22 Nov Document Management Overview
Document Management Overview
In this ever expanding industry of document management companies, it is often time consuming and confusing to determine the best way to provide everyone access (both in-house and remotely) to the information in an easy to use, cost effective manner. We have spent the last several months investigating several QuickBooks-related alternatives and we are anxious to share our findings with you.
QuickBooks integration, and more specifically the ability to retrieve documents right from the record in QuickBooks is one of the most efficient ways to implement document management procedures.
The biggest issue we found was not with the software alternatives, but with our own internal procedures and mindset. We usually embrace new technology and enjoy being one of the first to test it out so we can talk from experience to help Accountants and their clients. This shift (I guess it is the comfort of paper for accountants) has been a little more challenging. Intellectually we know all the reasons it is a good decision, but on a day to day basis, we still seem to have the paper. Changing the habits of how we manage projects (for example, how many accountants have piles of work papers on the shelf and/or floor as the work flow management) and how we share and process information. Are the administrative tasks that need to be completed in a pile on your desk or maybe in an inbox on someone else’s? Are the telephone messages in your hand? Moving to a paperless way of life is less about the software and more about the work flow. Taking the time to re-think this process is more challenging that buying a piece of software. But it is also much more critical to the success of the project. As we move forward through the implementation process it is becoming easier and we are seeing the benefits which helps push us forward through our comfort zone.
The second issue to consider is the long term goal of the project. Are you looking for a way to go paperless in the accounting department, or is your vision that the entire operations of the business move towards a paperless environment.
And third, are there any issues that need to be addressed with no longer having hard copies of documents within your industry. For example, a professional liability insurance company was supportive of all accounting and work paper documents being available in an electronic format, but for CPAs the recommendation regarding engagement letters was to retain the hard copy.