Workflow Automation Software

Millennia Group Blog

Go ahead, take two weeks off

Via Flicker - Bernard Dupont

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…

Workplace Bias, the Process Kind

Via Flickr, The Detective by Paurian

We love to dig into our client’s business processes and help them overachieve their stated goals of improved efficiency or compliance.  It’s a mentally challenging and stimulating exercise that we really enjoy.  However, we have learned that part of the challenge is the fact that there’s a real bias to under-divulge information about what the current process consists of. 

This bias is not intentional by any means.  It’s a function of unconscious acceptance of exception management as part of the job.  Put more simply, most employees just handle the issues that come up when there is an exception, and it doesn’t register as a “step” in the process.  However, it is exactly these exceptions that take the most time and…

Mission Not Impossible

Via Flickr, Tony Werman and Funtoosh

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…

Not so fast with “bring on the auditors”

Steps - by Jordan Schwarts via Flickr

As a follow up to our last post about having a system of record to make audits seem like a walk in the park, there is more to it.  Recall that a system of record document management solution holds the confirmed supporting documentation for your critical company data, such as, transactions, client accounts, vendor contracts, etc.  If your current file storage solution is not working and you want to convert it to a system of record there are a few things that are required. 

Like all good things, it will take some effort on the front end.  But as we stated in the last post, it is well worth it.  And the value is more than just having a better audit experience.  Its worth it because…

Bring on the auditors!

Regulatory and other entities that audit

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…

How old are you?

Explore

Try to remember the days of all files being on a shared network drive or all data in spreadsheets.  Try to remember creating and sharing the responsibility of managing a spreadsheet.  What was the largest group of cohorts that you worked with to create a spreadsheet?  Is that easier now than before?  If you need to go back and find the final version of that file, is it easy to do?  Is it easy to share internally and externally?  Do you even need to create spreadsheets anymore?

Is your world any better now that you have implemented that all-encompassing, do all solution be it ERP, contract management, collaboration, or document management solution?  Is it easier to create, collaborate on, find and share information?  Is there better…

Don’t Let Complexity make you Complacent

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With all the complexities in the world, how do you determine what to focus on in 2022?  HR and employee issues concerning remote work and wellness?  Office or retail space utilization?  Supply chain issues?  Inflation and pandemics?  World events that could cause disruption?  Blockchain, artificial intelligence, green energy and on and on?  And don’t forget the needs of your customers.

What’s needed is a simple How To Guide to manage this overwhelming challenge to your resources.  There is an old saying paraphrased as “don’t build a house on sand”.  In other words, use your resources to build a solid foundation.  Then you will have the ability to manage a myriad of risks and harness amazing opportunities when they come.  Here are four tasks…

Report v Workflow

Two weeks ago I attended the Realcomm IBCON Real Estate Technology Show that was held in Scottsdale and it was very well done given the Covid restrictions.  There were many vendors with fantastic solutions for everything from monitoring building systems to managing the due diligence process.  Based on my observations, all of the vendor offerings had a dashboard and very nice reports to help users digest the wealth of information these solutions gather and provide.   

This week I had a good conversation with a colleague about a potential need for workflow.  As I listened to the concept it occurred to me that part of what was needed was reporting, maybe even a dashboard.  However, part of the need would definitely also benefit greatly from workflow. …

Risk – Identify, Calculate, Assume, Navigate

Business is full of risk and yes, I CAN live with it.  In fact, having a risk management approach to your business can be hugely beneficial.  Once you have identified the risk and calculated the amount of risk, you can either assume or avoid the risk.  If you assume the risk, then it is imperative to navigate or manage that risk.

Most businesses manage a variety of risks usually around customer, vendor, market or government.  Lately that has expanded to include environmental and social media risk.  It turns out that beyond being excellent tools for improving efficiency and enabling remote work, document management and workflow are risk management tools as well.  Here are some thoughts on how the two work together and how these tools will…