“Security and the possible interception of client email attachments was a prime concern”
Parfrey Murphy, Chartered Accountants, a two-partner firm based in Cork employing 16 staff installed the Virtual Cabinet document management system and integrated document portal in January 2012.
The fear of getting rid of paper had previously stopped the firm from implementing a document management system and it took the firm five years to ‘break away’, according to Seamus Parfrey, managing partner. “There is a great emotional comfort in dealing with paper which makes it easy for someone to continue in that vein. It was not an overnight decision,” he said. “We talked about it for between five and six years and finally decided it was time to break away from ‘old hat’ methods.”
The firm cites four key reasons for adopting a paperless route:
· Difficulty with managing paper was a major issue
· Cost of paper and the wastage
· Ease of retrieval of information
· Space files and paper take up
Several systems were reviewed and Virtual Cabinet came out on top in terms of functionality and affordability. Seamus explained: “We researched and found some good reviews and Virtual Cabinet was well commented on by professionals using it.”
The firm’s concern about security and in particular, the ‘interception’ of client emails persuaded them to implement a document management system that provides an integrated document portal to minimise potential risk. The prospect of a new EU directive and tougher sanctions also helped the firm decide that the time was right.
One year on, the firm is working towards making electronic communication via the portal, the default. “This is a work in progress and we are trying to establish a position where our clients are not given a choice. We are willing to lose clients if they don’t follow our procedures and it will undoubtedly result in a judgement call. This is the way we do things and if you prefer a different route, then we are not the firm for you.”
“The document portal makes things easier for us,” Seamus continued and “eases the approval process so that returns can be finalised within a few hours instead of days. It also helps save time in follow up procedures. The portal and document management system are part and parcel of a professional modern practice.”