How automation can help you meet your compliance objectives
But what does automation have to do with compliance?
Companies must adhere to progressively stringent international standards and industry policies. In each country, regulations have been established to manage financial transactions. It’s important for businesses to comply with their suppliers’ requirements, at the risk of paying financial penalties for late payment or production. When it comes to financial transactions, it is becoming increasingly common for customers to insist on a seal of compliance before making a purchase. Businesses that refuse to do so risk losing their customers to a competitor who is more inclined to closely adhere to the standards.
However, compliance is difficult for many small and medium-sized businesses that don’t necessarily have the means for oversight and mentoring.
A lack of compliance could lead to major problems, from delays in delivery to penalties, if not criminal charges.
In other words, overall compliance has become a key issue for small and medium-sized businesses.
So what can you do about it?
Have you ever thought of simplifying your operations? You would be wise to get a tool that allows you to link the steps in your purchase cycle and to automate them step by step, so that you can more easily and quickly meet your compliance objectives.
Here are five clear reasons for going the automation route.
Fewer human errors
Automation helps to cut down on human error. When it comes to complying with financial laws and business agreements, claiming an honest mistake will never work. The more employees there are handling a document, the higher the risk of error. Did you know that an estimated 5% of company invoices need to be created a second time because they get lost or are filed improperly? In such cases, they need to be printed again, posing a risk of late payment and violation of business agreements.
Assurance that deadlines are met
By automating some steps, you’ll obviously be assured that things will get done faster, and that will allow you to meet your suppliers’ tight payment deadlines as best as possible. You can also automate your cheque-issuing process. Not only will you save time, but tracking will be easier; because you can go back and check when and why a cheque was approved.
Up-to-date documents with no missing sections
Up-to-date information means fewer errors and less time spent checking documents—and less grey hair. You can also more efficiently manage calls from your customers and suppliers (telling you the documents you sent don’t have all the required sections).
Archiving becomes easier
Archiving should be automated. You should be able to create an index file for any of the documents you create so that it’s easy to recover the information. What’s more, it’s possible to include the indexing data in a bar code so that the document gets automatically filed in the proper place after digitization.
If an auditor comes several months later to check your documents, you won’t have to spend all day looking for them. Better yet, you’ll no longer run the risk of losing a document needing the auditor’s approval.
You can save time and money and easily comply if you’re able to hear and automate processes based on triggers such as a customer’s click in an email, replies to text messages or QR code scans.
Documents can be printed and produced in digital format simultaneously. And you can program where they’re to be sent ahead of time, based on the recipients’ needs and business logistics (Web posting, email, fax and traditional mail).
Optimization is an ongoing process, so don’t worry. You don’t have to automate all the steps in your cycle at once. Go at your own pace, but once you start automating the various components of your purchase cycle, you’ll find that compliance is simpler and achievable.
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