Using Databases for Document Management

Businessman touching virtual buttons in server roomMany have integrated portals for transferring files to clients.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The network drive in most firms is not very well organized and requires the most cleanup. This happens because it is usually managed with Microsoft Windows Explorer, which allows almost anyone to create or access a file anywhere on the drive.

MORE: SURVEY: 60% of Firms Employ Remote Access Tools | Capture Firm Knowledge on an Intranet | SURVEY: How Many Firms Back Up Data to the Internet? | The New Risks in Cloud Efficiencies | SURVEY: How Many Firms Use Unified Messaging? | Be Careful with Microsoft Office Upgrades | SURVEY: Have You Dumped Manual Invoices Yet?
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Unfortunately, there is seldom a firm standard that is adhered to, allowing users to create files with any naming convention they want and store it anywhere they choose. The result can be files that are hard to find and slow to search across the network.
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Capture Firm Knowledge on an Intranet

Four empty metal bucketsDashboards may speed up the search process.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Firm knowledge and information is usually stored in one of four “buckets.”

MORE: SURVEY: Firms Split on Mobile Device Management | Collaboration Should Tie In Messaging | SURVEY: Nearly Half of Firms Use Videoconferencing | Plan Right for Remote Access | SURVEY: Only 32% of Firms Providing Non-Phone Devices | Jumping to Windows 10
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The most obvious is within the accounting applications themselves where tax, audit and accounting programs store client files in a format that can only be accessed with that program. Files are usually indexed and accessed in designated directories so there is not much the firm can do about moving these files.
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Collaboration Should Tie In Messaging

Woman having video chat with manKeep an eye on Teams and Yammer.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Firms should strive to capture all data in a digital format at its “root” source. This goes for services such as the firm’s fax and voice mail systems as well.

MORE: SURVEY: How Many Firms Back Up Data to the Internet? | Need Internet? Grab Your Phone | SURVEY: IM Still Not Common at CPA Firms | The Best Defense Against Malware | SURVEY: 59% Deliver Invoices on Paper | Is It Time to Update Your Offsite Backups? | SURVEY: Digitizing Employee Evaluations | The Five Rules of Smart Tech
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Traditional inbound faxes are usually printed from a fax machine and then hand delivered to the recipient’s desk. In some cases, this fax image is actually rescanned and emailed to the recipient.
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Need Internet? Grab Your Phone

Illustration of network with city backgroundYou have a couple of options.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

One of the revolutions in remote connectivity is happening within your cell phone as digital cellular providers have beefed up and expanded their networks to provide reliable internet access to remote devices.

MORE: Remote Access Requires Planning | SURVEY: Only 32% of Firms Providing Non-Phone Devices | SURVEY: When Firms Track CPE Digitally | The Five Rules of Smart Tech
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Today, the vast majority of the United States and Canada has access to the internet through the 4G digital cellular network at speeds of 1Mpbs or more, which is adequate for remote access to most applications, particularly those hosted by cloud providers.
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The New Risks in Cloud Efficiencies

Illustration of bandwidth useYou need a whole new set of backup and recovery strategies.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The internet has undoubtedly had a profound impact on firm communications.

MORE: Remote Access Requires Planning | SURVEY: Only 32% of Firms Providing Non-Phone Devices | Jumping to Windows 10 | SURVEY: How Many Firms Run on Dashboards? | Today’s Best Laptops for Accountants | Scanners: How The Smart Firms Do It
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It has become the primary driver toward the next generation of accounting applications that run entirely on the web through "cloud" computing.

We have two main recommendations to avoid disruptions, or worse, a major disaster.

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Plan Right for Remote Access

Woman sitting outside with laptop and smartphoneDon't forget about security.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

One of the key components in optimizing firm production is providing the capability for firm personnel to work from any place, at any time, at their own convenience.

MORE: SURVEY: How Many Firms Use Unified Messaging? | The Best Defense Against Malware | SURVEY: 59% Deliver Invoices on Paper | Is It Time to Update Your Offsite Backups? | SURVEY: The Trouble that Lurks in Old Files | Report Monthly on Tech KPIs
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Allowing experienced firm personnel the ability to work remotely is also one of today’s key employee retention strategies.

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The Best Defense Against Malware

"Update" key on computer keyboardManage your software updates proactively.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Every firm has concerns about their systems being hacked, getting attacked by a virus or malware, or being the victim of ransomware that encrypts all the firm's data. The latest CPAFMA survey finds an increase in firms impacted by ransomware.

MORE: SURVEY: Only 32% of Firms Providing Non-Phone Devices | Be Careful with Microsoft Office Upgrades | SURVEY: Have You Dumped Manual Invoices Yet? | File Server Replacement Not for the Inexperienced | SURVEY: When Firms Track CPE Digitally | Only 14% Go Digital to Manage Recruiting
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The vast majority of these virus and malware issues can be effectively negated with one simple process: Keep your software updated on your servers and individual workstations.
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