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Working paper file storage

Keep storage unit or move to cloud storage

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Keeping files that we're not likely to ever look at again is taking up more and more space in our office and storage unit.  It's well past time we moved to cloud storage, but which storage provider is best ?  Microsoft Onedrive seems to be the easiest choice as we already have Office365 but is it the best ?

Basically we're just thinking about scanning any old working papers that aren't already excel / word/ pdf's , creating a file for each client ( sub-divided into years ) then combining the scanned documents with our digital working papers and storing them in the cloud rather than a couple of dozen filing cabinets.

We're late coming to the party and I have to admit I'm still not that keen but the youngsters in the office are all for it. Can anyone recommend the best route to go down ?


Replies (6)

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By The Innkeeper
01st Sep 2021 15:43

Cloud everytime. Speak to your IT provider. We moved to the cloud just as the COVID struck and are very glad we did. Made home working a doddle

Thanks (1)
paddle steamer
01st Sep 2021 15:57

I use Drobox for ours, I created a directory structure with folders/subfolders and gradually over time I have been adding to it.

The main documents for us are property titles and leases, but other stuff regularly also gets added, planning docs, banking docs, tax stuff, everything.

It is synced to my desktop and seems to work well enough.(used to use Sugarsync)

It is also partly preparatory to our new property management system going live as that allows appropriate files to be attached within the screen for a particular property, so looking up property will give me all the tenant/leases/rental/cost data plus things like EPCs etc attached as pdfs, even plans, drawings, schematics re past repairs, the choice is endless.

Whilst I cannot get past paper copies re my working papers (I am a poor accounts reviewer on a screen, I miss things) these days the printouts do not get placed in a genuine real file but instead are printed, reviewed and shredded)

The big clearout is the next 10 months, having recently sold the site our office is in to developers I now have over thirty years of records to wade through and destroy, the sacks for the secure shredders sitting in my office as I type)

Thanks (2)
By Hugo Fair
01st Sep 2021 16:46

Just be careful you don't muddle up different objectives before you set off down this road.
Cloud isn't "the answer" to anything - it's just a medium for storage of things that can be held digitally (thereby saving physical space), specially those that may need frequent access by many people in multiple locations (as they can use the internet to login).
You don't have to start by scanning all your old archives ... indeed I wouldn't bother!

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By Practicaledd
02nd Sep 2021 13:06

As you're already 365 then SharePoint is the way to go I'd suggest, no point paying twice when you have such a powerful tool at your disposal.

Be a bit careful thinking about OneDrive vs SharePoint.

OneDrive is a location to keep personal/individual files, SharePoint is the place to keep anything collaborative and gives you a lot of control re security, automation and document policies. Anything up in SharePoint that you want to sync locally is confusingly done using the OneDrive app on the computer.

SharePoint will also be mirrored in Teams so you can end up with 3 or 4 ways to access documents, depending how the team member likes to work.

As I've said, there is a lot of enterprise grade power hiding in SharePoint. Lot's of different ways to do things and customisation available to you but it will do the job of Dropbox etc if that's all you want.

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By Mr_awol
02nd Sep 2021 13:40

I echo Hugo's sentiment about not dumping everything in the cloud 'just because'. We (thankfully) didnt dive in and try to become paperless overnight.

We have onsite and offsite physical storage and initially concentrated on creating less new stuff, mainly to avoid exceeding our current capacities. We went paperless in areas we thought it would work and retained paper files in others where paperless is less efficient (which includes a lot of our accounts files).

Then we looked at the remaining paper files and decided on a scanning policy - by file type. Some are retained in paper until a set destruction date and never scanned. Some, we scan from a set date moving forward and anything older goes to offsite storage. Others we scanned a back catalogue. A few files still go to offsite storage.

Finally we review our offsite files once a year and identify any that can/should now be destroyed. Nothing which has been sent off site is ever brought back for scanning.

The off-site facility very quickly stopped growing, but didn't initially shrink. Now it is noticeably shrinking each year, and eventually we might decide to move to either move the files to a smaller/cheaper/managed facility, or to instigate some back-scanning.

As far as our electronic storage goes, it's all maintained on the Server, with a remote backup to two locations which apparently updates itself every ten minutes or so. It's not ridiculously expensive and much better than using stuff like 365, dropbox, etc.

Thanks (1)
By North East Accountant
02nd Sep 2021 14:04

We use SharePoint.

It does take some getting your head around but it's worth it and if you can't face it or need some help get a SharePoint developer to help you set it up.

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