Going, Going… Gone Paperless!

Kepczyck

The question today isn't: "When are you going paperless?" Now it's: "Why haven't you already?"

The new study by Roman Kepczyck (pictured) for the Association for Accounting Administration shows that vast majorities of CPA firms have already gone paperless. The AAA 2009 Benchmarking Paperless Office Best Practices Survey updates a similar survey from two years ago. (Via IOMA.)

2009 Highlights:

Tax

● 86% are scanning client-supplied information for storage of tax return supporting documents, up from 75% in 2007.
● 57% have a policy to deliver electronic tax information to clients in secure password-protected or encrypted methods, including a portal or FTP site. This is up from 45% that had such a policy two years ago.
● 37% have at least some personnel doing tax work, with three monitors or more, which is more than three times the 10% that said their firms did so in 2007.

Audit

● 73% request documents prepared by clients in an electronic format such as PDF, spreadsheet, or scanned image, up from 68% in 2007.
● 86% store all audit workpapers in a paperless audit application; up from 71%.
● 73% primarily link audit applications to tax applications to digitally transfer trial balance information, up from 64%.

Firm administration and practice management

● 71% use an intranet to store such firmwide information as personnel manuals and internal firm procedures, up slightly from 68% in 2007.
● At 71% of firms, owners and managers receive internal management reports electronically via e-mail or by looking them up on the system, up from 67%.
● 60% prepare invoices onscreen, rather than using billing sheets, up from 51%.

Communications and technology

● More than a third (34%) of firms now have all partners and managers using notebook computers as their only computer, up from 31%.
● Almost three-quarters (74%) of firms' personnel use smart phones for remote e-mail, calendar, and contacts.

For more information: Complete results of the AAA 2009 Benchmarking Paperless Office Best Practices Survey are at www.itpna.com. Visit www.cpaadmin.org for more information about the AAA.