As you implement best practices in your financial planning or wealth management business, a vital question to ask is: Should you go completely paperless?
(The question is not: Should I get rid of most paper? Of course you should.) My preliminary answer to the first question is probably not.
How much paper you retain, if any, may be a personal preference rather than a best practice.
Personally, when I’m proof reading, I like to print a document and mark it up. I can see errors better. And then there’s the “out of sight/out of mind” curse. If I’m not done with a project and I file it out of sight, I might as well reduce it to sub-atomic particles. I will never see it again.
Nevertheless, digitizing paper files and routine processes is so valuable that it has to be on the very top of your ongoing effort to become more productive. So let’s get started
Filing at my company, Bill Good Marketing, is not a popular assignment. We have about 40 four-drawer filing cabinets containing client files going back to 1986. You need rollerblades to file stuff. Heaven forbid you have to file something for Adam Aaimes and then Zelda Zorch.
In the words of the classic song: Did he ever return, No he never returned And his fate is still unlearn’d.
In six weeks, those 40 cabinets will be gone, their paper files converted to easily accessible PDF files. Why six weeks? We’re moving and I’m not going to pay thousands of dollars a year to store all that … ‘er … stuff.
And we will do it with two $500 scanners!
1) Set a goal
2) Buy or lease equipment
3) Run some tests
4) Personnel in place
5) Process documented
6) Staff trained
7) File preparation
9) File naming
10) Secure disposal
11) Secure access and
12) Redundant backup