Invoice processing makes for more expedient payments systems

Efficiency is the watchword in business today. With times tough and cuts starting to hurt, there is no room for wasting time and money doing things in a slower or more torturous way than they need to be. The challenge with this, however, is in moving from one familiar way of working to a more effective set of procedures. Although these will result in improved productivity – and therefore a healthier bottom line – there will always be some resistance out of a desire to keep the status quo. Document management is one way in which efficiency can be improved. Its aim is to shift paper documents of all kinds into electronic form (via document processing) and then arrange and employ them in the best way. This is particularly helpful in certain areas of business, such as invoice processing and your accounts procedures.

Invoice processing is vital because the stakes here can be higher than elsewhere. For starters, you may have a high volume of payments and transactions occurring. That means a large number of invoices. The average invoice might have a dozen fields of data on it. You could be copying these manually a number of times – into your accounting systems, payment systems, and other records. Every time it is copied there is room for error to creep in. And there is lots of evidence that this frequently occurs, resulting in unnecessary payments. Properly managed, your electronic invoices can be integrated with other accounting systems, significantly reducing the time required to deal with payments and also decreasing the scope for error.

In other instances, the efficiencies of time can be just as impressive. A single paper note or document can end up on someone’s desk, buried under a pile of paper or accidentally thrown out. In electronic form, this is no longer an issue. It can be shared amongst any number of employees, placed in a central or shared folder on your network, and accessed at any time. (Of course, if you want it to remain confidential then there are ways of going about this too.)

Document management is therefore a vital strand of lifting the performance of any business. Dealing with paper documents is simply inefficient and, sometimes, risky. Too much can be left to chance, paperwork gets lost or damaged, and handling times are unnecessarily long. Document processing – and especially invoice processing – allows you to expedite certain procedures, spending your time and money on what really matters.

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Invoice processing improves companies financial ecosystems

Forward-thinking companies have been able to manage their invoices and other document processing completely electronically since the 1960s. But in the twenty-first century, electronic document management has transformed, with the use of software as a service (SaaS), cloud technology and other advanced forms of new technology for business, to become almost expected in firms which take their management seriously.

Invoices, sales reports, payroll records, direct debit reports, sales orders, pay slips…

There are an endless amount of documents running around an office of almost any size nowadays. Companies which are scaling up, or which have an international presence or a complex corporate network, nowadays usually find it absolutely impossible to manage with a manual document processing system. Those which are soldiering on with conventional administration for their sales, payments and processing departments lose an untold amount of staff hours to effectively managing an unwieldy system, while also swelling their spend on office space and equipment.

Far more effective to outsource the management of all of these documents to an efficient, tried and tested digital document processing solution, whether in house, out of house or in the cloud, which can create a brilliant hassle-free solution for offices of all sizes. No need to worry about backing up, updating software or IT solutions: an efficient invoice processing company can take care of all of that.

This also removes all the worry around security, always a concern for companies and staff working in the sensitive divisions of accounts payable and financial affairs. An outsourced document management company will guarantee security – and because it’s working on a far larger scale, by managing documents for, sometimes, hundreds of different firms, it can invest in the most up to date security storage techniques.

Completely digital financial documents are the future. In a decade or so, it will almost certainly become an industry standard. The EU has put through government legislation strongly encouraging and incentivizing businesses to do all of their invoice processing electronically. And major organisations, such as the NHS, have fixed targets in place to apply electronic document management across all aspects of their work.

This isn’t just going on in Europe. In 2012, the US Government commissioned a survey which showed that if every office of the federal government switched to electronic invoicing, administrative costs would be slashed in half. This would save the US Government a whopping USD450 million every year. It’s obvious that the advantages of digital documents are not going to take long to overwhelm existing systems, and that the sooner a company transfers to an electronic system the more efficient it will stay.

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