Preventing Document Retention Headaches

Last Day words written in red marker ink on a calendar date and circled as a reminder of the deadlineBe sure to set expiration dates.

By Roman H. Kepczyk

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.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Document Management Requires Firm Standards | Back Up Your Bandwidth | How to Choose Which Microsoft Office Version to Use | Time to Replace a Server? Consider the Cloud | Monitor Real Estate: More Is Better | Why You Need an Independent Security Review

 

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Document Management Requires Firm Standards

Businessman jumping with papers stuck to himTry to project your future space needs.

By Roman H. Kepczyk

The network drive in most firms is not very well organized and requires the most cleanup.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: The 4 Types of Firm Knowledge | Which Wireless? | Remote Access Takes Planning | Transitioning to Windows 10 | Desktops vs. Laptops | Keep Your Tech Budget Updated | Mandate Training Programs | Turn to Portal Encryption
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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. 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 please. The result can be files that are hard to find and slow to search across the network.
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The 4 Types of Firm Knowledge

KPI business management with key performance indicator presented by businessman... and how to capture them.

By Roman H. Kepczyk

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

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Which Wireless? | Why Unified Messaging Matters | Get in Front of Application Updates | Why You Need Offsite Backup | Use Scanners to Capture Source Documents | Develop Monthly IT Flash Reports | Centralize Contact Administration | Is Your AP Digital Yet? | A Better Way to Handle Time & Expenses | How the Best CPA Firms Capture Best Tech Practices in Procedures Manuals
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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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Which Wireless?

Blue WiFi symbol over a map backgroundWhat do your employees need? Hotspots.

By Roman H. Kepczyk

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 ON TECH SPENDING: Why Unified Messaging Matters | Back Up Your Bandwidth | How to Choose Which Microsoft Office Version to Use | Time to Replace a Server? Consider the Cloud | Monitor Real Estate: More Is Better | Why You Need an Independent Security Review | Standardize QuickBooks Support (and Bring Your Clients) | Remote Deposit Saves in Several Ways | How Efficient Are Your Audits?
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Today, the vast majority of the U.S. and Canada has access to the Internet through the 4G digital cellular network at speeds of 1MBps or more, which is adequate for remote access to most applications, particularly those hosted by cloud providers.
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Why Unified Messaging Matters

Voicemail word cloudConsider tying in the email system, too.

By Roman H. Kepczyk

I've said that 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 voicemail systems as well.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Back Up Your Bandwidth | Remote Access Takes Planning | Transitioning to Windows 10 | Desktops vs. Laptops | Keep Your Tech Budget Updated | Mandate Training Programs | Turn to Portal Encryption | Deliver Reports Digitally (Even In-House) | Tech Trends for Auditors
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Traditional inbound faxes are usually printed from a fax machine and then hand-delivered to the recipient’s desk. In some cases, this image is actually rescanned and emailed to the recipient.
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Back Up Your Bandwidth

Technology center with fiber optic equipmentAnd review your options regularly.

By Roman H. Kepczyk

The Internet has undoubtedly had a profound impact on firm communications. It has become the primary driver toward the next generation of accounting applications that run entirely on the web through "cloud" computing.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Remote Access Takes Planning | Get in Front of Application Updates | Why You Need Offsite Backup | Use Scanners to Capture Source Documents | Develop Monthly IT Flash Reports | Centralize Contact Administration | Is Your AP Digital Yet? | A Better Way to Handle Time & Expenses
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Before we get ahead of ourselves discussing cloud opportunities, we have to assess how the Internet is used within your firm today.
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Remote Access Takes Planning

Woman sitting outside with laptop and smartphoneOne server can handle up to 18 concurrent connections.

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 ON TECH SPENDING: Get in Front of Application Updates | How to Choose Which Microsoft Office Version to Use | Time to Replace a Server? Consider the Cloud | Monitor Real Estate: More Is Better | Why You Need an Independent Security Review
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

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Get in Front of Application Updates

Young woman updating software on desktop computerInvolve your IT team for server updates.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Every firm has concerns about their systems being hacked or getting attacked by a virus or malware.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: How to Choose Which Microsoft Office Version to Use | Transitioning to Windows 10 | Desktops vs. Laptops
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The 2016 CPAFMA IT survey found that 15 percent of firms had been infected with malware that caused significant downtime in the past 12 months. The vast majority of issues can be effectively negated with one simple process: KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UPDATED.
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How to Choose Which Microsoft Office Version to Use

Man pointing at computer screen while woman works, both smilingFirms likely will be updating this year.

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 ON TECH SPENDING: Transitioning to Windows 10 | Why You Need Offsite Backup | Use Scanners to Capture Source Documents | Develop Monthly IT Flash Reports | Centralize Contact Administration | Is Your AP Digital Yet? | A Better Way to Handle Time & Expenses | How the Best CPA Firms Capture Best Tech Practices in Procedures Manuals | Workflow Systems Make Tax Season Less Tedious
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Due to the lag of accounting vendors providing support to the latest versions of office, today’s recommended standard is Office 2013.
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Transitioning to Windows 10

Businesswoman at desktop computerMake sure your tax personnel have additional RAM.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

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

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Why You Need Offsite Backup | Time to Replace a Server? Consider the Cloud | Monitor Real Estate: More Is Better | Why You Need an Independent Security Review | Standardize QuickBooks Support (and Bring Your Clients) | Remote Deposit Saves in Several Ways  | How Efficient Are Your Audits?
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All decisions about operating systems have to be done carefully as they impact software and hardware decisions for the next three to five years.
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Why You Need Offsite Backup

Man standing in front of server rackData "snapshots" make restoration much simpler.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

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

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Time to Replace a Server? Consider the Cloud | Desktops vs. Laptops | Keep Your Tech Budget Updated | Mandate Training Programs | Turn to Portal Encryption | Deliver Reports Digitally (Even In-House) | Tech Trends for Auditors | Front-End Scanning Hits the Mainstream | Don’t Just Store Documents, Manage Them | Which Wireless Depends on Location
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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.
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