Standardize Your QuickBooks Support

Key with word "license" for teethHow many versions do you support ... and WHY?

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

In the United States, QuickBooks is the most dominant small business accounting product on the market and will be the application that the majority of the firm’s clients use. Therefore, it is obvious that the firm must become proficient with supporting QuickBooks.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Portals are Vital for Secure File Transfer | Why You Should Process AP Digitally | Revamp Daily T&E Entry | Is Your Tax Workflow Digital Yet? | The 4 Types of Firm Knowledge
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Unfortunately, one of the biggest wastes of time is when firms support too many older versions of the software, which often leads to incompatibilities that can corrupt the database and make it unusable for clients. Fixing these errors creates lost time that is seldom charged to clients and instead impacts the profitability on these jobs. Firms have found that it is significantly more productive to support no more than the three most recent versions and to either require the client to update their software or include the cost within the monthly service fee.
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Portals are Vital for Secure File Transfer

Spiral of binary characters emerging from laptop screenLook for notifications and audit trails.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

When dealing with digital files, the most effective way to transfer them is electronically over the Internet either with secured email or through a portal.

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Many firms have emailed clients copies of tax returns and financial statements over the years. Unfortunately, this is not always the most secure method as the firm does not have control of the various Internet service providers and the relay servers between the firm’s email server and the client’s email account.
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Why You Should Process AP Digitally

Person using credit card to pay bill onlineDon't forget to use naming conventions.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Processing accounts payable is another of the manually intensive processes within the firm’s administrative department that can be significantly streamlined through digital processes.

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Consider how many “touches” a single payable creates: receipt of the invoice, timing of payment in a folder, writing the check and attaching the stub, sending it to an owner for signature, filing a copy of check with backup in its own folder, and stuffing, sealing and sending the check to the vendor. Now imagine doing this a hundred times per month, every month. Imagine the volume of physical accounts payable vendor files both onsite and in storage, that can be eliminated by storing these images digitally.
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Remote Banking Offers Instant ROI

Person writing check with pen and checkbookBonus: Your bank fees may decrease.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

One of the easiest processes to convert to paperless with an immediate ROI is the firm’s system for depositing client checks.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Deliver All Reports Digitally | Revamp Daily T&E Entry | How and Why to Establish Firm Procedures Manuals | Is Your Tax Workflow Digital Yet? | The 4 Types of Firm Knowledge | Back Up Your Bandwidth
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Manually receiving and physically going to the bank to deposit checks can be time-consuming and subject to too many errors. The manual procedure requires firms open mail on a daily basis, make copies to file in a binder, complete deposit slips and then send a person physically to the bank, which can easily take a half hour every day, five days per week, 52 weeks per year.
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Deliver All Reports Digitally

Older man using laptop at homeWhen owners use portals, they'll feel comfortable recommending them to clients.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Improving firm efficiency means that the owners have to get on board.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Revamp Daily T&E Entry | How to Stop ‘Overauditing’ | Devil's in the Details of Digital File Delivery | Preventing Document Retention Headaches | Which Wireless?
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One of the more obvious opportunities is the delivery of the firm’s own financial reports. Many firms still print a hard copy of the monthly financials and distribute them to each owner, many of whom physically store these documents in a binder or drawer in their office.
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Revamp Daily T&E Entry

Man holding papers and working on laptop in front of large windowCommitment has to come from the owner, not just staff.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Studies done over the past two decades have clearly shown that there is a significant improvement in realization for firms that enter, release and post time and expenses on a daily basis. This process allows for daily or “hotel”-type billing that is sent out with the completion of each billable project.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: How to Stop ‘Overauditing’ | How Audit Field Equipment Has Changed | Optimize Scanning Applications and Procedures | Document Management Requires Firm Standards | Why Unified Messaging Matters
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The next step in the evolution of time and billing systems provided real-time dashboards to report on firm activities and effectively allow firms to generate invoices. This can work only if all time and expenses for all personnel are captured within the system.
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How to Stop ‘Overauditing’

Hard-working man in officeAn outside consultant may be in order.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Traditional audit practices use the previous year’s audit programs and processes updated for the current year as their standard operating plan.

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Eventually this can lead to a significant amount of “overauditing.” Breaking this habit is difficult as every level of staff has been trained in the manual processes and falls back on them when deadlines approach.
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