Things I Learned by Going Paperless in My Accounting Firm

5 Things I Learned by Going Paperless in My Accounting Firm

Every experience in life—good or bad—has lessons to teach us. Switching an accounting firm to a paperless office is no exception. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but it always pays off in the end, and it will teach you some important lessons along the way. Here are 5 things that one of our accounting clients learned from making the switch to a paperless office.

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I would find myself sitting at my desk, abruptly realizing that I’d finished all of the work I needed to do, and it wasn’t even 5:00 yet! Going paperless showed me what a time waster paper really was, and it added more hours to my day. So not only could I take on more clients and increase my revenue, but I was able to spend more time with my family as well.

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I also traveled a lot for clients in different states. Checking multiple bags for all of their paperwork was exhausting and expensive. Paperless systems helped me to lose that ball and chain, because I carried my entire office right on my laptop.

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Now, with my paperless system, I can instantly find the paperwork the client is calling about and give him the answers he needs while I still have him on the phone. My clients have been a lot happier with this method, and many of them have told me, “I just don’t know how you do it so quickly!”

I’m also a lot faster with sharing documents with my clients now. I don’t have to send things via FedEx or wait until our next appointment to get the necessary documents and signatures. My paperless document management system includes a client portal, so I can safely, securely, and instantaneously send every client I have every document they need. Then they can sign it and send it back in a matter of minutes. This has made the difference between a return getting filed on time and a client having to file for an extension, which can really make a big difference in my clients’ level of satisfaction. Being able to do my job quickly has made all the difference in the world.

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Before, anyone with keys could access any paperwork from any client, whether it was needed for their job or not. But with my document management system, I can set user permissions that restrict who has access to what without sacrificing on efficiency. That means I can view everything my clients send me, while my secretary can access the contact information she needs to do her job correctly.

There are a lot of other security measures in place that I could spend hours talking about, but suffice it to say that implementing this system has shown me just how vulnerable my business and my clients were before. Now, I can rest easy knowing that all of the data is encrypted and securely stored. Plus, I never have to stress over a compliance audit again, because I have no doubts that everything is as it should be.

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Of course, I know now that there are better ways to do things. I don’t have to let paperwork control me; I control the paperwork now. I have it whenever I need it, wherever I need it, and I waste none of my precious time shuffling through files. And as any accountant knows, a little bit of freedom goes a very long way during tax season.

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