TIFF vs. PDF: What’s the Difference?

“What’s the difference between a TIFF and PDF? Why should our bank be scanning to PDF instead of TIFF?”

All good questions. In fact, we had several bankers ask us this at Accu-Summit 2017 .

If your bank is still scanning documents into TIFF format, this article is just for you. In this post, we’ll explore why PDF is a better option for your community bank – and, we’ll even throw in an easy way to convert millions of TIFFs to PDF .

Why PDF is Better for Your Bank

When we started AccuSystems back in 2002, TIFF files were pretty much the industry standard technology for scanned images. Obviously, things have changed quite a bit over the past 15 years. Document imaging is no exception. Although PDF technology was around in 2002, it was only within the past five to ten years that it began to beat out TIFF technology.


For starters, PDFs are just easier to view and read. The Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software is easily accessible (as a free download), making it possible to view, print, and comment on PDF documents from any device. Business owners and consumers alike appreciate this flexibility for managing their electronic files. TIFFs, on the other hand, are not as easy to view or manage. Just ask your scanning department, and they’ll probably agree with this statement.

PDFs also consume much less storage space than TIFF files. Case in point – we recently helped Bank of Blue Valley convert their TIFFs to PDF format, and the results were shocking:

“The TIFF to PDF conversion opened up 500 GB of space on our server. It was easy. We had over 474,000 TIFF documents to convert and had only around 50 errors that were fixed easily. Our IT people are very happy!”

~Janetta Kendrick, Bank of Blue Valley

What could your bank do with an extra 500 GB of server space? By getting off TIFF, you’re almost guaranteed to free up additional IT resources.

There’s also the audit and compliance angle to consider. As one Accu-Summit attendee pointed out, “Our auditors love PDFs instead of TIFFs.” Auditors and examiners are accustomed to using PDF files. TIFFs just create unnecessary friction in the audit process. PDFs make their jobs easier, allowing them to complete their work faster – and, move on to the next bank.

Converting Existing TIFFs to PDF

So, you’re ready to convert existing TIFFs to PDF format. Sounds like a pretty daunting job, right? Actually, at AccuSystems, we’ve designed a great solution for you. Our PDF toolkit for AccuAccount does all the work for you, automatically converting your old TIFF files to PDF while you sleep. Just configure the module to run on your ideal schedule, and the PDF toolkit goes to work on your behalf.

PDF Module

What might have taken months of manual labor to complete, AccuAccount does for you in only a few days or weeks (depending on your schedule and document batch size).

Day Forward Scanning to PDF

What about scanning day forward? How can you avoid adding additional TIFF files into your document repository?

Good news, as we have a solution for that, too! Our innovative Accuimg imaging platform will change how your bank scans and indexes customer and internal documents. Accuimg supports native PDF scanning, which means you’ll never have to scan or convert another TIFF (unless you wanted to for some reason). Once scanned into PDF format, your documents become fully searchable and bookmark friendly. Toggling between multiple pages is also a breeze, thanks to the intuitive document preview screen.

Document View

PDF is Here to Stay

If your bank is still struggling to make due with TIFF files, it’s time you considered making the switch to PDF technology. AccuAccount makes that switch easier than ever, thanks to our TIFF conversion software and the new Accuimg imaging platform.

For additional information about our PDF solutions, click here to request a free consultation.

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