If you have started, or are considering starting, your journey towards a paperless work environment, you need to consider the effectiveness of the templates that your team are using to complete client assignments.
Here are some tips on how to improve your templates and your team’s results.
Checklists and Forms
Checklists can be created using the “Forms” function in Microsoft Word so that your team can press the “Tab” key on their keyboards to move from question to question with one key stroke. With some special functionality in Word items can be hidden from view, unless they are required for a particular assignment. The use of form fields enables documents to be easily completed electronically without the need to print.
1. Check Box Form Fields can be used to indicate whether a question is Yes, No or Not Applicable – makes it really easy for the reviewer to know that the preparer has considered that item.
2. Text Form Fields allow the user to enter notes to each item on the checklist.
3. Before saving your templates, remember to select “Protect Form” so that the wording and layout of your template cannot be edited, and your team can have the convenience of being able to press the “Tab” key to move from field to field. Also remember to turn on “Field Shading” to make it easy for the user to see where the Form Fields are.
A couple of other tips
There are a couple of other functions that make it easier to navigate around electronic documents and will help with your paperless approach to working.
1. Setting the “click” option for hyperlinks: When using hyperlinks, it is much easier to be able to click on the document to go the link rather than using “Control + Click” (the default option). Change this setting by ensuring that the “Use CTRL + Click to follow hyperlink” option is not checked, see Word Options > Advanced.
2. Use the back and forward buttons: When using hyperlinks, make it easy for your team to move around between items that you have linked to by adding the “Back” and “Forward” buttons to your Toolbar (see Word Options (or Excel) > Customize Ribbon > Choose Commands Not in the Ribbon).
Want to see what we’re talking about in action? Click here.