Microsoft and Intapp: Document management for accountants

Support document management for accountants with Microsoft 365

Organized document management systems (DMSs) for accounting firms are necessary for facilitating relationship management, improving decision-making, and driving better client outcomes. Rather than searching for a new and potentially expensive DMS, firms can save money and ease the adoption process by leveraging their existing Microsoft 365 investment.

Most accounting firms already use Microsoft 365 apps like Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Office, and SharePoint for chat, email, and creating and sharing files, respectively. Because their teams are already familiar and comfortable with Microsoft 365, it only makes sense for firms to leverage the platform to support document management for accountants.

However, accounting firms often stumble across various roadblocks when setting up Microsoft 365 as their DMS. Juggling the multiple Microsoft apps can prove challenging for accountants, while navigating the backend of the software can be confusing for IT teams. For example, a firm may not know how to set up Microsoft SharePoint sites correctly or ensure secure access within those sites. Furthermore, Microsoft 365 doesn’t look and feel like an accounting-specific platform, leaving users even more uncertain as to whether it can meet their needs.

Making the most out of Microsoft 365 requires a tailored approach — especially when it comes to document management and protecting sensitive client information. Learn how Intapp Documents — part of Intapp Collaboration & Content — can help simplify and ease your Microsoft experience, and discover how you can turn Microsoft 365 into an efficient, industry-specific DMS.

Addressing the benefits and challenges of Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 offer numerous benefits that can help promote document management for accountants. One of the most useful capabilities is its co-authoring feature, which lets multiple users easily collaborate by simultaneously editing documents in real time. This saves accountants from having to send edits back and forth to one another via email, eliminating lost documents and version confusion.

Microsoft 365 also offers enterprise-grade security data across on-premises, cloud-based, and mobile devices. When storing your data within Microsoft SharePoint or sharing documents with your teammates in Microsoft Teams, you can be confident that your information is properly protected.

When used properly, Microsoft SharePoint can be a powerful and secure document management system for accounting firms; however, some people find it difficult to navigate, especially when structuring repositories in the backend of SharePoint to organize and manage their documents. And when key stakeholders can’t easily find, access, and collaborate on the documents they need, it causes unnecessary friction and frustration for employees, clients, and other third parties.

Microsoft SharePoint also requires backend work to set up permissions and access control so that only approved staff and clients can access certain documents and confidential information. This process usually involves an IT professional manually setting up security levels and creating custom workflows for processes like account balancing and processing receipts — which can prove tedious and time-consuming.

Another issue Microsoft SharePoint users face is that the software doesn’t seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Outlook. Accountants spend a large portion of their time communicating and sharing information with clients and other external parties via Outlook. However, Microsoft 365 operates in a siloed approach, so accountants can’t sync content across SharePoint and Outlook. Instead, they have to switch back and forth between the apps, costing them valuable time and disrupting their workflow.

Bridging the gaps

As powerful as it is, Microsoft 365 remains a horizontal platform, and accounting firms need vertically oriented software that addresses their industry-specific needs. With Intapp Documents, you can bridge the gaps and transform your Microsoft 365 experience.

Rather than manually creating repositories and channels, you can auto-provision various preconfigured, engagement-centric templates that include folder structure, security rules, content, and collaborators. For example, when taking on a new client or engagement, you can use Intapp Documents to automatically create document libraries and sites within Microsoft SharePoint that meet the requirements for that client or engagement type.

Intapp Documents bridges the integration gap between Outlook and SharePoint by acting as a presentation layer and synchronizing content and folder structures across Microsoft SharePoint and Outlook. You can easily access documents from your DMS without ever leaving Outlook, thereby minimizing change-management friction.

Best of all, Intapp Documents lets you maintain control of your data by storing it within your own Microsoft 365 tenant, ensuring compliance with all your client, regulatory, and firm security guidelines.

Elevating your Microsoft 365

If your accounting firm has already invested in Microsoft 365, there’s no reason why you should use any other software as your DMS. Microsoft 365 offers unparalleled capabilities and security — and with Intapp Documents, you can ensure your DMS addresses the industry-specific needs of your accountants.

Contact us to set up a demonstration to learn more about how Intapp can help your accounting firm turn your Microsoft 365 investment into an engaging, secure DMS.

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Written by:

Marc McNicholl

Managing Director of Sales, Intapp Collaboration & Content

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