You’ll find the most successful businesses are those open to change and innovation. It can be hard to get out of your comfort zone and start looking at new technology, but being aware of the options and measuring the return on investment is the best way to stay on top of it. One solution you should really become familiar with is integrated document management. Going paperless can impact your business in a variety of different areas, but today we’ll focus on just three of the processes that you can streamline: Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Auditing.
Without a doubt, the AP department is the most common area of the business to roll out a paperless solution, mainly because there is just so much paper being passed around. Purchase orders, invoices, quotes, packing slips and checks are all documents that get printed, filed, passed around, sent via mail or FedEx, copied, matched and re-filed. The physical movement of these documents costs your company a great deal of money in the amount of time required to manage this process. You are also spending a lot of money on the paper itself, the storage and courier fees.
We recommend instead storing all of your documents in a secure electronic repository where they can be instantly accessed, routed and outputted. Rather than walking an invoice to someone’s desk for approval, you will send it to their electronic workflow with a click of a button. This allows you to maintain visibility and set alerts to keep everyone on track.
The next area we want you to consider is your accounts receivable process. When you are preparing to send a batch of invoices out to your customers, you likely find that some want them delivered via mail, some via email, and sometimes additional supporting documents need to be included. The process of printing, separating, copying and collating these documents is pretty time consuming.
If you were using an integrated document management solution, the system would automatically send invoices and supporting documents in the recipient’s preferred delivery method and format. If an email address exists, emails are automatically created with the proper documents attached while the others are sent to the printer pre-collated. Eliminating the need for human intervention here saves time and minimizes error.
If you’ve been through an audit recently, you can attest to the amount of manual labor that goes into searching for every document the auditors need. As long as they’re in your office, you will be disrupted constantly and struggle to get your work done.
Storing your documents electronically will allow you to do a simple search (by date range for example) and either give the auditor access to only those documents from within the application, or quickly copy them on a flash drive for review. They will be able to find things much faster which means they will require less of your time (and money!)
These are just a few examples, but consider applying these principles to any type of documents that you store, route for approval or send out. These could be HR documents, contracts, reports – really anything. Give us a call to talk through your current processes or schedule a demonstration of Sage ERP Document Management.
Christi Sobodos is the Channel Program Manager for Altec, an endorsed Sage Solution Provider.
Altec provides document and workflow management software, including doc-link for Sage 100 and Sage 500 ERP (formerly known as MAS90, MAS200 and MAS500).