Firms that are already using document management software (DMS) know firsthand how valuable it is to their practice. But for those who haven’t made the transition yet, here’s a rundown of the benefits from Andy Smith, Thomson Reuters product manager of Document Management and Workflow Solutions.
1. Improved Efficiency
All the information needed to do business is accessible in an instant – much faster than digging through documents in a traditional filing cabinet. Every firm will save time when using DMS compared to a paper-based system, although it differs from firm to firm.
“The more complex a firm’s workflow, the bigger the impact of implementing a document management system will be,” Smith says. “Greater efficiency will especially help firms that want to move toward a more trusted advisor role, because there’s less time and effort required to get through basic compliance work.”
Plus, there’s the added advantage of the process improvements that can be made while setting up a DMS system, which gives firms an opportunity to evaluate their workflow.
2. Risk Mitigation
Automating document management means you can pre-set retention policies and security on a document and then forget about it. No worrying about how long to keep documents or whether unauthorized personnel have accessed them.
“There’s a risk to having things on paper, which could be taken out of the office,” Smith says. “The importance of securing access to documents and client files cannot be overstated.”
3. Client satisfaction
Every client will appreciate faster turnaround, which DMS delivers. “If a client calls and asks about a specific document, you can access it right away,” Smith says. What’s more, firms can integrate DMS with client delivery software for truly seamless operations.
4. Cost Savings
Improved efficiency reduces costs. So does eliminating the need for space previously taken up by old-fashioned file cabinets. Worried about the expense of moving to DMS? You can implement it incrementally, keeping some paper-based processes, until your budget and time frame allows.
5. Employee Recruitment
According to Smith, when he was weighing offers from accounting firms early in his career, firms without a document management system were significantly less attractive to him.
“Candidates entering the workforce now are expecting a higher level of technological sophistication. Not having DMS limits what you can do from a staffing standpoint,” says Smith.