An interview with Wayne Zielke, CEO of LedgerDocs.
Q: Tell us about LedgerDocs.
Wayne: LedgerDocs is a document management portal for accounting documents. It just started as an in-house project. We had a services business which was delivering accounting and bookkeeping services over the web and we needed a tool to facilitate collaboration online.
Q: Was that a major problem that you were encountering, getting documents into the cloud?
Wayne: It was a huge problem for us and an important one for us to solve, especially with movement toward going paperless. There weren’t a lot of options in the marketplace that were appealing to us. We needed a system that would complement our workflow and something that was easy for our clients to get on board with. We didn’t want to make the client do too much extra work. They have enough on their plate running their businesses.
Q: How have the challenges that bookkeepers/accountants experience changed in the last ten years?
Wayne: Well, there are lots of changes happening with the advancements in technology. Everything is so much more in digital form and real-time now. For example, in the case of documents, instead of everything coming in the mail there are a variety of document sources, especially in digital form. Paper documents are actually a bit of a pain now. However, I think the current state of affairs of having many streams of documents coming in will continue for some time. It’s going to take time for mail to completely die, although it’s trending that way. Regardless, we still needed to be flexible in how we deal with our clients and give them options.
Q: Talking about your recent partnership between ScanSnap and LedgerDocs, how do you see that creating benefits for mutual customers?
Wayne: It’s a natural partnership because Fujitsu is so involved in helping customers digitize paper with their ScanSnap line of scanners. We’re both trying to be part of the solution to the problems faced by bookkeepers and accountants today. In fact we’ve been using Fujitsu scanners for many years now. We recommend them to clients as well.
Q: And what do you like about them?
Wayne: They work! Seriously though, they’re the best scanners in terms of speed, durability, image quality, and value for money. We use the iX500 in the office but I do have the smaller iX100 that I like to keep at my desk since it’s so portable.
Q: What are some important tips and tricks that SMB owners should keep in mind when trying to maintain efficiency and simplicity?
Wayne: They need to consistently scan or send their paper receipts so nothing gets lost, and they should try and scan them as close to the actual transaction date as possible. Do something with it, rather than crumpling it up and letting it fade.
Q: Would you advise people to scan a receipt and throw it out or always keep the original document?
Wayne: Personally, I think you always maintain a copy of the receipt and create a simple filing system, by date would be my recommendation, and not just throw things out. Different jurisdictions have different rules around what’s an acceptable format for an electronic document, so it’s best to know what the rules are before destroying anything.
Q: How do you see the integration between LedgerDocs and ScanSnap creating a benefit for small business owners and accountants?
Wayne: The biggest thing is the ability to scan directly from the scanner and bypass a number of steps before getting it to your accountant — like getting the document onto the computer and uploading or emailing it somewhere. I think that’s a tremendous time saver. And anything that saves our customers time in their day is a win for us.