Why A Switch from Lacerte to eFileCabinet is Necessary for Accounting Success in 2017 and Beyond

Jeremy Allen

“We used a document management system from Intuit, which was a very basic repository for information. We did a demo of eFileCabinet and really liked all the different integrations, the ease of use, and the ability to share information. It’s a must-have over other software providers.”

– Jeremy Allen, Tax Manager, Randy K. Jentzsch & Co CPA and Accounting Firm

 

There’s a very big difference between document storage and document management: As the former, Lacerte from Intuit and SmartVault let their users go digital. As the latter, eFileCabinet lets you go profitable.

eFileCabinet’s document management software can solve some of the accounting industry’s biggest problems, and in 2017, there’s a long list of concerns for accountants, auditors, and tax professionals to keep top of mind when searching for the right tools to manage their workload.

Choosing the most effective document management solution is imperative to overcoming these challenges. It is arguably the most crucial strategic component of maintaining relevance as an accounting professional.

eFileCabinet’s Document Management Tools Let You Outpace Self Service Technologies

People demand more from accountants than ever, and the best way to to stay ahead of the curve is to let a robust document management solution do time-consuming parts of your job for you so you can grow your skill set and client base.

This is more crucial than ever as tax automation is helping self service technologies outpace Luddites in the industry.

Ensuring human analysis trumps self-service technologies in the accounting market requires greater document management capacities than Lacerte from Intuit provides.

Lacerte ProSeries and SmartVault were great for yesterday’s accounting role, but accountants are expected to handle much more than taxes in 2017: compliance, managerial accounting, financial information systems, strategic leadership, and even human resources responsibilities are now on the accounting docket. And that’s where eFileCabinet comes in to play.

A new set of expectations demands document management with scope and application fit for these new industry standards.

Although consumers of accounting services remain uninformed about the downfalls of self-service accounting technologies when contrasted with human accounting skill, that doesn’t make accountants any less susceptible to the flawed decision-making of consumers; they still have every right to use their money unwisely, and most of them will until accountants become cozier with full document management solutions.

As consumers and business owners strive to save money and take the quickest, most convenient routes to completing tax and accounting services available, the battle for accountants to stay relevant intensifies, and even forms a broader discussion about a fear running rampant in the accounting community—the fear of becoming obsolete.

Ironically, although technology can replace some accounting services, it can also accentuate the strength of human expertise in the accounting process, provided software for document management is that accentuating technology.

Document management technologies don’t replace human expertise in the accounting profession. They simply free up the resources necessary to strengthen human expertise.

With eFileCabinet’s ShareFile integration, advanced file versioning, and delivery model options (cloud or on premises), Lacerte and SmartVault users can experience the power of management over storage in the document management equation.

Expanding Your Client Base with a Full Document Management Solution

Low hanging fruit exists for accounting firms that adopt solutions that serve purposes for all documents, not just tax documents. If you serve a client base in one industry, you can expand that reach with a solution that accounts for the variety of diverse needs across different verticals; eFileCabinet is one of these solutions as it accounts for more document processes than tax applications can.

Additionally, investors have become more meticulous about the accounting controls set in motion within an organization, and given the rapid proliferation of data, failing to rely on technologies that touch every portion of the business process will prevent accounting firms, auditors, and CPAs from leveraging all the insight and data they need to make informed decisions.

This includes the security measures that have taken center stage in an era typified by data breach. “Tax returns are the holy grail for the bad guys,” notes FBI security expert, Chris Swecker, and accountants have supreme responsibility in handling these documents with care.

The two-factor password authentication with eFileCabinet’s cloud-based solution also offers another layer of security for tomorrow’s accounting professionals.

Lacerte Helps You Go Digital. eFileCabinet Helps You Go Profitable

The operations of an accounting practice or consultancy are inseparable from revenue an accounting entity will generate, especially in consideration of all the changes the industry is facing in terms of tax laws and varying technology strategies.

Using a full document management technology to smooth these barriers to operational excellence can save time, reduces headaches, and ensure profitability.

Finding ways to keep track of information through software for document management will also safeguard against accounting errors, as it’ll help keep financial documents retrievable, further adding to the strength of double-entry accounting systems.

One of the ways eFileCabinet helps accountants keep track of files is through smart scanning (Zonal OCR). As the window to secure document automation, smart scanning automates the file routing, naming, and storage process. In confluence with templates, which let accountants re-create file structures with ease, smart scanning in the form of Zonal OCR gives accountants extraordinary time saving and organizational power.

This principal also applies to storage. Security is a huge risk factor for accountants, and forms the basis of many firm’s reputations. Storing data in the wrong way can cost a lot of dollars.

Lacerte’s most popular tax solution forces accountants to store documents on a local hard drive, which can become a major security drawback.

Additionally, the eFileCabinet SideKick (instant access icon), further expedites file routing processes and lets users handle important files quickly. What’s more, eFileCabinet’s Caselle integration streamlines and simplifies document processes for government-based accounting departments to ensure profitability.

Getting Aboard the Cloud

Although most accountants using document management have typically used on premises solutions, the cloud is becoming increasingly crucial in providing the accessibility and responsiveness that clients demand, and more accountants are gravitating toward cloud-based technology.

The cloud also provides a path for accountants to carve out a stronger foothold in the industry when competing with traditional accounting departments in organizations, as it expands flexibility and reduces the administrative costs normally associated with on premises document management technologies.

The bookkeeping process is paper-intensive without technological intervention, and paper-dependent processes bog down workflow, productivity, and effective operations management for accounting businesses.

Leveraging software for document management helps keep the balance sheets, cash flow statements, and other financial statements in good health—for both accountants and the clients they serve.

Tending to Sarbanes-Oxley with Ease

Sarbanes-Oxley emerged over 15 years ago, but it still has large implications in today’s accounting world. It produced the PCAOB, and unrolled red tape between numerous accounting firms and potential clients.

It also divided accounting services into greater niches, and demanded that accountants garner greater expertise in fewer niches of the industry—reducing the potential reach many firms had prior to the enactment of the law.

How eFileCabinet Helps

Although Sarbanes-Oxley poses some significant challenges for accounting and tax professionals, it also presented an opportunity for those willing to roll up their sleeves and learn new accounting technologies.

The law has imposed safeguards for whistle-blowing in the accounting industry, but also provides stricter penalties than ever for failing to report incidents of fraud to the authorities.

Keeping all accounting records and tax documents stored safely and securely within the system, and ensuring they’re easily retrieved, can make it easier to abide by the demands imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. eFileCabinet beats Lacerte in this aspect because it handles all business documents.

Marketing Challenges

Most accountants, by nature, do not enjoy marketing. Using the right document management solution can handle marketing challenges for you.

That, and marketers or accountants striving to be marketers for their accounting firms, face a unique set of differentiation challenges in light of industry trends and increased competition. However, highlighting the security of an accounting firm’s specialties is a good place to begin, and eFileCabinet’s software for document management makes this easier.

How eFileCabinet Helps

The web portal function outlined above makes driving traffic to a firm’s website easier. In fact, relying on a web portal will drive a commensurate increase in traffic to an accounting practice’s website, as users of the portal will increase traffic to the accounting website’s domain name, therein raising visibility in the search engines and increasing security for clients.

In fact, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as they are administered by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), may begin to weave document management technology into its strictures when addressing and setting standards for those in the accounting profession.

eFileCabinet’s web portal also provides the customization accountants need to differentiate themselves from other firms’ security methods.

Additionally, the inline annotations and markup on specific documents within eFileCabinet’s DMS enable document assurance for client-facing contexts. The more information you can provide about a document, the better you will be able to serve your clients.

Finally, from a marketing standpoint, accountants can expedite document turnaround and speed up file routing in the document life cycle with digital signature integration.