03 Dec 2015

Have a Holly, Jolly, Paperless Holiday!

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Whether you’re wrapping gifts, sending holiday cards, or creating paper snowflakes, there are many uses for paper during the holidays. However, printing out volumes of the new bankruptcy forms and carrying loads of documents to/from 341(a) meetings isn’t!

The new forms required to be used to file bankruptcy starting last week are significantly more voluminous than the old forms. If you’re still printing out these documents you may want to think again – on average, the new forms are a whopping six times longer than the old. With this change, plus increasing options for working remotely, the effort to keep track of and transport physical copies of debtor documents is more burdensome than ever.

Take a holiday from all of the burden and clutter of physical documents by going paperless!

At times it may be necessary to have physical paperwork on hand; however, most of the time it is not. Plus, there are numerous benefits to accessing most of your files digitally, such as freeing up office space previously allocated to bulky filing cabinets; easier and more efficient filing processes; and access to your documents from any location.

So how can you attain and retain a paper-free office? Here are some tips:

  1. Adopt a uniform method for naming and organizing files. Similar to physical paperwork, digital files should be organized and named in a way that makes sense to your practice and staff. Use categorized folders to keep track of different variations of documents. When naming files such as bank statements or monthly reports, be sure to include the date for easy identification, such as “2015.11.30. Monthly Operating Report.”
  2. Routinely scan and shred all of your paper documents. Free up space by scanning original documents received from debtors, and returning or shredding original documents quickly to avoid having to store documents for extended periods of time. This practice can also help you to protect your PII if a paper document is irretrievably lost.
  3. Receive debtor documents via DocLink. Our free secure online portal allows you to request and receive debtor documents electronically in advance of 341(a) meetings. With time stamping and integration with CaseLink, you can be sure that the debtor’s attorney has provided you the necessary documents in a timely manner.
  4. Use Adobe PDF annotating and resizing functionality. Within Adobe Acrobat – the software that you use to view PDF files – there are options to zoom in as well as annotate the digital file so that you don’t have to print it out. To zoom in or out on the document, click the plus or minus icons in the top gray navigation bar, as shown below:Annotate-1
    To annotate the document, click one of the annotation tools in the top gray navigation bar, including the highlighter or the comment feature.Annotate-2
    To view more annotation features, click on “View” in the top navigation, then click “Comment,” and “Annotations.” These will appear in a bar on the right side of the document.
    Annotate-3
  5. Utilize the electronic bank statements delivered into your BMS software. Rabobank statements are automatically delivered each month into QuikDocs (or case documents) – typically one to three days before the paper statements get delivered to you.
  6. Print on both sides of paper. If you do require physical documents, you can reduce the amount of paper you use by printing on both sides of the paper. You can do this by editing your print preferences before you print.

Need help setting up paperless processes within your BMS software? BMS has many resources to set you on the right path, including:

If you have any further questions, please reach out to your Account Manager or the BMS Support Center at support@bmsadvantage.com or 800-634-7734.

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