Most businesses wage a constant battle against both time and space. There’s never enough time to DO everything and there’s never enough places to PUT everything. Especially when it comes to the forest of paperwork in any accounting department.
At The Network Support Company, we’ve transitioned from 40 file cabinets to a grand total of one in just a few months’ time, by scanning and electronically saving all of our vendor invoices and original documents. In the process, we’ve created less work, more space, reduced our accounting department staffing, AND we’ve helped the environment by going green/paperless.
We’re bringing awareness to this today because it’s entirely possible – probable, even – that smaller companies just aren’t aware of how easy and simple it is to implement the transition to paperless. There are a myriad of excellent programs on the market; virtually any company can find one that serves its specific needs. Not even sure what you might require, or how to start the process? This is something that TNSC can easily do for our customers.
Here’s our story.
Back in the day, when we started this company about 19 years ago, and for years following, we hired a high school student to work part-time just to file our invoices and other documents into what would grow to 40 cabinets lining our office. That took time, cost the company money and, although our worker was great, documents would sometimes get misfiled. In most cases, that little hiccup would go undiscovered until often months later when someone needed to see that particular invoice. And it was lost somewhere in the murky depths, with no way to simply conjure it into existence.
An audit was actually the catalyst for switching to an electronic scanning system. Several years ago, TNSC was audited by the CT Tax Dept. They required copies of vendor invoices, proving that we paid tax on them. These invoices, however, were archived and filed off site in a basement. That’s actually a generous description; it was a crawl space, and standing up was impossible. So I spent hours crawling around, dodging spiders and pushing through cobwebs, to try and find the required documents. I found most of them, but there were the “few” that were lost forever because they had been misfiled years before.
After suffering through the indignity, we decided, being a tech company, that we should lead the way in employing technology to solve our challenge.
Electronic scanning has proven to be the answer to our unspoken prayers when it comes to having an efficient and accurate accounting department. Today, all we need to do is scan a document and it gets immediately and directly linked to the vendor’s account in our system. Then, when we need to, we can find any invoice or document with just a few clicks on the computer.
The only challenging part of the project was getting rid of the 39 cabinets and undertaking the time-consuming task of scanning and then shredding all of our “old” documents; that took us about six months. But it was very much worth the effort!
I’m not wishing for another audit any time soon, but, if one does come our way, we are ready and able to find any and all documentation required!