The prospect of being audited has long been frightening for financial managers, and not just because any minor error could end up being construed as fraud. To a great extent, the fear that comes with word of an audit has to do with the time, energy and financial resources that go into gathering the documents involved. Within a traditional paper-based filing system, estimates indicate that approximately 7.5 percent of documents get lost and another 3 percent are misfiled.
Beyond simply needing to pull out, copy, scan and otherwise manage records, organizations must contend with all the lost and misplaced files. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that filing a document within a paper-based records system costs $20, tracking down a misplaced record costs $120 and reproducing a lost document costs $220. With so many documents involved in an audit, organizations face staggering costs and incredible complexity if they are relying on paper records. Implementing a digital document management system, however, streamlines this process.
"Going paperless allows organizations to automatically associate digital files with transactions."
Going paperless allows organizations to automatically associate digital files with transactions, making it easier to track files on an ongoing basis and avoid having anything get lost or stolen. Furthermore, query tools make it easier to capture groups of documents, retrieve files almost instantly and allow accounting staff to maintain normal operations because the amount of time spent on document retrieval is dramatically reduced.
These factors make auditing much simpler when working within digital, and our whitepaper on audits provides more detail on how this is possible. To see these digital processes in action, however, check out these case studies:
The 15th-largest pork producer in the U.S., TriOak handled all of its accounting processes with paper documents. This extended out to accounts payable and receivable, turning annual tax audits into an overwhelming and extremely expensive process. They came to PaperSave to help them digitize their accounting records and reduce the amount of time they were spending finding and managing documents for each annual audit. We helped them establish a digital filing system for invoicing and accounting and established automated alerts and centralized governance systems to provide greater visibility into the environment.
Metro Waste Authority
This independent government agency manages two landfills, among other waste management facilities, and handles a high volume of transactions as it works to sell space within those locations. This unique situation creates major auditing challenges as a small accounting staff is faced with processing and managing a constant influx of documents. We worked with them to establish an electronic workflow process that interconnects supervisors and finance departments, make it much easier to create an audit trail and streamline reporting. This resulted in significant time savings for staff, a huge reduction in paper and remote access to key files for employees in the field.
"The time and money spent on lost and misplaced documents can be eliminated by going digital."
The Zidian Group
The Boardman, Ohio-based food importer and distributor came to us facing a situation in which it needed to standardize its processes, streamline workflows and make it easier for staff to find information. This last point was particularly complicated because the organization manages operations across a wide array of verticals, To get through day-to-day operations before working with us, employees had to pore through 35 filing cabinets in the main office or head out to the warehouse to access the records they needed.
By coming to PaperSave, The Zidian Group was able to reconfigure workflows and make it much easier to pull up historical documents and similar records as needed. The company is eliminating its paper records and establishing a digital ecosystem that makes it much easier to get the files needed, when they are required.
Auditing in a digital world
Paper-based records create an auditing nightmare, but the intimidation and worry can go away by moving to digital documents that are easily retrievable. The time and money spent on lost and misplaced documents can be eliminated by going digital, and PaperSave can help.
To learn how PaperSave can help your business capture, integrate and automate your business processes, please watch our personalized demonstration or visit our case studies page to read about our clients' success stories.