A Paperless Office is just what it says it is – an office with less paper. Less paper when compared to the past, less paper when compared to other businesses. Less paper means the minimum possible used.
|What do you need to get started?||Tools that we use:|
|A Plan||Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner|
|Scanner||Adobe Acrobat Software|
|Server or secure file share system||Hubdoc App|
|Data backup system/service||Data Server + Off site backup|
For Jetstream, being paperless is achieved in a number of ways. The most important is our investment in the right hardware and software combination to create a simple to use and reliable system. We use the Fujitsu ScanSnap which is very popular in our industry as well as for businesses in general. Another great tool that we use is Hubdoc, an app that electronically collects and files all incoming bills, statements and receipts. When you are ready to make the move to paperless, it’s important to remember that it is a process. Take the time to fully map out what your electronic filing cabinet will look like and how it will function. Then test the new system with your team in order to fine tune it to your particular business needs and goals. Are you able to find the files you are looking for? Does your system follow common sense? A well-defined directory structure and naming syntax is critical to success.
Time Savings: One of the motivators for me in moving our paper files to the server was to eliminate that wasteful exercise of trying to find a document that was mis-filed. With electronic filing, the misfiling may still occur, but if the naming convention is right, you can retrieve your document and re-file it in minutes not hours.
Improved customer service: When a client calls or emails requesting a document or maybe specific details from within a document, we are able to open that file immediately and provide the answer or send the file without delay. Delivering results in real time has become the norm and having the tools to support that demand is a must in today’s ‘now’ environment.
More space – Less filing cabinets: What are you going to do with all the paper that you no longer need? – SHRED IT. Considering the consequences of personal or sensitive customer details getting into the wrong hands – every office (and home for that matter) needs a shredder. And what to do with the extra office space now that you’ve cleared out those empty filing cabinets? Grow your business and hire new staff!
Caution – Before you shred: Shredding your now perfectly filed electronic documents requires its own set of rules and parameters. NEVER shred documents the same day they are scanned and saved. We have a teamwork system, where data is verified and allowed to pass thru our daily backup system for multiple days before a source document is permanently destroyed. And there are exceptions, there are a certain sub-set of difficult to re-create source documents that do not get shredded until after the CRA document retention period has passed.
MAKING THE CHANGE:
REVIEW existing computer directory file structure
Design and IMPLEMENT an organized electronic filing system
Use a START date to mark the paperless process for all new documents
Use the TIME saved to scan your remaining paper files
TEST your backup – RESTORE random files periodically – we recommend quarterly