A paperless system saves time, resources and money while offering clarity and security. Find out why your firm should switch to a paperless filing system…
Going paperless isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for your firm’s image, productivity levels and office budget. There are law firms all over the country that have already made the jump to a nearly-paperless system through the advanced tech and digital tools available today. Rather than burning through reams of paper at a time, firms can save their important files and data virtually, backing it up for added security.
“Technological advances over the past several years have made it possible—and relatively easy—for lawyers to stop storing reams of paper and store their files electronically.” – Canadian Bar Association.
While paperless systems will save you money in the long term (supplies and overhead), it will save you time as well. A paperless system means a digital one replaces it. Most often, the digital system is easier to access, search and work with. Firm associates and employees save a lot of time accessing client data when the system isn’t filed away as boxes or drawers of paper files.
You no longer wonder, “Where’s the Smith file?” Everybody knows. When your firm goes paperless, you don’t have to hunt down a physical file. The file is available in the main data storage system you’ve set up. Files can’t be passed around and lost in the shuffle. Going paperless affords your office the opportunity to get more organized and streamline your processes.
Many professionals have taken their time going digital because they are concerned about security. They are nervous data could be lost or a breach could occur. This is a valid concern. But online security is now better than the security of keeping physical files in the offices. With the right set up, a paperless system offers security that keeps out unwanted eyes. Only authorized users and protected devices are able to access the information.
But you do need to take your online safety seriously and hire an IT firm capable of handling the specific needs of your law firm. Compliance is a huge issue and firms that cut corners with their client safety and privacy are going to face stiff penalties. You are going to want to find an IT company that offers quality and experience, proving their ability to keep your data safe.
Data is backed up in case of any glitch, loss or emergency issue. If your paper files were lost in an office fire, how would you recover the lost information? With online backups, you are able to store copies in another site, unconnected to your current data bank. If system corruption happens, an emergency upload can occur and get you back on track without losing your valuable data. If a fire or natural disaster destroys your physical space, the data will live on virtually, ready to be accessed. You can avoid the major disaster of data loss by keeping your files digitally and making regular backups.
Not only will a paperless system offer the clarity of keeping a file in one place and always available, it will also combine your different materials into the same place. Emails and texts will live in the same place as forms and pictures. You no longer need to print out digital correspondence to add to the files. You don’t need to print pictures for the file. And you won’t have multiple locations where data might be stored for a given file. You will scan any paper documents and everything will live in one organized storage system. All physical files will be shredded, reducing the office space needed for storage.
Going paperless is a great move for your law firm. You will need a few things to get started, according to the Canadian Bar Association:
If you have a security team that is unsure of handling the paperless system, you can always hire a managed IT services team to support your current IT staff. A team of professional technicians can help ensure the paperless system is set up in a secure way and backed up correctly. Then, your team can be on call in case any problems arise. Contact us for more about IT consulting services in Greater Vancouver.
It may take some time and effort to get the new system in place, but going paperless offers a lot of benefits. While you probably won’t be able to completely avoid paper, a paperless system means you are drastically cutting down on waste and material costs in your office.