Let’s Get Back to Basics
As a small business you may have read or heard about Document Automation and how it could save you a significant amount of time and money…but, before you even contemplate a new expense lets be sure to look at the basics.
- What exactly is Document Automation?
- As a small business, how can it help me, i.e. why should I be interested?
- What if I don’t create that many documents, how can Document Automation still be beneficial for me?
This post will (hopefully!) answer all the above for you and give you suggestions towards what your next steps should be, should you decide it’s something that could add value to your business.
So firstly, what exactly is Document Automation?
According to Wikipedia, ‘Document Automation is the design of systems and workflows that assist in the creation of electronic documents.’ That’s pretty stuffy and academic so let’s do some translation.
As we looked at in a recent blog post Document Automation is about the creation of documents. It’s not about what you do with these documents – that’s Document Management. It’s also not about who will use the documents – that’s Document Workflow. You’ll also see the term ‘templates’ routinely being used. A template is the master that you generate documents from – your ‘Control’. Simply put, your Control ensures you can quickly create accurate, impactful documents repeatedly, at a fraction of the cost of manually creating them. Templates can be Word documents, spreadsheets or even PowerPoint presentations.
As stated in our White Paper, Document Automation has been a standard in various compliance intensive industries for decades. It not only helps to streamline workflows, which results in more productivity and less wasted cost, but effective Document Automation also gives you more time to focus on what matters to your business – selling and serving your Clients.
As a small business, you may think that Document Automation doesn’t apply to you, or you might think you don’t need it, which leads nicely onto our next question…
How can Document Automation help me, in other words, why should I be interested?
The benefits for a small business of implementing Document Automation are numerous. Even if you’re a sole trader, or your business only has a small number of employees, you could benefit from:
- Significant time and cost savings on document creation and processing.
- Reduction in the risk of human error due to having efficient, user-friendly procedures in place.
- Your regulatory requirements, e.g. GDPR, SOX, HIPAA, being met easily, through the use and enforcement of standards.
- The ability to communicate and edit documents in real-time.
When Document Automation is delivered correctly, the output will not only be more efficient, but can help underpin growth across your business.
Document Automation used to be an expensive, resource intensive undertaking only tolerable to larger organisations. That’s no longer the case. There are now some great solutions designed specifically for businesses of different sizes. What used to take weeks or months to set up, can now be done in hours. What used to cost tens of thousands of dollars, can now cost less than a daily cup of coffee. This page highlights some Document Automation solutions specifically for SMB’s.
It’s worth remembering that the software subscription for your chosen Document Automation solution will likely be recognised as an allowable expense against the profits of your company and in consequence the corporation tax can be lower as well. A win-win scenario where adopting the solution can save you time, increase profit and quality of service, all while the actual cost is recognised by HMRC as a deductible expense. This article from The Association of Taxation Technicians, (try saying that quickly), explains a bit more.
Check out our graphic illustrating six questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about Document Automation, if you’re still not convinced😉
What if I don’t create that many documents, how can Document Automation still be beneficial for me?
Finally, you may be a sole trader, or your business only has a small number of employees, you could still be thinking, ‘we can do that ourselves’. From creating NDA’s, to drafting contracts of employment, to generating invoices, every business creates documents, and these documents are no doubt being created multiple times per month.
Just think, if you could use a Document Automation solution to create templates of these documents, wouldn’t that allow you to save a significant amount of time? Our ROI calculator will let you see the how much time you could save implementing Document Automation – you may be surprised.
Get in touch with us today for a no-obligation chat. We will help you be the best, most productive and efficient business you can be.