CPA Firm going paperless - looking for advice.

Hello. My CPA firm is wanting to go paperless or at least use and store less paper. We are currently looking at two software packages for scanning and
managing digitized documents. One is ProSystem fx Scan (CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business) and File Cabinet CS (Creative Solutions). Both have their pros and cons. We are also looking at strategies for getting rid of our enormous backlog of paper in storage. I would very much like to hear from other CPA firms that have recently made this transition and hearing their stories, suggestions and recommendations. Thanks in advance. Terry
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news:Fednews.pas.earthlink.net...

less
A flatbed scanner with the HP software meets my limited needs (you can easily store pdf and jpg output in albums/directories indexed to customers) You could ask in the yahoo groups "Tax professionals" and "TaxProExchange". I know they have had discussions on paperless offices which are tax oriented but could also apply to accounting practices.
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After it gets scanned consider a commercial shredding service like Shred-X.
That, or I hear some ex-Enron employees still need a job......
--
Paul Thomas, CPA
snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net
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Terry wrote:

Paperless is a good idea, our environment will benefit from it. The two software packages is wonderful, but we think there might be some alternatives. If the cost is lower and the performance of the software is high, someone may adopt the other full solution. For instance, the digitized documents can be stored in EMail boxes. As we know, so many free EMail boxes on Internet, and USB storages are going to be cheaper. The issues are security, privacy, convenience, and so on. Go ahead, the other CPA firms will hearing your stories, suggestions and recommendations from you. :-)
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Terry wrote:

Paperless is a good idea, our environment will benefit from it. The two software packages is wonderful, but we think there might be some alternatives. If the cost is lower and the performance of the software is high, someone may adopt the other full solution. For instance, the digitized documents can be stored in EMail boxes. As we know, so many free EMail boxes on Internet, and USB storages are going to be cheaper. The issues are security, privacy, convenience, and so on. Go ahead, the other CPA firms would like to get the stories, suggestions and recommendations from you. :-)
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Terry wrote:

Paperless is a good idea, our environment will benefit from it. The two software packages is wonderful, but we think there might be some alternatives. If the cost is lower and the performance of the software is high, someone may adopt the other full solution. For instance, the digitized documents can be stored in EMail boxes. As we know, so many free EMail boxes on Internet, and USB storages are going to be cheaper. The issues are security, privacy, convenience, and so on. Go ahead, the other CPA firms would like to get the stories, suggestions and recommendations from you. :-)
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Terry wrote:

I've worked in two CPA firms that used Creative Solutions File Cabinet (along with all the Creative Solutions modules). Even though I only worked in these firms a year (was terminated) and thus don't have years of experience using the software, it seemed to work well for both firms, with minor quirks.
Some people have brought up data protection concerns. Perhaps there's some way to store the filecabinet stuff (your critical data) elsewhere (securely) out on the internet somewhere... just not on your local system. Actually, I'm sure there's some way to do it, but I'm not sure how simple it is. Not having power per se, though, is not that huge of a deal. It's not like the data go away b/c of power loss per se, and if power is off for 30 days, there's likely to have been a disaster and people aren't likely going to care about accessing their data right at that moment. If they do, just get a generator... I don't know, but it can't be that complicated.
_Saving_ your data from being destroyed in a disaster, though, seems to be the real issue with going paperless. But really like I said it shouldn't be that difficult to store it somewhere out on the internet. Just make sure you talk to your CPA friends who've done it and know where to go for that kind of service.
I will say that both of the firms I worked for were extremely savvy with their technology and neither had gone completely paperless, even though that was at least one of the firm's goals.
What is almost essential when going towards paperless is to have two or three (large) monitors for each person. This way you can compare input and output screens simultaneously. This is almost a must. It saves tons of time. You also need to give your employees laptops so they can access (and work on) the data from anywhere. These are major trends in public accounting.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Just like to clarify that I was only fired from one of the firms -- not both :)
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

If we want to compare input and output data, why not print it? Sometimes paper is better than monitor.
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JiXian Yang wrote:

Because you may want to change the input multiple times and in multiple places in order to see how it changes the output. That would mean printing something over and over again if you chose the print option.
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