Welcome to the club! We knew you’d come around to automation at some point.
There’s just no reason not to with the current state of how businesses operate in today’s world.
Make no mistake about it, this decision is huge. And we want to make sure we point you in the right direction the rest of the way because the big decision you just made opens you up to lots of other decisions in the short term.
It’s one of the side effects of growth, right? As your business becomes more successful, it takes on more demands. More demands mean you can’t always operate the same way you used to because the old model isn’t sustainable.
If you go back to our MLB trading deadline metaphor in the previous post, it still applies here. Teams who make those deals to acquire big-name talent for a World Series run now have new demands resulting from new needs. With the talent portion taken care of, the new needs include things like setting up a pitching rotation for the postseason and determining whose contract to extend after the season’s over. In other words, the things most teams aren’t thinking about when the season begins in March (unless you’re the Diamondbacks or Orioles, in which case the season ended in February).
So with that said, today’s post is about preparing you to think about the next set of decisions you’re going to have to make on this road to automation.
Here are the key questions to consider:
- What’s the right software for the company?
- How quickly can we make payments?
- How efficiently can we scan documents and save them?
- How much time can we save in transferring info from invoices and receipts to ledgers?
What’s The Best Program?
Spend some time with this one because there are LOTS of choices out there, each with plenty of features that fit some businesses better than others. You can make this decision a little bit easier upfront if you do some organization to your accounting ahead of time. Group your accounts into easily understandable labels. Make sure there’s no confusion about where the money’s coming from and where the money’s going. Then, start looking at software. Take a look at how the programs organize accounts. Find the model that makes the most sense to your AP/AR teams and you. If you find that truly compatible fit, you’ll be able to get constant reminders about which vendors you owe money to and which vendors still need to pay you. You’ll also be able to pull up receipts and invoices at a moment’s notice.
When Can We Pay?
Most software out there has a feature that automates online payment. You’ll often set up the software on your computers and then create accounts in an online portal where the payments actually occur. What makes this feature even niftier is that the online portal and your software can sync up instantly. When you make a payment, the online portal tells the software to deduct from the ledger. Just like that, you saved an employee some very tedious manual work.
Are E-Docs Easier?
When purchasing automation software, it’s worth your while to invest in a good scanner as well. Any invoice, receipt, or another piece of paper from a transaction can be scanned and immediately sent to the program for cataloging. As stated earlier, these programs can be a godsend for organizations. This includes documents you feed to the software, not just the ones you create within the software itself.
Does Info Travel Faster?
Arguably the best benefit of any program is the elimination of manual data entry. But you already knew that because you’ve already made the choice to automate.) Examine this feature carefully when making your decision on software. Depending on how secure you want to be, you can also sync your selection with a cloud-based account to store data online. Doing so prevents much of the duplication that causes headaches under a manual system. Here’s the thing, though: All of this security and ease doesn’t mean anything if you can’t use the software in the way that it’s intended. Study up on ease of use and then think about what it will take to train your departments. A program with lots of bells and whistles but a more difficult interface may not be the best choice. Think about who you are, who your employees are, and what your business wants to be.
So there you have it–your next set of big decisions. These are good decisions to make, though. It’s an exciting time, so embrace it. You’ve just made a decision that’s going to take your business to levels never realized before. Keep us updated on your progress on our social media pages, and keep checking our blog for more info.