Why is content management, e-invoicing software in high demand?

Why is content management, e-invoicing software in high demand?

The demands of content management have expanded rapidly in recent years, driven by organizations' increasingly high data storage volumes and file diversities, while those that have not started to embrace new solutions to accomplish tasks are likely struggling. Paper files are no longer holding their own weight, and are rather keeping many companies bogged down in extraneous work, inaccurate reporting, a lack of smooth analysis and other issues. 

Digital technologies have significantly improved the efficiency and accuracy of various content management functions, helping companies eliminate data entry, streamline accounts payable, reduce strain caused by reporting and much more. Compared to paper-based processing and governance, Web-based tools will generally lead to fewer expenses while simultaneously bolstering access to necessary information and accuracy of management. 

From invoice processing and data imaging to reporting and beyond, there are few areas of content management that cannot be positively impacted by more effective software-based solutions. The trick is to understand that proactive deployment of these solutions will be critical to maintain a competitive edge in the fast-paced markets of the modern private sector, and failure to embrace these solutions will inevitably set back operational and financial performance unnecessarily. 

Additionally, when trying to embrace these solutions, it will always be important to keep the big picture in mind, not allowing piecemeal provisioning to become a problem further down the road. Integration and interconnection of various content management-related procedures will be critical to maximize return on investment, drive the intelligence of the adopting organization and truly optimize governance across departments. 

First, e-invoicing
One of the primary solutions companies tend to deploy by way of digital, automated management tools is e-invoicing, which can simultaneously reduce late payment frequency and increase the accuracy of reporting in payment processing. The Institute of Financial Operations recently released a report that found accounts payable departments have been increasingly strained by paper-based invoice management and processing due to higher volumes of workflow. 

According to the 2014 AP Automation Study, a majority of respondents to the associated survey are still relying upon paper processing, with only 9 percent receiving more than 10 percent of their invoices in digital form. Furthermore, the study revealed that just under one-third of the respondents stated that they receive paper invoices at least 90 percent of the time.  

"AP professionals are being called on to do more cash management analysis and financial forecasting than ever before, but they're still handling the basic fundamentals of the job with manual tools," Ken Brown, executive director of the IFO, affirmed. "The good news is that executives at the highest level are becoming more aware of the efficiencies automation can bring to the process."

An interesting statistic found was that 43 percent of those using e-invoicing software kept the average cost of a given processing order to $2 or less, while fewer than one-fifth of those relying on paper enjoyed that low a price. This has long been held as one of the more significant advantages of e-invoicing, as reducing expenditures in the accounts payable and receivable departments can stimulate profit margin growth relatively quickly. 

Finally, and not surprisingly, IFO pointed out that an increasing rate of respondents saw errors and inaccuracies drop following the deployment of e-invoicing tools, with 40 percent enjoying this improvement in 2014. Although the lower expenditures are certainly a positive note, the ability to eradicate errors is even more important to remember, as inaccuracies can quickly lead to problems with payments, regulatory compliance performance and other matters across the organization. 

Then, broader content management
Although one might not connect e-invoicing to the wider theme of content management simply because accounts payable was not always so linked to other departments, firms that are focusing upon integration of each digital procedure and solution are likely enjoying a significant advantage. The more that data is connected and understood by key managers and leaders, the better the chance of enjoying profit and operational improvements will be. 

IT Market Research Reports recently released the results of a new study that found enterprise content management markets will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 12.7 percent between now and 2019. This would mean that organizations will spend roughly $12.32 billion on content management systems toward the end of the decade and, considering the fact that these solutions are becoming more affordable, the rate of companies using the tools is sure to rise in that time frame. 

The researchers noted that companies are tasked with an increasing variety and volume of content management responsibilities, such as records management, document collaboration, workflow oversight and more, which is why these automated solutions are causing such a stir. 

Before competitors get the edge through optimal use of e-invoicing, content management and other automated tools, business leaders should begin considering how the technology can positively impact their performance. 

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