“Can you resend that email?”
“Where do we store audit results?”
“Can you resend me my tax return from 2012?”
At one time or another, we’ve all heard something like this from our co-workers or our clients. It can be downright frustrating and annoying when clients or coworkers can’t keep track of their data. It can also cost you valuable time—studies show that workers spend 15 to 35 percent of their time searching for something. Studies have also found that executives waste around six weeks a year searching for lost documents.
Firms can eliminate (or at least cut down on) these problems by streamlining their data sharing practices using secure, cloud-based software to aggregate all of their data. This could be in the form of Dropbox, Google Drive or an industry-specific software.
Streamlining your data sharing makes you look more professional, more organized and saves you time. Still not convinced? Here are a few problem scenarios solved by cloud data storage.
Scenario 1: After landing a new client, your boss wants to go back and review the terms of the contract to ensure all requirements are being met. But he can’t find the email with the final contract.
This is a common problem easily solved by cloud storage. You can set up a folder for each of your clients and make it accessible to everyone on your team. Start storing all your client files within sub files in the main folder. This way, if your client or co-worker loses a file, everyone knows exactly where to find it. You can also give your client access to specific folders within the main folder for easy file sharing.
Scenario 2: Your client lost their copy of last year’s tax return and asks you to send them another copy. You turn on your computer and are greeted with the blue screen of death. Your entire computer has crashed! Now what do you do?
By storing all your client files in the cloud, you give yourself two huge advantages—first, you have the ability to access your client files from any device, and second, you have a backup in case your computer crashes. If all your files are in the cloud, you know they are safe from accidental hard drive failures...or the dreaded coffee spill. And if you’re out of the office on vacation, it’s easy for a co-worker to access the files to send to the client without going through your personal computer or needing your password.
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