that can be converted. Upload your file to the OCR tool first, and then convert the PDF to Excel like you did in the first section.

Split lengthy PDF reports into manageable files

When you work with large files full of tabular data, you might work with only certain portions of the document at a time. In this case, the large file size will slow you down.

Tip: Split PDF documents into smaller files. You’ll be able to focus on each financial section of the report separately – and more effectively!

Xodo’s PDF Splitter tool lets you section off page ranges of your bigger file into smaller ones.

Delete blank and irrelevant PDF pages 

Got pages left intentionally blank? Depending on the type of report being generated, blank pages are sometimes used for place-holding, space-filling, or content separation purposes. This is ideal for viewing and referencing pages, but not for analysis in Excel.

Tip: Eliminate irrelevant pages to get a seamless extraction of financial data when you’re ready to convert your PDF to Excel.

Deleting pages from a PDF document with Xodo’s online Delete Pages tool

Xodo’s Delete Pages tool lets you select and delete unnecessary pages, leaving you with a cleaner spreadsheet after you convert the file.

Merge multi-document reports into one PDF

Some audits require more than one report. For instance, fixed asset audits can include up to five reports – a fixed asset listing, inventory, maintenance, financial, and asset disposal report.

Tip: Merging your PDF documents in such cases is useful – data analysis becomes much easier, and calculations are more accurate in Excel if you have all the data in one spreadsheet.

To combine sheets and tabular data from different reports into one file, merge your PDF online with Xodo.

Advanced Level - Full proficiency knowledge of PDF Software

For more advanced PDF tasks, you can work with the PDF file directly to avoid extracting inaccurate content to an audit. Here are a few advanced PDF tasks you can try.

Crop out unnecessary PDF information

Sometimes the financial information in PDFs you receive can be a mixture of content – tabular data, letterhead, logos, table summaries, and footers. Content on the same page as the tables you need isn’t ideal when converting a PDF to Excel.

Tip: Cropping content you need from a page lets you focus on the tabular data, making your work more effective. Eliminate the excess content before you convert it.

Cropping a table from a PDF with Xodo’s online Crop PDF tool

A PDF cropping tool can be just what you need. Xodo’s tool comes with advanced settings and features. You can get more precision with your content by specifying a page, coordinates, or manually selecting content. Crop only the tables you need in a PDF.

Edit for minor updates or changes to PDF data

If all you need is to update small details, you’ll want to make that quick fix on the spot. Being accurate means ensuring that you have the most up to date information even after reports and statements are generated and submitted.

Tip: For cash flow statements, balance sheets, or loss and profit statements, you can correct dates, descriptions, or any variances. You can save your edits and then work with corrected financial details or client information in Excel. 

Xodo’s offers a tool for editing PDF text, which helps you make small changes hassle-free to work accurately with the latest data you receive.

Redact sensitive PDF data 

If you need to consult with others on a document, you might be concerned about sharing the confidential information it contains.

Tip: If you can’t disclose certain details, permanently redacting sensitive information can be the quickest way to protect your client.

Redacted text from a PDF file with Xodo’s online Redaction tool

Xodo offers a PDF redaction tool that lets you control how you redact PDF data. From letting you search specific text to performing bulk or individual redactions, Xodo makes the process easy.

Xodo speeds up any accounting PDF tasks you have!

It’s never too late to find a quick PDF tip or two to make your accounting and bookkeeping tasks easier. The above are just a few tips that'll help you work securely with PDF statements and reports whenever and wherever you need.

If you find these PDF handling tips useful, check out the other tasks Xodo can help you with! From filling and signing forms to compressing, archiving and securely storing PDFs, free Xodo online tools are the perfect fit for any accountant or anyone that needs to do bookkeeping.

Explore All Xodo Tools
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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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