Bolstered by a measured, but steady adoption of collaboration technology tools, practitioners have the ability to access documents via simultaneous but controlled access, enabling them to work in real time while eliminating redundant files and tasks.

A recent wave of collaboration solutions such as Google Apps - and a number of Microsoft offerings like Office SharePoint Server, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Microsoft Office Live and Groove - have allowed firms to maximize efficiency and risk management, while boosting productivity.

“Some managing partners have not embraced technology the way it needs to be,” said Will Fleenor of consulting concern K2 Enterprises. “Sometimes age factors into it. Other times, they’re just not involved in the process.”

Fleenor led a breakout session on collaboration products at the Accountants Technology Conference here.

Fleenor demonstrated Google Apps to session attendees, which hosts users’ documents on its servers and offers features such as “versioning” – a history of file downloads.

For smaller businesses and firms, the available collaboration tools include Egnyte, a provider of automated hosted file management services.

Web-based meeting tools have also seen a dramatic rise in users, said Fleenor, as services such as WebEx and MeetMeNow compete for market share against Microsoft’s Live Meeting – which now boasts the capability of hosting 2,500 people.

Fleenor also told attendees about virtual portability applications such as MojoPac, which transforms iPods, USB flash drives, portable hard drives, USB-enabled cell phones, and even digital cameras into a portable computing environment.

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