In today’s modern and digital age, it’s safe to say that so many businesses across various sectors and industries are now going paperless. There are just too many operational detriments of keeping a non-digitized firm, especially for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). If you’ve been in the profession for a long time and have been running your firm, indeed, you’d be aware of how taxing it is to sort through mountains of financial information to come up with financial reports. It’s time-consuming and inefficient – and this is why you need to digitize your CPA firm.
After having gone through all these paper documents, you may be considering making the transfer from a paper-based company to a digital one. New paperless technologies make this option even more appealing.
However, appealing as the idea may appear, making the switch is not simple. To fully digitize your CPA firm, you must equip it with everything it requires. There will be numerous uncertainties and problems that you must address, like how to do an SEO content audit, how to compress files, and even how to determine which files to maintain and which to convert to digital formats.
How can your CPA company go paperless or automated by digitizing it? This article offers suggestions.
Find a Strategy that Works For Your Firm
No two CPA firms are alike. The difference boils down to years in the profession, number of staff, client size, and even your specific area of accounting specialization. Only you can determine which paperless strategy is suitable for you.
Here are some ideas to help you out.
Consult with everyone in your accounting firm regarding the strategy to digitize your CPA firm. Hold meetings initially to discuss this significant shift. That way, you can inform them about impending changes that are going to happen in your company. Furthermore, you must discuss every important aspect of becoming paperless, not overlooking any department’s needs or possible issues.
After you’ve met with your internal team, you may start meeting with external providers, such as the best IT support services Cincinnati. This will be the beginning of evaluating and comparing which providers are perfect for bringing digitization to your company.
Scan Only What You Need
Before successfully implementing new accounting software, you’ll have to convert your physical files to digital copies. This entails a lot of scanning.
Once you’ve decided to go paperless, start scanning as soon as possible. However, it would be best if you didn’t scan everything. Take this opportunity to check over all of your files. You can then determine which files you should keep and which you can discard. Scanning only what you need is like giving your CPA company a fresh start with a more manageable volume of documents.
Apply OCR and Redaction
When scanning your documents, double-check that you’ve applied optical character recognition (OCR) and redaction to each one. These can improve the searchability, editability, and security of your data.
When you use OCR, handwritten and typed text is turned into a machine-encoded document. After OCR has been applied, you can use redaction technologies to conceal and digitally black out any sensitive information. These two concepts are imperative to digitize your CPA firm.
Make A Plan For Document Disposal
Since you won’t be scanning and storing all of your physical files, you’ll probably have a lot to get rid of. However, unlike regular trash, simply throwing those documents away is a huge liability. Remember that as a CPA business, you handle your clients’ confidential and sensitive financial information, which you should never publicly disclose in any way.
Without a document disposal strategy, the digitization process can never be accomplished. There are numerous good options available, including this simple tips to consider when trying to digitize your CPA firm.
Mark each document after scanning. Then, sort the scanned papers into the categories that you’ve chosen most appropriate for your company (e.g., alphabetically or by year).
Keep all scanned documents in offsite storage for at least a few months after they’ve been converted to digital files. While your CPA firm switches to a new digital system, this functions as a backup system. You don’t risk losing any important files if any system glitch occurs during this transition process.
Destroy and Dispose
After the lapse of the holding period, all those files which have been copied, along with those which you didn’t convert into digital files, have to be shredded. Then, in your location, dispose of each pile of shredded paper in the most secure manner possible. This is a very important part of your document retnetion process that will be needed in order to fully digitize your CPA firm.
What You Need to Know to Digitize Your CPA Firm – Summary
If you’ve been thinking about transitioning to a paperless accounting firm, the above ideas are worth exploring. They’re not easy changes to employ, but they’re worth doing for higher efficiency and better operations. Whatever your motive and inspiration is for going paperless, the ideas above will have you covered. Also, it would be best to seek advice from professionals to guide you through. By doing so, you’re certain that your move to digitization will be smooth and won’t be laden with too many bumps along the way.