As I followed the senior accountant back to her office, we passed aisles of massive cabinets. Only later would I learn that those cabinets are where their vendor invoices went to die! I say “die” because, although it seemed like a proper storage option, it really was an expensive, never-touched solution. The reason I took that dreaded walk was to show the customer our invoice processing software which we would later implement.
There was one missing piece to this customer’s invoice automation strategy though: where would they store the electronic documents when our software was done extracting the data from them? They knew they wanted some sort of software, but which software would be best for them? We proposed SharePoint Online and after showing them how well our software connected to it, the customer chose to go that route. But why?
- It’s cheap and easy: you really can’t find a cheaper document storage option for small-to-medium businesses. The per-user cost is measured in just dollars per month and there’s no software to install. Just sign-up and you’re running!
- It’s “in the cloud”: this means that it can be accessed from anywhere. Plus, no more cabinets full of invoices taking up extremely useful space in the office. And I guarantee any IT staff will love not having to maintain servers, software patches, and security!
- It’s extremely flexible: you can setup site/sub-sites with proper user permissions in just clicks! The specific client I mentioned created an “Accounting” site and an “Accounts Payable” sub-site. They stored all their invoices in that sub-site. So, when our software was done extracting the invoice details off the document, it would export to their SharePoint Online location.
- It’s a perfect place to find your documents again: no more digging through mounds of papers in cabinets! When you save documents in SharePoint Online, there are columns where you can store information about the specific document. For example, an invoice document may have the following columns: Invoice Number, Invoice Date, Vendor ID, Vendor Name, Total Amount, etc. That’s exactly what our client did and then they created reports (again, with just clicks to setup) that enable them to view/export data the way they want it.
SharePoint Online is a wonderful option for organizations looking to store documents that they can reference later. It’s especially nice for those who are beginners with document repositories and want to conserve cash! Please contact us if you have any questions on the details we shared with you or if you’re interested in learning more about automation and storage solutions.