If an employee was asked to pull up a specific file, there is a good chance that the worker would need to consult several different areas to find it. The reason for this is that many companies have a combination of ways to store documents. Whether it is physical copies in the filing cabinet, new information added through an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, internal electronic files like a Microsoft Word document, there are multiple formats that contain important business information.
This is where having a document management strategy becomes critical. According to a recent Leppert blog post, businesses need to start merging systems in order to streamline operations. This means more than just creating a few shared folders on the company server, because as the wealth of digital data grows, these more simple solutions can become increasingly difficult to manage. Instead, a more complex document management strategy is needed.
"One of the key benefits of this structured approach to filing and record retention is the ability to combine different types of files or mediums into one system," the article reads. "The paper records are converted for electronic storage. The varied types of electronic files are stored into one system and only one retrieval process needs to be learned for everything."
The digital realm is going to be the key for businesses to take advantage of a combined document storage system. To do this successfully, companies should consider partnering with a document scanning and management solution that can help during every step of the process.
Within the past 10 years, technology has been an integral part of the workforce, improving productivity in many environments. In the financial sector, it is especially important to effectively streamlining workflow. Accountants are updating a business's cash flow and auditing regularly to ensure the most up-to-date data. Instead of letting all these folders pile up, why not transfer these files to a document management system?
Certified public accountants (CPAs) and corporate accountants can improve their work capacity by transitioning to a paperless office. They will enter a cleaner, more secure office. At first, managing records started as a small industry, but now many others are reliant on paperless services to protect their confidential information. Storing portfolios on a cloud-based document management system limits the chances of intelligence getting into the wrong hands.
"It may have begun with storing documents, but has evolved into data and image management as well," John Barnes, product line manager, told Accounting Today. "Today, as core documents are produced in their native electronic formats, the challenge is to make all of the forms of information and data accessible and understandable to clients and accountants alike."
Brian Stork, VP of application development at Drake Software agreed, stating, "[Firms] simply can't be as agile in a paper world." Firms should consider transitioning toward a digital database, as there are plenty of technologies available to them that allow them to scan, store and protect their clients' information.
Accountants are not the only individuals reluctant to make the switch. Many medical professionals are comfortable with their physical charts. In fact, 700 surgeons admitted in a recent study that paper documents have caused an error during a procedure within the last three months.
CPAs and corporate accountants can decrease their chances of significant errors by adopting a document management system.
When it comes to any major operational overhaul, the ease of transitioning is always a major factor in the decision-making process. If a system will eventually streamline several daily processes but take a month to learn and cause frustration among employees and customers alike, most companies are going avoid installing it. However, many innovations that are considered to follow a similar rollout pattern, are actually just the product of some misunderstanding.
Take the paperless office for example. There is no question that converting stacks of paper records can be time consuming and, moving processes that have been handled as a physical document for years to a digital format can cause some stress. However, the way this conversion is done is what makes all the difference.
A Pacific Business News article, features an interview with James Kerr, a Hawaii-based technology expert and the founder of SuperGeeks, and Dan Leuck, the CEO of Ikayzo, about shifting to a paperless office. While some companies may be hesitant, the duo reassured any decision-maker that the move is easy, and it is about reducing usage and streamlining operations as much as it is cutting down on paper clutter.
On top of that, the advances in document management technology make it possible to use digital copies of files that traditionally would have been impossible.
"A lot of paperwork is legal, from signing a contract to become a supplier to providing services — doing that digitally is something that technology can do today, and it is a secure, well-vetted, mature technology," Leuck said.
A document scanning and information management and provider can help any company easily dive into the 21st century with a digital system.