Why Storing Paper Accounting Documents Doesn’t Work – and How to Fix it

Sarah-Jayne Martin | Friday, Jul 22nd 2022
Why Storing Paper Accounting Documents Doesn’t Work – and How to Fix it

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Whether it’s finding an expense receipt to close the month or a purchase order record to submit to the auditor during a review, organization and storage of paper accounts payable (AP) documents is often a frustrating point.

The month-end spot check

End of month reporting is a crucial time for all accounting teams, and a good spot check on how well the existing systems are running. It’s at this stage when finance teams scramble trying to locate documents and reports. Who signed this purchase order? Why hasn’t this invoice been approved yet? Where’s the receipt record for an employee expense? These questions regularly make rounds in the accounting department.

When AP documents are not available at hand, accounting teams often face delays closing month-end, or rush to close the books without confidence. In a recent survey, 70% of finance leaders admitted that they’ve made decisions based on inaccurate information.

Search and filter AP data

Beanworks AP Automation helps solve these challenges with its global search and filter tool. Users can do a quick global search by entering details about any document such as vendor name, cost, invoice number etc, and see a summary of the data. It provides a real-time view of insights like company spend without having to hunt through folders, banker boxes, emails or filing cabinets. The system stores records for seven years, meaning finance departments can eliminate their storage costs entirely.


Time savings for everyone

A centralized cloud-based AP solution saves everyone the hassle of chasing paper or hunting for copies across Dropbox, emails or wherever they might be stored. Anyone who needs access to AP documents can locate the file in real-time. For example:

  • Employees can view their expense records
  • Managers are able to locate previously approved purchase orders or invoices
  • CFOs can manage department spend
  • Finance staff can easily prepare reports for auditors

Automation also supports more efficient collaboration between departments. With tools like automatic invoice approval routing and electronic time stamps, accounting teams have greater transparency than paper.


Try our search-and-filter feature today

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