Why File Organization Matters for Accounting Firms: Tips for Efficient Financial Record Keeping

In only a couple of years, the world will have stored over two hundred zettabytes of data. This is a huge amount to handle and will comprise everything from use of the Internet to your company's detailed financial and client data. Are you ready to handle that amount of information with the system you already have?

This is where file management software for Windows comes in. You can ensure everyone has access to the same information at all times, no matter where they are. Read on to learn how a product like this can help you in the long run.

Why File Organization Matters

The financial records your company holds are the most important pieces of data within your office. Without them, your whole business might fall apart. So, you must understand that if they are not organized well, it will be harder for both you and anyone else working with you to handle your clients.

There is every chance you believe you can handle it now, and that may be true. Though, are you sure that can continue as you grow? Do you have a file organization strategy once you are two times as large—or even ten times as large?

Ensuring you have the data you need at your fingertips at all times saves you both time and money. It allows you to find files you might have otherwise lost, compare notes much easier, and correct any errors with the least effort.

What Bad File Organization Can Cost You

If you cannot organize your files in a simple and effective way, you will come under fire from many different angles. One of the major issues you might come across is a much greater risk of fraud or mismanagement of files under your watch. It is much easier for a malicious employee to manipulate a system you have not moderated well than it is one with checks and balances in place.

At the same time, your local state might have regulations related to the holding of client data. If your files are not well organized, you may fall foul of the law, leading to potential legal action, fines, or even harm to your reputation long-term.

Even in the short term, being unable to manage financial records well means they are much more prone to errors. This will then snowball over time, leading to more issues as you try to correct them.

Tips for Efficient Financial Record Keeping

There are some simple ways people can ensure their records meet the criteria demanded by clients and the government. This list is not exhaustive, but the following should help get you on the road to handling data much better.

Develop a Standardized System

With the many different types of accounting firm documents, it can be hard to keep everything in the right order and in the right location. One of the first things you should do is set up a system to arrange everything in the right place so you can always know where to find it.

This is true for everything from the data within the files to the names of any files themselves. It can speed up your work as you know what your next step will always be.

Use Appropriate Naming Systems

When you enter the names of any files in the system, make sure they match the truth of the file itself. There is no point in having a file name that does not reflect what is in it, as it will be almost impossible to find later.

Even consider listing date-sensitive items by year, then month, then day, to ensure they stay in date order. For example:

  1. 2020_03_01_Bob_Smith.doc
  2. 2021_01_30_Bob_Smith.doc
  3. 2021_02_02_Bob_Smith.doc
  4. 2022_01_01_Bob_Smith.doc

As you can see above, the dates are listed by the year, then the month, then the day, despite the numbers going up and down. They are thus in the correct date order.

Switch to Digital

By using a piece of file management software for Windows instead of physical files, you can save yourself a lot of time.

While this might have a lot of up-front data entry, it will mean you can search for files without needing to physically move. It will also mean you can transfer them to others much easier.

Maintain Your System

Many issues might come from not keeping up-to-date with a system. These could be anything from becoming at risk to common cyber threats to falling behind on adhering to regulations. Ensure you maintain the system and not only update its security but also how you organize it.

Ensure You Have Backups

Disaster could strike at any time. The best thing about a piece of file management software for Windows is how easy it is to back up.

Copy your clients' files regularly and keep their data in a secure secondary site. This will prevent you from losing access to them in the case of a natural disaster, server failure, or other emergencies.

Ensure Staff Receive Training

The process of organizing digital files is not clear to everyone at first. Work with your staff to ensure they receive the right training for the software you use.

Create Permissions for Access

Keep accounting firm documents under appropriate security measures. Not everyone needs access to everything all the time.

By needing passwords or account permissions, you can battle the most common cyber threats with ease.

Iterate and Improve

Assume the way you are organizing digital files can always be better. Look at your file organization strategy as an ongoing process and work with your staff to always make it better. There may be ways for people to access it easier, or you might need to shore up its security.

Whatever you do, aim to do it regularly.

The Ultimate File Management Software for Windows

With the above, it should be clear why adding tagging to the file management software for Windows would help you and your company. Still, whether you are convinced or not, we would like to talk to you about your options.

Our experts are ready to discuss what our software can do for you and why you would enjoy its use. All you need to do is get in contact via email and we can talk to you about your options today.