Companies are constantly looking for ways to optimise their operations, reduce costs and improve efficiency. One of the trends that has gained ground in recent years is the digitisation of invoices and documents. But why is this process so relevant and what are the concrete benefits for organisations? Find out more in this article.
Table of Contents
1. What is digitalization in companies?
Digitalization in companies refers to the process of converting analogue information into digital format. This involves the transformation of physical documents, such as paper, into electronic formats that can be stored, managed and shared through IT systems. But digitisation goes beyond simply scanning documents; it is a reinvention of how businesses operate and deliver value to their customers, taking advantage of digital technologies.
2. Benefits of digitalization for businesses
The digitalization of invoices and documents in enterprises offers numerous benefits that can boost efficiency, reduce costs and improve overall management. Here are 10 key benefits of this process:
2.1 Cost Reduction
This is the reduction in operational and administrative expenses that results from the transition from paper-based to digital systems. This cost reduction can manifest itself in a number of ways:
- Material Savings: By digitalization, companies reduce or eliminate the need to purchase paper, ink, folders, binders, filing cabinets and other supplies related to physical documentation.
- Reduced Storage Space: Physical documents require space for storage, whether in filing cabinets, on shelves or even in dedicated warehouses. By digitalization, this space is freed up and can be reused or disposed of, which can translate into significant savings, especially in areas where space costs are high.
- Reduced Postage Costs: Sending invoices and physical documents by post or courier has a cost. By digitalization and sending these documents electronically, these costs are eliminated.
- Management Efficiency: Searching, retrieving and managing digitised documents is faster and more efficient than with physical documents. This can reduce the man-hours required and therefore the associated labour costs.
- Loss Reduction: Physical documents can be lost, damaged or destroyed, which could incur replacement costs or even legal penalties. Digital documents, if properly managed, have less risk of loss and can be backed up for greater security.
- Process Automation: Digitalization allows the automation of certain processes, such as invoice approval or account reconciliation. This can reduce the need for manual intervention and thus the associated costs.
- Compliance Cost Savings: Maintaining and accessing digital records can facilitate compliance with regulations and standards, avoiding fines or penalties and reducing costs associated with audits and reviews.
In short, the cost savings of digitalization invoices and documents in business is one of the main advantages that motivates organisations to adopt digital technologies. These savings, coupled with other benefits, mean that the initial investment in digitalization systems has a positive return on investment in the medium to long term.
2.2 Quick and Easy Access
The ability to locate, view and manage digital documents immediately and easily, as opposed to the slower and more laborious process of searching for physical documents.
- Instant Location: Through electronic document management systems or databases, users can enter keywords, invoice numbers, dates or other criteria to find the document they need in seconds.
- AnywhereAccess: Thanks to cloud and online storage systems, digitised documents can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, whether from an office, from home or even from another country.
- Multiple Users: Digital documents can be viewed by multiple users at the same time. This is especially useful for teams working collaboratively or for review and approval processes .
- Integration with Other Systems: Digitised documents can be integrated with other business systems, making it easier to access and manage information together. For example, a digitised invoice could be automatically linked to an accounting system.
- Versioning: Some systems allow different versions of a document to be maintained, making it easier to track changes and revisions.
- Security and Control: Although access is quick and easy, it can also be controlled. Digital systems allow you to set permissions and access levels, ensuring that only authorised people can view or modify certain documents.
- User-friendly interface: Many document management systems are designed to be intuitive and easy to use, reducing the learning curve and allowing smoother access to information.
In short, this is one of the most important advantages of digitalization documents in companies. It allows for a more agile management of information, improves productivity and optimises decision-making processes by having the necessary information at hand at all times.
2.3 Enhanced Security
The set of measures, protocols and tools that protect digitised information against unauthorised access, loss, alteration or threat. Digitalization offers multiple layers of security that often exceed the protection capabilities of physical documents. What this concept entails is detailed below:
- Access Control: Digital systems allow specific permissions and access levels to be set. This means that only authorised persons can access, modify or delete specific documents.
- Encryption: Digital documents can be encrypted to ensure that even if someone gains unauthorised access, they cannot read or use the information without the appropriate decryption key.
- Backup and Recovery: Digitised documents can be backed up to multiple locations or to the cloud. In the event of system failures, natural disasters or any other incident, information can be recovered quickly.
- Auditing and Logging: Digital document management systems often have logging capabilities that track who accessed a document, when and what changes were made. This is invaluable for transparency and accountability.
- Disaster Protection: While a fire, flood or other disaster could destroy physical documents, digital documents, especially those stored in the cloud, are protected against these risks.
- Security Updates and Patches: Software systems used to store digitised documents are regularly updated to address vulnerabilities and improve security.
- Data Integrity: Digital tools can guarantee the integrity of documents, ensuring that they are not modified without authorisation and that any changes are recorded.
- Two-Factor Authentication: To access sensitive systems or documents, two-factor authentication may be required, adding an additional layer of security to the login process.
- Alerts and Notifications: Systems can be configured to send alerts in the event of suspicious or unauthorised activity, enabling a rapid response to potential threats.
- Reduced Risk of Loss or Theft: Unlike physical documents, which can be easily stolen, lost or damaged, digital documents are protected against these common risks.
Enhanced Security is a crucial advantage of digitalization documents in enterprises. By adopting appropriate practices and tools, businesses can ensure that their information is protected, accessible only to those who need to access it, and safeguarded against both internal and external threats.
2.4 Space Optimisation
Space Optimisation is the process of reorganising, reconfiguring or redesigning an area or environment to maximise its usefulness, efficiency or capacity. In the context of invoice and document scanning in business, space optimisation relates directly to the reduction or elimination of the need to store physical documents, which in turn frees up valuable space in a company’s premises. Here’s what this concept entails:
- Reduction of Filing Cabinets and Physical Storage: By digitalization documents, companies can reduce or completely eliminate the need for filing cabinets, shelving and rooms dedicated to paper storage.
- Reuse of Freed Space: Space that was previously used for document storage can be reused for other purposes, such as additional work areas, meeting rooms, breakout spaces or any other business need.
- Economic Savings: In urban areas or in buildings with high rents, space is a costly resource. By optimising space through digitalization, companies can reduce costs by not needing additional storage areas or even by being able to move to smaller, more economical facilities.
- Improved Aesthetics and Organisation: A space free of piles of paper and filing cabinets can result in a cleaner, tidier and more aesthetically pleasing work environment, which can have a positive impact on team morale and productivity.
- Reduced Risk of Deterioration: Physical documents can deteriorate over time due to environmental factors such as humidity, dust or light. By digitalization and optimising space, the risk associated with storing important documents in less than ideal conditions is reduced.
- Improved Accessibility: By not having to search for documents in filing cabinets or storage rooms, employees can access the information they need more quickly and efficiently from digital systems.
Space Optimisation in digitalization is a significant advantage that allows companies to make better use of their physical resources, improve operational efficiency and, in many cases, generate financial savings.
2.5 Improved Decision Making
This refers to how the accessibility, organisation and analysis of digitised information enhances the ability of organisations to make more informed, faster and more effective decisions. Here is the detail of what this concept implies:
- Immediate Access to Information: digitalization allows decision makers to access the information they needinstantly, eliminating the time that would be spent searching for physical documents.
- Data Analysis: Once information is in digital format, it can be analysed using specialised tools and software. This allows trends, patterns and insights to be identified that would not be evident by manually reviewing physical documents.
- Information Integration: Digitised documents can be integrated with other business systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This integration provides a more complete and holistic view of the business situation.
- History and Record Keeping: digitalization allows an orderly and easily accessible historical record to be maintained. This is essential for evaluating past performance, comparing data and making decisions based on trends over time.
- Enhanced Collaboration: Digital documents can be shared and reviewed by multiple stakeholders simultaneously, facilitating collaboration and collective decision-making.
- Reduced Errors: Digitalization and automation of processes reduces the possibility of human error, meaning decisions are based on more accurate and reliable data.
- Rapid Response: In situations requiring urgent decisions, having immediate access to digitised documents and data allows businesses to respond quickly to challenges or take advantage of opportunities.
- Future Vision: With advanced analytical tools, businesses can make projections and simulations based on their data, which aids in strategic planning and decision-making.
- Transparency: Digitalization can improve transparency in decision-making, as all stakeholders can have access to the same information and understand how a certain conclusion was reached.
- Compliance and audit: Decision-making also involves ensuring that regulations and standards are complied with. Digitised documents facilitate this process by allowing for easier reviews and audits.
2.6 Process Automation
The use of technologies to execute repetitive procedures and tasks without direct human intervention, or with minimal intervention. By converting documents and invoices into digital formats, companies can integrate them into automated workflows that improve efficiency and accuracy.
- Automated Workflows: Once digitised, documents can be automatically processed according to pre-established rules. For example, an incoming invoice can be reviewed, approved and processed for payment without manual intervention.
- Reduced Errors: Automation minimises human errors that may arise when entering data, processing documents or performing calculations.
- Improved Efficiency: Tasks that previously could take hours or days to complete manually, such as invoice reconciliation, can be done in minutes or seconds.
- Systems Integration: Automation allows different business systems (such as accounting, CRM or ERP systems) to communicate with each other, sharing and processing information seamlessly.
- Notifications and Alerts: Automated systems can send notifications or alerts in case of irregularities, pending approvals or any other important event.
- Consistency: By following pre-defined rules and protocols, automation ensures that processes are performed in a uniform manner, resulting in consistent and predictable results.
- Time Savings: By eliminating or reducing the need for manual intervention in certain tasks, employees can spend their time on more valuable and strategic activities.
- Improved Decision Making: With automated processes, information is processed and presented more quickly and clearly, facilitatingdata-driven decision-making .
- Scalability: Automated processes are easier to scale. As the business grows and the volume of documents and invoices increases, systems can handle the additional load without the need to increase staffing levels proportionally.
- Compliance and Audit: Automation can ensure that specific protocols and regulations are followed, and also facilitates the audit process by maintaining clear and traceable records of all actions taken.
2.7 Environmental Impact Reduction
This is the reduction of the ecological footprint and consumption of natural resources through the transition from paper-based to digital systems. Digitalization contributes to sustainability and greener business practices.
- Reduced Paper Consumption: By digitalization invoices and documents, companies significantly reduce the need for paper. This has a direct impact on reducing tree felling and conserving forests.
- Waste Reduction: Less paper means less waste. In addition, consumption of other associated materials such as inks, cartridges, folders and other office supplies is reduced.
- Energy Saving: Paper production requires energy, both in the production phase and in the recycling process. By reducing the use of paper, energy consumption is indirectly reduced.
- Reduced Transport Emissions: By sending invoices and documents digitally, the emissions associated with the physical transport of these documents, whether by traditional mail, courier or any other means, are eliminated.
- Reduced Chemical Use: Paper production often involves the use of chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. By reducing the demand for paper, the need for these chemicals is reduced.
- Space Optimisation: By requiring less physical space to store documents, companies can opt for smaller facilities, which can result in more sustainable construction and less resource consumption.
- Extending Equipment Lifetime: By reducing the printing and copying of documents, the lifespan of printers, copiers and other related equipment is extended, which in turn reduces the need for replacement and decreases the disposal of electronic equipment.
- Promoting a Sustainable Culture: By adopting digitalization practices, companies send a message to employees, customers and partners about their commitment to sustainability, which can influence others to adopt similar practices.
- Environmental Compliance: In some jurisdictions, regulations exist that promote sustainable business practices. Digitalization can help companies comply with these regulations.
- Reducing Water Consumption: Paper production also requires large amounts of water. By reducing the demand for paper, you indirectly contribute to water conservation.
2.8 Integration with Other Systems
The ability to connect and make different software systems and technology platforms interact and share information seamlessly and automatically. By having documents in digital formats, it is possible to link them with other business systems to improve the efficiency and cohesion of processes. Here’s what this concept entails:
- continuous luxury of information: Integration allows information to move automatically between systems. For example, a digitised invoice can be imported directly into an accounting system without the need for manual entry.
- Elimination of Information Silos: By connecting different systems, barriers between departments or functions are broken down, allowing for a more holistic and unified view of business information.
- Process Automation: Integration can trigger automatic actions in other systems. For example, the receipt of a digital invoice in one system can automatically trigger an approval process in another system.
- Error Reduction: By minimising manual data entry and allowing systems to share information directly, the risk of human error, duplication or inconsistencies is reduced.
- Real-Time Access: Integration allows changes or updates to one system to be instantly reflected in other connected systems, ensuring that all departments are working with the most up-to-date information.
- Resource Optimisation: By connecting systems, many tasks can be automated and simplified, freeing up time and resources to focus on more strategic activities.
- Improved Decision Making: By having integrated systems, decision makers can access more complete and contextualised information, facilitating more informed decisions.
- Flexibility and Scalability: Modern integration solutions are often modular and flexible, allowing more systems to be added or configurations to change as the business grows or evolves.
- Data Consistency: By ensuring that all systems are synchronised and share the same information, data consistency and accuracy is ensured across the organisation.
- Improved Customer Experience: By integrating systems such as CRM, ERP and customer service platforms, companies can provide faster and more personalised responses to their customers based on integrated and comprehensive information.
2.9 Improved Customer Service in the digitalization of invoices and documents in companies
This refers to how digital transformation and electronic document management enhance the ability of organisations to offer a faster, more efficient and personalised service to their customers. Digitalization has a direct impact on the customer experience by facilitating access to information and streamlining processes. Here’s what this concept entails:
- Faster Response: With digitised information, companies can access and retrieve relevant data instantly, allowing them to respond to customer queries or problems with greater agility.
- 24/7 Access: Digital systems often allow customers to access their invoices, statements or other documents at any time and from anywhere, offering convenience and flexibility.
- Service Personalisation: By having structured and digitised data, companies can segment and analyse customer information to provide more personalised solutions, offers or communications.
- Error Reduction: Automation and digitalization minimise human errors in document management, which translates into fewer inconveniences or problems for the customer.
- Integration with Customer Service Platforms: Digitalization allows documents and data to be integrated with customer service platforms, CRM or chatbots, facilitating interaction and providing service agents with the necessary information to assist the customer.
- Consolidated History: Digitalization allows for an orderly historical record of all customer interactions, purchases, invoices and communications, making it easier to understand customer needs and preferences.
- Transparency: Digital systems can provide customers with a clear and transparent view of their transactions, application status or any other relevant process.
- Ease of Payment Processes: Digitalization of invoices can be integrated with online payment systems, offering customers simpler and faster payment methods.
- Improved Communication: With digital documents, businesses can send notifications, invoices, statements and other important communications electronically, ensuring fast and efficient delivery.
- Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Digital systems facilitate the collection of customer feedback, allowing businesses to continuously adapt and improve their services based on the opinions and needs of their customers.
2.10 Regulatory Compliance
Anorganisation’s ability to adhere and respond to regulations, laws, standards and guidelines set by regulators or governments, particularly with regard to the management, storage, access and protection of digitised information.
Digitalization can facilitate compliance with these regulations by providing tools and processes that ensure the integrity, security and traceability of information.
Secure Storage: Digital systems offer encrypted and protected storage options, ensuring that documents are kept securely and in compliance with relevant regulations.
- Controlled Access: Digitalization allows for detailed access controls, ensuring that only authorised persons can access certain documents, which can be a requirement in many regulations.
- Traceability and Auditing: Digital document management systems typically record who accesses a document, when and what changes were made. This traceability is essential to comply with many regulations that require a detailed record of interactions with information.
- Document Retention: Many regulations require that certain documents be retained for a specific period of time. Digital systems can automate this process, ensuring that documents are retained for as long as necessary and securely disposed of when they are no longer required.
- Data Protection: With growing concerns about data privacy, many regulations require specific protections for personal information. Digitalization facilitates the implementation of these protections.
- Rapid Response: In the event of audits or inspections, digital systems allow the required information to be retrieved and presented quickly and efficiently.
- Information Integrity: Digitalization ensures that documents are not altered without authorisation, maintaining the integrity of information in compliance with regulations.
- Compliance Automation: Some digital systems may be programmed to automatically ensure compliance with certain regulations, such as sending notifications when a retention deadline is approaching or performing regular backups.
- Upgrades and Adaptability: As regulations change, digital systems can be upgraded or adapted to ensure ongoing compliance.
- Transparency: Digitalization can improve transparency in document and data management, which may be a requirement in certain regulations.
Not only does digitalization facilitate this compliance, but it can also reduce the risks associated with penalties, fines or reputational damage that could arise from not adhering to relevant regulations.
Tickelia is an advanced digital solution designed to manage business expenses, facilitating the end-to-end digitalization of invoices, tickets and other documents that support purchases. This tool allows you to customise expense management, offering specific configurations according to the nature of the expense and linking expenses to specific projects or analytical fields. Thanks to its OCR ICR technology, Tickelia is able to accurately capture up to 18 expense fields in multiple languages and from different countries, including the interpretation of handwritten tickets.
The platform is highly adaptable, allowing users to report expenses in a variety of ways, either by forwarding tickets via email or uploading them directly. In doing so, Tickelia automatically processes the information, using state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence to read and record the data in a matter of seconds. In addition, it offers flexibility in management, allowing the task of reporting expenses or approvals to be delegated to assistants or other team members, ideal for periods of absence or holidays. In short, Tickelia transforms and simplifies business expense management, making it more agile, accurate and adapted to the needs of each company.