Lockdown - Processes for Remote Working

Jenny Assheton-Smith

While we are all missing that personal interaction with our colleagues at the office, many of us are forging on at home in our study or makeshift office to keep our businesses going under lockdown.

Maybe your firm already has a “remote working” outsourced accounting and administrative function where you have process workflows in place already for authorising disbursements, billing to clients, submission of expense claims and the like.

Even if you have, here’s a few tips that will tighten up controls and drive efficiency in getting your bills out, cash flowing in and enable you to service your supplier accounts on time so that they continue to provide services to you.

Adobe DC

Most people use Acrobat Reader. This is the free version of Adobe pdf software. One of the features not widely used is the digital signature function. This function is very useful to digitally sign letters, approve disbursements, trust transfers and other documents which you would ordinarily manually sign when in the office.

On a subscription basis, Adobe offer two versions of their software which are useful to law firms. The first, Adobe Standard, provides functionality to organise pages in a pdf (move them around, delete and add pages, and combine two or more pdfs togther), edit pdf’s and convert them to word or excel documents. The Pro version has enhanced features such as Bates numbering (perfect for super speedy pagination of court papers), redaction of sensitive content, and can convert any scanned document into a searchable readable document in several different languages.

Subscriptions start at R260 per month (annual commitment) excluding VAT for the Standard version and R300 per month (annual commitment) excluding VAT for the Pro version. [Pricing based on R20 to the USD conversion].

Adobe Document Bundle Apps

In the app stores you can download the Adobe App bundle which gives you Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Scan. This app bundle is free and is great for capturing documents to pdf with your smartphone camera when you are out of the office and don’t have access to a scanner.

If you have a subscription license as discussed above all and you log in to the apps your scanned documents are stored in the Adobe Cloud as part of your paid subscription.

Microsoft 365 and Onedrive

In our previous article we gave some tips for implementing a cloud strategy with Microsoft 365. Two of the many features offered in a Microsoft 365 subscription is access to Onedrive for Business and Microsoft Flow.

Onedrive for Business provides each user with a minimum of 1TB of cloud storage, which can be increased if you have more than 5 users in a subscription for each user.

Microsoft Flow has workflow templates that can be used as is or modified, or created from scratch. Examples of the type of workflows that can be created are to move files in a user’s onedrive folder to a sharepoint folder – invoices from counsel or correspondents can be saved to a onedrive folder from an email and automatically moved to a sharepoint folder to be available to your accounts department.

Technology is a game changer for working more efficiently and cost effectively. Choosing the right tools is the first step, implementing changes to your processes to ensure strict controls are maintained or improved is the next step.

We’re experts at business systems and processes, and our cloud-based billing and accounting software for law firms will emancipate your firm from ever-growing costs of maintaining servers, backup systems and undergoing upgrades.

Call us now – we can even convert your existing data and implement a new system for you while WFH.