Accounting firms that find themselves profitable, but seemingly find themselves unable to grow at the rate they need, should take an inventory into why they hit these plateaus. Bloating overhead is a common cause of slow growth, and the use of manual processes could be what’s dragging down your profitability. 

Overhead is part of running a business, however, it can quickly get out of control and become more and more a primary expense to the company. Manual processes contribute to the growth of overhead, especially as the company grows.

Unlike operating expenses, a business can’t easily adjust overhead expenses in accordance with their revenue. Overhead is primarily static and it has to be paid regardless if the business is making money or not. 

Overhead on the administrative side may seem cut-and-dried, but business owners need to consider what expenses are actively contributing to the growth of the company and which ones are more of an obligation.  Even if revenue is growing, overhead unavoidably balloons with it. More clients mean more accounting work. More employees mean more payroll and HR work. As these areas grow, powered only by manual processes, it means more paper, more printers, more filing cabinets, more salaried positions to take on the processes, and more IT support.

Manual processes just take up more and more resources, but there are two important factors for dealing with these.

Digital Documents

A big step that businesses need to consider is taking a leap into going paperless. A common myth about paperless offices is that it means a complete ban on paper. Rather, it’s an acceptance that physical documents are not the only legit means of doing business and that digital documents have scores of benefits.

With digital documents, certain processes can be done instantly and automatically. Simple tasks such as filing away a document into the filing cabinet and then retrieving it at a later date are rendered near-instantaneous thanks to digital filing systems. Clients who call to ask for documents no longer have to wait. Rather than several minutes to find a specific form, it can just take a few seconds. 

Document management systems, powered with technology like optical character recognition (OCR) make the tasks of filing and retrieving documents even more simplified. 

Accounting firms that dedicate themselves to a paperless environment are inevitably able to phase out expenses such as paper, filing cabinets, storage costs, and the labor hours that go into filing. However, digital documents have an even greater value.


With your documents in a digital space, automation can take hold and streamline even more tasks. Certain paperwork processes that require review and approval from multiple individuals are now subject to automated processes that require a minimal amount of user input so jobs get done faster. Intelligent systems can perform menial, and even complex tasks. 

Document management automation tools have become so impressive, that all it takes is simply scanning in a physical document, and the system will have everything it needs to make sure it goes to the right people for approval, to the appropriate folder in the system, and marked with compliant permission and retention settings. This cuts out the time-consuming tasks of categorizing a file, manual data entry, reviewing for human error, determining what approvals it needs, finding where to archive it, and consistently assuring compliance throughout the document’s lifetime. 

This is vital for businesses looking to cut overhead because it eliminates the need for redundant, manual processes that take up so many labor hours. Not only are CPAs now able to clear more time to directly work on their clients’ needs, but everyone else in the office can also get back to doing more meaningful work that contributes to growth, and not overhead. 

Rubex by eFileCabinet is a document management system that can help your accounting firm cut down on overhead and resume positive growth. To see Rubex in action, doing the things described above, click here to schedule a free, live demo.