Watch this webinar recording to learn how FileCenter and OfficeTools are integrated. See how the integration works and how to get the most out of it. Learn how to capture files via scanning and printing into FileCenter and how to make editing changes to PDF files.
Kevin is going to bring a lot of really interesting information to all of us today, so I’m excited about that and I want to thank everybody so, so much for joining us today.
Just to reiterate, we’re going to be talking about managing your files and office tools with FileCenter. We’re going to put Kevin to the test a little bit. We’re going to really make sure that we get a good perspective on all the benefits that FileCenter can provide, and obviously in the context of OfficeTools, how offices that are using OfficeTools can even further benefit from these great tools that the Lucion provides with FileCenter. A couple of other fun things, if you have questions, please type your questions in. We’ll do our best to answer those during the webinar. I’m sure Kevin wouldn’t mind leaving a five-minute or so at the very end to answer any questions that we may have missed.
In addition to that, if you hang on until the very end, we’re actually going to pick somebody from the crowd and we’re going to send you a $50 Amazon gift card, so hang in there until the end. It will be well worth it not just for the knowledge, but for the Amazon gift card. I wanted to do introductions. My name is Phil Phares. I’m the director here at Office Tools in AbacusNext and while my expertise is obviously in the OfficeTools, I’ve been serving in the accounting industry for a number of years here and how we manage files, how we organize our documents, how we work with them is always on the forefront of what I do and how I communicate with my clients and my co-workers.
In that discussion, there’s always bottlenecks. There’s always the question of how do I go paperless? How do I do less paper, right? There’s a lot of different avenues. There’s a lot of different ways that you can go and it’s a pretty big discussion. One of the important parts of the discussion is the technology that we use to facilitate that and what FileCenter offers, I think is probably one of the most important parts in that discussion and in that process. Joining us today and obviously the presenter is Kevin Anderson and he’s the Director of Business Development at Lucion and obviously with FileCenter, and me and Kevin, we’ve known each other for a couple of years. Great guy. He’s got a lot of insight on all of this, so I’m really, really excited to hear from him. Kevin, if you’re there, how are you doing today?
I’m doing great. Real good.
Good. Good. We’re going to go head and get started. Again, everybody just real quick review, make sure you answer your polling questions, stay until the end for your gift card and please put any questions you have in the question box. Without further ado, Kevin, I’m going to go ahead and pass it off to you.
All right. Sounds great. I appreciate it. Thanks, Phil. Well, we’re really excited to be able to be here and join everyone on discussing just how you can start managing your files and OfficeTools with FileCenter, and we’re going to talk a little bit more even just on how to capture your information, maybe even choosing a scanner that might meet your needs, but really get into how FileCenters can help you and your office become a more effective and efficient office. With that, what we’re going to talk about today, so just a few of the different items. We’ll kind of go over an overview of who we are as FileCenter. We’ll talk about the scanners and capturing your tax documents and how to go in and edit your documents as well, how you can even apply different templates, cleaning up and editing those PDF files. Then like I said, at the very end, we’ll have some Q&A session as well.
Just real fast to introduce myself, I have also been doing this for quite a number of years and the actual document management industry I’ve been in for 12 years now. It’s been a wild ride. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been fun to see all the technology that has changed to help firms become more efficient. I, myself, I’m a father of three. You’ll see that my two girls here and then my son, we lives here in Utah and I’ve been here since about 2008 or 2005, I guess and so it’s been a wild ride. I love Utah and we’re missing some snow around here right now. It’s been really weird and the fact that we haven’t had any. When it comes to FileCenter itself, we were founded in 2008. We have more than 100,000 users throughout the world in all different industries. Probably accounting and legal, or probably the industries that we specialize the most in. We’re located here in Orem, Utah.
In fact, our offices are in the old WordPerfect offices. If anybody that’s on here has ever used the word “perfect,” that’s where we’re located here where WordPerfect was born. We have a number of different solutions. We have the document management system and we have a client portal that not as many, obviously OfficeTools users our portal because OfficeTools has an amazing portal that they have themselves. Then, we have a product called FileConvert that does … Basically, a batch of CRM solution that makes all your files text searchable. I’ve kind of tell a little bit about who we are and what we do here.
Now, when we jump into this going paperless and managing your files, some of us have already made that leaps. Some of the attendees today are probably still doing a mixture of both of having paper and going electronic as well, but when we look at this and we look at the idea of going paperless, the reason why we started looking at it is like the cost of the paper itself. We look at how many times that we watch our employees walking back and forth between the file room in their desk and PricewaterhouseCoopers has actually found that the average office worker will spend 400 hours per year searching for paper files, and that’s just a lot of time.
One of the reasons why we look at this is how can we decrease the amount of time that our employees and our staff are actually going out there looking for files to basically going into revenue generating mode. We’re looking at how we can make that as more efficient as possible, so that we can get more work done. Now, we also look at the cost of the actual paper itself, the paper, the toner, the filing cabinet, etc., and PricewaterhouseCooper also came out and said that cost is an average of $25,000 just to fill a four-drawer vertical file cabinet and more than $2,100 to maintain it. In some places, it might be cheaper. It might be more expensive. Square footage is a big key factor there too and if we can decrease the amount of file cabinets that we have in your office to be able to put a desk there and put somebody there that can help more clients, that’s the ultimate goal that we have is helping our client-based.
Here’s some other statistics of just an average organization making 19 copies of each documents through its life cycle up to the point of we lose around every … One out of every 20 documents. Then, we spend a lot of time going in and recreating each one of those lost documents and it just becomes a big issue. What we’re looking at, when we’re going in and helping our client-based, we’re looking at how we can help you capture that information electronically so that instead of having to spend all that money on the paper and the toner and everything like that, we can go out. We can capture the information electronically through scanners and then, printing documents as a PDF to be able to make them all electronic, then store them.
Now, when we look at what we’re needing to scan, there’s a lot of different things that we scan. There’s photos, there’s documents, there’s ledgers, business cards. Some people scan books. It doesn’t really matter what you’re scanning if you’re just looking at it and saying, “Hey, look. I want to capture something electronically.” Then, we know we have to have some kind of scanner to do it. One of the things that I really like to do is I want to help people understand what are some of the things that are going to help you be efficient in your office and one of the very first things to do if you’re going to capture it is getting a scanner that’s actually going to work and work well overtime.
Now, for documents that may be a little older or more fragile, you might be looking at like a flatbed scanner and if you’re playing the scan documents on a regular basis especially when there’s more than a couple of pages, then you’ll definitely want to even look at a scanner that has like a sheet feeder like these Fujitsu scanners that are here on the screen. Canon also make some amazing scanners as well that they will help you put the documents in, in sheet feeders and be able to automatically start bringing those through for you, but the reason why you’re looking at some of that is because a flatbed can get really tedious if you’re going in and scanning one page at a time or your documents are more than a few pages. Tax returns can be really large and if you had a flatbed scanner scanning all your stuff, you’re going to start looking like me and not have any hair.
If you are scanning more than one page at a time, something else that you’re going to want to look at at this automatic document feeder, this will basically allow you to really put a large number of documents into the feeder and allow you to walk away for a minute or two while it does its thing and there’s a lot of scanners that are out there with various capacity, but most of them were going to hold about 50 to 65 pages in their little hopper. Now, when we also look at this in the sense of what we’re looking at feature wise, we’re looking at things that you’re wanting to capture everything that has like both single side or duplex, you’re looking anytime that you’re scanning. Most scanners today have duplex. Unless you’re going in and doing a flatbed scanner obviously.
You’re also wanting to look at resolution. What kind of quality that you’re looking to get. You could be scanning in anything at 200 DPI or higher and you’re going to get a good quality scan. Anything lower, you’re just not going to have a very good quality and you’re going to look at like fax quality. Now, most of the time, the resolution isn’t too big of a deal because most of those scanners actually will produce a good scan for you. You shouldn’t have to worry too much about that. Now, one thing that I would definitely point out here is just the fact that you want to make sure that you’re going to be able to pick a scanner that’s going go be able to work with your machine.
A lot of times, over the last few months, we’ve gotten a lot more notification and we’re trying to go in there and want to make sure that we’re getting a cheap scanner or something that we can afford and we go out on the Amazon or eBay when we buy some scanners and we’ll find that they’re cheaper there. Sometimes those scanners don’t always work with the type of operating system that you have, so make sure compatibility wise, make sure that it’s going to be able to work with the system that you’re using currently. Okay.
Kevin, real quick at this point, this is a great time to throw a polling question [crosstalk 00:13:14]. The polling question we’ll launch here, which I think tells a lot of story, I know it’s probably the reason with a lot of us here is has your firm gone paperless? Yes, no, or we’re looking into solutions? This is a tricky question. At what point do you really say that your office is paperless? The reality is we live in a world and we work in professions that require there’d be some paper at some point. It’s kind of a narrative question. Kevin, what would you say, if we’re to put something on a scale, where would you say an office would have to be to really call themselves paperless. It’s just buying a scanner. Does that mean they’re paperless or is it more just a …?
I think now I have to actually do something about it. We all have scanners in the office most of the time anyways, right? You might have a multifunction machine that does the scanning, but it’s whether or not we’re actually capturing the information electronically. In most cases like what you’re really looking at is you need to have a will or a testimony of trust, it’s something that we have to keep electronic or in paper format, not that you can’t store electronically. You might need something that is like … Oh, what was it? It was an eviction notice. It has to still be in paper format. Anytime a client request something in a paper format, we need to provide that to them in paper and that’s easy obviously when we’re a paperless office, we can just print it but everything else can be captured electronically.
Yeah. There’s a lot going on. It’s not a turnkey thing, but I know with FileCenter and some other applications out there like OfficeTools and whatnot, you can definitely get closer. Okay. I’m going to go and close down this poll. Thank you everybody so much for jumping in and you’re back on, Kevin.
All right. Sounds good. All right. I’m going to go ahead and just briefly cover just some specialty scanners. One of the reasons why I like to talk about this one is because over the last 12 years, I’ve run into a lot of accounting firms that travel to their clients and so when it comes to scanners, some of the scanners that you might want to look at is something that might be portable. Now, one of the things that I’d really like about the Fujitsu ScanSnap or the FI Series or even some of the Canon scanners that are out there, they’re really actually pretty portable, but you’ll see like this Brother example that’s on here, you might take to somebody else’s house or to their office and you might scan some things that way. There’s some cool ones that are out there that can scan from above like you see here on the left, but if you do do a lot of traveling around to visit with clients, you may want to look at something that is going to be more portable so that you can travel around with that.
Now, on the last bit, before we jump in to actually showing how FileCenter helps you manage all your files and how you can modify and edit your documents and things like that, I just want to get a little bit of advice on basically what the stay away from, what you should be looking for from an efficiency standpoint and things like that. Overtime, what we found is that most multi-function printers, commonly called MFPs, they have the built in scanners. Basically most of them have that flatbed for the copy feature as well as the sheet feeder with small capacity automatic document feeders.
We are attracted to that because it has multiple functions to it and I think too that affordability wise, we look at that, but one of the things that I see is to get the most out of scanning, I’m getting to that point that I need you guys to have basically a single purpose scanner and the reason why it’s more on the efficiency side, these machines that are built for are like the Fujitsu ScanSnaps or the FI series of the Fujitsu, what you’re going to find there is that they are built to last.
The components in some of these other multifunction machines like you see here on the screen right now, they’re not really built to do a whole lot of scanning. They’re built more for printing and so, you’ll want to look at the possibility of getting something like the ScanSnap or a Canon scanner or Epson. There’s a lot of scanners that are out there today and I’d be more than happy to email you guys a list of all the ones that I have personally tested and made sure that they can hold up to the test of time, but what you’re looking at here is you’re wanting to find something that’s going to last you for a long time. Most scanners have a duty cycle or a daily [inaudible 00:18:24] and the type of multifunction machines that you’ll see here on this screen, they’re not rated to scan thousands and thousands of pieces of paper like an accounting firm would actually be putting through.
Just make sure that you’re buying something that’s going to be a good quality that’s going to last you and if you want to be able to have a list of that, you can put in a comment and say, “Hey, send me a list,” and we’ll get you all the stuff of those different scanners tested. One other common question that I’ve had over the years is what should I be looking for and basically, all the information that I’ve given you so far are basically my common answers and the one piece of information I haven’t addressed though is the speed. If you do want to have any hair left after going paperless in your home or your office, then basically I suggest that you really consider the speed of the scanner. What you’re wanting to do is you’re wanting a scanner that’s going to be at least a minimum of 25 pages per minute, front and back at the same time and it won’t even flew down. That’s what you want.
Anything like the scanners that’s here on the screen right now, it’s either 10 pages per minute or less in most cases. You want to just find something that’s a little bit faster. Now, if you can find something that’s really fast like a ScanSnap or a 7160 Fujitsu, what you’re going to be finding is that it will be a little bit more expensive. The ScanSnaps are about 450 and the F1 7160s are about 800 or $900 scanner, but if you can fit it into your budget, then I would definitely go that route. Now, the ultimate goal here when you’re scanning is to be as efficient as possible. Now, if you have to get up to go to the big copy machine to scan, you’re not really being efficient. Even if it does scan 40 pages per minute or more, when you get up from your desk, you get distracted along the way, get pulled in to the boss’ office or you’re chatting with co-workers and 45 minutes later, you’re back at your desk.
Get a scanner that can fit right on your desk right next to the computer and you’ll find that you’ll be way more productive and you’ll get things done. With that before we just jump right in now is when you’re looking at scanners and you think the question of how many scanners should you have? I would say to have as many scanners as you can afford to get. Back when I first started in the document management industry, I had sold a document management solution to an accounting firm and they have 10 people in their office, but they only bought one scanner and I can still remember the day that tech season had ended and I got a phone call from this person and he told me, “Hey, that was one of the craziest experiences of going paperless.” What we did is we had that one scanner sitting in the middle of our office and everybody just came to that station to scan and it just became a huge bottleneck as tech season came around.
Then, he purchased seven more scanners and says, “I’m never going to have that happen again.” Just make sure that you get as many scanners as you can, put them on the desk to those that are going to probably scan the most. That’s probably the first priority is just making sure that you get a scanner that’s going to fit on those people’s desk, so that you can make them as efficient as possible. Okay. With that, let’s [crosstalk 00:22:03].
You’ve got anything? You had a poll?
Yeah. I do have a poll that goes right down that [inaudible 00:22:08]. This poll is really again just to figure out what everybody is using. What’s out there and what’s the common tools that we all use? The question being is what type of scanners are you using? Couple choices here, you’ve mentioned the multi-function and the stand-alones. Let us know. Let us know what kind of scanners are you using? If you’re not sure, that’s okay. I know how things go sometimes with little break and you’ll just buy the next thing to get through the day or the week, it happens too, but let us know what you’re using and we’d really appreciate it. Thank you.
On that note, I actually have the ScanSnap at my desk and it’s a great scanner. I don’t do a lot of scanning myself personally, but when I do, typically there is a dozen or so documents that I have to get done real quick and it is nice just being able to lean over a little bit and pop them in there if you’re done with it versus having to get up and let yourself all across the office because Lord knows, I’ll be stopped a dozen times before we get to the scanner. It is nice having that available.
Boy, I have a ScanSnap at home myself, but here at the office, I have the 7160. Man, I’ll tell you they are amazing. The one thing about the ScanSnap that everybody should know too is that in some cases, if you’re using a particular document management software, they might not communicate with the ScanSnap because it doesn’t have what’s called the TWAIN driver. We always tease that TWAIN stands for Technology Without An Important Name because everybody wonders what that even means, but it’s just the way that it communicates between you and your computer and your scanner, but one cool thing is that Fujitsu actually approached us here at FileCenter and basically, they helped us create a way to communicate with that particular type of scanner. They worked really well with FileCenter.
Good to know. Okay. I’ve closed the poll. Thank you all again for participating and you’re back on, Kevin.
All right. Sounds good. What we’re going to do is I’m going to take you through just a quick run through of what FileCenter looks like. We’re going to talk about some of the different features. Then, we’re going to just dive right into how OfficeTools and FileCenter communicate and work together, and so really when it comes to FileCenter itself, when you’re looking at the way that you’re going to go paperless, the concept is really easy if you just think just like a file room right now where you’ve got file cabinets, you’ve got drawers, you’ve got folders and you got files. The same idea is here built right in to our program. Up here up along the top, we have our cabinets. You can have as many file cabinets as you want. You can have it so that some of your staff can see certain file cabinet and certain file cabinets, they can’t and that’s really nice because then one thing that you’re going to look at when you see all of the other solutions that’s going paperless out there with the tax industry, you see that they are focused on one area of your business.
They’re looking at just your tax. What’s bad about that is because you have other paper in your office, so you might need to have a human resources cabinet where you can manage all of your employee files. The W2s, the W4s, the i9s, everything else you might have, you can store electronically inside of FileCenter, and you don’t have to make it so that everybody else can see it in the office. It can just be one person in the office that can see that. You yourself have accounts payable and so you can have a cabinet that is set up so that you can see everyone of your vendors and store all of the documents, all the invoices, receipts, product information. You can store all of that here inside of FileCenter and I think that that is one of the best parts about the FileCenter Solution versus like a document there, the DMS System and Intuits, Pro Series or Lacerte or your small firm services with CCH.
They only do one piece of your business and that’s not what we’re looking to do. We’re trying to help your whole business be efficient. Okay? Here, you can come in and be able to have a list of all of your tax clients. You can see that here on the left hand side. I even have a couple of other drawers that I might even set up where I might be able to see, “Hey, look. I’ve got a drawer for all the accounting laws.” If I wanted to see revenues procedure 9722 from the IRS, I can actually see that and I can see that I can go paperless. That’s what this law is all about is going paperless, or I might have a file folder called “blank documents” where I keep all my forms, so I might have a client portal web letter that I want to be able to see and this is the letter form that I use to send out, and I can come in here and use that and I can store all of my forms here as documents or templates of documents that I might use to send out to people.
You can store all those here and make it easier to go in and navigate. When you come in to a client, you’ll be able to see maybe multiple years of the years that you do business with them. Some of my clients like to have a cabinet for their current clients. Then, they might have archive and archive cabinets where they can also archive some of the older information out and so, they can do that as well. Then, once you click on the file itself, then you get a preview of that right here on your screen. It makes it real simple. We can make it so that every single one of these folder structures can be consistent, so that when I create a brand new client, so if I were to do that, I could click on drawers or new drawer. Then if I were to come in here for instance, we’ll create one for one of our attendees.
We’ve got Laurie Murray here, so I can come in here and I can put Laurie. I can create a drawer but I can also apply a folder templates for the type of work that I might do for Laurie. If it’s a year, I can put that in there or I can put a bookkeeping, a QuickBooks one, tax templates for 2017. Then, you can see every time I do that, it’s going to create those folders that I see here in the preview creating that consistency that I need when I create a new client. Once I do that, I can click okay and just like that, Laurie’s drawers has now been created. Here’s her folders and now I’m ready to start storing documents into her folder structure.
Now, what’s even cooler is that when the next year … Right now, when you’re prepping for the next year to start storing older files or the files that are going to come in for 2018, I can also come up here to cabinets and I can come down to my tasks and I can apply a folder template to all of the drawers. If I wanted to, I can come in and apply the new 2018 folder to every single one of my drawers all at the same time, so I don’t have to go in there and manually do it for each one. There’s a lot of cool tools that will help you even be efficient as you’re getting ready to approach the next New Year. That’s how simple that can be as well on the structure.
Now, one thing that we’re going to look at here is that when we’re actually managing the files, once you’re going to start bringing documents in, there’s multiple ways that you can bring the documents into FileCenter. One of them is going to be just by dragging and dropping. I can easily just come in, grab a folder. Now, I can come in and say, “Hey, look. Here is some information that I can copy.” Then, just paste it right into the FileCenter software. You can store all different file types inside of FileCenter from Excel, Word, PowerPoints, whatever you would like to do, you can store as many different types of file types here including even Quickbooks company files. You can put all those different things in, but you can just drag and drop. You can also print documents directly into the system as well. If I were coming in and wanting to grab maybe a Word file, we can open Word Document here.
If you’re coming in and you want to save this Word file, you can just quickly just say, “Save as.” Once you click the browse, what’s going to happen is that FileCenter sees that you’re trying to save a file and it’s going to ask you now where you want to put that. You’ve got your file cabinets all on the tops but even if it was supposed to go to a different file cabinet, you could actually do that or it remembers the last location that you store the documents. You can come in. You can click on this. You can say, “Letter to client,” so you can use the file naming down here, but there’s also this nice little box right over here to the right where we store a list of all of your basically common file names that you use to name documents. From supporting documents, maybe payroll summaries and other commissions and things like that, bank statements, you can actually use those pre-defined document names that you would use on a regular basis. Insert that into the document name and click okay, and be able to store that file. Now, just like that.
We’ll see here that here’s our Word Document that we called “Bank Statement.” It’s just that simple. You can also print that document to PDF directly where you could just come in, say file and print. Instead of selecting a laser jet printer, you can just come in. You’ll select the FileCenter PDF printer, print it and it will print it directly to PDF. It will pop up with our same window that we just saw before and now, we can come and click on save. Now, you’ll see a PDF version of that as well. Okay? Now, one last piece and then we’ll probably … I think do we need to get to another poll here in just a second, Phil?
Yeah. Well, I have one ready. When you wrap this up, just let me know.
Yeah. Let’s wrap this last piece of the storing documents, and then let’s hop right into that other poll. One of the other big ones is that you’re able to scan everything in directly into our program. If you have a scanner and you’re going electronic or you’re going paperless and maybe you’re using a Windows folder structure to use your system, a lot of times what’s happening is you’re putting the document into the scanner. Then, it just pops it up and it says, “Where do you want to store it?” You’re then browsing through your C-drive or your server is looking for the location of where you’re storing that file. Now, it’s kind of the same concept except we give you even a little bit more power behind it.
One of the things that we can actually do is what we have is we call a page separators. When you’re scanning in a large number of documents, you may want to either separate them out or you want to combine them, but you want to create bookmarks and this particular example that I’m going to show you, what I have is I have a page separated. It can go right on top of the tax return and the tax return follows and the very next set of documents might be my supporting documents or my source docs and so then, I’ll see my W2s, K1s, 1099s, etc., and then maybe I might have my tax organizer. This is something that’s a very common practice that you’re scanning everything at the very end and you want to be able to break all of them.
One of the things that the FileCenter software will allow you to do is if I can come in to FileCenter, we’re just going to make sure the scanner is looking up here. All I have to do is come up and click on the scan button up here and I’ve got some separators that I can actually process when I’m scanning everything in. I don’t have to name my files at all because the page separator will actually do that work for me. Once I click on the start scan, that will activate my scanner and start to bring all those documents through. Then, store them as a PDF document but that little cover page basically is going to get ripped off. Then, you’ll just have the tax return, just your supporting documents, etc.
This first way that I’m showing you right now is just that one way of doing it. I have other OfficeTools users and other accounting firms that are doing this right now that also take their source documents and they have a page separator that basically creates a bookmark on the documents, so that it names the bookmark as well for you, so that when you open that source documents, you can jump from W2s to 1099s, etc., and it allows you to go ahead and organize those things the way that you would like it to do. Now, you’ll see down here in the bottom left hand corner. Right now, it’s extracting all of that information and it’s basically creating all of our PDFs for us and then, OCRing it as well making it tech surgical, so that I can actually search the content inside of that document later on to help me go in and find a little easier if I misplaced them or something like that.
Now, you’ll see here we’ve got two documents. One is the supporting documents. I also … In this example, I put on in a formula that I wanted it to have the date for today as well as here’s my tax return. It breaks it all up for me and that way, I can quickly go in. It doesn’t matter who’s doing it. They can just scan it, so they put all of those pages in front. I typically recommend that you put a different color of paper as the separators, but then you’re just going in, you’re scanning and then you’re all done and you have hands off. You don’t even have to do anything. You can just go directly into that client. With that, that’s just kind of a recap. You have the ability to drag and drop files. You can basically save a Word file or any other type of file into the program. You can also print a PDF and then you can scan. Those are the four main ways of getting documents into FileCenter. With that, I’ll turn the time over to you quickly, Phil, for another poll.
You got it. This polling question is going to be … Let me launch it here, is where do you store your data with a couple of options. Obviously, locally on your server. Maybe you’re hosting, maybe you’re on the cloud, or you’re just sending it to one of the available cloud drives. You have some options here or any of this, so go ahead and let us know. If for some reason you want to share how you’re storing documents, they don’t fall into these categories. What you can also do is just type in the questions and let us know. We’re always looking for solutions that people are coming up with or other alternatives, but I think this option is pretty much were on the gamut, but let us know if there’s something out there that we might be missing.
I’m a big fan of OneDrive. That’s what I use a lot for mine.
Yeah. If you’re using the Office 365 and you’re using the web stuff there, then it makes a lot of sense. It integrates with all of that.
Yeah. In my FileCenter, basically what I have is I have multiple locations where I store documents, so you can actually see here I’ve got an external hard drive. I have my regular C-drive, but you’ll also see I’ve got quite a number of OneDrive files and what’s cool about that is when you do that, you can have the OneDrive app on your phone or your tablet and be able to access those files wherever you are and that just adds another service element for your customer service. If a client called you up looking for a document, you can have access to it really quickly.
Yeah. That’s very handy. Okay. It looks like just about everybody’s voted, so I’m going to go ahead and close this guide down and to let everybody know that is the third polling question of four and to qualify for the CPE credit, you must answer all four polling questions. That being said, back to you, Kevin.
All right. I did just see a quick question here that had come in on whether or not this was compatible with like Pro Series. Basically every tax program that’s out there, we work it. Basically, you can print directly to a PDF. You can set it up so that any tax program that you’re using, it can print directly into our program. That makes it really simple. Yeah. I hope I will answer that question for you. Okay. Now, let’s go ahead and talk a little bit about how you can actually work with documents and stuff like that. A lot of times when we’re looking at different documents, we’ll print a big file into our own system, right? A client will call you up and ask you for a copy of the document.
One of the things that’s a big pain is that you’re then trying to go in and do this painful extraction process of making copies or you’re printing out the pieces and providing it to them, but here inside of our system, we have this ability to come in and extract information, so I can click on my extract icon and then, I can do a custom range. I can even say, “Hey, I want pages one, three, and then five through 12.” Then what it will do is it will extract that information and be able to then pull it and put it into the opener that I want it to be. For instance, let’s say here, we’ve got a 10-page documents that I might want to grab a couple of pages out of, so I can just say, “Hey, I want pages two through three,” and then I can just a put a comment and say, “I also want pages five and 10.”
Just like that, I can then name the file what I want, so I can call it client copy. Maybe it’s been requesting a copy and it’s not going to do anything to your original file unless you come up here and check this box, the delete pages from the source document after extraction. I never do that. I like to just maintain my original copy, but if anybody’s calling and asking me for a copy of a file, I can go ahead and make it. It’s very quick. Here just like that, I’ve got my four pages that I asked for and it’s extracted everything and put into a new PDF and now I can go ahead and get that shipped off whether it’s through client portal, whether it’s even through sending email, so you can actually see that we’ve got an email feature, but when I come in and I hit the little drop down underneath, I can even email that PDF as a secure PDF where I can then apply a password to it.
Then, we’ll just go ahead and put on the password here. Then, what it does is it will attach itself to my email and now I can draft up my email. If you’re using an Outlook based or an install, basically email host like Outlook, that’s what will happen. If you’re using web based, it doesn’t work with that in that sense, but we do have another way that we can actually do that, but this allows you to secure the PDF. If I actually came in and double click on that file, you’ll see that it asked me for that password. Just a security precaution, just make sure you don’t put that password in the same email with the document. It happens, but that doesn’t help you and with the IRS’ new rules and things like that, you just want to make sure that you’re protecting those files as much as possible.
That’s one thing that you can do there. Now, another aspect of it is that you can combine documents. If you had multiple files that you wanted to actually grab, I can grab all four of these documents here. I can come up here and click on combine. I can rearrange them in the order that I want. Maybe I want my tax return to be up at the top, so I can rearrange that. Then, I can bookmark each of those files. Then, I can come in here and say, “Customer copy.” Just like that, you’ll see here’s that new document. We have 19 pages here now. Now, what’s really cool is that when I click on the file here and I push control B as in boy, that brings my bookmarks out and so now I can actually see all the individual bookmarks. Then, I can hop from one document to the other until I get to the desired page that I want and that just makes it really cool. It goes in and helps you bookmark and organize the documents.
Okay. With that, we’ve talked about combining and extracting. One of the other things that you can also do is you can convert different documents. Here, I’ve got a Word document that I might want to convert that to PDF and I don’t want to necessarily have to do an imprint. I have an ability to come in and convert documents, all file types, the PDF. I also have the ability to come in and let’s hop over to a different cabinet here real quick because I think you’ll like to see this. I’ve got this document here that is a driver’s list and we can clearly see that this document was created in Excel, and maybe our client just sent us a PDF copy of it. They never sent us the actual Excel documents.
One of the cool tools inside the file center that will help you manage your files more is being able to convert this and do a formatted output. Now, formatted output means that I could actually convert this to a Word document or Excel, a PowerPoint, Word Perfect. In this case, I know it’s a table, so I want to convert that to be an Excel documents, and so I can come in and I click on start the conversion and just like that, I am now done. I’ve now gone in and created this PDF. I’ve taken a PDF document and converted it to be an Excel document. Look up my reminders here. What’s really cool about that is that then when I want to create this, I don’t have to go and recreate everything. I can come in and I can be able to create an Excel document that’s going to allow me to see all the information. I can then go and then edit it. I can put my old formulas to it because all the formulas that are in there are not going to be there obviously because they print it to PDF.
You’ll have to do your new formula, but you won’t have to do all the data entry all over again. That just makes it really powerful in the sense of what you’re able to do. Now, you can also do image cleanup. Sometimes we get documents that are in there that are crooked. They might have a black border and we can come in and you have to remove hole punches, and sometimes we have speckles that get on the documents. You can actually take that document and do a cleanup of the document, so that you can make sure that it gets straightened up. They can remove some of the black bordering and things like that, and so it just makes it really powerful and you have to excuse my … I forgot that I’ve got a new version of our software. We’re testing from other functionality where I didn’t clean up my black border as much as what we currently have for all of our customers. I apologize about that.
This will clean up all your documents, so that you can make it so it’s really … When you’re scanning it in, you’re not having those big black borders around it. With that, now let’s talk a little bit about editing the document itself. If I were to come in and take a document and double click on it, one of the things that I have the ability to do is open it right into a PDF editor. One of our features that we have built right into FileCenter is that we basically have what is comparison to Adobe Acrobat. What that means is that I have the ability to highlight. I can strike. I can put stamps. I can do editing.
If I wanted to put my signature on here as well, I can actually create a transparent signature that will allow me to create a stamp and throw that right on and the hand stroke actually go right through it. Now mine, I’ve created really large just so that I can have a better image later on as I shrink it down a little bit, but these are things that you can do so that you can electronically sign the document if you needed to and then, what’s cool about it is that you can then flatten that comments, so that signature can’t be removed later on. Okay. One of the other things that you can do, if you can also come in and do redaction. If there’s sensitive information that you don’t want people to be able to see, you can come in and you can redact pieces of information.
One thing that I love about the PDF redaction information here in our program is that once you selected the information like you can actually see the same information that’s underneath it until you have applied it. That way, you can continue to come in and make boxes of what you’re trying to redact. You can see that what is being redacted, but then once you right click on one of those, you can then fill in and apply all the redaction and then, the redaction is there. That’s another option. You have also the ability to do watermarks. One of my users will use our pencil tool and they’ll do some tick marking, so they can do some of that. You can create forms inside of here as well and it don’t have the same cost as an Adobe or a Fox because it’s all built right into the program and you’ll get that with the FileCenter software. This just allows you to go in and do some mark up tools, use the mark up tools.
If you’re using TicTie Calculate, you can still do that. You can still utilize their system and what you would do is when you’re double clicking on the file, you can just select, open it with the default PDF program that you have because of the fact that right now, TicTie Calculate doesn’t work with our PDF editor. It typically do require you to have Adobe, but that is something that we are working on. We’re trying to get partnership even with TicTie Calculate so that we can have some information built in to our system with that as well. That’s some of the things that you can do even with the editing of the document as well. Okay. Now, let’s talk about how everything works with OfficeTools.
What’s really nice is that when we’re coming in and you’ve got your clients over here in OfficeTools, if you’re looking to have different documents of your storing files into it, you’re able to go in and store the documents. For instance, let’s scan a document into [Aben Mary 00:49:49] LinkedIn account here. Now, one thing that you’ll notice is with OfficeTools, with their documents, they have a file structure that is built to contain all the documentation. When we were setting you up with FileCenter and integrating it in to the OfficeTools solution, we’re able to then go in and be able to bring all the documents into FileCenter if you’ve already been using the document side of OfficeTools. When we come in and we’re storing a document here into the program, this time we won’t use page separators. We’ll just scan everything in.
What you’ll do once you scanned everything into FileCenter, then you’ll hop over into OfficeTools once this is all finished, and when you click on your client, you won’t see the document just pop right in. What you’ll do is you’ll click right here on this little plus sign here and just reindex the documents for this client. Then, that brings that document right here right into your window. You can then right click on it. You can open it with FileCenter anytime. You can open it into the PDF editor into FileCenter anytime. If you’re on this client itself, you can come in. You can click on the client, click on FileCenter and that will launch the FileCenter program and bring you directly into that client, so that you don’t have to do the search. It performs the search for you. It bring you right into the file system. Sorry. My voice is kind of going out there.
These are just some of the things that when you’re inside of OfficeTools, you can quickly navigate directly to that client and into their files, so that you can see all the documents so you can edit the documents, but inside of OfficeTools, there’s no way that you’re capturing the information. You’re going in it. You’re dragging the file into OfficeTools when you’re done capturing the information from a scan or if you’ve created it there, you are then doing it that way. We help you there with the capturing of the information, but then managing it as well but then once you’re in OfficeTools, you can see all the documents that are inside the FileCenter so that you can access the file and you can throw them in the different projects. You can do everything that you would normally have done. We’re just going to help you manage all the documents electronically in a way where you can edit the documents. You can extract information. You can convert in a different documents and things like that.
That’s really some of those different pieces of the integration is again, you can come in. When you’re on a client, you can right click on a document, so you can come in to open that into FileCenter and that will bring up FileCenter and then, select the file. It performs the search for you. It grabs the document and they will show you that preview as well, so that in that way, you have that access and it will do the same thing with bringing you directly to a client or bringing you directly to edit that document as well. Phil, do you want to input anything on the integration there as well?
Well, yeah. I think you had all the good points. Here’s some that I enjoy. I’ll take it to my desk. I’ll talk personally about it. OfficeTools is great for the workflow set part of documents, right? You have a project. You’re tracking different parts. Documentation’s coming in. The FileCenter helps with that with the OCR with all of those tools is great. Once it’s an OfficeTools then, and once that connection is made, then yeah, you can use both systems and get the best of both worlds but here’s what I use more often than anything else is really just the mark up tools. I’ll have a PDF inside of OfficeTools. I’ll click on the document, open it up in the editor and FileCenter, make some changes, block some things off, approve a stamp or whatever it may be and then just hit save and I’m done. My team who’s using a project with an OfficeTools and that project will have document associated to it.
I can use all of the tools available in FileCenter to modify, to edit, to organize, to do all those Split PDFs, Join PDFs, whatever it may be. Then, I can do that from the FileCenter side very, very quickly very easily, but my team is still accessing that document in its newest form as its saved version so to speak from within the OfficeTools in the context of the projects they’re working on. It’s this really cool [inaudible 00:54:22] of best of both worlds and it really is. OfficeTools does not have the ability to bring documents in. You leave that too. What tools are going to be best for you to get documents in the OfficeTools? Well, FileCenter is going to be one of them. Then, what’s in OfficeTools? Sure. We can move it around and you associate to various things and we organize it in a very particular way, but then how do you work on it?
For me personally, I just like the fact that I can leverage all of the benefits that FileCenter offers with the workflow opportunities that OfficeTools provides and bringing those two together really … Again, at the other day, what I get to one side of it, and I’m sure a lot of them are offices and I hear from them all the time. They enjoy the same experience. It looks like we’re just about wrapped up. There may be some things that you want to add to the end here. [inaudible 00:55:09] some Q&A. If you have questions and you haven’t ask them yet, right now is a really good time to start typing those in. I’m going to go and throw up that last polling question while Kevin and I kind of review the question. If you have some, type them in and we’ll look to that, answer those in just a moment. The polling question is going to be, “Are you currently using a client portal?”
Now, here’s a little analogy that I use real quick as far as client portals and why they’re important. If you’re not using one, you should be. Bottom line, there is no excuse for not having a secure client portal if you’re transferring documents to and from your clients. Period. There’s really not … Encrypted email is not the best solution. Here’s why? Here’s a little analogy, a little story that I tell sometimes when I speak. If I was going to encrypt an email and send it securely, that would be equivalent of taking something that’s valuable and putting it in a lock box. Then, giving that lock box to the post guy. At any point during the postman’s journey to and from, he could get intercepted. He could get robbed and then, the bad guy would have my lockbox. They could spend all the time they want in their basement trying to get into that lockbox and eventually they will.
That’s not very secure. With client portals especially secure client portals, the package itself isn’t necessarily encrypted. The delivery of it is what’s encrypted. The tunnel it travels is safe. What that would be like would be more like an armored truck coming up to your office. An armed security guard taking possession of your valuable information and then taking it to a bank, putting in a vault and only based on your client proving who they are will they then have access to that information. There’s a very big difference. If you’re not using client portal, look into it. Get a client portal. It’s critical. Okay. I’m going to …
I love that analogy. That was one of the greatest analogies there is.
Yeah. That’s really true. You’re more than welcome to use that in future webinars, Kevin, by the way.
Oh, I use it now already.
Because it’s the truth. Nowadays, it’s not about protecting the source things, protecting the journey because once they have the item they need, they can spend all the time and resources they want to get into. Start thinking about portals. You’re using OfficeTools, great. You’re using FileCenter, fantastic. If you’re not using one of those, we’ll be more than happy to talk to you about them but definitely find a secure client portal solution. Okay. I’m [inaudible 00:57:37] standing here and close this poll down. Okay. For some reason you’re using a portal or again, you have some information that wasn’t available in those polling questions and answers, type that in the questions’ area. We’d love to hear from you. That being said, Kevin, are there any questions that jumped out to you that you want to address before we go?
This is a common question. If you’re using currently the document center inside of OfficeTools, what would be the reason why you would even need FileCenter? Again, I think we covered some of the different items there. There’s a lot more to the FileCenter document management than just the document center where you’re just storing a document inside of OfficeTools. We provide you with the ability to edit the documents with the PDF editor. You can manipulate where you can combine, extract. You can convert different documents, so that you’re not having to recreate so there’s a lot of time savings there. You’re able to scan directly into our program versus just scanning and then having to then deposit it into the document center.
There’s one of the OfficeTools customers that purchased last December or two years ago. It was in 2015, and he actually had 10 licenses of the Adobe Acrobat that he was paying $100 a month for, so $1,200 a year and immediately, he saw a cost savings there. There’s some things there that make it, so that it’s beneficial to use like a FileCenter solution. Again, it’s also so that you can take your whole business paperless, not just your tax side of business. In OfficeTools, you’re managing client files and so you can so that there but the rest of your business remains in paper formats or you’re scanning it in and storing it through a Windows folder structure that can be messed up pretty easily.
You can drag one file from one folder to another and not know where it went in some cases. There’s some benefits there in the sense of using a national document management solution. We’re very, very much like a Windows folder structure, but just on steroids, so we pump a lot of stuff into it that makes it so that you can be more efficient and effective in your office. Hopefully that answers that question.
Yeah. Someone was asking very similar here, that they’re using a DMS and is that sufficient, or FileCenter?
Yeah. They’re probably using Pro Series or the little search. The thing there when I looked at DMS, it was a great solution and there’s some power to it. The fact that you can just push a button inside a Pro Series and it just goes directly into that folder that is for the client versus having to print it. The problem is we’re an Intuit going with DMS. A few years ago, they went away. They say that they weren’t going to support DMS anymore and then they came back after using SmartVault and a lot of people didn’t like the SmartVault solution. They weren’t ready to go to the cloud in the sense of fully in the cloud versus an AbacusNext hosting solution, which is an awesome solution if you’d ask me because now you’re not having to worry about paying an IT person to manage your servers and stuff like that, but you’re looking at DMS and what’s the future for them?
We focus directly on just document management at our sole purpose. Intuit and all of the other tax programs that are out there, their document management solutions that they have tied to it are just a second thought. Their software and the time that they put into it is more directed to the tax or their business versus … We’re more independent. It’s nice and we’re just going to focus only on document management and how we’re going to be able to help you guys be more efficient on the document management side of things.
Yeah. It’s perfect. The reality is you guys are best of breed. Even in OfficeTools, RDMS is really repository and it’s always at the mercy of workflow. It’s one of the things, which are very important obviously in critical parts of what OfficeTools provides and the document management likewise is in that, but we’re not dedicated document management software. We’re not best of breed when it comes to DMS. If you’re using OfficeTools, DMS is great. Perfect. It goes along with everything and it connects. If you really want to expand on that, you really want to expand your toolkit and your productivity, then looking at FileCenter is a very, very smart way to go. Okay. We are wrapping up.
Just to add to that real quick. One of the reasons why we partnered with OfficeTools is we look at the same thing. We were looking for somebody that is best of breed to help you guys and our customer-based even be more efficient in the way that they’re running their practice where we didn’t want to go in and invest a lot of time with workflow, we saw with OfficeTools that you’re going to have a great workflow solution to be able … Once you captured your information in all your documents and made them electronically, that you can move them directly through your whole approval process of working through and helping one of your tax clients or bookkeeping clients and getting the work done and that’s one of the things we love about OfficeTools is that it allows you guys to be able to do that as well and it’s just again, I think between the two of us companies, what we’re trying to provide you was with the best breed of tools to be able to make you a profitable company.
Exactly right. Thank you very much and thank you everybody so much for joining us today. We did have the four-polling questions, so everybody who answered all four will qualify for their CPE. I want to thank too the CPA Academy also for partnering with us in this. Obviously, Kevin and FileCenter, thank you so much for all this great information.
Yeah. Thanks for having us.
Yeah. Anytime. We did obviously promise a [inaudible 01:04:00] Amazon gift card, so what we will do is we will pick somebody out of the group and it’s going to be as random as we can possibly make it, but we will reach out and contact you for information, so we can send you that gift card. If you have any additional questions, I’ll let this one for just a moment longer for more questions that we will follow up, but I would challenge everybody as a takeaway to reach out to Kevin and his team at FileCenter if you have questions about how to handle any of the things that we’ve talked about. Scanners, how to organize documents, PDF editing, those three or any of that great stuff. He’s an amazing guy. He will answer all of your questions. If you need any help with OfficeTools or you want to poke our brains a little bit, give us a call and let us know. We’ll be more than happy to get on the phone with you guys. Again, thank you everybody so much for joining us. Happy holidays and hopefully we’ll see you again on future webinar.