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The death of the Corres file

8 May 2009 No Comment

Friday Feedback

In the old days, before Proactive was a paperless operation, we used to have paper files labelled:

  • Corres
  • Accounts
  • Tax
  • Payroll

We first tried going paperless in Aug 2005, when the hardware and software really didn’t do what we wanted. For a start it was slow and cumbersome, and it did not resemble our paper system at all! It was abandoned after just a few weeks.

Then, in Nov 2007, we took the plunge again and designed our own paperless system. The trial worked, because we relied on no proprietary product and built our own system which mimicked the 4 principal paper files that we were accustomed to. It went live on 1 Jan 2008 and we have never looked back.

Naturally, not all of our customers are paperless, so we have a hybrid system. Paper may arrive in the office! Whatever it is, it leaves again promptly, whether its records going back to the client, or scanned documents which are then shredded. We no longer have walls and walls of shelving and files. All the old paper stuff is in storage and all the new stuff is in an electronic system with multiple back ups.

So what does “the death of the corres file” mean? It dawned on us this week! We always used to keep paper correspondence in a Corres File. Now that it’s electronic, it sits is a unitary repository with all of the accounts and tax stuff. That’s a good thing, because 99% of the corres is about tax and accounts. So our Friday Feedback exercise this week resulted in a modest redesign of our electronic indexing so that a written request for some accounts information is no longer a 100*** document, but a 444*** document. It’s all about processes and not about filing!

In the days of paper it made sense to keep all correspondence in one file, but in our paperless system, we keep the corres in close proximity to the electronic files to which it relates!

Proactive Paul The Proactive Accountant Dot Com
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