How Document Automation Makes Your Business More Efficient

12 August 2020

Keyboard with document automation key

How Document Automation Makes Your Business More Efficient

Document automation is a practice that makes your business more efficient. Learn more about document automation and how it can benefit your business.

Keyword(s): document automation

Automation is the next frontier for business competitiveness. It's estimated that an equivalent of $2 trillion in paid activities are automatable with current technology. Automation affects every industry, requiring professionals and entrepreneurs to rethink how they deliver results. Things like document automation turn a week's worth of drudgery and charts into a few hours of tasks.

In this article, you'll discover how document automation improves your business flow, productivity, and increases revenue.

What Is Document Automation?

Document automation is a system set up to complete or create new documents based on logical inputs. What goes into the automated setup depends on the company's needs. For example, accountants use automation to generate reports or to complete ledger postings when invoices are created. Business valuation companies benefit from automation through batch processing their client's documents.

What Business Processes Can Be Automated?

Thousands of hours are used up in repetitive business processes that could be automated. Not all tasks are good candidates for automation, however. The best automation tasks are those that are highly repetitive and don't require human interaction to be completed correctly.  

Business owners choose to automate:

  1. Spreadsheet generation, transfer, and conversion
  2. PDF generation
  3. Cloud back-ups
  4. Highly repetitive tasks
  5. Batch processing source documents
  6. System maintenance
  7. Emailing
  8. Marketing
  9. Customer care and followup
  10. Application integration

Fortune 500 companies routinely use document automation to update Excel spreadsheets, get more things done, and save hundreds of hours. About 84% of top-level global executives believe this machine learning will provide them the keys necessary to continue to compete.

Why Is it Important for You to Leverage Automation in Your Business?

Automation is what the word processor was to the typewriter. It's the evolution of a process that was effective but became inefficient. The modern entrepreneur is tasked with building a reliable team, a productive workflow, and consistent results. Automation gives business owners and executives the edge to do these things at a high rate.

Below are five ways that document automation helps to improve your business's efficiency.

1. Reduces Human Error

There is a commonly held belief when creating Excel files: 'the more you write, the higher chance for mistakes. Humans make honest errors all the time. Important information is omitted or a number is transposed and suddenly the system grinds to a halt.

With automation, businesses can track who made what changes and when. It reduces the number of times a figure or form must be manually created and increases individual accountability.

2. Save Time 

It's estimated that CEOs spend 20% of their valuable time on tasks that could be automated. Repetitive processes turn your business into a document assembly line. Instead of focusing on your business mission, your employees spend their time inputting numbers in cells and exporting files. 

Automation allows you to focus on value-added activities leading to increases in revenue. Legal document automation is one example of a time-saving process. The best software solutions decrease task complexity and remain flexible to your future needs.

3. Reduce Costs

About 20% to 30% of revenue is lost per year due to time spent on inefficient processes. Automation reduces costs by making your processes more streamlined, reducing costly errors, and reducing administrative spending. 

Most documents that are completed on paper can be automated. The ability to save documents in the cloud, reducing the number of physical filing systems you need for them. With efficient practices, you can do more with less staff and less square footage. The capital you save can then be rerouted into growing the business.

4. Improve Productivity

It goes to follow that businesses with simpler, more efficient processes are more productive. When you produce consistent, regular results you have a chance to earn more revenue. Business document automation helps businesses focus on their most important activities.

Sorting through balance sheets, statements of cash flows and other financial statements is cumbersome when done manually. Automated practices allow businesses to sort through years' worth of reports to gain an accurate view of a company's standing.

Processes that historically took days to weeks now only take hours. This is crucial in business valuation where accurate representation of your client's financial standing is paramount to their success.

5. Maintain Employee Morale

Lack of employee morale costs companies more than $500 billion each year. In fact, many doctors claim that the sheer amount of paperwork leads to job dissatisfaction. Employees that feel under-appreciated and drained by their work do no produce good results. Repetitive tasks sap the finite energy source required to perform at high levels. This leads to increased turnover and reduces the level of talent you can keep.

When you filter these tasks through an auto-fill system, your employees can focus on high-value activities that matter.

How to Choose the Best Automation Software for Your Needs

Select a document automation software tool with a full understanding of the results you are looking for. This will inform your decision as you test different products.

Consider these things when choosing an automation software tool:

  1. Select a test process
  2. Use the software in a real scenario, ie the employee that will most likely use it
  3. Know what to expect and not expect from the tool
  4. Automate only those things that you gain the most value from
  5. Product complexity
  6. Your budget
  7. Device adaptability
  8. In-house or cloud hosting
  9. Document management

Automation software should be easy to use and update. It should create results without further manipulation from you. The best processes to automate are those that are standardized, highly logical, able to function without constant monitoring. 

Automated Growth Strategies

Longevity in business requires good leadership, valuable offerings, and adequate navigation of the industry. Successful businesses know how to adapt to the changes in their market. Industry leaders commonly outpace their competition by delivering consistent results faster.

Document automation is the next wave of technology that will render old processes obsolete. Soon, everyone will need some form of automation to survive in their respective market. 

Stay ahead of the curve with automation software solutions that work intuitively with your business. Try a free proof of concept today to see if automation is right for you.