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Why document management is critical for small business growth



Accounting | Advice | Management | Managing | Small Business | Tax, Accounting and Bookkeeping | Tech

By Loren Webb

Byline: Scott Crosby, CEO, Upstream

The merit in going paperless for small and medium businesses (SMBs) is clear: digitally stored documents, information, and files save businesses time, money, and resources.

SMBs are increasingly taking up document management technology to better manage their finances, customer data, and employee details, leaving behind the physical paperwork proven to hold businesses back.

It’s critical that, as SMBs grow and take on new clients, employees, files and information, they have the right document management support.

Many SMBs require more than just a simple cloud-based document storage solution, yet don’t need all the bells and whistles of more sophisticated enterprise content management solutions (ECMs). For example, Upstream’s recent partnership with Folderit offers SMBs a document management solution (DMS) which hits that exact sweet spot. It offers cloud based document sharing and storage with added features such as basic approval workflows, alerts and notifications, optical character recognition (OCR), full text search functionality, folder permissions, custom metadata, and version control.

It’s important for managers and business owners to be aware of the accessible, cost-effective, and simple DMSs available that cater to SMBs’ needs. These solutions provide an easy and seamless complementary product to existing business processes, improving workflows, and helping SMBs begin the transition to a paperless environment.

Many SMBs deal with a high-volume of transactional documents, substantive user access requirements, distributed workforces, mobile employees, and multiple touch points. Choosing the right DMS to fit specific business needs is critical. While many DMSs can help, not all DMSs are created equally, and often document ‘storage’ solutions can be confused with document management solutions. Already, across a diverse range of industries including accounting, construction, engineering and law, DMSs are making cloud storage, information access, and internal and external file sharing a viable option, helping employees access information when needed, and simplifying workflows.

From a security standpoint, DMSs also ensure information is far better protected in the cloud, restricting access where needed. For SMBs, storing files on computers or local servers can create risks. Scenarios such as drive failure, fire, or theft are all real threats, and could mean the loss of many important documents if there are no backups.

SMBs should consider adopting easy-to-manage document and workflow solution to benefit their business. The right DMS can help organisations get on top of files and documents from receipts and invoices to customer data and employee information. And, as employees increasingly work from home or on the road, it’s essential DMS can support them by keeping them connected to important information, posing no workflow interruptions.

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