As a good accountant, you know the value of good record-keeping, and stress this to your clients. So you certainly don’t want to be known as the firm that adopts a “do as I say, not as I do” approach to file maintenance. Check out the reasons why document management for accountants provides excellent value to yourself, and as an example to your clients.

What is a document management system?

Simply put, a document management system is the method by which your firm stores its most essential processes, contracts, communications, financial records, and other vital information. This can be either manual (paper) based or online, or preferably, a combination of both. 

Are there records that I must keep in physical form? 

Some documents are best kept in paper or physical form. These include identity documents, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and passports. However, even with paper records, it’s a good idea to back up a copy online. 

Why keep business records? 

Quite apart from the fact that by law, you must keep business records, it is a pragmatic and efficient way of keeping track of how your business is operating. Other reasons include any loan applications you may make – no bank will lend you money without looking at your books – and to aid you in any insurance or court action. 

How long do you need to keep business records?

The IRS recommends that you retain business records until the period of limitations runs out. Different rules apply depending on the type of records and whether you have a corroborating document (for example, an invoice which you can compare with a bank statement, or a quarterly statement which you can reconcile with an annual one). 

I have a perfectly good paper system. Why should I also keep records online?

A perfectly good paper system is only as good as the walls, boxes, and filing cabinets that contain it. If a fire, flood, or other emergency damaged your paper records or prevented you from accessing them, think about how you would reconstruct or retrieve that information. If your answer is “with difficulty,” then you need an online document management system.

I don’t trust computers – people can hack into them. So why should I keep my records online?

You are right in saying that computers can be hacked, which is why River City Data is proud to say that we thoroughly vet our employees and they are HIPPA certified. Once you have a secure document management system, you can track anyone accessing your records illegally or without proper authorization. You can’t always do that with paper-based records, as who can know who opened that particular file, read that particular document, or photocopied that certificate?

Benefits of an online document management system

Security

We have touched on security above, but as a reminder, think about who can access your computer system. You will only be giving access to trusted employees, with appropriate passwords and security clearance, who leave digital footprints. It is far more difficult to access computer records than paper records, and you can keep track of who does. 

Ease of access

Not to contradict the point about security, but your employees who need access to records need to be able to do so easily and quickly. Rather than requiring authorized employees to rush to the box of files in the basement when the auditors arrive, consider how more efficient it is for that employee to press the relevant button and pull up the data instantly.

Audit time made easy

Yes, the right files are in the basement, or the attic, or offsite. But are they in the proper order, filed under the correct name, or still legible?  An efficient document management system maintains your business information in a way that allows the auditors to follow an accurate electronic trail quickly and easily.

Filing and forgetting 

After keeping your financial records for the required period, you are generally allowed to dispose of them. A simple way to do this is to archive documents after a pre-determined period, or even delete them. Your paper documents, on the other hand, will need to be physically disposed of securely, and this takes extra time and effort.

Free the storage space

If your business has limited space, you want to use that space efficiently. Piles of paper documents are not the most cost-effective use of that space. Storing your documents online means being able to use that space for more productive purposes.

Saving on costs

Storage space isn’t the only thing that gets used up inefficiently when you depend solely on a paper-based system. You want your employees to work more productively, not always having to hunt out old invoices, or manually post documents that they could email efficiently, quickly, and securely. An efficient document management system allows your employees to concentrate on today’s tasks, not seeking out information on what happened to last year’s tasks.

Minimize risk brought on by emergencies or disasters

If your office is inaccessible for whatever reason (fire, natural disaster, or another emergency), you still want to be able to continue your business as best as possible. If your records are stored securely and can be accessed remotely, you can minimize the impact of that emergency on your business. 

Backing up files

The only way to back up a paper file in a manual system is to create more paper by photocopying or reprinting the file. Not only is that bad for the environment, but it requires more storage space. Backing up your computer files in an online document management system can be as simple as creating a new online file and calling it “important document (copy).” 

Want to find out more about River City Data Services?

Our employees will use all their professional and technical skills to work with you to create a document management filing system for your accounting business, which provides efficiency, security, and reliability for your data. Contact us for further information on how we can help you.  

 

Are you considering digital document imaging as a way to efficiently manage your paperwork and conserve resources? Contact River City Data to take advantage of their over 40 years of data conversion and document management experience. 

If you’re not sure digital imaging is right for your organization, here are some things you should know. 

Think You Have Too Many Documents? Don’t Worry About It.

River City Data can help you or your business back scan boxes of documents by the hundreds and even thousands. River City Data has the capacity for high-volume document conversion. We’ll also come to you; our trucks and trailers keep your information secure in our care from beginning to end.

A Document Preparation Process Tailored to Your Needs Is Important

Before you prepare your documents for digital imaging, you will need to choose a digital storage system. You should store your data in a searchable way, and that allows you to retrieve documents as needed quickly. 

Storage systems can include external hard drives, SSL, or cloud hosting. Talk it over with document imaging professionals to determine which kind of storage works best for your business or organization.

Once you know what kind of digital storage you want, you are ready to begin preparing your documents. A dedicated document management service like River City Data, will work with you to discuss your organization’s needs. Knowing an organization’s unique requirements helps document imaging professionals determine how to index and prepare their paperwork.

Attention to Detail Saves Organizations Time and Effort

Document preparation can include such detail-oriented tasks as identifying and disposing of unnecessary pages. Document imaging professionals will work with organizations to identify and purge papers that are irrelevant, unwanted, or unneeded. 

There are other intricacies that document imaging professionals oversee, which would otherwise suck up time and attention from your business. These specifics include straightening out creases, removing staples, and repairing rips and tears. 

A third-party document management service takes on this painstaking, time-consuming labor, freeing up an organization’s employees to do their jobs.

Attention to details such as tears and paper folds may seem small or excessive to most people. However, the presence of these imperfections can affect accuracy when digital imaging professionals index your documents.

Store Your Documents Digitally to Avoid Lost Time and Prevent Frustration

Once your organization scans and stores its documents digitally, mislaid documents will be a thing of the past. Additionally, digitally-archived records are indexed, and searchable. This new system will help you quickly find and retrieve what you need. 

Document imaging makes searchability possible through a process called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR recognizes in images text characters that it converts to readable, searchable documents.

Decide on a Format for Your Documents

Document imaging services can scan your paperwork into a variety of popular formats. These formats include PDF, JPEG, PNG, and BMP. 

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what each format is or what difference (if any) each would make for your organization. Even if you do know, this is an important determination that can affect your business’s data for years to come. Decide on digital document formats in cooperation with a document imaging service for peace of mind. 

Document Imaging Storage Should Be Secure

Once they are in the hands of a document imaging service, your records and paperwork should be stored securely. Ensure that the employees who will be handling your organization’s records are vetted and have completed background checks. If necessary, verify that they are HIPAA certified.

Find out whether the digital imaging service you plan to will destroy original documents for you.

River City Data employees are vetted: they have completed background checks and have HIPAA certification. River City Data will also destroy originals or return them safely to your organization, depending on your preference.

Image Your Organization’s Records and Paperwork and Prevent Disaster

Facts and figures, client information, and patient records take years to accumulate. In a disaster, they can disappear in an instant. You don’t have to worry about what will happen to essential knowledge and materials in the event of a catastrophe.

When you archive your imaged documents in the cloud or an external server, you protect them from damage. Floods, extreme weather, and fire can all wipe out physical copies of valuable information. Digitally image your documents to protect your business or organization’s records.

Scan-As-You-Go

Up until now, most of the items for consideration on this list assume large amounts of existing records to scan. You don’t need an extensive catalog of documents or paperwork to begin digital imaging your hard copies of things. Alternatively, once you have back scanned your organization’s papers, you can start scanning as you go.

Whatever your organization or business needs, River City Data can help you determine the right digital imaging solution for you. We are equipped to handle a high volume of documents.

Digital Imaging: Save Time, Space, and Money

Save human resources, work hours, and space in your office area by digital imaging and archiving your documents. You will save money and paper when you switch to digital imaging.

River City Data understands the need for businesses to use their resources responsibly. We are a local business ourselves, based in New London, MN, for over 40 years. 

We work with clientele of all kinds in Minnesota and elsewhere. If you want a locally-based, community-oriented business that understands your business’s needs, you need River City Data.

River City Data for your Digital Imaging Needs

River City Data offers a variety of services beyond document imaging. We convert microfilm and provide document hosting and archiving. We also assist with disaster recovery and e-book conversion.

When you are ready to free up your business’s space and resources, River City Data is standing by to assist you. Contact River City Data for an experienced, dedicated team that will help you scan and store your data. Our representatives will be able to give you information on our services and answer your questions about pricing.

Close-up Of Person's engineer Hand Drawing Plan On Blue Print with architect equipment, Architects discussing at the table, team work and work flow construction concept.

 

When you work incredibly hard for something, you want to ensure it is taken care of and preserved. You worked hard for your diploma, whatever level of schooling you earned it in. It likely brings you a sense of pride whenever you see it hanging on your wall.

Maybe you have an intricate (and expensive) map on your wall? Or other large documents that are essential to you or your business you want to ensure are preserved. Just because a document is large doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain it. 

If you are looking for large format scanning services, look no further than River City Data. We have the experience you need and the skills you can depend on to digitize your documents. We focus on bringing our customers the best results possible.

With 40 years of experience serving the amazing people of New London and the surrounding areas, let River City Data serve all of your data needs.

Large format printer

What is Large Format Data Scanning?

Similar to document preservation of smaller sizes, large document data scanning services take large format documents and convert the actual document to a digital one. Instead of a bulky, large document, you will have a high-quality digital copy in the form you choose, PDF, TIFF, JPEG, or more. Some companies can even turn architectural or design drawings into computer-aided design (CAD) files like DWG or DXF.

What makes large-format data scanning different from smaller document scanning is the type of scanner required. Large documents use an LFD scanner. Here, the document is fed through a scanner slowly and read thoroughly as the paper passes through the machine. We will then convert the scanned image to the required format.

hand pressing button on scanner

Why Large Format Data Scanning Services?

There are many reasons why you might want large format data scanning services. Many of our clients are looking to free up space, and others do not want to deal with cumbersome and bulky items regularly. With that, our top seven reasons to use large data scanning services:

  1. Space, space, space. Many large documents, like floor plans, maps, etc., take up space and do not fit comfortably in most storage solutions, i.e., filing cabinet. Digitizing these documents frees up your office.
  2. Organization is key. Similar to freeing up space, digitizing large documents allows you to organize the records by indexing them while scanning. You can choose how to assemble at the beginning, and we will work with you.
  3. Time is of the essence. Handling and sorting through large documents can be tricky and tiresome. If you regularly sort through large documents, you know what we’re talking about here. Imagine clicking through some files that are at your fingertips to find what you need.
  4. Save money. This fact rings true if you work from home or have a small office, and storage space is at a premium. Digitizing your documents allows you not to have large documents in storage.
  5. Security. Depending on what you’re dealing with, you might be legally required to take certain precautions with information. We can ensure that only specific staff members are authorized to see the scanned documents.
  6. Shareability. Along with securely protecting your documents, you can easily share them after scanning. Scanned documents are ready to be shared via email or on a hard drive of your choice.
  7. Sharper images. Often, scanning large documents results in cleaner, sharper images. The scanned image can be better than the original.
  8. Memories! Maybe you don’t own a business but have many essential documents that happen to be substantial. We work with individuals regularly to preserve important mementos from their family and life.

Residential building blueprint plans

What Size Document Can Be Scanned?

Most households in America have a printer/scanner at home. This scanner likely does a fantastic job with anything under the A4 size. For those not in the paper world, A4 is slightly longer than the standard letter size paper you print on. A4 is 210mm by 297mm, while standard letter paper is 215.9mm by 279.4mm.

A3 paper is 420mm by 297mm, or two A4 documents together. Anything A3 or larger typically requires professional services to scan.

Many documents will be classified under these larger sizes, including maps, diplomas, architects’ drawings, projects your kids did in school, poster-size prints, extra-large photographs, and more. If you have some of these things or anything else more substantial you want to preserve, call River City Data today and see how we can securely scan your documents.

Close up woman hand working of Architect sketching project on blueprint at site construction work. Concept of architect, engineer in the office desk construction project

Why River City Data?

River City Data has been in the business for more than 40 years, and we have been in New London for the entire time. We have served clients from all walks of life: both businesses and individuals. Our roots run deep, as well as our values.

Our customers trust us to deliver quality products with the best customer service. We will work within your budget and your timeline to ensure you have what you need when you need it.

Our customers are not limited to New London alone; we have customers throughout Minnesota and the Greater Midwest area. Our satisfied customers live all around our great state and beyond.

We are dedicated to keeping up with the ever-changing world of technology. We work hard to ensure your data is secure. To ensure a smooth conversion, we rely on AMI View, or we can use your existing ECM software. We will be able to archive your documents and ensure they are accessible to your home or business.

Whether you are an individual or a business, let River City Data be your partner in all your scanning and digitizing needs. We look forward to working with you as you digitize all of the documents in your life.