I’ve been in the working world for long enough to have some credentials – 38 years to be exact. If I was advising my children, I would strongly suggest that they get back into the office as many days a week as possible and especially on Friday. As a father, I believe that is good advice for younger workers.
As a business owner whose company provides a cloud workflow and critical document archive solution, that could be shooting myself in the foot. The more people who work remotely, the more demand there is for businesses to have great solutions for remote workers to be productive. But I think my fatherly advice is the correct advice overall and here’s why.
No Top Ten. Bottom Five.
Everyone does a top ten best or ten most list, especially at the beginning of the year. Top ten this or top ten that. But what about the bottom? What would that look like if we had the bottom five; five lowest played songs of 2022, five business ideas that fizzled by mid-year, five worst investments of 2022. That last one is real.
Can it help us to understand the five worst of something? Yes, absolutely that can be very helpful if for no other reason than to raise awareness. So here is a hypothetical list of five worst business operation decisions of 2022:(more…)
Go ahead, take two weeks off
Banks and other financial institutions have a requirement that all officers must take two consecutive weeks off work. The reason, which is advocated by the FDIC, is so that the institution has a better chance to uncover fraudulent activity. If the employee is gone for an extended period, strange correspondence and irregular transactions handled by the backup employee could expose the fraud.
However, irregular and strange don’t only relate to fraud. That type of activity can be related to current business processes. Our last post was about how costly exceptions to the standard business process seem to go unnoticed because managing the exception becomes routine for that employee. Therefore, whenever there is employee turnover or extended PTO, plug in a…
Mission Not Impossible
It’s difficult to claim that you are compliant with internal or external rules and regulations if you don’t have a good base to start with. Take the concept of the accurate value of your customer contracts for instance or exposure due to vendor contracts, both part of any Sarbanes Oxley regulations (SOX). It’s hard to imagine having complete confidence in those values or exposures, defined as no more than 5% deviation by SOX, if you don’t have confidence in the collection of supporting documentation.
The focus on customer contracts should take precedence and probably does already in terms of recording the contract terms in your billing system. But the effort for the most part is still a manual…
Bring on the auditors!
Does the thought of going through an audit scare you? What is an audit? According to The American Heritage Dictionary, an audit is – An examination of records or financial accounts to check their accuracy or confirm adherence to policy or regulation. And what does an auditor do? Performs verification and substantiation procedures. And what types of audits are there? Financial, compliance, internal, security and many more.
Audits are not something that most of us enjoy going through. Not for nefarious reasons, but mostly because of the extra time demands and that feeling of uncertainty about providing the required information. Your accounting system or ERP has been designed to collect and keep your transaction information. However, can your auditor verify and substantiate the transactions or adherence to…
Are file rooms making a comeback?
There was a time when all important company information was on a shelf or in a file cabinet. Well organized companies could be fairly satisfied that people could find legal documents in the legal department and accounting files in the accounting department. And with photocopiers and overnight delivery services, documents could even be shared. When the department appointed a czar to manage their stash of documents, it all seemed to work even better.
But we all know how the story ends. The czar retired, the company bought four other companies, people forgot the alphabet and this new-fangled computer thing arrived. Then people weren’t so happy. Documents weren’t easy to find. However, with email and the internet, documents did become easier to create and…
Connected to Compliance
As we roll out compliance workflow I am reminded how information technology (“IT”) is so tightly connected to the concept of compliance. Information, as in vulnerability reports, access requests, firewall logs, hiring statistics and much more, is the key component for compliance. Technology, as in firewalls and workflow, is both the end purpose and solution. You know the headlines, data breaches, ESG issues, government regulations, these are all issues that require corporate compliance measures.
Compliance is basically setting up policies and procedures that ensure best practices for corporate security, effectiveness, goals, etc. and then auditing the adherence to those policies and procedures so that risks can be avoided. The best solution to minimize the deviation from the policies and procedures and to lessen the burden of audits, is to use technology…
Yep we need that
You or your co-workers have been away from the office for a long time now. What are you missing? That is not a question about certain people or favorite lunch spots. It’s a question about information. Has this experience exposed deficiencies or nurtured already advancing digital processes?
Some companies are finding that there were still some hard copy documents that they needed access to. Maybe it was just random documents that were slow to enter the digital realm. These are the documents that come in to certain people directly, but take a long time to become digital and accessbile to all. Maybe it is a certain type of document like drawings or archived customer files that have been more difficult or…
Just like people, Bots are diverse
We have been researching the idea of creating a Bot as an enhancement to our workflow and document management solution. The struggle is defining what this Bot is going to do. There is no single definition of what a Bot is or how it can be used, but we generally think of it as a process automation tool.
Despite “Bot” sounding like it could be a piece of equipment, ie. RoBOTic Process Automation, it is generally a software solution that could be mimicking human thought process or even keystrokes. There are a lot of thought processes and physical processes that could be automated. Is there an ideal use of such a diverse and powerful tool?
There is probably a Bot being developed that collects the mail delivered to the office, opens it, scans…
Try doing less, it really works
It is usually with good intentions that a project is tackled with extreme attention to detail. Every possible variation of input and output are considered and analyzed. Focus groups are put together to gather information from all interested parties. The process is time consuming but can result in some good data being gathered and a successful project outcome. It is the right way to do things.
Now the hard part is trying determine how users will find that data if they need it again. The data that was gathered may have dug up some minutia but also large sets of data that will be used every day. The trick is to provide the everyday user with the ability to find information in a few clicks…