Aren’t you glad it wasn’t you sitting across from the House Ways and Means Committee hearings that grilled I.R.S. Commissioner Steven Miller and Treasury Inspector General Russell George last Friday?  Can you just imagine the fire drill at the White House and the I.R.S. in trying to find the documents needed to prepare testimony before a government body or finding, selecting and redacting all the emails that agencies had to provide to the committee?

Could you stand up to such an audit, or a request from the I.R.S. or another government body if they wanted to review your business documents.  If you can’t find the exact document they are looking for, then you have to give them documents you don’t want them looking at.

File cabinets full of paper, whether it is business correspondence, accounts payable invoices, bank statements, emails or confidential human resources documents are all subject to discovery if your company or organization is sued or if you become the subject of a government agency audit, such as the I.R.S., the Labor Department, or even Homeland Security.  Now that’s scary.

But it doesn’t have to be.  These hearings on the conduct of the I.R.S., especially against innocent taxpayers, can conjure up evil thoughts of what might happen if your business or organization were to receive notification of an audit that would required you to find and present certain documents.  Could you do it?

How many people would it take, and how many hours would you consume trying to find 100 different pieces of paper in disparate locations throughout your company?  If the same 100 pieces of paper had been scanned, indexed and were managed in a document management system, it would only take about 100 minutes to retrieve them all – if the system was designed the right way.

Most estimates by industry consultants and records managers put the time to find a document or file folder at approximately 15 minutes.  Therefore, 100 (documents or files) X 15 minutes = 1500 minutes, or 25 hours.

I think you see our point.  Living in a paper-based world is costing you time and money!

Living in an electronic world provides you many benefits from scanning paper documents and converting them into digital images.  Indexed with multiple fields will allow you to find the document by searching on several different fields.  It sure beats looking for a name on a file folder or trying to find the single document you need from a file cabinet full of paper.

Hopefully, the I.R.S. hearings in front of the House Ways and Means Committee are bringing this issue to the surface in your company or organization – what if it was you?

When your boss asks you how well prepared you are should you receive that dreaded call or notice in the mail from the I.R.S. or another government body – will you have all the answers he/she is looking for?  If you have not automated your paper-intensive applications, this might be an excellent time to do some research on how you can get rid of all that paper.

A professional outsourced service provider can meet with you to analyze your current business operations.  Want a fun exercise?  Pretend you are a piece of paper and follow it through your company from the time it is received in the mailroom or on the receptionist’s desk until it finds a home in a file folder or is stapled to another set of papers.  You may be surprised to see how many people touch that single piece of paper during it’s journey to the final desk or file cabinet it will reside in.

Then consider that same piece of paper scanned and indexed as soon as it comes into the company.  Then imagine it in a document management system that allows you to set up a workflow to move the digital image to the responsible people who must act on the information on that piece of paper.  It’s a different world!

An effective document management system allows you to find your information faster, make better decisions because you will have all the information in one place and do it with less people, less space with no lost documents or file folders.

Discover what digital imaging and document management can do for you.  We can’t guarantee that it will keep the I.R.S. away, but we can guarantee that you will be able to find exactly what they are looking for and then send them back to Washington.