Why Daily T/E Entry Matters

Laughing businesswoman talking on the phone in office in front of four monitorsHow about better cash collection?

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

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.

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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. While most firms have a daily time entry “policy,” the biggest abusers of the policy are often owners and managers, so it is about time for them to get on board and use the system.
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The Case for Digital Auditing

It’s time for some outside help.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

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

MORE: What Your Auditors Need in the Field | The Value of Firm Procedures Manuals | Retaining Documents: How Long and Who Decides? | The Case for Wireless Broadband Access | Maximize Your Office 365 ROI | How the Cloud Impacts Server Replacement
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Many firms have rightfully transitioned to digital “document container” applications such as CaseWare, WoltersKluwer/CCH Engagement and Thomson Reuters Engagement CS. Not all of these firms have changed their approach to reviewing progress on the audit and the financial reporting on a computer screen in a digital format.
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Pandemic Highlights Value of Digital Files

Post with two signs, "same" and "change"CPE and training needs are evolving.

By Roman Kepczyk

Last year’s extension to July 15 made for a very drawn-out busy season but did allow firms to shift resources to assist clients with PPP loans and other compliance. Second, the move to remote/cloud was forced rapidly and pointed out the advantage of firms already utilizing cloud vendors and hosting providers as their transition was seamless.

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Third, the difficulty and caution in physically meeting firm members and clients face to face forced adoption of virtual solutions such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams and pointed out the value of having a digital workflow tool as well as the importance of having all files in a digital format accessible remotely.
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What Your Auditors Need in the Field

Three partners, one male and two female, walking and smiling outside a buildingTWAIN compliance dictates some choices.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

The advent of today’s audit “document container” applications has transitioned every aspect of audit production into a digital format. The key to successfully using these engagement applications is to make sure your personnel have the optimal equipment with them to work digitally.

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This includes

  • multiple monitors,
  • image capture equipment and
  • remote communications capabilities.

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The Value of Firm Procedures Manuals

Scrambled thoughts enter man's head, straightened ones come outWhere does the most potential benefit lie?

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

Every firm has accountants who are 10 percent, 20 percent or even 50 percent more productive in their departments than other personnel because they have simply “figured it out.”

MORE: Teach Your Clients to Send Info Digitally | Why You Want a Digital Tax Workflow System | Why Digital Communications Matter | The Right Tech Tools for COVID Work-from-Home | It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Backups Are? | The Best Scanners to Buy Today
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Unfortunately, when these people leave the firm, their unique knowledge of specific processes and shortcuts goes with them. It is the responsibility of firms to capture these individuals’ best practices so that that specific knowledge can be shared and accessed by all firm members both now and in the future. This can be accomplished by making a concerted effort to develop a best practices manual within each department.
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Optimize Your Scanning Procedures

Woman in business attire with papers flying around behind her backBONUS: Specific tool suggestions.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

For the next few years it is anticipated that accounting firm clients will continue to deliver a significant amount of their organizers and supporting tax documents to the firm in a physical format. To utilize this information in a paperless environment, it must be effectively scanned and managed at the lowest possible cost.

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Early paperless adopters scanned the tax return and the supporting documents at the back end of the process when a return was complete. This is still usually the first step when firms transition from a completely manual environment.
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Why You Want a Digital Tax Workflow System

Pixelated blue text "workflow" on binary code backgroundWorkflow fails when admins are the only ones updating status.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

The most important aspect of transitioning the firm’s tax process to a digital environment is managing electronic files that are no longer physically viewable in assorted stacks around the office. This requires a digital tax workflow system that lets everyone know the status of every return and easily connects that person to digital copies of the return and the source documents.

MORE: Retaining Documents: How Long and Who Decides? | The 4 Buckets of Firm Knowledge | Internet Bandwidth: How Much Is Enough? | Why You Need Windows 10 with Automatic Updates | Laptops vs. Desktops
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Under traditional manual tax systems, firms utilized due date tracking databases that identified when a return was due, but not what information was missing, or the preparation, review or extension status, which was often recorded manually on a physical routing sheet.
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Retaining Documents: How Long and Who Decides?

Finger pressing delete keyRepeat as necessary: You don’t have to keep everything.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

Managing digital files is in many ways similar to managing paper files in that the firm must have standards for who can create a document, add to or edit a document, file it, and eventually purge the file. Unfortunately, as digital files are on the network and “out of sight,” many firms are not really aware of what files are stored, the most current versions and whether or not they should be deleted.

MORE: The 4 Buckets of Firm Knowledge | Why Digital Communications Matter | The Right Tech Tools for COVID Work-from-Home | It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Backups Are?
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As firms transition to the “less paper” environment, it is recommended that they implement a digital document retention policy and make users accountable for adhering to this policy.
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