Our electronic document management system was recently highlighted in Accounting Today for the Web CPA as part of an article that featured case studies of five firms sharing their journey toward less paper. Below you will find the case study featuring eFileCabinet.

Firm: Kerkering Barberio & Co. / Sarasota, Fla.

Size: 100 people

Product: Fujitsu ScanSnap510 / eFileCabinet

Amount spent: Just under $300 per scanner; $10,000 for eFileCabinet. Annual renewal—$3,300 for 110 users.

Commencement date: Mid-2008

On record: Chief operating officer John Nicholas

Challenge/objective: The firm needed a “reasonably inexpensive” way to reduce paper and the time tax pros took having to scan documents from one central scanner in the office. The decision was made that they needed a document management system and more scanners for everyone to use.

Process: The firm has various committees ranging from tax to technology. Everyone met at once and made the decision to adopt a good document management system, which ultimately necessitated the use of cost-effective scanners. “We had not been using document management software before, so we had to do some research and found these to be the best, most simple and cost-effective solutions for us,” said Nicholas. “This approach necessitated use of multiple scanners. Initially we didn’t order 100, but once we saw how easy eFileCabinet was [to use] and ScanSnap to facilitate it, it didn’t take long to push out.”

Results: In terms of cost versus earnings, Nicholas said that if one $300 machine helps a partner bill at $100-plus an hour and saves them three hours over the tax season, it’s paid for. There is currently a ScanSnap scanner on every desk. All tax pros in the office can now take client documents and push them through the ScanSnaps. The firm is at a point where the scanners and eFileCabinet are an integral part of the tax preparation process.

Nicholas also noted that the firm has modified its processes, in that for larger tax documents they use a central processing department to do the scanning. Until two years ago, the firm was still processing tax returns decentrally, in which each executive assistant who works for a tax team was responsible for processing in their area. In addition, the office space used to be 30,000 square feet filled with built-in filing cabinets in the hallways. This year, due to its reduction in paper, the firm was able to remodel and took out 100 feet of file cabinets from the hallways.

Next steps: The firm still has offsite storage, but said that it has been dramatically reduced, and that it would eventually like to do away with it. In addition, the firm is looking to increase its use of its central document processing and is currently pushing financial statements and payroll documents through. Finally, the firm would like to see all of its tax professionals focus more on reviewing returns, rather than data entry.

Read the full article here.