Why You Need Windows 10 with Automatic Updates

"Update" key on computer keyboardTax personnel need more RAM than others.

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

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

MORE: It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Backups Are? | How the Cloud Impacts Server Replacement | Laptops vs. Desktops | The Best Scanners to Buy Today | Capturing Documents at the Source | The More Monitors, the Better
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With Microsoft discontinuing support of Windows 7 on Jan. 14, 2020, and Windows 8 receiving poor reviews, it is recommended that all firms standardize on Windows 10 and have the system configured for automatic updates.
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No Backups? No Excuses!

Composite image of hand writing with markerToo many firms are still ignoring the basics.

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

Your firm’s safety net in the event of any disaster is your data backup.

MORE: How the Cloud Impacts Server Replacement | Laptops vs. Desktops | The Best Scanners to Buy Today | Capturing Documents at the Source | The More Monitors, the Better
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It had better be consistently performed and securely stored offsite.

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How the Cloud Impacts Server Replacement

You can save, but don’t hand the task to just anyone.

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

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

MORE: Laptops vs. Desktops | The Best Scanners to Buy Today | Capturing Documents at the Source | The More Monitors, the Better
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Simply put, mission-critical file servers utilized for tax, audit, time and billing, and email have – at most – an effective five-year life. After this time, equipment becomes significantly more difficult to maintain whether you have a warranty or not.
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Laptops vs. Desktops

Standardization can save you 26%.

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

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. Thanks to COVID-19, those numbers grew by leaps and bounds in 2020.

MORE: The Best Scanners to Buy Today | Capturing Documents at the Source | The More Monitors, the Better
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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. However, this is changing. The string of natural disasters over the past two decades – along with the promotion of remote work opportunities to retain staff as well as the transition to more cloud-based applications – has led some firms toward making the decision that ALL professional staff will utilize a laptop as their only workstation.
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The Best Scanners to Buy Today

Scanners are critical tools. Two to know: Fujitsu and Canon.

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A CPA firm cost-effective favorite: The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500

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

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, and even as a text message).

MORE TECH GUIDE: The More Monitors, the BetterThe Top Portable Monitors for Working from HomeIT Deserves a Strategic Plan and BudgetDevelop Monthly IT ‘Flash’ ReportsWhy You Need an Independent Security Review |  ‘Learning Culture’ Requires Standardized Processes | Centralize Contact Administration

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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 continues to arrive from clients in a traditional paper format.

Your firm will need to develop processes to efficiently scan, name, and store these documents. Having the right physical scanners in place is required to optimize the timely capturing of data at three levels: production, workgroup, and individual.

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The More Monitors, the Better

computer monitorsStart thinking in terms of screen capacity.

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

The best place to start the discussion on hardware is with monitors, as it is the easiest place to see an immediate return on your IT investment. Your monitors are your windows into all digitally stored information and are the foundation for improving every aspect of firm production.

MORE: IT Deserves a Strategic Plan and Budget | Why You Need an Independent Security Review | Cutting Your QuickBooks Costs | Reclaim Time with Remote Deposit | Why Daily T/E Entry Should Be Required | Why Your Firm Needs Procedure Manuals
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Transitioning tax production processes from physical to digital requires that all input screens and source documents be simultaneously viewable in a convenient format, which today means more screen real estate per workstation.
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The Top Portable Monitors for Working from Home

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Asus ZenScreen (click to learn more)

What field auditors can teach us about working remotely under coronavirus conditions.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The advent of today’s audit “document container” applications has transitioned every aspect of audit production into a digital format. But the equipment auditors have been adopting in the field is now painfully relevant with new coronavirus work-at-home mandates. We can apply a few lessons today.

More Coronavirus Crisis Coverage here

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The key to successfully using these engagement applications is to make sure your personnel have the optimal equipment with them to work digitally. This includes multiple monitors, image capture equipment and remote communications capabilities.
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IT Deserves a Strategic Plan and Budget

ROI illustrationConsider cloud hosting.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

We have all heard the saying that if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up going nowhere (or… you won’t ever get there). Unfortunately, many accounting firms do not do a good job of integrating their information technology requirements into the firm’s overall strategic vision.

MORE: Why You Need an Independent Security Review | ‘Learning Culture’ Requires Standardized Processes | How to Transfer Files Securely | Going Digital with A/P Processing | Avoid Over-Auditing with ‘Document Containers’ | Beyond Email: New Digital Tools | Who Deletes Documents and When?
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Information technology impacts virtually every aspect of accounting firm production and is usually the biggest expense after your personnel costs. Accordingly, it should be managed as the critically important asset that it is.
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Develop Monthly IT ‘Flash’ Reports

Businessman sitting in office and reading documentsIt should be a quick read, similar to a financial statement.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Most firms have a line partner or firm administrator overseeing the firm’s information technology department.

MORE: Why You Need an Independent Security Review | ‘Learning Culture’ Requires Standardized Processes | How to Transfer Files Securely | Going Digital with A/P Processing | Avoid Over-Auditing with ‘Document Containers’
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

These personnel may have an interest in information technology, but their primary responsibility often lies in other production areas. They need a way to efficiently oversee the firm’s IT initiatives and report to management.
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