DM In Accounts Payable: A Robust Implementation Methodology

Last time I discussed best practice and current thinking about DM in Accounts Payable project management, based on a whitepaper we produced on the topic with EASY SOFTWARE UK.

I think you’ll agree that needs rounding out with some thoughts on how to apply all those ideas to the real world.

At TouchstoneFMS we take a simple yet robust approach whenever we undertake a DM in Accounts Payable project. Below are the actual steps, and I hope you will find these insights, based on many client engagements over the years, helpful.

Step 1 – Design Workshop Preparation

  • Think about the type of documents you have: What needs to be migrated? Where is it located? Who has access to it?
  • Who will collate the data? e.g. scanning of printed documents, reviewing soft copies on file servers
  • Who will quality assure the migration?
  • How will it be indexed? e.g. supplier invoices by supplier name, project documentation by project code?
  • Who will require access to the system, e.g. put documents into the repository, access documentation?

Who will work on the project in terms of:

  • Designing the repository with the implementation partner
  • Scanning documents for the data migration
  • Being trained as the systems administrator.

Will the DM  system be linked to any other solution such as ERP/ financial management/purchasing/inventory/sales management/purchase-to-pay?

Once a document has been scanned, who will destroy confidential information? Whose responsibility is it to take away the filing cabinets? What will you do with the space that is available in the office?

Step 2 – The Design Workshop

Once you have addressed the questions above, you can progress to a design workshop to review current documentation, the proposed setup, the workflows that are needed, etc. And before you start all that, you absolutely need to decide who will attend the workshop? (i.e. key stakeholders/people who will be most affected)? Where should it take place?

Step 3 – Data migration preparation

In addition to the considerations raised during the initial preparation, you’ll need to establish further practicalities such as:

  • Is there a scanner available?
  • Who will do the scanning / importing? (The data has to be retrievable so it is important that the indexing / metadata is set up correctly)
  • Do you want to copy emails into the document management system (for example, to link supplier correspondence to invoices)?

Step 4 – System configuration

The workflow is configured and the different repositories setup. Now, you need to scan in/import the documents. (NB this is an iteration of a build to prove the design.)

Step 5 – Testing

User acceptance testing should only ever be conducted on a representative sample and it should only be done by your staff. Do NOT expect your implementation partner to undertake this exercise.

Finally, Step 6 – Training

The most effective user training tends to be through a ‘show and use’ approach (ideally the software will be intuitive to use). But longer term, consider what will happen – e.g. with ongoing usage of the system, and when new employees join – you need a plan. And finally, who will be the system’s administrator?

We hope you think this is useful. It’s certainly what we live by at our company in all our DM in Accounts Payable projects.

David Singh
Sales and Marketing Director
TouchstoneFMS

The ideas discussed above are covered in much greater depth in a new special Document Management in Accounts Payable guide, the result of research carried out by EASY SOFTWARE UK and TouchstoneFMS, a specialist in offering services for financial, procurement, business intelligence and business process management; please go here to start your free download

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