As enterprises are required to deal with a growing volume of information, gaining control over all data is crucial for maintaining business productivity and a competitive edge. Fortunately, new advancements in electronic document management software have allowed firms to realize new efficiency through automation.
Business 2 Community contributor Michael Neubarth explained that document imaging tools have offered companies the ability to eliminate many of the challenges associated with paper-based processes and improve records management. But the benefits of these technologies extend far beyond merely scanning files to a digital format. Automated workflow, Neubarth revealed, fuels even faster and more effective document-driven processes, from invoicing, to sales orders, to HR functions. By automating the flow of informationfrom user to user, there is a more formal structure in place to streamline any procedure. Staff is no longer required to manually enter or transfer information to colleagues as the electronic documents can be transmitted over a network and accessed by workers enterprise-wide, regardless of location.
Neubarth asserted that workflow offers a range of benefits, including transparency and the ability to better monitor the status of certain transactions that impact operations. In fact, a worker's performance and completion of tasks at each stage of a business process can be monitored, measured and optimized, according to Neubarth. Additionally, managers can set automatic alerts to notify users when necessary data is missing or a project is not completed in time. Work can also be easily re-routed when a certain staff member is unavailable. The latest workflow solutions can even make images and data easily accessible to users as part of a centralized portal or dashboard.
"It has been a steady evolution, a transformation," said John Barnes, product line manager for CCH, according to Accounting Today. "It may have begun with storing documents, but has evolved into data and image management as well."
Brian Stork, vice president of application development for Drake Software, also stressed the importance of these solutions to Accounting Today.
"Today, a firm puts itself at a severe competitive and financial disadvantage if it does not have an integrated practice management strategy that includes not only document management but workflow, mobile access, electronic distribution and the cloud," Stork told the news source. "They simply can't be as agile in a paper world."
Workflow automation can empower enterprises with numerous strategic advantages by supporting faster data processing and optimal decision-making.
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