How long have you been using Wolters Kluwer software for document management?
We’ve been using CCH Document Management since March 2012. Before that, we used its predecessor product, Singleview, for six years. We now have well in excess of 100,000 documents in the system.
There were two main drivers for implementing document management. The first was that we were running out of office space and although we have facilities for offsite storage we wanted to keep those costs down. There’s also the inefficiency of having to wait 24 hours to retrieve items from the store; if you’ve got electronic copies, you can access them instantly.
The second major concern was disaster recovery: if you rely on paper, then a fire or flood can destroy everything and, potentially, take your business with it. With electronic documents it’s easy to store offsite copies as part of a disaster recovery plan so your business can survive.
How did staff adapt to computerised document management?
Electronic filing does require a bit more thought – people have to choose meaningful titles for the documents when they file them. So there was a learning curve initially, but staff soon got used to that.
Our organisational structure is very flat here – we don’t have juniors and there’s only one office admin – so the advantages of electronic document management were immediately obvious to everyone. Staff were able to file documents electronically as they went, rather than storing stuff up on their desks and spending half an hour every couple of days catching up on filing.
What kind of documents do you store?
We specialise in providing executive tax and benefit consulting, mainly to high net worth individuals, so typical documents include tax returns, working papers – which can run into hundreds of pages for our more complex cases – correspondence with clients, HMRC and third party advisers, and original tax source documents like payslips, P11Ds and detailed share portfolios.
What do you see as the main benefits of CCH Document Management?
It has definitely cut down on filing space and it satisfies our requirements for disaster recovery, so that’s our first two points ticked off.
Filing and retrieval are both much quicker. With paper it could sometimes take ten minutes to find a file, let alone a document within that file; now it’s instantaneous. I work from home two days a week, so it’s particularly useful for me – I can access exactly the same documents as if I was in the office and I know I’m always looking at the latest versions.
What about document workflow?
We’re a very flat organisation, with one director and nine members of staff, and everyone prepares their own returns, sends their own letters, chases up clients etc. so we’ve never needed to implement document workflow. Because we’re not using features like that, we wondered if the CCH Central suite was going to be too complex for us but my advice to smaller or flatter firms is not to be put off. If document workflow works for you, that’s great, but there are definitely enough benefits to make document management worthwhile for practices of all sizes and types.
Overall, how have you found the service that you’ve received from Wolters Kluwer?
The support is brilliant and the Wolters Kluwer staff who come out to do the upgrades and installs have been superb. They really take the time to understand our needs and how things work here so they can set the systems up in the way that’s right for us. As a result I always feel confident about new products and upgrades – I know they will do a really good job.