Bring Accounting Into the Digital Age With Document Management
It doesn’t matter if your business is large or small. If you’re in business, accounting functions are essential activities. For large or mid-size companies, accounting requires multiple employees managing various types of documents to monitor:
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
With hundreds or even thousands of documents being handled by accounting each month, it’s easy to see how human error can take place, and how many opportunities there are for losing or mishandling a document here and there.
Why You Need Document Management in Accounting
Standard accounting practices and regulatory agencies mandate what accounting documents must be retained, and define the retention period. This brings about several challenges to businesses:
- Physical printing of documents is expensive
- Categorizing and filing can take a tremendous amount of time
- Retrieval can be cumbersome and time-consuming
- Documents can be misplaced, damaged, or even destroyed
- Storage requires numerous file cabinets, if not entire rooms or off-site storages
All of these factors combine to make handling of your accounting documents inefficient and costly.
How Document Management Changes the World for Accounting
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems manage documents electronically, improving the efficiency of the accounting organization, freeing personnel to focus on actual business issues. The benefits are significant:
Documents can be reviewed, updated, forwarded, and stored logically in electronic “file cabinets” for follow-up or archived storage. This speeds the handling of documents, improving efficiency while reducing and even eliminating the chance of human error.
No more paper creation and paper shuffling. Creating documents is expensive:
- Storage requirements are eliminated – documents in ECM systems live on servers or in the cloud.
- Reduction or elimination of costly printers, supplies, maintenance, and paper
- Personnel – with ECM systems, you get more done with fewer resources, shrinking your operating expense
ECM benefits include role-based security that defines who has access to documents, and what rights they have to edit, print, view, approve, and distribute information. In addition, there are audit trails that provide information related to any access or modifications made to documents in the system.
Businesses have growing concerns regarding access to records and unauthorized use of information. Document management provides the safeguards and controls that aid in the prevention of data loss or fraudulent activity.
Mobile employees are becoming the norm rather than the exception today. With document management, your personnel have access to the information they need wherever they may be, and from any device including laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
This can be a significant advantage in sharing information and resolving financial issues without the need to forward paper copies, send faxes, or even mail documents.
Access and analysis
Electronic versions of documents facilitate rapid searching for specific information when it is needed. How much time does your accounting team spend looking for archived records or retrieving physical documents from storage or filing cabinets?
With ECM, it’s all available from any workstation, for quick retrieval and analysis.
Improved information flow and customer service
Is there an issue with a delivery or customer order? Often the question winds up in the accounting area, where purchase orders and invoices are matched and reconciled for accuracy and any discrepancies. Managing these documents electronically means faster answers with less manual effort, providing better customer service.
Invoices received in accounting already have the electronic information related to the purchase order, meaning no manual entry of information, and faster processing.
Workflow is a major advantage of your ECM system. Customizing your system to move electronic documents along to match your business needs makes the organization more efficient and ensures standardized business practices are followed.
Purchase orders created by one employee can be automatically forwarded to the appropriate approver, then routed for additional approvals or to the vendor, with a copy to accounting – all without a single piece of paper being generated.
Kelley Connect Provides Accounting Document Solutions
Combining technology with powerful workflow and intelligent search capabilities makes ECM an excellent tool for business, and for accounting departments in particular. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced vendor to navigate through product selection and implementation will provide the best results and highest return on investment in document management systems.
Kelley Connect has guided many clients through the process of identifying opportunities for gains in efficiency from adopting a full-featured ECM system. Contact us for a personalized demo and see how we can take your accounting organization into the digital age.