By: Shelly Robinson | Category: Financial Services | Issue: March 2008
Jennifer Welch, Owner with Stacey Lundgren, Cheryl Seever and Cindy Willey from the office of Dr. Mark Welch with Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Center.
In today’s busy marketplace companies are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and gain an edge on the competition. A growing number of businesses are finding one of the smartest things to do is apply “Virtual Office” technology and streamline their day-to-day accounting and payroll duties.
In order to keep up with the demand of today’s fast-paced business owner, Kenneth D. Prather, Inc, a certified public accounting firm, decided to make a substantial investment in technology. Chris Fleming, the tax and accounting manager, says “People are demanding information immediately and they want to be able to access it at anytime from anywhere.” He continues, “If you take a look around you will see people banking, investing, shopping and communicating online via their computers, PDA’s and cell phones. This is why we decided to invest significant resources in order to implement this cutting edge technology.”
One company benefiting from this new concept is the Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Center, PLLC located in Claremore. Dr. Mark Welch and his wife Jennifer recently chose to implement Virtual Office into their medical practice. “There are numerous advantages to this system over traditional methods,” says Jennifer. “We save so much time having everything on the computer, I don’t have to search for records and I can pull up everything I need from my home computer, even at three o’clock in the morning. It saves filing space, it saves paper and it’s so convenient.”
An example of that convenience is the ability to process payroll, from anywhere with internet access. When it is time for pay day, the Welch’s submit the employee’s hours via a secure online portal accessed through the accountant’s website. The accounting firm processes the payroll, direct deposits the funds to the employee’s bank accounts, and makes payroll reports available for the client online. The employees can even log into their own secure portal through the accountant’s website and view their pay stub, year-to-date earnings, W-2’s, update their withholdings, change their address, etc. “This feature is known as “Web Employee” and we now have several local clients providing this to their employees as well as clients in other states such as Illinois, Missouri and Texas. It is all done online and with more and more focus on the environment, this technology is attractive because it is virtually paperless,” says Fleming.
Kristina McCulley, Chris Fleming and Ruth Reasons of Kenneth D. Prather, Inc.
Jennifer Welch says the payroll benefits are huge. “We can be out of town or away from the office and still get payroll done on time, using the Virtual Office. That is enormously helpful to us, it’s a great convenience.” Dr. Welch can also visit the website 24/7 to access corporate income tax returns, individual income tax returns, payroll reports, quarterly reports and year-end reports that the accountant has prepared. A bookkeeping program called “Client Bookkeeping Solution” is also accessible online where clients can pay bills and record deposits.
You might be thinking that this technology sounds expensive… but it can actually save money. “It is affordable and the reason is that our firm operates so much more efficiently than before and we are able to pass the savings to our clients,” states Fleming. Jennifer Welch agrees, “Our accounting costs have gone down by almost half, although the service has increased. It was easy to set up and Chris walked me through it so I knew exactly what I was doing. I’ve done things the old way and I really can’t describe what an improvement this is, I love it.”
An initial meeting with Chris to demonstrate the system costs you absolutely nothing, but may be just what you need to move your business forward. Contact any of the firm’s three locations in Claremore, Pryor or Owasso today to see what Virtual Office can do for you.