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Every Q1, companies still using legacy document management practices scramble to find and organize a year’s worth of records. From receipts and credit card statements to W-9s and health care forms, there’s a lot to gather. And if it’s all stored in filing cabinets, folders on desks and personal computers and laptops, getting on top of it all is a massive undertaking.

What about an IRS audit? With paper files, say goodbye to a few weeks’ worth of productivity while you and your accounting team prepare for that.

Fortunately, no matter how the 2014/15 tax season went, you don’t need to dread April ever again. By deploying a modern, flexible document management system (like SAFE CLOUD), you can ensure that all your mission-critical documentation is instantly accessible by authorized users – anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Best of all, the benefits don’t end there. Here are three ways document management can make tax time better.

1. Simple Document Location

When it comes to tax or audit preparation, the biggest benefit of electronic document management software is easy searching. The best paperless office systems offer numerous ways to get to the exact document you’re looking for, including “drilling down” through a familiar cabinet-folder-document structure, searching by document title or searching by document metadata (last modified date, creator, file type, etc.).

The best document management software suites also offer full-text search. If you know a few words in a document (“Order #271250,” for instance) and it’s saved as a “live” PDF, you’ll be able to locate it … instantly. Try that with filing cabinets.

2. Secure Document Sharing

If you work with an off-site accounting firm, you know how difficult it is to get them the documents they need securely, and in a timely fashion. High-end document management systems make this a snap.

SAFE CLOUD, for instance, can be used with our SHARE module, which allows users to send documents to a private, encrypted online repository with the click of a mouse. The accounting firm can securely download necessary information from there, and send revised versions back just as easily. It’s far more secure than email, far more integrated than third-party apps like Dropbox and dramatically faster and less expensive than hard copy courier services.

3. Standardized Practices

An intangible benefit of “going paperless” is the process improvements it creates. Any good document management vendor will work with you to evaluate your current practices, advise on what could be made better, and implement sustainable, efficient workflows.

These improvements inevitably pay dividends come tax season. Documents will be more consistent, SOPs will have been more fully adopted and everything will be easier to work with. Document management is the tool; your business is the beneficiary.

To learn more contact MCC’s Integrated Solutions Division today!