How paperless can we be? Client's folder for job tracking? Invoicing? File of received checks deposited electronically? Financial Statements and Bank Reconciliations? Please let me know what should I do to organize a client's office to make it organized for my sake and the client's.
The first place I'd start is from a compliance standpoint - do any records need to be kept as carbon or digital (and for how long), and work backwards from there. Do your clients prefer getting their documents in a certain format? What about your staff? How long does your practice like to hold onto records before tossing them?
I am not an accountant, but I've been a manager and required to hold onto employee records. Personally, I keep important documents in both formats, hold onto paper copies of everything else for a year and then digitize the rest. I keep digital copies on my computer and do regular manual backups onto an encrypted removable hard drive.
Definitely agree with James. Retention policies vary for different states and industries. Providing your clients with a document management software (DMS) or simply a recommendation of one you like will go a long way. Start with simply recommending that they mirror their current paper-folder environment in an electronic solution so you are not "reinventing the wheel". Make sure the DMS offers long-term functionality in terms of automation, integration for QB Online AND Desktop and other advanced features like reporting and digital signatures so that they can grow into the product in the future without having to migrate to a new solution. Our app was recently approved by Intuit and may be a good one to consider and compare with other apps. https://appcenter.intuit.com/contentcentral?locale=en-US