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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