Online Document Management News for May 2011



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May 2011 Newsletter


Using Taxonomy to End Index Disorganization in Your Documents

Checks and Balances:  Why Automating your AP/AR Workflow is Good for Business

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Using Taxonomy to End Index Disorganization in Your Documents

Before you make the decision to subscribe to an online document management system to capture, share, and store files electronically, do you still feel that you may be missing something?

How are you going to avoid replicating what you have now? Folders of documents that are not indexed correctly and take too long to search and find the exact document or information you are looking for?

Could it possibly be your organization suffers from… index disorganization?

It’s not at all unusual; so don’t feel embarrassed if you answered yes. Only 20 percent of all enterprise data is structured and that is usually in the form of databases, according to a recent report on the challenges of building enterprise content taxonomies.

That leaves a staggering 80 percent technically unstructured!

This includes everything from:

  • Billing statements
  • Claims images
  • Customer correspondence
  • Contracts
  • Healthcare EOBs
  • Marketing collateral
  • Website content
  • Material safety data sheets
  • ISO 9000 docs
  • Plant schematics
  • Product images
  • Spec sheets

Most likely, what’s missing from your plan is an effective taxonomy system. 

Now, before you start thinking about stuffed and mounted animals, taxonomy is the science of classification (literally from the Greek for “arrangement method”).  It’s a system of organizing, in this case records and documents, into a logical structure that is hierarchically ordered from general to specific. 

Taxonomy also helps identify what data is being generated by each department and where that data is stored.  In essence, it is a process workflow for the data, knowledge, and information that runs your business every single day.

Getting Docs Organized is Easier with Expert Analysis and Advice

Sometimes, you need the help of a taxonomy specialist or consultant.  Often times, these types of experts are available through your online document management provider.  They can share their valuable industry experience along with the objectivity necessary to best assess your current filing and workflow systems. 

A consultation with or analysis by an experienced taxonomy professional should reveal and document:

  • What your current business processes consist of from a document perspective
  • The purpose each document serves
  • Types of data generated by each department in the organization
  • Compliance and retention policies for each document
  • Records classification name for each document

After going through all the information and completing the study, a taxonomy consultant should help you create a tailored yet standardized, enterprise-wide records filing structure.  This will include categorizing the documents and crafting an information pecking order of sorts. Then, they will create and label your online document management system’s “filing cabinets, drawers, folders, and sub-folders” so that information can be searched with greater ease and the exact documents can be retrieved faster. 
Ultimately, using taxonomy to customize your organization’s index system -- when integrated into your existing online document management solutions -- will help streamline your workflow, increase sustainable workplace efficiency, and meet your bottom line organizational needs, now and in the future. 
Contact us to learn more about how taxonomy can help your organization get more organized. 

Checks and Balances: Why Automating your AP/AR Workflow is Good for Business

  • Generating customer invoices
  • Receiving checks and credit card payments
  • Processing expense reports
  • Managing the general ledger and audit files
  • Chasing down late payers
  • Entering and storing receipts
  • Entering and paying bills
  • Employee payroll
  • Paying taxes

Your accounting staff certainly has a lot on their plates keeping the financial engine of your organization well oiled, and they probably have a ton of paperwork on those plates as well. 
You can make their jobs easier and faster by automating your Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable departments with online document management and automatic records management compliance. 

Today’s web-based document management solutions are incredibly affordable, have wide-spread applicability and provide so many benefits that it should be considered a solid business investment in efficiency, security, sustainability, and profitability.

Dollars and Sense

No matter what business you’re in you have a list of tasks, activities and recordkeeping to perform. But, if your current AP/AR function isn’t automated, then it’s not running nearly as efficiently as it could.  You’re probably losing money you’re not even aware of such as missed early payment discounts on invoices, wasted man-hours spent making phone calls, sending emails or firing off faxes to track down late payers or correcting information on documents received. 
In fact, according to the Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA), it costs the average company $15 - $30 to manually process a paper-based invoice.  This makes sense when you consider the time and space required to manually process, file, mail or courier, share and store hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of accounting documents.  All that wasted motion negatively impacts your bottom line.

What if you could cut invoice processing cost down to pennies and time to process at least in half?
An online document management system can create an efficient, seamless and cost effective AP/AR process -- from document creation straight through to routing, collaborating, gaining approvals and setting records retention schedules. While cutting cycle times, your accounting staff will also be able to instantly route and track incoming invoices, PO’s, bills of lading, emails and other correspondence without ever having to leave the workstation.

Additional benefits include:

  • Quickly compare approved PO amounts to actual invoices
  • Receive every early payment discount to which you’re entitled
  • Receive every payment penalty you’re due from late payers and
  • Eliminate potential overpayments or late payment fees

What if your new process worked like this?

  1. Your organization requests a vendor quote for goods or services and the quote is received.
  2. If received on paper it is scanned and uploaded into the system; if received electronically you drop it into the system.
  3. It is indexed by key information and routed automatically and electronically to reviewers who can check it out, edit if needed, and check it back in, all the while maintaining version control.
  4. It is approved by your organization and then sent to the vendor who approves the edits.
  5. You create a purchase order for the goods or services and send to the vendor.
  6. The vendor submits an invoice based on approved terms.
  7. The invoice is scanned, or if already electronic, gets dropped into the system, and then it is automatically routed to the AP staff for payment approval.
  8. The check is cut and the stub image and deposit info can also be maintained as part of the supporting documents that can be quickly and easily viewed. This provides another method of fraud prevention.

This is one example of how you can create a fast and seamless process that reduces cost and improves efficiency.

Stay Compliant

As if streamlining your Accounting workflow wasn’t beneficial enough, another major advantage in automating your AP and AR functions with online document management is the ability to ensure that your organizational procedures are being adhered to properly in each and every transaction. Automatic audit trails are created so every time a document is accessed or altered an electronic permanent record exists that cannot be disputed.
With the recent chaos in our financial services industry most companies and organizations are now subject to certain state and federal compliance rules and regulations including Sarbanes-Oxley, The Patriot Act and SEC; among others. These laws require the accurate tracking and reporting on all aspects of your accounting activities. 
Using online document management with records management is one of the most user-friendly and cost-effective ways of meeting those obligations and remaining fully compliant in the future.
Learn more and let us help you begin to automate your business process in order to realize immediate ROI.



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