Why switching to an online fax service makes sense (and dollars) for financial planners
Before you can help a client plan their financial future, you need to know what their financial situation is right now that may involve getting information from accountants, bookkeepers, insurers, the ATO, banks and credit agencies, real estate agents, property developers, and perhaps even their doctor.
Now, you may be able to get some of this information sent to you electronically. You may even have experienced the joy of looking at a client’s up-to-date accounting information using a cloud service such as Xero. But despite all this technology, some of it may still arrive via your fax machine.
And that’s not a good thing.
Your fax machine is already costing you money
How much time do you spend scanning the faxes you receive or manually transposing their contents? even when you’re done, you still need to keep them for auditing purposes, right? That means that you not only have to file them away somewhere, but also keep track of them all in case you need to refer to one down the track.
If you’re sending faxes as well, add the time you spend printing out documents, feeding them into the fax machine, dialling the number, and waiting for confirmation they were sent successfully.
In terms of your hourly rate, how much is all of that costing you?
Then there’s the cost of keeping your fax machine running – electricity, paper, toner, line rental, maintenance.
It all adds up. The average fax machine costs $600 per year to run, and if you use it more than the average business, you’re paying more. And the fact you’re now competing with robo-advisers and other cut-price services which means you need to keep your costs down as much as possible.
Which is why you should switch to an online fax service.
Online fax: Faxing at your fingertips
With an online fax service, you can send and receive faxes using your computer, smartphone or tablet. That’s to and from both traditional fax machines and online fax services. No-one will know the difference.
There are a few ways you might do it, depending on your provider…
By Email: You might use your normal email. To send a fax, you type a special email address – containing the recipient’s fax number – in the To field (e.g. [email protected]). When someone sends you a fax, it just gets forwarded to your email as a PDF.
Using a website: Some online fax providers give you a website to sign into, then you send and receive faxes there. Much like how you’d sign in to gmail.com or outlook.com to send and receive emails. To send a fax, you upload the document you want to send, punch in any fax number, and hit send
With an app on your mobile or computer: With the better providers, you get a dedicated mobile app and Windows/Mac program that you can install. Much like you’d install Outlook on your phone and desktop to send and receive emails. To send a fax, you attach or take a photo of the document you want to send, select your recipient or punch in any fax number, then hit send.
You can even keep your fax number (providing you act quickly – see below).
Instead of having to gather up paper faxes on your machine, they’ll be stored on a secure online server where you can access them wherever and whenever you need and finding the one you need is as easy as doing a text search.
No-one can pick up a fax as they walk past the machine. Your faxes will always be secure, accessible only by logging in with your unique ID and password
Best of all, you can get rid of your fax machine and everything that goes with it, which is great, not only for your business but also the environment. You can even cancel your line rental because eFax works with any internet connection – including nbnTM. (Just be sure not to cancel it until you’ve ported your number across to your online fax service.)
Which is more than can be said about your fax machine.
Your fax machine won’t work with NBN
Yes, nbnTM is coming. (You may already have it.) And while that technology is great for fast internet, it’s not so great for traditional fax machines. In fact, your fax machine will stop working completely.
There are a few workarounds that might get you faxing again, but the emphasis is on the “might”. They’re all unreliable, and very time-consuming and difficult to set up. You need to be quite technical and have plenty of time for troubleshooting.
Fortunately, online fax works with any internet connection – even nbnTM. So, as the technology improves and speeds get faster, so will your faxing.
You need to act quickly to keep your fax number
As we said earlier, you can keep your current fax number. A good online fax provider will even port your number across for free. But that will take time – anywhere between two or three months. If the NBN gets rolled out to your area before the porting process is completed (not just started), your existing fax number will be disconnected and you could lose it completely.
Yes, you may be able to get it back (if someone else hasn’t already claimed it). But it’s by no means an easy process, and definitely not something you should gamble on.
Bottom line? You need to act quickly to keep your current fax number.
Still have questions?
As a financial planner, you can certainly benefit from moving to an online fax service such as eFax. But if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1800 283 361 so we can answer them for you.
How about a free 30-day trial?
We have more than 11 million customers worldwide, from sole traders to Fortune 500 companies and we’d like you to be one of them. So, why not take advantage of our 30-day free trial today, and discover the benefits of using eFax for yourself.