Ditch the Filing Cabinet: How Accounting Firms Can Streamline Document Management

Tim Sines

Ditch the Filing Cabinet: How Accounting Firms Can Streamline Document Management

With so many digital options available for organizing your documents, your filing cabinets are ready for retirement. And the simplest way to streamline document management for accounting firms is to implement the right software.  

 With the help of today’s document management software, CPAs no longer need to hunt through folders to find the exact document they need because all of your firm’s documents are available and easily searchable from any device.  

 But to make a successful transition to better document management, you first need to select the right software. Here are a few key features that can help your firm organize and share documents in less time. 

Document management software features to look for 

To streamline your document management, make sure the software you choose has all the features that your firm needs. If you pick a software that only has one or two things you’re looking for, you’re going to waste time switching back and forth between two different programs. You might run into formatting issues as well if documents don’t translate smoothly between the two types of software you’re using. 

To avoid all that hassle, look for software that encompasses all of your document management needs, including organized, customizable folder templates, secure file sharing, paperless billing, and more.  

Organized, customizable folder templates 

The most important feature of any document management software is that it keeps your files organized and accessible. The right software tools should allow you to create customized folder templates that are intuitive to the members of your firm and reflect the workflows of your practice. 

Once folder templates are established, you can even copy and apply the same folder structures to new clients, saving time and also ensuring that your organizational structures remain consistent and easy to navigate. 

Built-in document preview 

Downloading a document just to be able to view it is a hassle. It’s also a security risk, since versions of important financial documents can end up scattered around multiple unsecured hard drives. 

 A document management software with built-in document previews can allow you to quickly review important documents without ever leaving the software tab.  

Role-based permissions 

Role-based permissions allow you to set controls on which team members can access which documents. With the right software, you can also choose which folders to securely share with clients through your client portal and allow them either read-only or download/upload access.  

 These granular permissions make document management and sharing as seamless and easy as possible while still allowing you to keep key financial documents secure and confidential. 

Secure file sharing 

Your clients want to know that their information will be protected. With the right document management software, your client’s data can be shared while encrypted with the SHA-256 encryption algorithm for bank-level security. 

 And your client won’t have to remember a login to a certain website. Look for software where documents can be sent straight to your client’s email to receive an electronic signature. Instead of waiting days for a client to sign a paper form, you can get all the documents you need to be signed securely in a snap. 

Accurate digital timekeeping 

The right software can also help you replace your paper timekeeping and billing records.  

When you offer engagement-based billing, you still need to track your time working on certain projects to ensure profitability. Document management software provides smart time and expense trackers that are easy to use and give you accurate data about how much time a project takes. 

Look for software that lets you run multiple timers at once. When you have to manage separate tasks for the same project or client, you can create timers for each type of work, then seamlessly switch between them without losing minutes in between. This helps you capture the exact amount of time your projects are taking so you can estimate how much the work costs your firm and whether your engagements are staying profitable. 

You should also look for software that lets you track time across multiple devices and from any location. That way, whether your employees work at home, in the office, or on-site with a client, they can use the same time-tracking tools on whatever device they have on their persons. 

Plus, since all of this is digital, you can say goodbye to paper time cards. Those are easy to lose, whereas pop-up time entry lets you save shortcuts that you can use over and over again to record the same task.  

Batch, recurring, retainer, and manual invoicing 

With cloud-based document management software, all your invoices are stored in and kept accessible from anywhere. Instead of tons of paper files stacked on your desk, anyone with access to the cloud can search for the invoice they’re looking for.  

You’ll also want to look for a software that allows your to run batch and recurring invoicing. 

Batch invoicing lets you generate, edit, and send multiple invoices at the same time for all your different clients. This saves you hours per month that you would have spent manually generating invoices one at a time. 

Another important benefit of going digital is automated features like recurring invoicing. Recurring invoicing lets you automate invoices to be sent out at recurring intervals in the future. For any regular clients, this takes the stress off because they’ll know the exact date they’ll get their invoice. It benefits your firm too because you’ll never have to worry about accidentally sending out an invoice late. 

Email notifications 

A good document management software can also send automated email notifications to team members or clients when documents are uploaded to a folder. This way, your CPAs will know immediately when a client has uploaded a document they need, and your clients will know where to check when there are documents awaiting their review.  These automated emails can be customized and applied at every folder level, so you have full control over what messages are sent in different circumstances. 

Let Mango streamline your document management 

Mango’s suite of practice management tools is specifically designed to make the lives of accountants easier. In addition to all of the document management features mentioned above, Mango offers:  

  • Robust project management tools 
  • Online credit card processing 
  • In-depth reporting and analytics dashboards to help you run a more profitable firm 

 To see for yourself what difference the right document management tools can make, schedule a demo today or sign up for a free trial