Organizational knowledge is the key to success for professional services firms; however as firms grow they are at increased risk of mismanaging this information. Flooded by an ever-increasing volume of documents, it’s becoming harder for organizations to manage, protect and leverage their core knowledge assets.

The problem begins with how information is stored. Unfortunately, even when given a central place to store documents, employees default to using whatever tools they find most convenient. This tool of choice often varies not only from person to person, but also from project to project.  The result: knowledge silos. 

How store work documents

In our 2016 survey of 200 U.S. and UK accounting, advisory and management consulting firms 38% of respondents admitted to storing the majority of their work documents on their local computer hard drive, 23% routinely kept documents as attachments in email and 27% in a personal cloud file sharing service. 27% also admitted to regularly storing work on unsecured USB thumb drives.

This is an irritation when you are trying to gain access to information, but it is much more troubling than that. Poor document management is a costly issue for organizations, resulting in lost productivity – 68% have spent time working on a document only to discover it was an outdated version – and ultimately revenue.

According to our survey, searching for documents costs professional services firms nearly $4,000 in lost productivity per employee each month. But the “cost” doesn’t end there. Poor document management can cost firms clients as well. With 27% of senior managers reporting they’ve missed client deadlines because they couldn’t find a document, it’s not surprising that it’s a top reason firms report for losing clients.

Cost of managing documents

Further to this are concerns over security. Poor document management undoubtedly puts data at risk with firms and clients sharing documents by unsecured means including email (75% client to firm; 70% firm to client), personal cloud (28% client to firm; 22% firm to client) and unencrypted USB flash drives (22% client to firm; 16% firm to client). Even more worrisome is the potential for data loss when individuals leave an organization, taking data with them, whether intentionally or not.

Worked on the wrong document

For client services organizations, time is money. Huddle makes it easy to securely share, edit and manage documents, so you spend less time organizing documents, managing feedback and searching through email, and more time delivering exceptional results.

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