Not so long ago, every document in every office took paper form. Documents were always paper, and had been for around 2,000 years. Then, just a few decades back, desktop computers really started to become popular. Now, documents could be created on the screen and printed to be a hard copy – like everything else in the office. But as computers grew even more common and with the spread of the internet, there came a point when documents no longer had to be printed to be sent around – they could be saved online or on a network, in the office’s document management system. Now, there were two distinct systems: paper and virtual, and the difficulties this entailed – and still entails – could be significant. It can be messy, wasteful and inefficient. People trained in one system may not be quite familiar with the other. Documents can get lost in the paper system, perhaps getting piled up on one person’s desk, or taken out of the office and never seen again. Document processing aims to bring the two systems together, bridging the considerable gap between a paper-based office and a paper-less office. Invoice processing does the same for the accounts department – an important asset in an age where some invoices are sent through the mail and some are raised electronically, by bacs.
The technology used to achieve this has come a long way in the last few years. At one point, the best you could hope for was a scanned image – a picture file of a memo that could not be edited, and certainly not using a word processor. More recently, optical character recognition has enabled printed documents to be turned back into editable computer files. Further developments mean that even handwritten letters can be converted into Word or other documents. The technology generally takes a while to ‘learn’ to read handwriting reasonably, but boasts accuracy rates of greater than 97 percent.
This means that document processing is now very reliable and effective, and when combined with a good document management system can make for a much more efficient office. Everyone can access the documents they should have – and the documents will always be accessible to those who have permission to read them. Similarly, invoice processing means that your accounts department is less likely to miss a payment – something that always undermines a business’s reputation with suppliers and clients.
Please visit http://www.bottomline.co.uk/