Be Careful with Microsoft Office Upgrades

Consider more training on productivity applications.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

To be effective in business today, every member of your firm must optimally utilize the Microsoft Office suite at an intermediate to advanced level for Outlook, Excel and Word.

MORE: Jumping to Windows 10 | SURVEY: Have You Dumped Manual Invoices Yet? | File Server Replacement Not for the Inexperienced | SURVEY: When Firms Track CPE Digitally
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The CPAFMA 2018 IT Survey found that 45 percent of responding firms had standardized on Office 2016 (including Office365 users), 31 percent had standardized on Office 2013 and 23 percent on Office 2010. Firms have traditionally been behind the adoption curve because of the lag time of accounting vendors supporting the latest version, particularly for audit engagement binders.
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Jumping to Windows 10

Words "time for an update" on clock faceAnd new processors, drives, and RAM you need.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Okay, we all know that the Microsoft Windows operating system is preferred to run computers by the primary vendors to the accounting profession.

MORE: SURVEY: Have You Dumped Manual Invoices Yet? | Is It Time to Update Your Offsite Backups? | SURVEY: Who Stores CPE Certificates Digitally? | SURVEY: Digitizing Employee Evaluations | The Five Rules of Smart Tech | SURVEY: Paper Beats Electronic for Paying Bills | 2019: The Biggest Tech Changes Yet
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While firms don’t place too much emphasis on the workstation operating system, one significant issue that firms can’t overlook is increasing computer memory to ensure computers function optimally with today’s multimonitor requirements and the multitude of concurrent applications your staff will be running, which can impact your Windows version decision.
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Is It Time to Update Your Offsite Backups?

Composite image of hand writing with markerAnd don't forget encryption.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Your firm’s safety net in the event of ANY disaster is your data backup. It better be consistently performed and securely stored offsite.

MORE: SURVEY: How Many Firms Run on Dashboards? | File Server Replacement Not for the Inexperienced | SURVEY: When Firms Track CPE Digitally | SURVEY: Only 14% Go Digital to Manage Recruiting | SURVEY: 71% Use Remote Check Scanners | SURVEY: Are You Still Writing Paper Checks? | Your IT Strategic Plan Needs a Budget
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Typically, firms have a problem when the process they relied on to make the backups didn’t work or was not complete because new servers, drives or directories were added but not updated in the backup program. This is becoming a common problem as more data and more applications add significantly more volume, making the backup application require more storage and a longer running time to complete.

Here's what you need to do:
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File Server Replacement Not for the Inexperienced

Businesswoman at laptop with cloud floating above outstretched handThis is the time to consider cloud options.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The traditional core computers used for operating all applications are file servers managed internally within the firm.

MORE: SURVEY: Who Stores CPE Certificates Digitally? | Today’s Best Laptops for Accountants | Scanners: How The Smart Firms Do It | Give Monitors the Respect They Deserve | SURVEY: CPA Firms’ Top Archiving Apps
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Down time for a day or two is a disaster. If an “out of service” stoppage stretches to a week or more, partner income will suffer measurably.
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Today’s Best Laptops for Accountants

Woman working on a laptopSurvey shows favorite brands and best configurations.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Getting the right mix of mobility is critical for firms today. The accounting professional’s Rule of Thumb is that everyone who works out of the office one day per week or more and needs to be self-contained should have a laptop as their only machine.

MORE: SURVEY: Firms Tracking CPE Digitally | SURVEY: Digitizing Employee Evaluations | The Five Rules of Smart Tech
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The obvious exception to this is for tax or administrative personnel who would never work from remote client sites and have a computer at home that they can use to connect to the firm via a secure remote access solution.
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Scanners: How The Smart Firms Do It

Hand tossing a portable driveSolutions from centralization to smartphones. Plus two best-practices recommendations.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

One of the keys to optimizing production processes is capturing information at its “root” source. This means when data enters your firm, regardless of the format (mail, fax, email, portal or on a flash drive).

MORE: SURVEY: Only 14% Go Digital to Manage Recruiting | The Five Rules of Smart Tech | SURVEY: Paper Beats Electronic for Paying Bills | SURVEY: The Trouble that Lurks in Old Files | Your IT Strategic Plan Needs a Budget | 2019: The Biggest Tech Changes Yet
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Ideally, source documents would be provided to the firm in a digital format such as secured email or preferably through a web portal, but the reality today is that a significant portion of accounting firm source documents continue to arrive from clients in a traditional paper format.
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