Many accounting authors, movers and shakers, entrepreneurs like to focus on the newest and latest in tech. What about the not so fancy ones that provide immeasurable value, just because it makes things easier? Let’s take a moment to explore cloud content management.
Cloud content management (CCM) is a combination of centralized, cloud-native content services with advanced security and governance. For the accounting profession, this means a secure place to keep all your team’s work together. It also allows for secure file sharing – no accidental emailing of social security numbers or bank account information.
What are some of the benefits of adopting a CCM? Glad you asked!
1. No need to worry about how much space you have to store boxes of documents. Besides, who wants to waste valuable space in their office for files when you could easily use it for a mini-fridge to hold your favorite snacks.
2. Security, security, security. As mentioned earlier, accidents happen but can be extremely costly with the information firms handle for their clients. CCMs allow companies to limit who has access to files and documents, preventing exposure of sensitive information. You also have secure storage from disasters beyond your control. Imagine if your office flooded and all the documents and files are destroyed. Cloud-based storage is continuously backed up and secured so you can access it from wherever.
3. Oh, audits. Not everyone’s favorite, but how much easier would they be if all of your documentation was in one central location? Plus, CCMs track audit trails with which documents were viewed by whom, when edits are made and what kind.
4. Improved efficiency by offering time-saving options like accessibility. There are no geographical restrictions. You can work on, upload, download, and share anywhere you have internet access. This also allows faster collaboration between team members and your clients by making workflows more efficient and turning projects around.
5. You are saving trees. Think of all the paper you are cutting out, all the trees you are saving by using electronic documents. Even the system hardware itself saves energy use by using enormous capacities for multiple clients.
Odds are you are already using CCM and probably not fully aware of it. Software like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Sharefile, iCloud is becoming more and more commonplace for cloud-based storage and sharing. Our High Rock contractor Christine DeAngelis prefers to use Box:
“I use Box as my client file storage/portal. It has an easy mobile application, so if I get a client email or call while I’m not at my desk asking for a file or asking questions, I can log in via my phone and see previous tax returns, financials, etc., and also send them the links to docs they need right away.”
Not every solution needs to be the next shiny app. Explore basic options that genuinely help your firm become more efficient and productive.