Discussion:Question on going paperless

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> Question on going paperless


Wes (talk|edits) said:

8 May 2013
My company is planning on going paperless this year and I'd like to hear from those of you who have already gone through the process. We do our accounting primarily through QuickBooks and tax returns with ProSeries. What programs do you use and how has your workflow & review process changed? Have you noticed an improvement or any shortcomings? Any advice would be appreciated.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

8 May 2013
If you don't have dual monitors set up, you will find your staff printing things out anyhow.

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

8 May 2013
Don't do it. It's unsanitary.
"What programs do you use and how has your workflow"

Ok, you can try a bidet but you'll be looking at a higher water bill.

AgwmTax (talk|edits) said:

8 May 2013
If you are using Proseries and quickbooks make sure it works in that environment.

If you used Drake i would have suggested Gruntworks.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

8 May 2013
not trying to hijack this thread, but I have been looking for others who have used Gruntworks to tell their stories.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
I use FileCabinet which is from Thomson Reuters (they also do Creative Solutions and UltraTax). I LOVE it!! Cut my paper cost by more than half. The big savings is time. If someone calls and wants a copy, I can email it directly from FileCabinet. They get what they want virtually immediately.

Get a good scanner.

Think about how you want your system organized before you start. I made tabs under each client (drawer) for income taxes, QuickBooks, Notes and Correspondence and Payroll. I then have tabs under those for different years. I also have a Pending tab for things such as that January 2013 charity receipt that was included in 2012 tax paperwork.

You can print directly to FileCabinet so I print a copy of QuickBooks reports to FileCabinet and then have it for reference later.

I use QuickBooks and ProSeries

PollyAdler (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
If you go paperless don't also store your files in the cloud. To do this is to ask for trouble should there be an (inevitable) catastrophic disruption in web service.

AgwmTax (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
I agree. Cloud storage of your documents without any local storage is risky. In addition to web disruption what happens if the company folds all of a sudden??

Neutrino (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
I second a good scanner and a backup incase it breaks. Also should make a plan to get rid of old documents.

AgwmTax (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
Well if you must do local storage of all documents as a backup, why should you pay for cloud storage?

Why not make 2 backups locally and store it at separate sites?

Neutrino (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
Cloud allows you to access from anywhere on any device and can serve as an access portal for clients I'm not sure if local servers can do that all the time with the ease the cloud provides

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
It's very ease is it's trap young feller. That's how it lures you into it's web. Don't put your eggs in one basket especially if you don't own the basket. What if an evil doer caused a massive worldwide system failure? You'd be up the crek without a paddle.

PollyAdler (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
If the cloud goes down, thousands upon thousands of people will die in hospitals when the cloud-based dataloggers back up. Companies will lose track of trucks on the road, planes will go haywire, AND you, You Father are worried about your tax business.

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

9 May 2013
Fiddlesticks, the dead can't complain but the living can. I'm worried about my client who needs a quick mortgage and he's lost his tax return. I don't want them banging on my door. I'll keep my files locally if you don't mind. Let the dead bury their own dead.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

10 May 2013
I back up both locally (a box sitting on my desk) and in the cloud. If the building burns down, I've got the cloud; if cloud goes away, I've got box on my desk. If the big, bad hurricane is on the way, I'll get another back up and ship it to out of state relatives in a sealed container. I'm a big believer in belt and suspenders.

AgwmTax (talk|edits) said:

14 May 2013
If you already have a safe deposit box at a bank, you can keep a USB drive with your tax client return backup there. I can fit last 3 years of client data into a 8GB flash drive!

This is in addition to making backup CDs that are stored one set in my office and one set at a relative's house in town. The zip files are password protected.

Wes (talk|edits) said:

15 May 2013
FileCabinet is one of the DMS's I plan on looking into. Is anyone using Doc.it? What advantages does a DMS program bring? Is one even necessary?

Cpamomma (talk|edits) said:

25 July 2013
I posted a similar thread to this. I have read too much about this, it's making my head spin. But, if you haven't seen it yet, check out CPA Practice Advisor . com - they have reviews of DMS and DSS. It was helpful, but of course I still don't know what I want. But I am very limited by cost. I think if I wasn't limited by cost, I would choose the CS suite by Thomas Reuters - from what I have read it's very comprehensive for anything you would need. I am planning to call them to see if there is anything there I can afford. I have worked only in paperless environments (have been a CPA since 2009). I love it, but yes you and everyone will need two monitors, great scanning, and plan to make everyone have remote access. I would also get a good client portal to reduce your overall scanning.

Smokeytax (talk|edits) said:

25 July 2013
Wes - I think a DMS program is helpful if you have a staff, so that you can control the location of where documents are saved. We have only two of us, one being hubby so naturally he obeys my instructions without question, and we have simply set up our own system of where to save files.

PHIL MOODY (talk|edits) said:

25 July 2013
We use Ultra tax and File cabinet. I think I posted these before:

With mutiple staff, you must have a written system on naming files, and where to save. For example: a 2013 IRS notice concerning 06.30.12 payroll tax. Is this filed in 2013 under some name, or file in 06.30.12? Also, what about the original scan? We have another rule that says if an original dated scan is changed in any way, that scan is noted on its face to seen the subsequent correction, or IRS notce. This helps us prevent from releasing old documents, that may have been correct at one point in time, but are now incorrect, due to subsequent changes, or corrections.

One of our biggest problems that still occur is that staff do not scan in a timely manner.

It is much more time consuming to review scanned documents than paper. I am not talking about simple stuff like a 1040. Rather like a 1040, which has been amended, and all the supporting docs, or a 1040 under exam, and about 5 written docs with agent over 6 month period.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

25 July 2013
Phil hit the nail on the head. Until you get a consistent naming convention in place for all types of files, it becomes a mess. We have very specific ways in which each type of item is named. Long file names are your friend. These need to be identifiable and searchable because they will get placed in the wrong folder.

We always use the clients full name and both names if we are talking a married couple, then the identifying name and then the date/year.

Stein, Fed - Tax documentation - 2012

Or

Enron - files to be destroyed - 01-01-12 to 06-30-12

Then if I am looking for a client file I know should be in my system, I can simply search their name and all comes up.

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