Skip to main content

First Hand

Taking an accounting firm paperless is one thing, getting clients to do it is another. As the owner of Inform Restaurant Accounting, an Oregon firm that specializes in helping restaurants, Jan Walker knows this first-hand.

An easier way to share documents with clients and backup Quickbooks

Although she was able to get her staff of six to buy in to moving to digital storage and collaboration within the firm, the real challenge was ahead. How to get clients to understand the potential benefits?

Jan had tried one solution in 2012, but was unfortunately plagued with poor customer service, installation problems and weak tech support from a suite of cloud solutions offered through her copier leasing company. Jan stated, “I was disappointed and eager to find a service that I felt we could really get behind. I knew the technologies were out there, but you still have to pick a starting point based upon the reality of where you are with your current equipment and workflow systems.”

The Good News

The good news is she learned about SmartVault from information found on The Sleeter Group’s website. SmartVault provides accounting firms and businesses with an easy-to-use paperless system for storing and securely sharing files online. SmartVault offers a unique integration with QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online, allowing users to scan and attach documents to any QuickBooks transaction; invoices, receipts, tax documents, bank statements, employee records and other source items can be attached directly to an entry in QuickBooks, and available from any web browser or mobile device. Clients can easily and securely upload and access files from the firm’s custom branded client portal to streamline workflow and improve serviceability from the firm to the client. SmartVault also allows users to back up the QuickBooks company file, which creates an easy, safe way for a client to share the company file with their accountant. Jan and her staff started using SmartVault in 2012 and she says they immediately experienced efficiencies in workflow. Soon after, she started educating her clients on how it could help them, too.

For her clients who also use SmartVault, it helps reduce the time and effort  needed to exchange documents and QuickBooks files by mail, email, fax or hand delivery. But Jan wasn’t only looking to increase her firm’s productivity. She wanted to see a return on her investment and has developed SmartVault services into a revenue-generating value-added service she offers clients.

“Not every restaurant is set up to take advantage of this technology,” she said. “But over time, we’ve approached clients one by one to help them understand the benefits and see how easy it is to use.” The web-based system also allows her remote workers, to access client documents easily from their home office computers or iPads with apps that make the work easy from anywhere.

“We are committed to using SmartVault in my business. It has given me the efficiencies I had hoped for and my staff continues to find new ways to improve our internal workflow. SmartVault’s knowledgeable sales and tech support staff, plus resource and training tools allowed us to get going with this program faster than expected. Just as important to me is that I have a value added service to offer new clients and a way to continue helping existing ones.”