The Best Paperless Programs for the Accounting Office
I get asked at every seminar we do, what is the “best” program(s) for the paperless office? I always have the definitive answer for this most prolific question …”IT DEPENDS!”
The accountant’s office, in my mind, is divided into the sections outlined in the graphic: bookkeeping, file preparation (engagement), workflow, intake and delivery. The software solutions are widespread and widening in the marketplace for each of these areas. Some stand alone, some are interdependent and some are built to integrate the group.
Your job as a practitioner is twofold. First, you need to maximize the use of the software you presently have. I am always amazed at how much time, energy and resources are allocated to finding a better “software solution,” versus the time spent maximizing the abilities of existing in-house applications. The underutilization of Caseware, Word, Excel, Profile, Page and other titles blows me away in most offices, including, I’m ashamed to say, my own.
To train, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to send people to courses. YouTube supplies ample opportunity for advancement in most mainstream applications. What can you do? Assign each product to one staff member. Create a competitive, rewarding environment for suggestions. You’ll be amazed at how this will increase the knowledge base.
Your second task is to find a product that will tie the applications together, so that they operate as one unit for each engagement. There are a few really good solutions for this. CCH has one that works well, but only with its products. QuickBooks®, Vohcom Page, Doc.It and ClientTrack are others that will tie unrelated products together. To me, the organization of these applications will make any group work faster, smarter and happier.
LESSON: Learn how to use your software to realize its full efficiency, rather than continuously looking for another half-used application, and then tie them together for better office efficiency, workflow and connectivity. This latter task provided 13% more efficiency in my office and translated directly to the bottom line. I’m always happiest when my bottom line goes up!!!