Paperless document collection is a great goal. It brings efficiencies, frees staff to work at their highest level and reduces frustration. Most importantly, it’ll make for a better client experience. Great practitioners understand an effective transition to a paperless workflow requires their clients' help. Here are three ways advisors train their clients to go paperless.
Train your client how to deal with paper going forward
The first step is to get your clients using mobile, cloud-based apps to deal with receipts. Choose the right mobile app for them. Then train them on a simple process for dealing with each receipt as it is received.
Explain how mobile means they can upload a document instantly. Anywhere, anytime. It’s simple and will save them time. Plus they won’t have to worry about filing and paper storage. Walk them through the upload process on their device. Show them it’s usually as simple as snapping a pic on their phone and sending it to the cloud. Two clicks and forget it. Now they can trash the paper receipt.
The key to making the process stick is to be clear about your expectations. From this point forward you need to receive documents through the app. No more paper.
Train your client to deal with paper docs that they have on hand
Next look to streamline the collection of the documents waiting in your client's files. Train them on a process to deal with the metaphorical shoebox full of receipts. And make it easy.
In some cases, it may be as simple as snapping pics and throwing the paper away. But there may be some documents clients need to keep. Help them devise a simple system for marking paper as processed. One of our clients had a custom Hubdoc stamp made. Every time a document was scanned into Hubdoc they stamped the document. It sounds simple but the stamp meant they knew the doc had been collected. They no longer had to waste time trying to figure out what had been dealt with already and what hadn’t.
Train them on the idea that, as much as possible, the goal should be to only touch a piece of paper once. Walk them through their workflow and look for opportunities to reduce duplicate touches. Show them how the app can help with that.
Teach your client to deal with historical docs from all vendors
The last collection challenge is the historical statements sitting in different vendor accounts. Things like bank statements, bills and receipts that you need to collect by logging in. The best approach is to train clients on using an app that has a fetch feature. One that pulls and stores all their past bills.
Automated fetch is great for clients. They don’t have to log into a lot of different accounts to collect all their historical receipts. The app will fetch the documents for them. And the client can set rules that automatically route the document to the right place. Whether that’s your accounting platform or another app or into cloud storage.
Training your clients on paperless document collection starts with setting clear expectations. Explain how you want to receive their docs. Then train them how to use the right app to make that happen. Work with them to create processes for streamlining collection. Show them how to deal with historical docs, the paper in their office, and all receipts going forward. Both of you will save time, free up staff, and suffer less frustration.