Attaching Documents to Your QuickBooks

Attaching Documents to Your QuickBooks

Attach Documents“Paperless Accounting” it is a phrase that will strike fear into the heart of many a bookkeeper or auditor.  With today’s improved technology, affordable hardware, and cloud file storage solutions many of the drawbacks paperless accounting are now worries of a bygone era.  Please don’t mistake me as saying “throw all the paper away” because I am absolutely not.  However, if you are interested in reducing the paper in your office and streamlining document sharing within a work environment there are plenty of options out there.  Two of the more popular products are what we are comparing.

With QuickBooks Pro and higher versions, 2010 and newer,  offer an attach option within the program. This allows you to scan a document and “attach” it to your transaction in QuickBooks.  This function is fairly user friendly, but charges a monthly fee.  The fees from Intuit vary from the try it for free version for up to 100MB, to $29.95 per month per user for 5GBs.  At the end of a trial period if you decide not to continue with the program your data will no longer be available to you.  Meaning all attached documents are lost.  With no local save option you are now making a lifelong contract because some documents need to be saved that long and possibly even longer.  This is stated in paragraph four of the user agreement but who ever reads those?  Your data may then be stored in multiple countries and your data is not encrypted.   If your business has documents with personal and sensitive information along with government i.d. numbers and financial institution account numbers storing data like that unsecured would be a violation of state and federal law in many places so you must use caution with what you choose to store.  The QuickBooks Attach Document option  is an acceptable one for the occasional customer complaint letter you want to add to their file, but other than that it is not a “paperless office” solution.

One of the other products out there on the market is Smart Vault.  Smart Vault “provides an intuitive, Web-based solution for users to store, view and share files securely any time and from anywhere”,  and also allows you to attach documents in QuickBooks.  Their data transfer and storage is secure and encrypted.  The data storage prices are reasonable.  At $39.00 per month for 3 users it is actually cheaper than QuickBooks’ offerings.  The icing on the cake is that Smart Vault offers the ability to share data with other authorized people and, at the professional level package, it allows you to monitor access.

While I dream of vanishing stacks of paper it may not be a total reality yet.  Products like Smart Vault are making it more likely though.

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