ARE YOU TWEAKING YOUR PAPERLESS PROCESS?
Is your firm paperless? Or, should I ask... is your firm in a "less paper" environment?
Whether this is your first season to seriously try it or you have been paperless for several years, it is important to continually refine, tweak, and improve the process. It really is a living thing that should continually grow and evolve
If you are not doing upfront scanning, try it this year. It will be a way of getting your reviewers and preparers more into the paperless process. It is amazing how comfortable people get at reviewing on screen once they do it often enough. A large percentage of firms are now using three screens to make it easier for preparers and reviewers and to enhance efficiency.
Scan in the source documents as they arrive in the office. Then put the paper copies in an envelope and file it in a drawer or bin just for holding until it is returned to the client. This way, the preparer does all the work on screen and so does the reviewer and the client gets a digital copy of the return plus the source documents in digital format along with the paper ones. Many clients are now providing their original source documents to their CPA in the form of digital media.
Are you now using a professional document management system? It also facilitates less paper. For years, firms have routed a control sheet through the office with the source documents. Document management software enables you to route the return in a digital format and it also tracks it. A win-win.
Keep pushing ahead. Young team members and prospective new hires love the digital world - you need to keep pushing the "seasoned" partners and managers along the digital highway.
“Efficiency tends to deal with Things. Effectiveness tends to deal with People. We manage things, we lead people”
Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She is a former shareholder and administrative partner in a successful, regional CPA firm and has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations. She works with firms across the country focusing on people, partners and internal management issues.