Enhance your document management

Next Level Document Management - IChannel
By Jamie Dougherty | 03/07/2023 | 3 min read

Documents are the lifeblood of the accounting industry and manual processes are no longer sufficient. Whether you are working towards digitization, managing digital documentation, or trying to get a handle on the mountain of paperwork near your filing cabinets, client documents can go missing more often than we think. In the accounting industry, 83% of employees admit to recreating firm documents that went missing. But in today’s day and age, accounting firms must have a secure and efficient system to store and quickly locate clients’ sensitive documents.   

Efficiency is always the key to a firm’s success, but given the pandemic and proliferation of remote work, many firms recognized achieving success relies on a flexible and adaptable system that can respond to any situation. This includes digital document management. As the industry enters busy season, firms must evaluate their document management to drive productivity and accuracy. 

Identify document management issues 

The best way to begin strategizing a more accurate document management system is to clearly identify what works well and what needs improvement. 

Start with your employees. Do they spend significant time managing crucial documents? Reuploading files (vs. real-time file editing) and sorting processes can take excessive amounts of time to deliver value to clients.  

Secondly, analyze how often files go missing and if this could be a security issue. Missing files can cause compliance issues and become a potential security breach. Well-maintained document systems help firms remain compliant with regulations, avoid security risks and protect clients’ information. 

Firms rely on various providers and systems to be successful every day. As you evaluate your document management policies and needs, examine your management system to ensure it integrates seamlessly with other applications. 

Once you have identified your firm’s challenges and needs, you must choose a document management vendor that can provide solutions which adapt to your organization’s ongoing priorities. It’s also important to ensure the vendor can support your firm’s growing and evolving accounting practice. 

Cloud vs on-premise 

Disruptions to “business as usual” over the past three years have highlighted a need for agile systems that can flex and adapt to any situation. Cloud-based systems are increasingly popular and allow much-needed flexibility for staff to work remotely while maintaining business continuity. Cloud–based systems also eliminate the need for complex on-site servers and offer better integration with existing systems. 

However, for firms that are not ready to fully adopt the cloud, on-premise systems may present a better option. Firms that prefer on-premise in the interim should consider a provider which also offers cloud services. Needs and challenges can change, and the best provider is one who enables choice in deployment options, ensuring a smooth and seamless move to the cloud at the firm’s pace. 

Streamline & secure  

Firms’ ultimate goal should be to develop a document management process that reduces the time and money spent on manual processes and increases efficiency while ensuring sensitive information remains secure. Document management systems should be continuously evaluated, including all aspects from internal processes to external providers, and providers who understand and tailor solutions for their specific needs should be chosen.  

IRIS offers document management solutions for CPA firms of all sizes that can meet them where they are today and scale to meet the firm’s future needs with the utmost security. Contact us to learn more about how IRIS can take the pain out of document management for your firm.