Perm Docs and the Problem of Ubiquitous Information
May 08, 2018 | By Rob Feinstein
There’s an ironic problem with information being everywhere: it’s hard to find.
Google saw the opportunity to tackle this issue on a grand scale. And so its mission statement is “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
At FloQast, we might describe our job in similar, if more bite-sized terms. We’re happy to do our part to make your company’s financial information accessible and useful for the accounting team. Today, we’re taking aim at a good chunk of that challenge with the introduction of our newest feature, called Perm Docs.
Perm Docs are what all accountants understand as “permanent documents” - the ones that you need for any given close or subsequent audit, but aren’t tied to just one period. They might be policies and procedures documentation, significant contracts, charts of accounts, board minutes, leases or even Articles of Incorporation.
All accounting departments have these documents. Sadly, they’re stored all over the place in file cabinets, real and virtual. On good days, we know just where to find the ones we need. On bad days, we don’t know where they are. At the worst times of all, one is maddeningly left to wonder: do we even have a document for what I’m seeking?
It’s often chaos begging for order.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a single, central depository for critical accounting documents that have a life span across multiple close periods?
Enter Perm Docs.
Perm Docs is a fully configurable file and document storage system that exists in your accounting department’s existing cloud storage, and is automatically viewable and accessible from within FloQast. By ‘fully configurable’, we mean that users can set up folders to organize documents any way they wish. It can be configured for documents relevant to all of a company’s entities, or just one of them, assuring the right documents can always be accessed in the uncluttered place that makes the most sense.
We’ve already heard of users’ plans to use Perm Docs broadly: for Accounting Policies, Audit Reports, Lease Agreements, and more. Some users have quietly admitted to us that having our Perm Docs feature makes it more likely they’ll create a complete set of procedures documents. That’s because those documents will now have a better chance of being found and accessed via Perm Docs.
As with all our evolving services, we’ll listen to users, learn how they’re using Perm Docs and adapt the feature over time so it can be used the most effectively. We already have ideas in mind for how we’ll integrate Perm Docs more deeply inside FloQast in the future, e.g. highlighting the existence of a policy document with a link next to the procedure to which it applies.
Beyond Perm Docs, we have our sights set on making all your company’s accounting-related data more easily accessible and useful for our heroes on the accounting team. If you have wish-list items you want to be sure we’re considering, please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who knows, maybe our mission isn’t that much less lofty than Google’s after all.