An Accountant’s Guide to Document Scanning & Going Paperless
The truth is, as an accountant, you’ll probably never be able to eliminate every piece of paper from your office, and that’s okay. Instead, you can reduce the amount of paper your firm uses, and ultimately save time, money and your sanity during tax season.
Right now, there’s a chance that up to 25% of your office space is currently being used for document storage. Going paperless can offer a multitude of benefits, including freeing up some of that office space currently being overrun with file cabinets. After all, accounting is a naturally paper-intensive industry. The amount of tax records, invoices, statements, etc…that accountants manage for their clients annually can feel overwhelming at times. By implementing a predominantly paperless system for managing tax records, accountants can enjoy more organization and efficiency, while reducing overhead expenses.
Whether you’re an independent accountant with a small office space, or you work for a firm, going paperless should be a consideration no matter the size of your organization. Here’s how to get started:
- Indentify a Record Retention Plan
Start by developing a record retention plan for your business records and client files. Set up a document shredding schedule – especially during the height of tax season – so you can securely destroy accounting records and save office space. By identifying which records can be destroyed and which ones need to be kept, you can take the first steps to eliminate clutter in the office and reduce the risk of a data security breach. For records that require long-term storage, but are no longer active, consider an offsite document storage provider to help reduce the office clutter.
- Scan Hard Copy Accounting Records and Store them Electronically
A major benefit for accountants who scan their accounting records is the ability to OCR important content. OCR stands for optical character recognition. A document scanning service can OCR handwritten or typed text during the scanning process. This allows you to search text within a document once it’s been converted to an electronic format. Accountants often deal with client tax records that may have handwritten information on them. With OCR, you can enjoy digital versions that are easily searchable.
- Implement an Electronic Document Management Software
How can CPAs streamline and manage business documents and client records after they have digitally converted them? An electronic document management software allows accountant top simplify back office procedures so you can quickly locate specific information, route documents quickly, track signatures and contracts, and maintain an audit trail of all activity. With an electronic document management software, you can create specific folders for each client and set up workflows so you know exactly which tasks still need to be completed. Files are securely stored in a cloud-based system where they can be easily accessed from anywhere 24/7..
Overall, making a commitment to promote a paperless environment at your firm is a good investment. Not only are more clients requesting to send tax record electronically, but an accounting document management software can eliminate errors, strengthen security, and make tax season more efficient.
Are you in need of document scanning services in Charlotte or an electronic document management software for your accounting firm? Request a Quote.