In the accounting industry, ‘time is money’ has always been a well-known mantra, but the pay-per-inch/hour model is becoming less and less attractive to clients. Nowadays, clients want more transparency over price and as a result, the market is becoming increasingly competitive.
Accounting firms need to find ways of streamlining their processes in order to increase efficiency and productivity. This will support far more competitive pricing, as well as making the lives of staff much easier and ensuring the firm is more attractive to new recruits.
A paperless system enables remote access to client files, so staff can review, approve, send and receive documents on the go. Digital document management enables all authorised users to view the same document so that regardless of where colleagues are located, entire teams can still work together with real-time visibility of clients’ accounts. In a time where flexible and remote working are priorities for many people, it’s important that your firm is able to offer this to staff.
The indexed search tools built into paperless accounting systems, mean staff no longer have to waste time delving through filing cabinets to retrieve documents. Not only does this improve efficiencies within the office but it’s also a direct benefit to clients, as staff are able to respond to queries quickly without having to physically search for the necessary information.
Further supporting the ability to send and receive documents remotely is the ability to provide approval and sign electronically. This again saves staff from spending time on printing, scanning and posting documents, speeding up the overall approval process.
Tying in closely with the ability to share files remotely is the fact that documents can be sent and received securely in seconds. This boosts staff productivity, eliminating unnecessary work including preparing and then manually delivering papers. Furthermore, acces to files and documents can be password protected to safeguard sensitive information for staff and clients, eliminating the possibility of documents falling into the wrong hands.
Automation of systems can save workers valuable time, as intelligence systems can process check lists and use data to drive workflows. Manually creating the same workflows would require staff to invest significant amounts time. This ultimately leaves staff free to focus on building relationships with clients and supporting them on a day to day basis.
Staff can prepare and review documents on screen and then email a digital copy of these documents securely to the client, allowing the entire process to be completed without the need for printing or scanning. This ultimately saves time, again enabling client tasks to be completed quickly, thereby improving the experience your staff are able to provide their clients.
Paperless systems can integrate with each other to enable better productivity. For example, if you are using an electronic system to store your receipts and invoices, this can be integrated with your accounting solution. This reduces the scope for error, as staff can input data automatically across multiple systems. Similarly, your accounting solution can feed into your financial reporting and audit systems, creating a synchronised ecosystem that gives you a holistic view of your data in real-time.
Overall, paperless accounting systems can simplify a number of business processes, allowing staff to action or authorise tasks and transfer data with the touch of a button. This in turn improves the service firms are able to provide to their clients, as well as making them an attractive option to potential new recruits.
For more information on going paperless, download our free ebook: The Benefits of an Accounting Software Solution.