Professional services companies lose thousands to poor document management

Woman Office Paper

You might think that a small amount of time spent looking for documents each day is insignificant. But according to a new survey of accounting, advisory and consultancy firms it could be costing US firms almost $4,000 per employee each month.

The study from enterprise collaboration specialist Huddle finds that US respondents work on an average of 26 documents per day spending an average of 89 seconds looking for each one. With an average hourly billing rate of $265, that comes to $3,747 per employee each month.

In the UK it's even worse, respondents work on an average of 25 documents per day spending an average 136 seconds looking for each one. With an average hourly billing rate of £204, poor document management is costing firms £4,238 ($6,244) per employee each month.

"The professional sector faces a number of challenges, from increased competition to automation, and so the ability to differentiate, maximize billable utilization, exhibit expertise and deliver a great client experience has become paramount," says Morten Brøgger, CEO of Huddle. "While investments in collaboration technology are being made, the research suggests that many firms are failing to find the balance between security and usability and have created new, and often unforeseen problems as a result".

Among other findings are that the top three client servicing inefficiencies are: collecting documents from clients (32 percent), approval processes (32 percent) and document workflows (31 percent).

Though 62 percent of respondents say they've deployed SharePoint, the majority (75 percent) continue to share documents with clients by email with a significant number (28 percent) risking data confidentiality by using personal cloud sharing services and USB flash drives (22 percent).

Employees still struggle with productivity when working remotely too. More than half (63 percent) find it difficult to access corporate documents through a mobile device. In addition 68 percent say they have wasted time unknowingly working on outdated versions of documents.

You can find out more in the full study which is available to download from the Huddle website.

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