Posts Tagged ‘audit’

How Document Management Benefits Accounts Payable: Audit Insurance

March 5, 2014

Automating accounts payable processes ensures auditing accuracy.

Document management software saves time and money by automating labor intensive business processes for accounting and finance departments. In addition to the significant savings that can be realized, there are other significant advantages associated with accounts payable automation, among them improved vendor and supplier management, enhanced employee performance review capabilities, and more efficient transaction verification and audit control. When properly deployed, document management can result in a better, faster and cheaper accounts payable (AP) process. 

Audit Insurance

A final key benefit that stems from automating accounts payable is the tight organization of all related AP documents for auditing purposes. All related document images are tied together via the EDM system. That means that everything from purchase orders to payment check images for each order and from each vendor is obtainable instantly with a few keystrokes and clicks of the mouse.

There is no time lost trying to find each paper document and verify each transaction. Moreover, the ability to offer permissions to anyone in the organization allows for direct inquiry to AP transactions. The CFO can verify when checks were written and for how much simply by logging into the system and running a report. There is no need to pull staff from an assignment to gather paperwork and produce the required data. An auditing process that used to take weeks can be performed in a matter of hours, and contain all necessary supporting documentation for a comprehensive review process.

EDM for AP is not a substitute or replacement for accounting software. Rather, EDM is an enhancement for accounting software, allowing the handling of electronic images of paper-based AP forms and receipts.

After a transaction has been processed in accounting software, the transaction is listed in the ledger as complete and may contain the number of the check written and maybe the associated invoice number, but it usually does not contain any tangible forms. The EDM software manages the images associated with the ledger transaction. Both systems can run independently of each other providing limited access to the accounting function to the accounting department, while allowing other departments greater collaboration and further access to other documents such as purchasing documents.

Workflow – Managing Change

November 13, 2013

About Jon Eilers: CDIA+, 12 years experience in the records management industry; including sales, business process management, software implementation and training. Formerly acted as Partner and COO at Sharpen BPI, a document and content management solutions provider.


After spending time in the past selling and implementing a large number of workflow sales, I’ve come to realize from experience, to be successful you better have a comprehensive strategy in place. This includes a well prepared presentation that demonstrates how workflow can help operational level workers do their jobs more efficiently. This will allow you to win their total buy in. You also want to make sure you’ve got senior management buy in on the proposed project as well.

Workflow can result in some very significant results for any organization who WANTS to improve and change how they do business today. That ‘WANT’ requires total buy in from senior management. I’ve found that without either a C level sponsor or some other member of senior management taking an active role in the TOTAL implementation process, you run the risk of political isolation or worse yet sabotage. It may be difficult to get this type of participation due to their level of responsibilities within the organization, but the time you put in to get that participation will pay off with a successful and loyal client.

The first step in a successful workflow implementation is the creation of a Scope of Work document based on the findings of your discovery process. Outlining and creating a specific Scope of Work document for everyone involved at the organization will help set realistic expectations on both sides. That document should include objectives to accomplish, participation requirements, time frames, project phases, and deadlines. By working together with the C level sponsor or senior management to create this document you immediately bring them into the process with the requirements you can both agree upon.

It’s also very important to understand that people by nature are adverse to change. It doesn’t take long for the department level managers on down to discover that the workflow solution will change how they perform their daily work and tasks. It also doesn’t take long for the same people to understand that all the talk in their office about increased efficiencies, automated decision making, measurable efficiency reporting, deadline enforcement, and audit trails could mean the worse case scenario for them, accountability.

Without laying the groundwork and getting the senior level participation in the process, you could run up against a wide variety of obstacles from the department level managers on down who both fear and don’t understand the changes you’re bringing to their happy world. Obstacles that in the long run can make your implementation very difficult and stretch out previously set goals, create cost overruns, and make the people at the top very unhappy.

Knowing and understanding these issues on the front end, being able to effectively manage the change your workflow solution is going to bring an organization at all levels, becomes crucial.

Workflow (If properly planned) by nature will bring important benefits to the organization such as:

  • Making decisions in an automated fashion
  • Ensuring that timelines and deadlines are met
  • Providing a complete audit and reporting trail of all work in progress and completed
  • Creating a constant flow of work for employees to maximize their time
  • Forcing an organization to clearly articulate their business processes
  • Helping business owners or executives to make better informed decisions
  • Helping to better balance the load of work to increase efficiencies

I believe we all could add a few more bullet points to that list from our experiences in the field. That short list alone can mean a dramatic increase in productivity, savings, and profits for any organization. Is offering workflow a great opportunity for increased or add-on sales in your organization? Yes. Can a workflow implementation be difficult if not properly managed? Yes.

As with any type of new implementation, being prepared is of the utmost importance. By properly positioning the solution in the sales process, planning the implementation with all levels of the organization, implementing the solution with a well defined plan, and continually managing change, you will end up providing a much higher level of value to your customer, put more money in your pocket, and most importantly develop a long term loyal client.