How accounting firms can benefit from paperless document management

How accounting firms can benefit from paperless document management

The complexity of United States taxation laws combined with business professionals' desire for a better view of their finances means that the accounting market has been burgeoning. Bookkeeping companies are receiving a seemingly limitless flow of tangible files from numerous companies, requiring an exorbitant amount of cabinet space. Yet, there are a few who refuse to partake in this pestering process and operate through electronic workflow instead. 

Finding the appropriate material
To an accountant, there's probably nothing more frustrating then attempting to find a single employee tax form among a stack of paper nearly a foot high. Is it possible that the client took the time to neatly organize all statements in chronological order? Just because an event is plausible, doesn't mean it's going to happen. Not to mention, it's not as if the bookkeeper has one person to file tax returns for. Depending on the size of their business, accountants could have dozens, if not hundreds, of people relying on them to manage their finances. 

So where's the solution? Brock Philp, CEO of a document management software vendor and contributor to AccountingWeb, claimed that accessing necessary files and records through electronic means proves to be much more efficient than spending hours perusing through filing cabinets or desk drawers. Even the most assiduous bookkeepers are bound to misplace an item that may hold vital client monetary information, but paperless systems provide users with easy-to-use search and manage features that make it simple to obtain necessary items. Everything from spreadsheets to legal forms can be submitted and organized in the program. 

Reducing costs
If one were to look at the average price for a ream of basic printer paper, they're probably not going to cringe. Multiply that by 200 and he or she may reconsider utilizing tangible records. Thankfully, paperless document management allows users to significantly reduce expenses associated with paper-heavy workflow. According to Digital Journal, Carolina Accounting and Tax Service, an accounting firm located in Charlotte, N.C., recently announced that it reduced 75 percent of its paper and ink toner usage in anticipation of Earth Day. 

"To make going paperless a reality, we had to identify and invest in systems and technology that allowed us to accomplish our goal of waste reduction while improving efficiency, communication and delivering value-added innovative solutions to our clients," said Richard Beauchemin, a certified public accountant with Carolina Accounting and Tax, as quoted by the news source. 

In order for the document management workflow to operate practically, Beauchemin noted that the organization provided its clients with access to the firm's public cloud server, allowing customers to submit files through their personal electronic storage cabinets. In the event they need to view their information, the company's customers can attain it from anywhere, anytime through a secure connection. Digital bulwarks and other protective measures were added to ensure the confidentiality of client records. 

For accountants across the nation, the option of eliminating that foot-high stack of papers is a possibility. There's no reason why bookkeepers should make themselves suffer: Crunching numbers five days a week or more is hard enough.