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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Bacs payments are quicker but still not universal

Bacs has been around for 45 years now. Despite this longevity, and its track record of being fast, easy and secure, bacs software has not been universally adopted by businesses and other organisations. It tends to be the smaller outfits who hold out the longest, for obvious reasons. However, instead of making bacs payments, many of these are still paying their bills with cheques or, in some cases, even with cash. This raises a number of issues and makes for inefficient and even risky practices.

Times are changing, and now the vast majority of financial transactions take place in the virtual world. The reasons for this are varied, but speed and security are common ones. It is very easy to transfer money with bacs, and because it includes several layers of safety measures it is very secure; should you – against all odds – run into a problem, you will almost certainly be insured and protected from any financial consequences, unless the issue is undeniably your fault.

Bacs transfers take a maximum of three working days to complete, but the new FPS (faster payments system) is almost instant, and costs no more. Effectively, when people talk about bacs nowadays, they are using it as a catch-all term for electronic transfers, including FPS.

All of this is important for organisations, even the smaller ones who are clinging to cheques and cash. (Although there was an outcry at the time, quite recently the banks suggested that they would be phasing out cheques within the foreseeable future – indicating the low regard in which they hold them…) No organisation, large or small, wants to have substantial quantities of cash on the premises. Furthermore, cheques are time-consuming to fill out, require counter-signing, and you have no idea when they will be cashed – which can cause cash-flow headaches.

So, if you haven’t already adopted bacs payments for your business, now is a good time. So many other outfits use bacs that it smooths the process of making payments – allowing you to budget more easily, and to devote time to other areas of your business that are more important. Everything can be automated, and bacs software can even be integrated with your accounts package, streamlining things further. Bacs is safe, secure, fast, and saves you time and money. At a time when every pound counts, this cannot be a bad thing.

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Brise soleil that compliments existing buildings

If you haven’t heard of glass louvres before just think to the beautiful city of Paris, famed for its artistic heritage and buildings such as the Louvre. This museum’s architecture is highly unique: the older edifice that stands on this site dates back to 1793, while its modern glass pyramid was officially opened in 1989. This is an unusual mixture of old and new, especially in a place such as Paris, where public space is normally conformist and conservative. For this reason many people received the pyramid with displeasure – it was a shock to the eye and to the mind. But what the naysayer forgot to bear in mind was the highly practical nature of external louvres such as this one. Eventually, most extensions and additions to existing buildings end up ageing well; architects and urban planners have long studied the effects of new developments on the surrounding cityscape and on the inhabitants that use it. brise soleil take even less work to incorporate into old edifices; they can, at their most slimline, simply act like hard-wearing awnings that fold out and retract to provide more or less shade.

The idea of an architecture that responds to the changing times of the day as well as to the seasons is a truly innovative one. What’s more, responsive architecture can help companies make huge savings on energy because they almost always find themselves keeping the heating on lower, if at all, as well as keeping the air conditioning off a lot of the time. This is something we can all be glad of: it helps decrease our collective carbon footprint. And it is just generally a respectful stance to take in relation to human use of non-renewable reserves of coal, and oil and gas.

We have yet to think about one of the biggest benefits of these developments, however. External louvres are special because they help employees to feel comfortable at work. We all know that pretty much the most important thing, with regards to deriving enjoyment from our work, is getting on with our colleagues. But after that our personal, physical comfort comes into the equation. Who has ever worked much while worrying about sweat patches, or while shivering? brise soleil can’t claim to totally fix your problems of course, but it is something, along with glass louvres, that needs more investment soon.

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Coach hire London allows magnificent views of historic buildings

In this day and age, rather than using coach hire london, we are accustomed to travelling at high speeds. We don’t take pleasure in waiting, wasting time or having to endure unoccupied periods where we risk getting bored. Plane travel and fast shuttle trains have given rise to this modern phenomenon where fast equals good and slow equals bad. And this trend has accelerated since the advent of budget air travel in the 1990s, though such flights offer a less high quality experience than can be had with minibus hire. Obviously, it is easy to see budget air travel through rose-tinted glasses while we are on our computers at home, busily reserving the latest cut-price deal to a new destination. The reality, however, is rather less rosy: once on board a budget plane you will most likely be cramped, aurally harassed by constant advertisements and charged unbelievable prices for anaemic looking sandwiches or tea in a cardboard cup. With this reality in mind, it might be time to make the case for luxury coach hire.

With luxury coach hire, your space genuinely is your own. Your seating will be made of plush and comfortable materials rather than the terrible polyester on display in most planes. More interestingly, the seat will be generous in width, long and possible to tilt to a fully reclined position. With these types of luxuries, you will be able to sleep undisturbed and wake up in your destination refreshed. Or, if you are not the sort of traveller who likes to cover ground with your eyes closed, you can drink in the views from the road through windows that have been specially adapted for the best panoramic views. What can be emphasised, in either scenario, is that coach travel is all about rediscovering the joy of the journey: so much is lost in the desire of many to get straight to their destination without living any of the rich moments of the in-between.

Leaving luxury coach travel aside, the smaller journeys within cities can also be improved through coach hire london. For one thing, you are physically at a height when you’re in a coach and consequently able to rise above the people to get the best views of the UK’s celebrated sights and historic buildings. Minibus hire sets the traveller at a slightly lower position. This position is perfect for those who are looking to enjoy the company of their fellow passengers. Or, in the case of a sports team, engage in tactical and team bonding talk.

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Sales presentations and the science of the slideshow

Powerpoint presentations are a very common way to bolster your verbal presentation and, when used properly, can give an exceptional boost to your audience’s engagement with the material. sales presentations can be hard-going at the best of times, but good Powerpoint design can provide extra details, snare the attention of listeners in danger of tuning out, and provide a critical second strand of information. Consequently, this is one skill it’s worth acquiring – or buying in from an external consultancy if you don’t have the confidence to do it well in-house.

The reason Powerpoint and other visual presentations are so worthwhile is that some people simply do not respond well to the spoken word. Each of us understands a presentation in our own unique way and, for one reason or another, we may not take on board much of the material in a talk. There is a rule that some people are auditory learners – they engage well with the spoken word – whereas others are visual (and others kinaesthetic – that is, they respond to activity, rather than seeing or hearing). Of course, each of us is a mixture of these aspects rather than employing one alone. However, the reality remains that a large proportion of us may not digest well information that is delivered orally. Backing up a spoken-word presentation with a visual one caters to these types.

Therein lies one potential problem of Powerpoint, however. It is all too easy to duplicate content on the screen – in the worst cases, merely repeating the spoken presentation verbatim with a set of slides. This is both distracting to the audience and insulting to their intelligence. A better strategy is to complement, not copy. A picture speaks a thousand words, and charts and photos can supply helpful background information that cannot concisely be given by the speaker. Moreover, information presented this way is far more accessible than written words, in that it is far richer in content.

Powerpoint design can therefore contribute a great deal to your sales presentations and other events. The catch is to do it properly, since bad Powerpoint design will actually detract from your delivery, rather than just not adding very much. Dedicated companies offer training in how to put together a convincing slideshow – one that will engage your audience and complement your speech. Alternatively, you can simply farm out this aspect of your presentation and get an expert to put it together for you.

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Bacs payments used by companies who most value their partners and staff

When we hear mention of business we often think in very narrow terms of people working in tidy office set-ups, wearing tidy clothes and making a tidy profit. But we you think just a little longer about what the term business actually means we soon realise that the category is much wider than that and can include everything from law firms to travelling circuses and more. But while it’s important to think in terms of diversity, it is also important to think what all businesses have in common: namely a need to make and receive payments of some form as part of a steady cash flow that will hopefully keep an activity afloat for as long as required. This may sound obvious but keeping on top of one’s accounts frequently proves a headache for even the simplest of enterprises. So that’s where bacs software comes in: allowing you to streamline your income and your outgoings, bacs is perfect for making regular automated payments to loyal customers. Originally standing for Bankers Automated Clearing Services, bacs payments can be used by anyone in need of a reliable service.

If you’ve decided against making automatic online transfers your habitual mode of payment you need to know that the alternative is up to scratch. And there are many good reasons for finding such an alternative. One would be the inefficiency of logging into an online account every single time you need to process a payment: just think how long that would take to do as soon as you have a body of freelance employees on your books, all in need of payment at round about the same time. Another reason to streamline your payments using bacs software could be rooted in a need to avoid human error.

Indeed, it’s crucial to remember that as a business you have just as much responsibility towards your employees as you do towards your customers. So using bacs payments for your staff is a really good idea. In our current climate of recession we need to remember that a late payment can result in an employee being out of pocket. And this is something businesses absolutely need to prevent because your staff may see late or erroneous payment as disrespectful of their hard work. Bacs and bacs software can therefore reinforce your company’s strength from within. These great payment technologies can simultaneously afford you time and peace of mind enough to look outwards and upwards to ways of growing your business.

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London kickboxing club will spice up your exercise routine

If you feel like your exercise routine needs some jazzing up, then turn to a London kickboxing club for a work out that will really keep you on your toes. The last thing you want is for your fitness to decrease because you’re not motivated to go to the local leisure centre. With plenty of London kickboxing classes on offer, there’s no excuse not to seek one out. What’s more, once you’ve done some kickboxing, London will feel a large amount safer.

Exercise should never feel like a duty. Keeping fit and healthy should be something you enjoy, not a duty. Kickboxing offers a fantastically fun and engaging way to get fit – and it’s a little bit different, meaning you’ll not be just one more middle-of-the-road jogger or one more member of that agonising legs bums n’ tums class. Kickboxing is an aerobic sport and increases co-ordination, flexibility, strength and speed – all in all, a great workout.

What’s more, kickboxing always takes place in an interactive, sociable situation. Most classes are non-contact, so don’t be daunted, but with your sparring partner right in front of you, there’s no time to think about what you’re having for dinner or watching the clock. Most importantly this is a sport that demands your concentration physically and mentally. You’ve got to be on the alert and always thinking about your next move.

These benefits are allied with another, which is the boost kickboxing can give your mental and spiritual health. The sociable, fun aspect improves your confidence, and as you acquire more skills this new-found confidence will rise and rise. The knowledge that you can defend yourself should a threatening situation arise also contributes towards this peace of mind. The supportive group-learning is geared towards making you feel supported, and at the same time, challenging you to go beyond your comfort zone. There’ll be no danger of tedium in this setting.

The defence aspect of kickboxing is an important one, because as well as improving your assertiveness, and giving you the tools to keep yourself and your property from harm, you’ll be doing two things at once! Keeping fit, and staying safe. When you live in a fast-paced city such as London, you’ll know what a windfall it is to be able to multi-task.  London kickboxing classes are available for everyone, from young children to teenagers, students and adults. All levels and standards are allowed for, and the multi-tasking can continue – as there are a great deal of classes specifically for younger children from the age of four upwards, your kids can go to their class while you go to yours. Child-minding sorted! They get instructed in discipline, respect and confidence, too – all vital life-skills. London kickboxing clubs are a fusion of Western boxing and Eastern martial arts, taking the best of both worlds to give you a sport that never feels tedious. Join a kickboxing London class today!

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Document management that does away with paperwork for good

Business reputation is everything these days. In the current climate of recession businesses are being held responsible and required to prove their worth. In such a situation it is recommended that all financial dealings are documented and filed in a highly-organised way. If ever an auditor wishes to question the investments made, expenses claimed or taxes paid by your company it is best for a business to have a transparent and comprehensible set of numbers and written procedures to hand. If this kind of paperwork is unavailable suspicions may be aroused. All of this may sound scary, especially if your company’s administration if not in the best of shape. There is no need to panic unnecessarily, however, nor rush into expensive procedures for getting on track after years of being set in bad ways. Indeed, studies have shown that businesses who take on new employees to scan and capture invoice data actually waste valuable resources: these employees doubtless have more valuable abilities than those required to manage scanners and copiers. They also inevitably make errors from time to time – as all humans do. More cost effective, then, is the option of digitising your invoice processing: accuracy and speed will be improved, much as document management and document processing systems will be if they too are left in the safe hands of specially adapted software.

All sectors whose daily practice involves making and receiving payments can gain from digitising their data. This includes pretty much every institution, small business or collective, from schools to shops to media services and manufacturing companies. The idea may seem daunting for those who have never used computers for such tasks before, preferring to do them manually. But with good training, encouragement and ongoing technical support the change from manual to digital processing will feel like a breath of fresh air. The more mature employee, for example, will doubtless remember the days where the filing cabinets took up half of the office space, even seemed to be colonising it as the years went by! Nowadays, when documents are saved and managed on computers, clutter can be properly controlled.

Furthermore, when document management, document processing and invoice processing are all achieved digitally, businesses are at far lower risk of losing data. The same data can be saved on a shared drive, for example, and thus if one computer crashes there are several other systems from which ‘lost’ information can still be retrieved. Not only is this useful for the company’s transparency, it also allows managers to monitor business success over long periods of time.

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Student Loans Come In Handy For Xmas

As the university term comes to an end, all the students struggling to make ends meet on their student loans are faced with a brand new expense: the party season is just around the corner, and whether you plan to celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or just a booze filled and exuberant New Year, many people are digging around for a little extra cash. It isn’t just these students who could do with a little cash advance to help them out till 2012: many of these students’ parents, as well, would like to be able to show them a good time over the seasonal holidays. That’s why many people in British families this year will be taking out unsecured loans for large and small amounts, in order to have a merrier Christmas.

Often, an unsecured loan is used to meet other debt payments such as outstanding credit card bills, rent payments, mortgage payments or bills. People like to use unsecured loans for these purposes because they offer fast cash payments (often made available within a week or a few days of application), and are easy to access. Often, these loans can be accessed by people who find it problematic otherwise to get a loan: i.e., people with very bad credit scores, those who have gone bankrupt, etc. But during Christmas time, many people who would be able to obtain credit cards or bank overdrafts choose instead to take out these types of loans, simply because when the sales are coming up, it can make all the difference to get one’s hands on cash fast!

That’s why people who can meet all their needs – for most of the year – with just their student loans, student grants or bursaries find themselves, at Christmas, needing to borrow funds in order to buy their families, friends and partner great Christmas gifts, or to travel to see their loved ones. Students are great candidates for a cash advance through unsecured loans, because the lender know that the students will be given the money to pay the debts back very soon, in their loan instalments due in January. Nothing can prevent an enrolled student receiving the student loan instalment – unlike other unpredictable sources of income, such as wages from a job the customer may be fired from, or repayments which others may fail to make. So don’t be surprised if you see the students you know with unexpected amounts of cash; there are more ways than one to make a student loan pay for itself!

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Fast cash companies can offer surprising interest rates

With many people finding themselves in difficult financial situations since the crash of the money markets in 2008, unsecured loans offering quick cash are becoming more and more common. Many people are turning to the organisations which offer unsecured personal loans, requiring no collateral and handing out fast cash within a few days of taking out the loan, in order to cover holes in their personal financial schedules. Perhaps the day of the month that rent is due comes a few days before the day when the borrower’s salary comes in, or otherwise a sudden and unexpected expense – repairs to a car, home or appliance, a business opportunity too good to turn down, or the deposit for a holiday or tenancy agreement – needs to be covered with emergency cash. This is the time when borrowers start trawling the internet for cheap loans which they can use to tide them over a few crucial days or weeks, and which won’t cost the earth in interest rates.

It’s the level of the interest charged on loans that makes some people think twice about short term unsecured loans. These types of loans are always quicker and easier to arrange than secured loans, as there is no valuation of the property or ‘security’ to be done, and there’s usually a fairly uncomplicated standard contract. People who take out unsecured loans will often find the money in their bank accounts within a few days of signing the loan agreement, and some specialist ‘emergency’ lending organisations will even make the transfer within a few hours of the contracts being signed. This is great for people who are in a financial emergency. But unfortunately, borrowers can often get carried away with the speed of the loan process, and forget to check the other important factor in loan provision: the level of interest charged on the loan.

This is what people mean when they talk about ‘cheap loans.’ Very few lending firms charge a flat fee for borrowing (the exception is some Islamic financial services, as interest is prohibited under Islam), so ‘cheap’ in this field refers to the percentage of the loan charged as interest. Some unsecured loans can be very expensive, with several hundred per cent interest being charged. However, for those wise consumers who shop around, quick cash can be borrowed on a relatively low interest rate. And the quicker you repay the loan, the less time the interest will have to mount up – so if you take out a fast cash loan, paying it back equally as quickly could mean that you end up paying out very little in interest.

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