Sending out client advice in a paperless office?

Looking for tips on best practice for sending out correspondence to clients in a paperless office

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We are looking at converting our office to a paperless one (or as close as can be) and I have a question regarding practice assurance and ensuring high standards.

Our current process for sending out correspondence to a client (in particular advice) is that a physical letter is printed out which the reviewing partner then signs after reviewing. The letter is then either scanned in and emailed to the client or sent in the post.

From where I am standing, that’s a big waste of time & paper which if we are going paperless could be avoided.

So my main question is how are firms dealing with this and making sure that all advice is reviewed by the partner (in accordance with ICAEW rules) without creating loads of paper or extra effort? What solutions have other firms been working with and how are they implemented?

Any feed back or advice welcome.

Replies (4)

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By Wanderer
11th Nov 2023 11:57

How large is your organisation? And what sort of advice isn't given at partner level?

I would have thought it relativity easy that advice that is drafted by more junior staff is emailed to the partner, then they review it & email out in their name.

Doesn't seem much of a difference (to the reviewing process) than what you are doing already.

Thanks (1)
By Tom+Cross
11th Nov 2023 12:59

There is an importance to continue to promote the firms image and to comply with professional standards, even in a paperless office and part of that arrangement is to superimpose the letterhead onto correspondence, which was previously printed. It seems, these days, that physical signatures may have taken a back seat and that shouldn't be a problem. As long as the recipient is aware of who's sent the letter and who they should contact, that should be sufficient. The (revised format) letter is then included as an attachment within the covering email.
I think it's important to acknowledge, even in this day and age, that not all of our clients, either have access to internet sources of communication or, in many cases still, want to have anything to do with technology. That is their perogative and should be respected, therefore, in some cases, the paperless office has to be "mixed" with traditional forms of communication.

Thanks (1)
By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
12th Nov 2023 08:01

If you break this down, you need:

i. A central (cloud or extranet)repository of client file notes and perhaps working papers, accessible by all key staff, so that the partner has something to refer to when reviewing the letter. Otherwise s/he's just proff-reading it; and

ii. something a bit more reliable than email by which to transport the letter (a Dropbox or similar secure area between your firm and each and every client can work well).

Thanks (0)
By Tink1984
16th Nov 2023 11:23

You should look at FYI Docs for this - has an approval system built in so staff can send docs to the partner for review, partner approves and then can send out themselves or send back to staff to action. It also links with electronic signing software (Fusesign) which has 2 factor authentication for the clients to view the documents if they are sensitive.

Thanks (1)