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October 31, 2008


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I think its great that an industry typically adverse to marketing beyond ‘we do great work and our clients refer’ is getting in the game.
In our business we are finding more and more accounting and professional services awakening to the power of a marketing system. In fact, we are happy to oblige helping these companies set up and run successful systems.


Have you ever thought about how accounting firms can help the environment? In my firms, I have seen many accountants print large amounts of paper only to throw it out seconds later. Unfortunately, I am also guilty of this deed. Accounting has always used an incredible amount of paper because of the nature of our business. Financials and monthly or quarterly closes have to printed out and put into a binder.
However, there are many ways an accounting firm can become “greener;” the most effective way is by going paperless. Many firms around the country are beginning to use more computer programs in order to put together all their information. There are many programs that are created specifically for this such as, Caseware.
There are many advantages to going paperless, the first one being that fewer trees will have to be cut down. Trees need thousands of gallons of water in order to produce around 17 reams of copy paper. As Dr. Burke, a partner of an accounting firm in California, states, ‘reams and reams of paper were used for each of our clients just to provide essential monthly and yearly reports and government-required filings’. Another reason as to why going paperless may be better and more profitable is that you can save an immense of amount of money by the reduction of paper. Lastly, It is more convenient for the employees of the firm and also the clients to go paperless.
In order to do an audit you must have the proper documentation. With this digital age everything can be sent in a matter of seconds rather than making copies that must be maintained. The employees also find it easier to navigate through the digital documents, which are not as easily lost.
On the other hand, going paperless is not the only way to become more environmentally friendly. Some of the top firms, along with other small firms are trying to implement a change in order to save money and protect the environment. For example, KPMG, LLP has just created a three year plan, called the “Living Green initiative,” in order to reduce the carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2010. They will try to achieve this through a number of ways, including double sided printing, purchasing recycled paper, reducing the amount of printing done for training and cutting down training days. Steve Clemente of KPMG indicates, ‘This is an important priority for the U.S firm and is consistent with out commitment of being good corporate citizen in the communities in which our people live and work,’ KPMG will also develop an infrastructure where they will keep track of their progress and find ways in which they can manage this goal better.
Many firms throughout the U.S are finding ways to help the environment. A survey of accounting firms done in 2007 illustrated that 45% of firms now use electronic document management systems and 32% have paperless engagements. Have you seen a firm go paperless or develop another way to become greener?

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