It is an interesting landscape out there in the accounting world today. More and more organizations are trying to become as "paperless" as possible, but the inflow just keeps increasing. There are so many options out there, and with every major accounting software vendor now touting their "Document Management"module or add-on, what are managers in this department supposed to do?
Although I am a proponent of the pilot program philosophy, especially with ECM and Document Management, there needs to be an organizational plan and strategic vision. If every department put their software vendor solution into play, IT would have a major nightmare handling multiple disparate systems to manage company documents. Along with that, the majority of specialized departmental software falls way short in the capture and scanning portion of their functionality.
So what is the answer? Find a solid enterprise solution that can be customized for each department's specific needs. Easier said than done, but in focusing on Accounting and Invoice Solutions, here are some key points:
- Focus on document capture - a quick, easy and reliable method for converting paper into digital format is essential. Utilizing a capture front-end such as iCapture can speed up the scanning process, and make the documents available to end users quickly.
- Look at integration - Most accounting software will tout this as a major advantage to their Document Management modules...one place for all your info. In reality, no one piece of software can be a "jack of all trades"; let the Accounting Software do what it does best, and find a Document Management vendor to handle your documents. All of the major vendors have Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allow you to integrate these systems with just about any application on your network.
- Look at possible future initiatives - That system may have a rock solid Accounts Payable piece, but what about all the other document types? Contracts, POs, invoices, vendor information, tax info, etc. Ensure that the system you are evaluating can handle all document types, and not just specific functional areas.
- Get end users involved - There are so many key factors to success on these types of projects, but success will always lie in the end users ability to quickly adapt and utilize the system. Get their feedback and acceptance before moving forward.