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Going paperless-which software would you recommend

Going paperless-which software would you recommend and why?

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Being in lockdown and running the practice from home has caused me to re-evaluate a lot of business processes.

Prior to lockdown we had a serviced office and the team worked partly from home and partly in the office. Secretary came into the office 2 days a week.

Working full time from home has highlighted that for work purposes we do not need an office except for somewhere to keep our paper files.

As part of considering the future I want to investigate going paperless which would enable us to leave the physical office. We would still retain a presence so we can use meeting rooms but there are substantial savings to be made on rent etc. We use a hosted desktop environment so have cloud storage available to all users.

I am looking for recommendations from firms that have gone paperless and recommendations of which software to use. If recommending software please explain what is good and what is not so good about the software.

Thanks in advance

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By Tim Vane
02nd Jul 2020 13:56

Hold up. What paper files do you have that you need to go paperless with? If you can identify what paper you are holding then recommendations can stem from that. Many firms like us have almost no paper to deal with nowadays so it's difficult to know where you are starting from. If they are historical files just pay a company (or hire a temp) to scan them all and be done with it. If you are talking about scanning the odd letter or receipt then just about any AIO printer/scanner solution will do the job well enough.

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By SimonLever
02nd Jul 2020 15:16

Historic files are already scanned and e-stored. Current paper correspondance, payroll, tax and accounts files can all be scanned.

Looking to go totally paperless - want to manage on ongoing basis - incoming post, all e-mails and keep working papers fully online. Would be essential to be able to allocate every piece of scanned paper and e-mails to a particualr client.

Not just looking for storage but an active management system.

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Replying to SimonLever:
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By johnt27
02nd Jul 2020 15:45

If you use O365 you could easily manage storage/filing of documents, emails correspondence etc in Sharepoint. I really like Suitefiles as a layer over the top of this as it makes document management that little bit easier and has client portal features and an API for connecting to other apps.

For working papers there's much less choice. You're looking at Xero Workpapers, MyWorkPapers, Silverfin or good old Excel and organised folders really. If all/most of your clients are on Xero their Workpapers solution is reasonably good, MyWorkPapers is very similar with a few extra features and more platform agnostic, Silverfin trumps them all but you pay for it!

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Ivor Windybottom
By Ivor Windybottom
02nd Jul 2020 15:45

On a practical level you'll need good software to manipulate stuff on screen and I would suggest you have a look at PDF-XChange, as it is easy to use and relatively cost-effective.

As to integrated e-mail, accounts, tax, etc. - still looking for the perfect combination!

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Ivor Windybottom
By Ivor Windybottom
02nd Jul 2020 15:45

[duplicate deleted ... AWeb slower than my clicking!]

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By Louisemunro320
02nd Jul 2020 16:19

We use rapport (based in Bristol) - excellent paperless system and traditional excel for working papers.

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Replying to Louisemunro320:
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By SimonLever
04th Jul 2020 17:14

Do you have a link for rapport?

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By pauljohnston
09th Jul 2020 11:38

I suspect you need a document management application. Docusoft have a very good online version we have used this for sometime and before that the desktop version.

If you are looking to have your sever in the cloud you could do worse that usingf Sharepoint which is free from Office 365.

You may do well at talking with Lily Communications to get what you want.

Thanks (1)
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By pauljohnston
09th Jul 2020 11:38

I suspect you need a document management application. Docusoft have a very good online version we have used this for sometime and before that the desktop version.

If you are looking to have your sever in the cloud you could do worse that usingf Sharepoint which is free from Office 365.

You may do well at talking with Lily Communications to get what you want.

Thanks (0)
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By pauljohnston
09th Jul 2020 11:38

I suspect you need a document management application. Docusoft have a very good online version we have used this for sometime and before that the desktop version.

If you are looking to have your sever in the cloud you could do worse that usingf Sharepoint which is free from Office 365.

You may do well at talking with Lily Communications to get what you want.

Thanks (0)
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By DavidWatson
09th Jul 2020 14:30

Hi Simon,

It depends on how integrated you want you document management system to be really. If you are using one of the large accounting system provides, IRIS, CCH, Digita or Sage they all have a favourite system that integrates the filing of documents produced by you as a single step within the application IRIS Docs for example or CCH Document Management. If you don't want an integrated application provided by your software vendor you can look at Virtual Cabinet, or Invu both of which work well in accounting firms and as already mentioned lots of firms like Docusoft. In two previous roles I have purchased Virtual Cabinet mainly on cost reasons and despite some initial glitches it has worked well and is quite flexible in terms of its integration with email including Office 365 which some products struggle with. Finally a lot of it depends on scale if you have a large number of users / documents some system can effectively run out of steam. If you want some real world advice FOC about how these applications work in real life message me happy to point you in the right direction. If you are wondering how I know about this I used to be the MD of a large desktop hosting business that provided support to hundreds of firms some of which used these applications. Thanks Dave

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By CardiffAccountant
13th Jul 2020 21:16

Not Sure if this helps.

I have set up Outlook so all incoming client emails default to their individual folders. All outgoing client emails do the same.

I use VT for accounts production and TaxCalc for submissions.

I print everything to Microsoft PDF, and then save in client folder.

Use OneDrive where I can share the folder.

Have not used paper for a couple of years, except when a particular client liked to have a accounts/tax return/computation presented in a paper format.

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