The Advances in Business Information Management

In today’s busy office environment, it is essential to have in place efficient document management procedures to make sure departments run smoothly. All data capture processes need to run efficiently so that a business can keep its staff, clients and stakeholders happy.

For example, invoice processing and mailroom automation are two operations integral to the smooth running of an office and so therefore need to work precisely. With huge advances in technology over the last decade or so, automated systems have now been developed to ensure that these tasks can now be effortlessly accomplished.

These clever business process automation tools have been invented so that enterprise can now be run digitally. The developments in information management software mean that efficiency is improved and therefore both time and money is saved in the long-term.

A huge range and volume of information including invoices, mail, financial reports, plans and drawings can now be centrally controlled, managed and distributed across internal departments and external global frameworks with ease using this innovative software.

Digital automation of business documents helps to further develop a paperless office environment and keep business as efficient and accessible as possible. No longer do invoices sit in a pile waiting to be paid. When they are managed via data capture software they can be organised and paid more quickly and efficiently.

A company that offers these innovative data capture tools is UK-based DCS. They provide a range of software suitable for most business sectors that can deal efficiently with a wide range of processes. They offer high volume data and form capture that can convert a huge range of information to electronic data file format. The FileStore EDM software automatically structures information into an easy to access database.

DCS’s systems give specific functionality for business compliance, records management, reducing document processing costs, archival and audit control of emails and files, remote scanning, automated invoice and forms capture.

DCS also provide outsource document scanning and data capture service for high volume scanning of documents, drawings, micro films and photographs. This enables archived material to be rapidly captured into the digital domain to be efficiently controlled and stored. Their scanners can cope with 1 million images per day, making them one of the largest capacity outsource services in the UK.

DCS provide their information management solutions and associated services to over 400 leading businesses worldwide. When using DCS software, their clients regularly comment that they have enhanced supply chain efficiency, increased customer satisfaction and reduced operating costs.

So in a modern business environment it is clearly essential to have data capture solutions in place. The increased efficiency and streamlined processes resulting from the use of document management software regularly results in long-term improved corporate performance.

Christian Home Business Information

Maybe you want to own and operate a Christian home business for one or more reasons such as:

1. The demographic for your services and goods are primarily Christians
2. You want to operate a business based on Christian biblical principles
3. You want the business to have minimal operating expenses (no separate office space needed).
4. You want to increase your quality of life (work & family balanced time, more time for your family and working with family).
5. You want your work to have more meaning and purpose aligned with Christian ethics.

There is nothing wrong with becoming a homepreneur with faith-based integrity, excellent customer service, charitable and a profitable business.

The owner of a Christian home business tends to be primarily motivated by serving others and remaining profitable for the long term. Yes, it is possible to accomplish those objectives by careful research and selection of a business that allows the owner and staff to operate in faith-based integrity at all times.

Your research of home based opportunities can consist of internet searches, visiting the local library, chamber of commerce and networking (on-line and offline).

What are some of the potential benefits from starting a Christian home business? By increasing your sphere of influence and opportunities to share your faith with other business owners and customers as you develop great relationships.

Maybe to fund a special project for a ministry or non-profit organization? How about having some extra funds for canceling debts, providing things for your family or giving a special offering to your church or Pastor?

Think about the advantages of opting out of climbing the ladder of success that can cause you to be a stranger to your spouse and children. It is most likely a rare thing for someone on their death bed saying “I wish I had spent more time at the office than with my family”.

If you’re wanting out of the rat race, 12 hour work days, 2 hours of traffic and being on call 24 x 7, then seeking options now for a Christian Home Business maybe right for you.

You can put balance back into your life by making a decision that the current situation has to change. Then start seeking options, knock on doors of opportunity and boldly enter the door into the realm of homepreneurs.

You will be glad that you did. Ready, Get Set, Go and meet your opportunity today.

Building Your Coaching Business – Information Marketing in Networking

Here’s another step in information marketing (see the other articles on Information Marketing), this time applied to networking.

This is a way to take a prospect through a step by step warming up that results in 20% to 70% of them moving forward….this time through networking.

As a coach, you should be an unlimited resource for helping your clients. A part of that can be continually sending them emails, articles, and just plan face-to-face opportunities to expand their business (business coach, executive coach), or answers to their life or career problems (for life coaches and career coaches). This should apply to any kind of coaching. Just provide as many of the answers to the problems that your client is facing.

The more you give, the more value you have established that you provide. If you are really good, you can establish such value in a very short time that they will be begging for more.

Some coaches respond with, “People will drain me, take it all for free.”

Let me state what I said earlier, IF you are good, you can give a little, prove so much value in that short time, that they will clamor to want more. So, you encourage them to want that next meeting…and the next…and the next. Each step is a bigger commitment in time, and eventually cost. This is all about giving value until they want more, then asking them if they’d like more at the next meeting.

So, how do you do that in networking?

When you are talking to someone at a networking event, start asking them what they are struggling with. Then say something like, “I wrote an article about how a client of mine did ____________, and __________ (state measurable results). Would you like to have a copy?” Send them a copy, and make sure that you sign them up for your weekly emails, Hints and Tips on _________________. The email is a way of continually nurturing that relationship. If you are using an autoresponder, then it can be nearly on autopilot.

In most cases, I offer to send the first article to them by email, IF they’d be willing to discuss how it might work for them, and then we set a time for a call to discuss if that will work for them.

Sometimes I email them a copy, sometimes I mail them a printed copy, sometimes I send them a link to the articles that are published in online articles. In any of those cases, I make sure that they see that I am a published online author, an expert in the field. And, I am there to help them through this issue.

At no time am I trying to sell them anything. I want them to want me after exploring how those articles helped someone else with exactly their problem.

Of course, I will always be asking, “was that helpful?” “How helpful?” “Do you think something like that would solve your problem.”

And if all of those are “Yes, it was great.” Then I will be asking “would it be helpful if we set down together to work through issues like those that helped the client in that article?”

The “Yes,” in that instance is the first step toward closing the sale.

You do have to ask for it, but it isn’t a high pressure sale at all. Most of the time the prospect will be asking you for the next step.

Organising Your Business Information For Your Accountant

I often have new business clients which are not sure what information to give me as their accountant or bookkeeper in order to prepare Australian Accounting and Tax returns, or Financial statements. So I have put together a brief explanation of a simple method of getting it all together. If you use this simple method you will not only look professional to your accountants but save them time (by doing some of the legwork and having all of the relevant information available) getting you a cheaper accounting invoice by saving accounting time and you money. This is a process primarily for businesses which, do not have an internal accounts or bookkeeper person and simply provide information to accountants to prepare returns.

I want to stress that all good businesses know how well they are doing. In fact many businesses fail because of a lack of current financial information. It is vital you know your current financial position and profit or loss statement ideally monthly or at least quarterly if the business is well established with comfortable cash flow. If you are a business who only reviews their financial position annually, I strongly recommend you consider obtaining more regular financial information. This is so you have relevant information to manage your business and profitability. This can easily be done by engaging in a bookkeeper or accountant who can also come to your office. However if you wish to prepare information for the accountant and bring it to their office here is a quick process for you to complete.

The starting point of accounting is that it is based on recording all transactions from bank statements of all relevant bank accounts including cheque accounts, investments,credit cards and loans. For this reason, businesses should aim to track all business transactions through one of their bank accounts and hence have little or no cash transactions. If you have cash transactions you may need to provide additional information.

Step one
The first simple step is to collate all your bank statements of all business accounts, credit cards and loans for the period you need to report on. Some examples to illustrate the periods involved for a tax return 2010 you’ll need to gather statements from 1st of July 2009 to 30th of June 2010, or for a BAS return March 2010 you will need to gather statements from 1 January 2010 to 31 March 2010. You should receive all statements from your bank, if any are lost or misplaced your need to reorder from your bank incurring normally a bank fee. Sort this out before you provide the accountant your information. Better still accountants love to get electronic files of your bank statements as they are quick and easier to data entry, contact your bank to do this.

Step two
Once you have collated all bank statements review all individual lines and code them with relevant information (write a relevant description of them if not obvious from the bank statement line entry). For example all credit entries all money going into your accounts, you should indicate if they are income or sometimes they are owner contributions. With all money expended (money out) from accounts, you should also be describing relevant details especially cheque numbers and EFT transfers. Remember any additional information may be useful to your accountant such as asset detail so they can process specific taxation rules. If you are GST registered, you should also indicate whether the transaction involved GST or was GST free. The more you code the more you make your financial reports accurate and speed up things for your accountants processing which will lead to cheaper fees.

Step three
If you have coded all bank statements as for step two and have made sure all relevant bank statements have been collated. You may provide this to the accountant so that the financial report can be prepared. However, as tax law requires substantiation of your transactions and keeping these records, I would also suggest, attaching all relevant invoices relating to transactions on each bank statement. There may be a few transactions which do not have invoices such as bank charges and direct debit all regular charges loan payments etc. You may have other ways of filing invoices which are also acceptable.

This has been a quick outline of how to provide information to your accountant to prepare your financial or taxation reports. It is advisable eventually for a business to take the next step and to complete it’s bookkeeping internally which may result in even greater savings. I recommend this is done with the combination of internal resources, suitable accounting software and professional accounting involvement to control and develop the financial information further. Speak to an accountant or business adviser on this issue or to discuss installing an accounting software and training you to do some of the work. Often this will streamline some of your other administration tasks such as payroll, quoting and invoicing customers, knowing which debtor accounts are due or to facilitate a purchase ordering system, and to better track creditors or cash flow.

However, if you know book work is not an optimal use of your time and do not have internal resources, please do use a professional registered BAS agent, TAX agent (in Australia) or registered accountant in your country. But, perhaps consider updating your financial information on a more regular basis. I also had a recent experience with a client who did not wish to prepare their accounts themselves, but is available when I am coding their transactions; they were also able to see how the financial report is put together giving them a better understanding of the financial information. I also recommend that you do query, and get involved with the information provided to you at a summarized level so that you are sure that it is correct.

Overall, the key to book work is to do it regularly to stay on top of it and to complete while many transactions are fresh in your memory. Having up-to-date financial reports will give you a greater sense of pride in knowing how your business is tracking. By having current financial information you are in the much more informed position to make better business management as against having only annual and lagged financial information from your accountant.