Point solutions such as Concur Small Business for time and expense reporting, Beyond 415 for handling tax notices, or ValueAppeal for handling tax appeal paperwork have solved specific problems and represent Paperless 2.0 products. Example document management products: AccountantsWorld CyberCabinet, CCH Document, eFileCabinet, FileCabinet CS, GoFileRoom. A more complete listing is available in our May 2012 review of document management systems at www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/10683361.
Workflow – The largest opportunity for improving business operations continues to be in process improvement. Business processes can be automated with workflow solutions. There have been notable improvements in offerings by publishers of these products in the last two years. If you have implemented workflow more than two years ago, you should tune up your installation. If you do not have a workflow solution, this may be your best digital strategy initiative. Example products: Firmflow, Orglow, Workstream, XCM.
Portals and file transfer – As in paperless, much has been written in this column and others about the benefits of portals. Integration of portal capability into your web site is a key feature to include since the additional traffic to your web site can help with Search Engine Optimization or SEO, not to mention the opportunity to interact directly with your clients. Some entry level web sites have portal integration. Better designs and strategies have far more seamless integration. Example products: AccountantsWorld Website Relief, CCH Site Builder, Thomson eMochilla, WebCare, ShareFile, Box, Ziptr.
Considering, selecting, and proactively building your digital strategy will provide you a competitive advantage, reduce your workload, increase your profitability and provide a better client experience. And isn’t that what computers are supposed to do for us?