Efficiency in a small accounting firm


P

Peter Saxton

I'm happy enough with the "real" work I do on a day to day basis (such
as advice, returns, accounts and reports) but because I'm not wanting
to take on employees or even sub-contractors I'm finding a constant
flow of new clients is putting me under a lot of pressure.

I'm using Digita products for Accounts Production, Tax Returns and
Company Secretarial and Sage for Payroll. Digita will be drip feeding
their Practice Management product over the next year or two but I
don't want to switch to a rival product.

I'm presently using:

Outlook for calendar, contacts and email
Word for letters
Adobe Acrobat for scanned documents
Excel for tasks, time recording and invoices

I'd be interested to know if any products address various online
registrations. I do VAT returns, payroll, Companies House and tax
returns online pretty easily but it would be useful if there was a
product that could extract information information from my software to
do the following online:

VAT registration
Employer registration
Agent authorisation

Presently I have to enter the details into my various software and
then either enter the information again in the HMRC website or print
out forms and post them.

Another area which I'm interested in is paperless document management.

Presently I get about 20 letters a day but I only scan documents if
I'm going to email them. I get a lot more emails and attachments which
I have to deal with and file one at a time. If there was a paperless
document management system that was specific to an accountancy firm or
customisable I'd consider buying it.

I'm chasing Digita about the above but I don't know whether I'll be
able to wait one or two years until they make progress on this front.

What products do online registrations efficiently?

Can anyone recommend a paperless document management system.
 
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T

Troy Steadman

Peter said:
I'm happy enough with the "real" work I do on a day to day basis (such
as advice, returns, accounts and reports) but because I'm not wanting
to take on employees or even sub-contractors I'm finding a constant
flow of new clients is putting me under a lot of pressure.

I'm using Digita products for Accounts Production, Tax Returns and
Company Secretarial and Sage for Payroll. Digita will be drip feeding
their Practice Management product over the next year or two but I
don't want to switch to a rival product.

I'm presently using:

Outlook for calendar, contacts and email
Word for letters
Adobe Acrobat for scanned documents
Excel for tasks, time recording and invoices

I'd be interested to know if any products address various online
registrations. I do VAT returns, payroll, Companies House and tax
returns online pretty easily but it would be useful if there was a
product that could extract information information from my software to
do the following online:

VAT registration
Employer registration
Agent authorisation

Presently I have to enter the details into my various software and
then either enter the information again in the HMRC website or print
out forms and post them.

Another area which I'm interested in is paperless document management.

Presently I get about 20 letters a day but I only scan documents if
I'm going to email them. I get a lot more emails and attachments which
I have to deal with and file one at a time. If there was a paperless
document management system that was specific to an accountancy firm or
customisable I'd consider buying it.

I'm chasing Digita about the above but I don't know whether I'll be
able to wait one or two years until they make progress on this front.

What products do online registrations efficiently?

Can anyone recommend a paperless document management system.
The surveyor who came round this week had a simple system. Instead of
taking the 10 photocopies I'd prepared for him, he preferred to take
pictures of them with his digital camera.

I suppose he dumps it into a 10NameRoad directory, and everything he
needs is ready to pull up on screen.
 
P

Peter Saxton

The surveyor who came round this week had a simple system. Instead of
taking the 10 photocopies I'd prepared for him, he preferred to take
pictures of them with his digital camera.

I suppose he dumps it into a 10NameRoad directory, and everything he
needs is ready to pull up on screen.
I have a folder for each client and then within that folders named by
service and period with a miscellaneous folder with subfolders named
YearMonthDay (eg. 2006-03-25).
 
T

Troy Steadman

Peter said:
I have a folder for each client and then within that folders named by
service and period with a miscellaneous folder with subfolders named
YearMonthDay (eg. 2006-03-25).
Presumably if you are saving images, you want a parallel series of
directories with OCR versions of your images, which you don't reference
except to search them for words and phrases.

I went for an interview to a medium-sized practice in London who were
doing just that 10 years ago, and I don't see how it can be bettered.
 
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D

DoobieDo

(e-mail address removed) wandered down the corridor from www.sageforum.co.uk
thinking he was the mutts nuts and warbling...
I have a folder for each client and then within that folders named by
service and period with a miscellaneous folder with subfolders named
YearMonthDay (eg. 2006-03-25).
who's a little clever [email protected] then?
 
T

Troy Steadman

Troy said:
Presumably if you are saving images, you want a parallel series of
directories with OCR versions of your images, which you don't reference
except to search them for words and phrases.

I went for an interview to a medium-sized practice in London who were
doing just that 10 years ago, and I don't see how it can be bettered.
I'm pretty sure it was this firm:

Vantis

82 St John Street
London
EC1M 4JN

Might be worth a phone call - people are usually happy to help.
 
P

Peter Saxton

Presumably if you are saving images, you want a parallel series of
directories with OCR versions of your images, which you don't reference
except to search them for words and phrases.

I went for an interview to a medium-sized practice in London who were
doing just that 10 years ago, and I don't see how it can be bettered.
I've never found OCR to be very good. I'd prefer something along the
lines of the Properties that you get for Word or Excel files that can
be customised so you can chose Clients, Service, Period, etc. via drop
down menus.
 
P

Peter Saxton

I'm pretty sure it was this firm:

Vantis

82 St John Street
London
EC1M 4JN

Might be worth a phone call - people are usually happy to help.
Thanks

I like their website.
 
T

Troy Steadman

Peter said:
I've never found OCR to be very good. I'd prefer something along the
lines of the Properties that you get for Word or Excel files that can
be customised so you can chose Clients, Service, Period, etc. via drop
down menus.
Why not save your graphics into Word files. You can add notes in the
files themselves, or set your Properties, or both. Word's graphics
handling and editing is very powerful (so my son tells me, and he
produces huge illustrated college projects in Word in their entirety).

The digital camera is an interesting alternative to the scanner. As
well as documenting important paperwork our surveyor was using it as an
"aide memoir" - flashing off pictures as he walked. You'd need
rechargable batteries, but after that there are no consumables to pay
for.

My interview was in the 486SX era and Vantis (if it were indeed they)
were saving to a 5 hour tape streamer. Nowadays 1 backup a day across
your network, 1 DVD a week to take home with you - oops! I'm forgetting
you *are* home, but what's happened to that sign? - and you have a
secure paperless lo-to-no-cost office.
 
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P

Peter Saxton

Why not save your graphics into Word files. You can add notes in the
files themselves, or set your Properties, or both. Word's graphics
handling and editing is very powerful (so my son tells me, and he
produces huge illustrated college projects in Word in their entirety).

The digital camera is an interesting alternative to the scanner. As
well as documenting important paperwork our surveyor was using it as an
"aide memoir" - flashing off pictures as he walked. You'd need
rechargable batteries, but after that there are no consumables to pay
for.

My interview was in the 486SX era and Vantis (if it were indeed they)
were saving to a 5 hour tape streamer. Nowadays 1 backup a day across
your network, 1 DVD a week to take home with you - oops! I'm forgetting
you *are* home, but what's happened to that sign? - and you have a
secure paperless lo-to-no-cost office.
The sign in the loft. It will return!

If you think spending the best part of 100k on the extension is low
cost!

It's not paperless yet.
 

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