CPA Firm Finds Savings With eFileCabinet
Jarrard, Nowell, & Russell, LLC, is a small CPA firm located in Charleston, South Carolina. They are a full-service firm that looks beyond traditional accounting roles to work in close partnership with its clients, providing them with strategic and comprehensive financial and business planning. Because of their downtown Charleston location a few hundred yards from the harbor, business continuity planning and disaster mitigation has been key to their success.
“We consider ourselves early adopters of the off-site storage idea. A few years ago we were needing to purchase a new server. Our location, combined with the price of a new server, prompted us to look around for options that were available offsite.”
Jarrard, Nowell, & Russell, LLC decided to house data 15 miles inland at a secure ‘hot site,’ a disaster recovery service with all equipment necessary to continue operating if their own office shuts down for any reason. With this new set-up, they began looking for a document management software (DMS) that could be installed on the server as an onsite installation, instead of an online or web-based system.
“We chose eFileCabinet primarily due to security, disaster mitigation, and long-term cost savings,” says Apple. “We found a few other options, but there really was no comparison. eFileCabinet’s flexibility enabled us to choose the desktop implementation for use in our specific server environment. With this in place, we feel we have remote, secure access to our client data without sacrificing control of confidential information.”
Has eFileCabinet helped them to avoid any disasters or interruptions to business as usual? “There haven’t been any hurricanes as late, thankfully, but we’ve had ice storms,” says Apple. “We had two instances last year, and since we’re on a peninsula, the only way to get here from most areas is over bridges, which aren’t designed to handle ice. They were all shut down for a few days. The folks who stayed home were able to remote in to the server, and everything was there. It was during tax season, so it was important.”
“Clearly, eFileCabinet is committed to continually developing the software. Our old DMS was discontinued, so having a company that is going to be around and support the products is a big deal.”
Implementation Was Easy
Because they were moving from old DMS software, the firm had a large amount of data to convert. “It was fast,” says Apple. “We were up and running that very day.” A company-wide training was held a couple of weeks later, but the software was so easy to use there weren’t many questions. “The software is really intuitive,” says Apple. “That’s one of the reasons we chose it in the first place. There was almost no learning curve whatsoever. It was an easy fit.”
Jarrard, Nowell, & Russell use eFileCabinet to store all source documents as well as copies of all tax returns. They also easily store all client communications and relevant emails for each client. When someone requests an additional copy of their tax return, or if a client needs to send confidential files in, they can use SecureDrawer, eFileCabinet’s web portal, with a few simple mouse clicks.
As Audit Manager, Apple is happy to report that storing finalized audit engagements is a breeze with eFileCabinet’s audit tracking, auto-dating, and strict data access controls. “Short of burning something to a CD, it’s always a struggle to lock down your files after an audit is wrapped up. eFileCabinet has saved us from having to buy engagement software that specifically does that.”
“As a small CPA firm who has made the switch to paperless, using eFileCabinet has yielded unexpected benefits.”
Here’s a quick list of other benefits that Derrick Apple says Jarrard, Nowell, & Russell has experienced by using eFileCabinet:
Stability. “We’ve had no issues with the software. It’s extremely stable. We’re not wasting time waiting for files to be pulled up, you just navigate to what you want. There’s no delays, it’s immediate. We’ve never had any bugs. There’s a real time savings there—having something that works and is available all the time is huge.”
Great Support. “We once had a question when installing an update. It was resolved in about 10 minutes. That’s the only time we’ve had to use technical support besides implementation, when a tech remoted in and walked me through the whole thing. It was a very positive experience.”
Company Commitment. “Clearly, eFileCabinet is committed to continually developing the software. They release new versions each year, and we know they’re going to stick with it. Our old DMS was discontinued, so having a company that is going to be around and support the products is a big deal.”
Integrates Well. “eFileCabinet’s PDF viewer is much easier to use and you can view a PDF better than you can with Adobe. The Microsoft plug-ins work well, integrating it further into the workflow. Transferring documents into the program and having numerous options for labeling files saves time when searching and reviewing documents.”
In addition to being completely secure with their disaster mitigation plan, Apple concludes, “As a small CPA firm who has made the switch to paperless, using eFileCabinet has yielded unexpected benefits.”