In the latest presentation that I gave to attendees at Accountex I showed a picture of several filled to the gills lever arch files and I commentated that larger clients would always bring their records in boxes containing lots of lever arch files. The first file was always headed “Sales A to E” and so on.
Now with the march of paperless and the move to automation will the lever arch file go the way of the fax and become a distant memory? Will our shelves no longer creek under the weight of the files? Who knows but for sure I often wondered whether the client actually thought we ploughed our way through every invoice or receipt during the preparation of their annual accounts. I recall my days as a junior where I worked with 4 other juniors in the bowls of the building working hard on incomplete record accounts. We worked at one long table which ran the length of the office and in front of us were great long shelves full of lever arch files relating to the job in hand. One day a tremendous cracking noise was followed by shelves collapsing under the weight of these predominately lever arch files causing us the jump backwards to avoid the falling debris. My friend who always announced that his seniority meant he could sit with the office gas fire behind him was relieved to have escaped the cascade of falling files only to scream in anguish as he was pinned back in front of his beloved fire which duly set light to his trousers.
Now with the march of paperless we will all be saving money on stationery costs because just think how much paper was needed to fill a lever arch file? Then how much ink or toner was used to produce the original invoice and the copious copies because for sure some businesses kept more than one copy. So will the demise of paper records mean we will all be richer as our stationery costs tumble or will it be that we just spend more in other ways to compensate with cloud storage and interfaces?
There are numerous reasons for moving to being as paperless as possible but a shelf of files running in order across the room from A to E and so on is something I do miss, well ok for a moment or two.
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