Technology has changed the classroom, providing richer learning experiences at every stage, but the administrative departments of too many colleges and universities lag behind, still relying on hard-copy forms for many of their records and transactions. Not only are hard-copy forms a nightmare to store and manage, but they also lead to slow administrative processes that may affect other departments in the school. Document management systems (DMS) like PaperSave bring order to institutions drowning in paper and increases the efficiency of their operations.
Faster administrative services
PaperSave helps higher education institutions to use technology to improve efficiency, and that’s not just for the accounting department. PaperSave can improve the storage and processing of personal records to better serve students.
Whether students are applying for housing and classes, requesting academic records, or looking for class schedules, DMS keeps documents in a centralized repository that can be quickly retrieved by administrative staff in seconds. That’s because documents are captured and tagged using optical character recognition, which enables users to search for data with a simple search query.
Improved data compliance
Higher education institutions that manage personal information are governed by several data compliance standards such as FERPA, PCI DSS, and GDPR. Although the requirements may vary, each legislation requires institutions to protect personally identifiable information with appropriate security measures. Cloud-based DMS ensures compliance because it houses sensitive data in highly secure off-site servers that are proactively managed by a team of experts.
What’s more, DMS can meet specific data retention requirements. Financial records, for instance, must be retained for seven years for tax purposes, making them difficult to track. By using a DMS, staff will be able to set retention schedules and create workflows that automatically destroy documents past their retention period.
Considerable cost reduction
A major benefit of switching to a cloud-based DMS is the potential savings. When documents are digitized, higher education institutions can significantly cut their paper consumption and spend less money on file cabinets and archive rooms. A paperless and fully automated system also means that employees don’t have to waste time manually filing and retrieving documents.
A brief story of DMS in higher education
Before Excelsior College — a private, non-profit university with campuses in Albany, New York, and Washington, DC — began using the PaperSave Workflow document management system (DMS), the school’s finance department had a hard time keeping track of invoices.
Their team of three finance and accounts payable specialists were using Microsoft Dynamics GP to handle more than 25,000 invoices a year, and knowing at any given time wherein the approval process a particular invoice was proved difficult.
“We sent them to people via interoffice mail for signature approval, but it was hard to track where it was in the process once it left our office,” says Tom Weaver, Excelsior’s financial systems manager. “We didn’t know who had it, or whether or not it had arrived safely to the correct department. Plus it may be a middle manager or department head who might be taking vacation that needed to sign off. That was a long process.”
Since implementing PaperSave Workflow, tracking invoices has been a breeze. With PaperSave’s advanced document capture, the crew can now save and store images of invoices with speed and ease so they get to the right people, every time. All recipients have to do now is hit an “Approve” button. Automated email reminders help staff follow up on invoices still awaiting approval so nothing gets lost or sidetracked.
With its effortless document tracking, PaperSave has also made the school’s annual audit a pain-free endeavor. “Data entry for 10 invoices has gone from 15 minutes to 7 minutes and approvals that normally took about one week are now completed in two days.”
At the core of all of these initiatives is a simple mission: enabling colleges and universities to devote more of their time to serving their students. The right DMS software, with an intuitive user interface, makes institutions of higher education more effective at just about everything. If traditional, paper-based processing is still holding back your college or university, give PaperSave a call or schedule a free personalized demo today.