6 Features to Look for in Business Forms Software
Business forms software has a place in practically any business you can imagine. While the use of electronic business forms is an obvious advantage to the accounting or IT services firm, it’s also remarkably useful in non-technical businesses, from styling salons to translation services.
Whenever a business task involves filling out a paper form, or even jotting down sticky notes, the opportunity exists to implement electronic business forms to make things faster and more accurate and to simplify recordkeeping and reporting. Today’s business forms software options are available to businesses of all sizes, with any sized budget, and they’re well worth exploring, whatever kind of business you are in. Here are 6 features to look for when evaluating business forms workflow software.
1. Excellent User Interface
You don’t have to choose business forms software that requires writing code to make forms that look and behave exactly as you want them to. Today’s best solutions are expected to have an outstanding user interface with a “blank canvas” that allows the user to drag and drop elements of a form or a workflow into place. If a user wants to create an electronic form that looks exactly like a familiar paper form, it should be easy to do so. Hiring a programmer should not be part of the expense associated with acquiring business forms software.
It’s not uncommon for a business or educational institution to start using business forms software for a particular task (like expense reporting) and quickly realize all the other tasks that could be streamlined similarly. That’s why it’s important to choose business forms software that allows users the flexibility to create forms for anything from building maintenance to transportation management to IT service requests. You shouldn’t be locked into one method of automating tasks, but should be able to let your creativity and innovation flourish.
Scalability is closely related to flexibility. Perhaps one or two departments automated tasks using business forms software and the results were so good that other departments want to automate their workflows too. Your business forms software should allow you to scale up quickly and easily, and typically the best way to do this is through software hosted in the cloud. Cloud-hosted software doesn’t involve the big up-front costs of buying servers and hiring IT workers to take care of them, but lets you implement as many instances of the software as you need, at any time.
4. Ease of Integration
When a businesses form software doesn’t know how to communicate with web forms or other software packages, its usefulness is limited. Can your choice of software take data in from other programs, or deliver data to a database you have set up? It should be able to do this without coding or complicated add-ons. The more readily your business forms software communicates with other systems you use, the more you can get out of it, and the more processes and workflows you can streamline and automate.
5. Ease of Custom Reporting
Suppose you collect a month’s or a quarter’s worth of expense account data from electronic expense reporting forms. Can your business forms software take this information and use it to create an informative, insightful report that helps you monitor business operations and spot trends early? Reporting capabilities can be enormously important, so don’t overlook this feature when evaluating your options in business forms software. Excellent reporting capabilities can be used to help you make smarter business decisions.
6. Your Choice of Cloud or On-Site Hosting
Cloud hosting is terrific, and is the first choice for many small businesses. However, there are businesses in which security or confidentiality regulations require that software be hosted locally, on the same site as the business, for optimal control. When your business forms software provider allows the option of on-site hosting, you can have the convenience of sleek workflows, and the confidence of knowing all your data and the software handling it are where you can exercise optimal control over it.
PerfectForms’ software can automate business processes and is designed for users who want powerful electronic forms and workflows without having to program. With PerfectForms you can drag and drop form and workflow elements into place, and you can easily make PerfectForms interact with web forms, databases, and other software programs you use. What’s more, you have access to outstanding custom reporting capabilities, and on-site hosting is an option for businesses that require it. Why not sign up for a free trial? You’ll see for yourself how PerfectForms can transform your workflows and make your business more efficient and competitive.