You have certainly heard buzz about the PaperLess office and hassle free document management process. In fact, you might be hard pressed to find an industry journal that hasn’t featured an article on the subject. If you are ready to make the move toward less paper, be sure to consider and avoid the top 5 common mistakes some accountant fellows tend to make:
1. Go completely PaperLess is more Dangerous than Michael Jackson’s song
We do not recommend jumping into a completely paperless office right off the bat. Going PaperLess is a journey not an ultimatum. Too many firms try to transition to a PaperLess office too quickly, and soon find out they are in a worse nightmare than a pre-PaperLess era. Start off at a pace that is right for you and then progressively move into a paper free environment. For example, you could simply start by converting this year’s tax returns from paper to digital. From there, work up to financial statements, and so on. Sounds good?
2. Dismiss the importance of backing up data is like giving up your gold to the bank
Part of the PaperLess process involves consistent data backup. Your data is gold and irreplaceable, so be sure that data backups are a part of your overall plan. Make sure you back up your data on a regular schedule. We recommend you store your data in multiple locations to ensure complete security.
3. Lack of investment in training will not only cost you dearly but miserably in the future
Always remember, training up front will save time and money later! For successful implementation, an investment in training can make all the difference. When you train employees on the software tools as well as the processes you put in place for document management, you can save endless hours of frustration later. Even just having a few selected employees with in-depth knowledge of the software will help foster an understanding throughout your office. You will find that your investment in training will be returned many times over in the foreseeable future.
4. Neglect documentation process. So you think you know everything?
Proper documentation will facilitate a smooth process. To keep your new process at the forefront of all your colleagues’ minds and to ensure consistency in practice, it is extremely helpful to develop and document your firm’s processes for creating, managing, and approving electronic documents. Having documented policies and manuals that are consistent and readily available improves efficiency.
5. Black spot on scanner equipment
Here is the last one we think you deserve a kind reminder. It is important to include details on the scanners required to support your move to PaperLess in your overall process. Going PaperLess requires a certain grade of scanners and accessibility to these systems. High-speed feed scanners can handle large volumes of paper documents. TIF 300 dpi, black & white, and Group 4 (CCITT) compression can optimise the OCR engine when it comes to automatic invoice recognition. Overall, having the right equipment will help the PaperLess process run smoothly.
With a solid understanding of the process itself, you will soon see that starting down the path to PaperLess is not as overwhelming as you might have thought. Actually it can be a smooth and easy transition that will eventually translate into dramatic time and money savings.
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