Reaping the Rewards of a Paperless Office

When you walk into an accounting firm, the first thing you might expect to see are piles of tabbed folders, banks of filing cabinets, and workers with green eyeshades. Not at Mengali Accountancy. (Okay, so no one wears the eyeshades anymore.)

Almost three years ago, CPA Renée Mengali’s office went paperless. A powerful software called DocuWare enabled her firm to manage clients’ documents electronically, saving not only time, natural resources, and the carbon footprint associated with courier shipping, but also reducing storage space and the sense of chaos that piles of paper can engender.

With paper itself, notes Mengali, “there is the paper-creator side and the paper-user side... processing it, transporting it, storing it; the goal is never having to create it.” The key to the paperless strategy is remote capture technology, where documents such as bank statements or payables are scanned and uploaded to a network location by a client. Mengali’s staff then downloads the items into DocuWare. An employee electronically creates receipts for each one and categorizes the documents by type. The software decides where to direct or store the items for the appropriate staff member.

The transition to a paperless office has many unanticipated benefits, says Mengali. Above all, it has allowed this next-generation business to grow. Because the remote capture process is so quick and efficient, Mengali’s staff can handle more work in much less time with fewer errors. Clients have more information at their fingertips, thanks to a secure portal on the web.

Mengali Accountancy is primarily an outsourced bookkeeping firm for over 70 different entities. Clients are located nationwide, from California to Maine. Through the portal, clients have the ability to work seamlessly with Mengali’s staff, as if the client had their own in-house CPA, controller, staff accountant, tax preparer, and full-charge bookkeeper—without the overhead.

“We are expanding into another suite with 2,500 square feet and adding three new positions,” says Mengali. Growth of any kind in challenging economic times is icing on the cake. That the growth can be attributed to green innovation is even sweeter.

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