Small firms to multi-office partnerships are likely to be based on electronic documents (probably on a network drive or scattered across laptops) with many other documents still ending up in conventional filing cabinets. Discovering information or content may be a problem, or could be a lot more efficient. Compounding the administrative burden is the importance of this information, reinforced by heavy regulatory obligations and scrutiny.
A document management system (DMS) centrally stores and secures all documents. Sharing confidential documents securely gives you and your clients peace of mind. A complete view of client affairs from documents, emails and forms means information can be found at rapid speed no matter how deeply it's buried in a file. Documents are indexed on a key word basis, either automatically or manually. Once stored, searches are based on key word attributes or on any text in the document; the speed and accuracy of searching is key to achieving productivity gains.
Scanning Incoming Post
Scanning and distributing all incoming post via email into a DMS, ensures the right people action information without delay. Users can scan directly from multi-functional peripherals (MFP's) to each other's in-trays or directly to back-end systems. The integration of a DMS with Practice Management Software enables access to all client related documents. Remote working can be facilitated ensuring that customer service remains a key priority. In addition to productivity gains, a significant reduction in storage costs can be achieved.
Quality of Service & Client Retention
Slow information retrieval delays service and stealthily increases client bills. Information is often hidden in locally stored emails and documents, in misfiled hardcopy format, on a memory stick or laptop. Having a central document repository enables content and transactional documents to be shared, improving communication and efficiency. Full client history and an audit trail of past communications and transactions give a holistic view so queries can be answered on the spot
Faster Decisions, Recovery Of Chargeable Time
In a YouGov survey, a cross section of businesses estimated how much of the information they deal with is paper-based.
By electronically routing a document as part of a process you retain integrity and maintain control.
Conventional filing is expensive; Gartner calculates the cost of the average filing cabinet at an average £500 a year in floor space rental costs alone. Many practices also archive documents off-site, although a long term back-scanning project could eliminate these costs.
Case files are very difficult to share. A centralised, version controlled DMS enables access to multiple case workers, particularly beneficial to clients when employees work remotely.
All elements of tax, accounts, VAT and Companies House submissions can be backed up with documentary evidence. Versioning ensures that documents are up to date with no risk of error or confusion. A full audit trail ensures that the final document stored is accurate with all amendments recorded, including the author and date.