Paperless Office - With Multiple Monitors
Author: Amir Morani CPA CMA CFM MBA
Going paperless in professional offices, such as those of CPAs, sometimes could become inconvenient for the professional to work. When a CPA is working on a client's tax return and needs to refer to prior year return, it is easy for her to look at the paper printout while working on this year return on the computer. However, if her filing system is paperless it would be very inconvenient for her, sometimes, to switch between screens to take a look at the prior year return and come back to this year return - back and forth. This could even result in use of more paper than before if the CPA ends up printing a copy of the prior year return to refer during the return preparation and then destroying it. That would result in her printing almost all her clients' prior year returns and then destroying them because she has an electronic copy of the return.
The technology available at this time makes it easy to avoid this problem. Over time it has become more and more easier for CPAs to go paperless as some of these inconveniences have been addressed by the available technology.
A small investment can help CPAs resolve this problem forever and would save them all the inconveniences related to it. Windows XP allows the use of multiple monitors with one computer. This feature is already there in the Windows XP. However, the user would need to buy a special video adapter to attach to the computer to connect multiple monitors. Multiple means up to 10 monitors can be attached to one computer. There are numerous benefits of this convenience in Windows XP.
If all your prior client documents are already in electronic format on your server and you need to refer to several of them at once to work on a particular project, you could open each of those on separate monitors connected to the same computer. This would eliminate the need to switch between different screens each time you need to look at another document.
The set up for connecting additional monitors to your Windows XP computer is not very complicated. If you use a notebook computer you can use the feature of Dualview which is also available in XP. You can just connect an external monitor to your notebook and set up your XP, from Control Panel, for Dualview. The limitation with Dualview is that your notebook or laptop monitor would always be the primary monitor. The other feature, that of multiple monitors, allows you to set any of the monitors as the primary monitor.
Once you set up your computer with multiple monitors, you can eliminate one of the major inconveniences that staff faces in a CPA offices, that of referring to multiple documents from the file and having to switch between screens while working. Even if you have already become comfortable switching between screens on one computer, you may still want to test out this feature of multiple monitors and you may be pleasantly surprised by the ease it brings to your life. The details on setting up multiple monitors are explained on the Microsoft website.
About the author: Amir Morani CPA CMA CFM MBA is the author of 10 Steps to a Paperless CPA Office. His blog is at http://paperlessofficeforcpa.blogspot.com