Avoid Costly Mistakes When Transitioning To Electronic Records

Tax Professionals Resource
October 2, 2012 — 1,339 views  
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Transitioning to electronic record systems can be a great time and money saver. From paper costs to storage costs to time lost hunting for file folders, electronic records help improve cost-savings.

Initial costs for electronic record keeping are often higher than traditional record costs. In time, the electronic system will return cost savings high enough to cover the initial costs of the system, and then start making money for any accounting firm, regardless of size. 

There are some pitfalls that can befall any company attempting to migrate their paper records to electronic means. Understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them can help companies save time and money while transitioning to electronic records. 


One of the common oversights is the amount of storage needed for the entire library of current records and the growth of new customer records. While the size requirements for database records continues to decrease, the new types of information companies are attempting to keep, such as scanned documents and documents, take up more space than is being saved. 

Companies need to talk with their IT professionals to get an estimate of how much space will be needed for a universal storage system, plus back-up copies of the data. The archival of documents will save space, but the savings are minimal compared to the size of the total organization. 


Mistakes happen even in the best run accounting firms. When attempting to transfer paper files to digital format, the entry of records can be time consuming and repetitive. Typing the required information into the computer may not be the most exciting job in the firm, but it is vital. Mistakes made while entering the data into the computer when it is being transitioned can create major headaches in the future. 

Errors in the transcription process can hamper the speed and accuracy of customer dealings. Repairing the mistakes may require finding the original paper document in a storage facility and reentering the data. In many instances, this is not possible as records are not stored once they are loaded into the computer system. 


During the transition process, consistency is important for the staff and for accurate record keeping. If paper records are to be kept until the end of the transition, the staff needs to be aware. If the records are digital, the staff must be trained properly.

Tax Professionals Resource