So, your firm’s tax workflow is paperless from beginning to end… Congratulations! But your work is not done. You may want to do a little spring cleaning, and find other areas of your firm that might benefit from being a little more paperless. Here are a few ideas to help you become a truly paperless firm.
Many times, a firm’s audit and assurance practice is completely separate from its tax practice. Sure, the work is different, and many of the tools are different, but the challenges are similar. If your paperless firm uses audit engagement software, you may not think your audit team needs a document management system. However, these two types of tools can complement each other. First, using a document management system with your audit engagement system gives you an easier way to access final, prior-year audits. You can also collect source documents prior to rolling over an engagement binder for the next year. And you can capture client documents that aren’t specific to the engagement, especially documents you need to share with the tax team.
Client-related documents aren’t the only sensitive files that a paperless firm needs to manage. Your document management system can be a great tool for managing human resources documents, like employee applications, resumes, new hire paperwork and reviews. These types of files are often the last things to be digitized in a paperless firm. However, the sensitive nature of HR documentation makes them a prime candidate for your spring cleaning efforts. With appropriate permissions set up, the security features of a document management system will prevent unauthorized access.
Other Firm Documents
Process and procedure documents need to be accessible to everyone who needs them. A DMS’s robust search capabilities can make it easier for staff to find the information they need. On the other hand, firms need to securely protect and back-up their highly confidential files like merger and acquisition documents. Your document management system should be flexible enough to store and manage almost any kind of file, whether it’s publicly accessible to all employees or limited to just a few.
To learn more about becoming a paperless firm, download our whitepaper, Document Management: A Tax Season Planning Guide.