Boolers eliminates paper filing with Virtual Cabinet

Chartered Financial Planners based in Enderby eliminates paper filing with Virtual Cabinet

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“I think the Client Portal is invaluable. The process of getting it up and running was very easy.”

Carole Waghorne
  • Thousands of documents digitised
  • 8 extra desks available with freed floor space

Leading financial planning firm opts to free up valuable office space

Boolers is a firm of Chartered Financial Planners based in Enderby, Leicester with over £750 million of clients’ assets under administration. The business moved into their current offices in January 2007, having outgrown their previous premises. However, they were now facing the same problem again. Carole Waghorne, a business owner and CFP, along with her colleague Gavin, were tasked with finding a document management system that would eliminate paper filing, improve document search times and seamlessly fit their business processes.

Weight of filing cabinets require strengthened floor

Although they had moved to larger offices, Carole found that unless they addressed their storage issues they would quickly outgrow their new offices within a few years.

"As a business we kept a large number of paper files. Any communications with clients were recorded in paper form and we kept a separate paper file for each client and or pension scheme. We had to move older correspondence off site to a secure storage facility as we had no room in our offices to keep it all."

- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers

The weight of the paper files also meant that they had to reinforce the flooring of the offices in order to support the colossal size of the first-floor filing cabinet.

"When we moved into our offices we had to be certain that the heavy filing cabinets would be kept upstairs, so the floors were strengthened to ensure that they were safe."

- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers

Recreating a digital filing system to match existing structure

Carole and Gavin were looking at several document management software options. The process involved speaking to a number of DMS experts and reviewing product demonstrations.

"We saw at least 4 different options. During the Virtual Cabinet demo, we could see immediately see how it could easily replicate our existing filing structure, split into sections and sub sections and organised it in that way."

- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers

Carole realised early on that file structure would be the key in the successful role out of the product, not only to help persuade the team that Virtual Cabinet could effortlessly adapt itself into their daily procedures, but also this would ultimately save them time in adopting a new system. Working with a Virtual Cabinet consultant, internal projects were put in place to make sure they recreated the already familiar structure that Carole was looking for.

Eliminating physical files and removing huge filing cabinets

The time to start reducing paper files was here, and with the help of 2 Fujitsu scanners each department took on the huge task of scanning in all their active files to achieve some substantial goals. Carole and Gavin set a time scale that everything would be in Virtual Cabinet within 18 months.

"We agreed timescales and tasked each administrator with responsibility for their own clients, so all staff had a monthly target to scan a number of their files onto Virtual Cabinet, to meet the required timescale."

- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers

Due to the ease of use with the Fujitsu scanners, Carole had no need to outsource the scanning, and could make sure all the scanning was completed to their specification, and to the correct location first time.

6 large cream filing cabinets full of paper documentation standing in Boolers office that required scanning

"Each individual was responsible for scanning their own files on to the system to ensure that the content description was correct and that the documents were being put in to the correct files and sub sections."

- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers

The goals were achieved easily, and subsequently they were able to remove the gargantuan filing cabinets, which have given up space to house 8 extra desks and bought them more time in the current business location.

Office cleared of the large filing cabinets - workmen removing the remains
“We were able to complete the project faster than we thought, in about 14 months. We started the project slowly as it was a big change, but Virtual Cabinet is very easy to use and very intuitive, so staff were able to complete their scanning and filing quickly.”
- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers
6 new desks with dividers in place of where the filing cabinets stood, Young female with pony tail working on end desk

Introducing a secure portal to help with GDPR compliance

Carole also recently made the decision to also have the Virtual Cabinet Client Portal installed.

“The driver for adopting the portal was the introduction of GDPR, which requires you to be able to securely send data to clients. Given the bulk of the information we send our clients comes from Virtual Cabinet, it was an obvious choice to add on the portal. It’s very easy to use.

- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers

The account executive staff use the portal on a daily basis, when they send information out to clients.

"I think the Client Portal is invaluable. The process of getting it up and running was very easy."

- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers

There were of course some unique challenges with taking on a new system. One was making sure everyone was using Virtual Cabinet the same way. Saving things in the same way, using the same words to describe a document. Carole completed some internal auditing in the first month on these processes and was able to iron out any issues that staff were experiencing.

Powerful document search and a more efficient business

Carole has found the new search capability with Virtual Cabinet to be invaluable. Boolers’ financial planners provide advice to clients on all manner of financial products, including pensions and investments.

"We need to be able to access historical information, what was said to clients at previous meetings and what their asset value was previously. Finding all of that information via the Virtual Cabinet search feature was perfect."

- Carole Waghorne, Owner, Boolers

Boolers’ general efficiency has immeasurably improved with Virtual Cabinet. Staff no longer have to physically go and find a file within a filing cabinet or other location, bring it back their desks and search through the file to find the documents they need. Documents instead can be instantly located in a matter of clicks. When asked if Carole would recommend Virtual Cabinet, she responds “Wholeheartedly”.