Connected Accountants is progressive accounting firm based in Chatswood, Sydney. They are passionate about efficiency, tax minimisation, business growth and ensuring that clients meet their goals.
Amanda Fisher (Principal of Connected Accountants) shares her thoughts on document management.
We switched from HowNow to SharePoint because I wanted the team to have remote access to our files and I’m a big believer in cloud technology. (We don’t have a terminal server in-house, and at the time we didn’t know about hosted servers.)
But trying to get the same level of productivity out of SharePoint quickly became an exercise in frustration. We couldn’t search by a specific time period, or for particular file extensions (.xls, .doc, etc.) Searching didn’t seem to work at all on emails. And any searches we could perform were extremely slow.
We also lost the merge facilities we loved so much, and saving emails into Lync was cumbersome at best.
But the biggest problem was dealing with data files from clients. For example, there was no easy way to use .myo files directly from SharePoint. Instead we had to copy them to the desktop, and then put into the cloud, which went against my philosophies of efficiency and of having all our files in one place.
After six weeks we couldn’t put up with SharePoint any longer, and switched back to HowNow. But we needed help extracting the SharePoint files we’d added and modified since the transition.
We contacted Business Fitness, and they helped us switch everything back to HowNow. They:
- Introduced us to Centorrino Technologies, who provided a hosted server environment so that we got the benefit of cloud storage and also the benefits of HowNow;
- Downloaded the SharePoint files that had been created and modified to a local drive (they quickly identified the new files because they didn’t have a HowNow identifier attached);
- Made all the files available locally in case we needed them in the future; and
- Used HowNow to catalogue all the files that were modified or created outside of HowNow.
The Business Fitness team did a lot of work to make our operating environment as efficient and productive as it had been with HowNow locally but now we have the benefit of remote access to all our records through the cloud storage. Going back to HowNow was definitely worth it, because it’s a million miles ahead of SharePoint.
Click here for an overview of the HowNow doc management system.