By Hiro Imamura,
Vice President and General Manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group Marketing, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Like it or not, tax season is here and with it comes the stress that can be associated with the process, especially for those with a bit more on their plate like small business owners and entrepreneurs. While trying to balance the responsibilities of both home and work, tax season can complicate our schedule and may cause unnecessary headaches. With piles of documents and seemingly endless paperwork, the task may seem insurmountable but with current technology and modern mobile solutions, it can be made just a bit easier. Mobility options on personal devices, printers and scanners have allowed us to streamline workflows more than ever before, letting us get things done from nearly anywhere at any time.
The wave towards increased mobility, including the need to print from mobile devices, isn’t just a passing trend. A June 2014 study by IDC projected that the number of workers in the United States who utilize mobile print features would more than double between 2012 and 2015, jumping from 24% to 50%1 and studies show that young professionals under the age of 55 are looking for more opportunities to put their mobile devices to work in the office. To take advantage of this technology, many workplaces are adopting “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) policies to let employees utilize their personal smart devices to increase productivity and expand the workplace.
So what does this all mean for your taxes? As we all know, filing taxes is a very document intensive process. During this time of year, business owners begin the task of gathering the enormous amount of information and paperwork that has accumulated over the year. Features on select mobile devices may allow users to capture or scan the image of documents needed for tax purposes, which can then by uploaded to a cloud service. By placing your files into the cloud, your documents are preserved in the event that you lose your desktop based files. A cloud service can help tax filers centralize all of their documents to keep them organized and secure for fast retrieval when they are needed, helping to reduce the stress and worry of having them scattered throughout their inbox or workplace.
Instead of squeezing tax work in during precious business hours, put your compatible mobile devices to work and get it done when you finally have a chance to breathe. Have a stack of papers to input that just doesn’t seem to get any smaller? Take them on the road with you and upload those documents remotely using a portable compact scanner. With select mobile solutions, distance may no longer be a roadblock to productivity. Did your business just receive a critical financial document that you need to take care of as soon as possible? Put the mobile print feature of your compatible smartphone or tablet to work by printing it out and getting it done as soon as it hits your mailbox before it gets lost in the shuffle.
In today’s internet age, the threat of identity theft for both businesses and clients is very real, especially when filing sensitive documents like tax returns. If you’re using a cloud file service to store information that could be sensitive, be sure to understand how the cloud file service helps protect that document. Secure access through password protection, multi-factor log-in and encryption of the data, in transfer to the service and at rest in your folders in the service, can help in this protection. Both tax professionals and taxpayers should be sure to maintain their own thorough records, both in print and digital, in the event that any suspicious activity occurs. With mobile printing and scanning capabilities readily available, users can access their most important documents at the most important times. When printing from compatible mobile devices, secure output management solutions also help provide a streamlined workflow to help make sure that your documents don’t fall into the wrong hands.
While mobile solutions aren’t necessarily the “silver bullet” that small business owners hoping for, it can help make tax season a little less “taxing.” By taking advantage of mobile features, small businesses can manage documents, printing and tax filings with the same sophistication of larger companies.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. offers mobile solutions for the way professionals do business, with imageCLASS laser printers, imageRUNNER ADVANCE multifunction systems, imageFORMULA document scanners and the innovative uniFLOW output management platform. For more information about Canon and its solutions for business, visit www.usa.canon.com.
1IDC Mobile Print: Enabling Today’s Workforce, Doc #249153, June 2014.