In 2015 business networking giant LinkedIn released survey results detailing the biggest challenges facing accountants today. Participants were asked about a wide range of concerns and issues and were asked to rate how addressing those challenges fit in with their priorities. There were some surprising results and perhaps some that were less surprising, but in any case the survey revealed a great deal about how accountants perceive opportunities for their firms to grow and expand while consistently impressing their clients.
When asked what was the greatest challenge facing their business, answers ranged from offering new services to improving marketing efforts and client acquisition. However, the two most commonly voiced answers were “Standing out in a crowded market”, which was listed as the single greatest challenge, and “Using technology to reduce manual processes.” Let’s take a look at what each of these significant challenges entails and how accountancy firms can potentially address them both effectively with a single, powerful solution.
Standing Out in a Crowded Market
Anyone in the accounting industry knows that the business is bursting with companies trying desperately to win clients, retain their current business, and expand their reach into ever growing markets. With powerhouse firms gobbling up clients and scrappy upstarts fighting to muscle there way into the fray, the fight to stay relevant in an overcrowded market can be exhausting and overwhelming.
So how can firms stand out and earn business when highlighting their expertise and qualifications isn’t quite enough? One way is by employing modern technologies that increase efficiency, support transparency and ensure security for clients in a way that’s visible and quantifiable.
Clients expect the firms with whom they do business to be current on the most advanced and effective methods of accounting, and will reward those who embrace those opportunities with continued loyalty. One way to impress potential clients while simultaneously improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your firm is by implementing an advanced document management system. Modern DMS software includes a wide range of powerful and impressive features, including multi-level encryptions for secure storage and sharing, mobile applications for on-the-go document sharing, and cutting-edge organizational tools like text-recognition which makes any scanned document completely searchable in a digital database.
By utilizing a respect document management system, you can stand heads and shoulders above the competition and show your clients that you recognize the value of going above and beyond the basic requirements of an accountant to truly serve their needs.
Using Technology to Reduce Manual Processes
In accounting, there is no more sought-after and coveted virtue than efficiency. Firms conduct high-level content analysis and other careful examinations on a constant basis to find ways to cut down on the plague of unnecessary man-hours being spent on unnecessary or obsolete tasks. It makes sense then that cutting down on manual processes is one of the top concerns of accountants everywhere who struggle to maintain a normal working schedule and justify billable hours while they race around rifling through filing cabinets, attempting to organize stacks of physical documents and sending constant faxes and mailed letters.
Fortunately, there is a solution— and it’s the same solution that we’ve already discussed above. An advanced document management system can dramatically reduce manual processes like searching filing cabinets and organizing documents, because all of those tasks take place instantaneously in the online sphere. Files can be searched and called up with a few keystrokes in a matter of seconds, and documents can be automatically tagged and digitally filed based on content and use, so no time is ever spent wasting away in lost-paper hell.
Additional Benefits of Document Management Systems
Now that two of the most troubling concerns in the accounting world have been addressed, let’s look at some of the other ways that implementing a DMS can transform your accounting firm.
Eliminate Storage Space and Costs
Goodbye, overflowing filing cabinets and expensive storage spaces. And goodbye to the monthly rental and maintenance fees that go along with those archaic physical storage implements. With DMS, you can be granted unlimited virtual storage that’s flawlessly organized and always available.
With an effective DMS, “forgetting something at the office” is a thing of the past. Many document management systems offer mobile applications so that you can access your database from anywhere.
An effective DMS will be designed with built-in high level security features and advanced encryptions to protect you and your clients from cyber attacks, data breaches or other disasters. That’s not only better business, but is also a marketable commodity that you can bring to your clients.
To find out more about document management and how it can address many of the most pressing concerns that your accounting firm faces on a daily basis, fill out the form on this page to receive a free 15-minute demo of eFileCabinet.