Could The Remote Office Be A Reality For Your Accounts Team?
There are many challenges to being able to work productively when most or even all of your team are working away from the office but these challenges are often felt in the accounts department more than any other.
This is because for most accounts teams the reliance on paper documents is still very heavy and although there may have been some movement towards digital transformation it has now become very clear that what was once a “Nice to Have” technology is now very much a must-have if your accounts team are to remain current in the ever-changing world.
This subject has been really well discussed in the article for International Tax Review where Vaida Lapinskiene, Partner at Professional Services company Ernst & Young explains that accounts teams now more than ever have an opportunity use what we have learnt from the COVID-19 crisis to digitise their processes for sharing documents securely, automating approvals, increasing accountability and supporting transparency.
“Once the business functions were shifted from a single work location to homes, the need for clearly defined and documented end-to-end processes emerged. The option to casually meet and resolve the ay matter has disappeared and more formal protocols must be observed to run business and financial processes as usual”
How do automated workflows bring calm to a disrupted accounts team?
A good place to start would be to think about what workflows are even at their simplest. A workflow will support the business in moving documents around a business to different people or departments, this could be for internal review or for actions to be taken and then automatically pass the documents onto the next person for them to continue the process.
The massive benefit of a digital workflow is that these people could be anywhere on the planet and on any device to keep these processes moving safely and securely.
You can literally structure your workflows to support your normal business decisions as if you were all back in the office meaning that there is no loss of productivity regardless of where people are.
A great example of this being allowing multiple team members to review and approve/reject an invoice and even these actions can follow real-life rules such as reviewing the document at the same time, passed from one to another step by step or even changing the decision processes based on other peoples decisions as the document passes along the process.
So how is this different from what I would normally do?
Well in the traditional paper world you would only be able to take these actions when you, your colleagues and the documents are all in the same place at the same time. Obviously very limiting but with digital workflow you can all feel free to be anywhere on the planet, on any device (even a mobile phone or tablet) and at any time of day or night but still be part of the workflow as if you were right there in the room.
Sounds good, but does this work in real life?
Well, the quick answer is yes, very much so by thousands of customers the world over, one of these forward-thinking companies being Federation of Organisations (Federation) who are a multi-service, community-based social wellness agency based in the USA.
Federation is a major provider of health and wellness, senior and children’s housing and support services for all in the New York City and Long Island area. Their Accounts, HR and IT departments are all heavy DocuWare users.
This great new approach means that staff no longer depend on scanning documents as most documents can be received and processed electronically. Documents can be inputted in dull digital format without the need for printing just for the purpose of processing and scanning back in.
This approach is also now available across their email platform to ensure designated addresses are automatically monitored and incoming mail is processed without delay and with full integration to their Abila MIP accounts software they have a great set of business tools which all work together to achieve the common goal.
“This is one of the ways DocuWare enables us to continue to accomplish the full scope of our work remotely. Workflows run as efficiently as they did when we were all in the office”
Michael Serrano – IT Director
All senior staff within the business have also been pleased with the automatic notifications and reminders set up within DocuWare.
“For example, once an invoice is ready for approval the manager is notified by email. Before automated reminders, approvers would block out time in their schedules to do approvals. If something else came up during this block it could cause delays. Now managers receive an email alert and click on a link that brings them into DocuWare. This makes it more likely that they will approve documents immediately. DocuWare ‘remembers’ what needs to be done and keeps the process moving without human intervention”
Obviously the great experiences of Federation of Organisations are just a single example of how the powerful DocuWare solution with digital workflow automation can help your accounts department to streamline its activities and increase productivity.
For more information and a free personalised plan of how this powerful solution can support your future business growth with increased productivity contact us today.