It’s that week of the quarter that you dread the most! An external auditor walks into your bay and starts evaluating your business processes. He is a nice guy but very particular about the information you provide to him. One question leads to another and he asks you to show him a document. It is a purchase order against which you raised multiple invoices. You can recall the approximate value of the order and the period around which it was issued. You know that there’s no gap there. But he needs proof. He needs to see the purchase order you are talking about. And you are unable to find it. You look for the document in your desk, in the shelves, even in the store room. How can you possibly lose an important document of that value! You know you are diligent in your work but today, your luck isn’t in your favour.
Alternative scenario: The auditor walks in and questions you over your processes and documents. He requests you to show the required documents and you show them one by one. He needs to study a document in detail. You share the document over email at the end of a few clicks. Day end.
Does that sound like a dream situation? It shouldn’t. If you are wise enough to deploy a DMS in your organisation, this would be an everyday situation. A good document management solution like ShareDocs Enterpriser comes with such features like folder structure, metadata, OCR tool that helps to organise your documents and retrieve them when the time comes. Here are 3 ways how a reliable document management solution helps during audits.
1. It stacks your documents in an organised form
The primary purpose of a document management solution is to work as a repository of documents. When you upload documents in a DMS, you store them in specific folders/subfolders as prescribed by the administrators of the process/business heads. Over and above that, the DMS also asks you to categorize your document and index it. This method not just brings uniformity in the process but also brings in a lot of discipline in file storage. Since documents are stored in an organised manner, it becomes fairly easy to find them during audits.
2. It helps with easy retrieval of documents
A good DMS is identified by its capability to search and retrieve document. If your DMS comes with a robust search mechanism, it would help you to retrieve documents in a structured manner. Say for instance, your auditor asks you to pull out the purchase order for a certain invoice, you would simply ask the system for a purchase invoice where the vendor name is ‘XYZ’. Since you have stored documents in a structured manner and have also indexed the documents, your DMS brings back the document within seconds!
There are some really good DMS’ in the market that come with built-in OCR tool, which reads and stores the text of a document. Backed with such a technology, you will be able to retrieve documents by their content! So even if you do not remember the purchase order number or the name of the vendor but you know a part of the BOM, you could still find the document. Isn’t that incredible!
3. It helps you share documents in a secure manner
Often times, it happens that your auditor sits in a different office and is interrogating you remotely. He still needs those documents in order to vet the processes. He asks you for a document that you would otherwise not share outside the organisation but now you have to. If your DMS is good enough, it would have a feature to share documents via email, that too in an encrypted format! Yes, you could set the expiry date and time until which the document must be visible to the auditor. Voila! Your job is done and so is the audit.