Gotcha's and Ah-ha's of Becoming Paperless

Day, Jo; Day, Kevin
May 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;May2004, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p36
Academic Journal
The article offers tips on shifting a firm to electronic document management. First, a firm should not buy the scanner first. The result of buying the scanner first is usually a fragmented filing system in which it is difficult to find what the firm needs. The firm instead should implement in phases. If the firm attempts to scan all of the paper coming into the firm at once, then the staff will be quickly overwhelmed, and the firm's chances of success diminished. Instead, the firm should pick one area of its practice, and focus its efforts there first. The firm needs to develop a workflow process for all the ways paper comes into and out of the firm, such as how to scan incoming and outgoing mail, scan data collected from clients during meetings, scan client data and review client packages and implement a meaningful shredding schedule. Second, a firm should not create as it goes. If it attempts to create its filing system and processes as it goes, then it will be creating an inconsistent filing system from day one. Instead, the firm should stress-test its design. It needs to test its design and process before it begins filing all of its client files into the system. It should take its most complicated client and scan and file their documents.


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