8 Common Business Forms You Should be Automating
Automating business forms should be a priority for any business that still uses manual processes and hard-copy forms for everyday work.
Turning a manual process into an automated, electronic process not only saves considerable time, it also cuts down on error rates and can generate an audit trail automatically for later referral. Completed electronic forms older than a specified time period can be automatically archived and easily retrieved later. You won’t use as much ink, paper, or filing cabinet space, so the workplace will be neater too. Here are 8 common business forms you should consider automating.
1. Employee Performance Reviews
Keeping employee performance reviews secure and easily reviewable is one of the primary benefits of automating employee review forms. Nobody has to worry about a form being inadvertently left somewhere or accidentally tossed out, and it’s easy to look back at multiple performance reviews to better understand employee progress. Keeping an employee’s entire performance history together without paper files saves resources and space.
It only makes sense to automate invoices. A lost invoice can cause havoc across multiple departments, and carbon copies just aren’t the best way to do invoices anymore. Electronic invoices are easy to track, can be automatically archived when paid, and can even be made to funnel data into databases or accounting programs. With electronic invoices, not only will you be paid faster, your accounting data will have fewer errors.
3. Job Applications
Job applicants appreciate online job applications because they’re faster, and you can make it so they receive a confirmation message that their application has been received. This can be a huge relief to someone applying for a job, and with paper applications it’s hard to be confident the application made it to the right person promptly. And when you hire someone, it’s easy to start a personnel file from the data contained in their completed job application.
4. Purchase Orders
A manual, paper-based purchase order process is fraught with potential for error. Not only can forms be misrouted, if someone’s handwriting is difficult to decipher, the wrong item could be shipped. Automated purchase orders eliminate most or all of these problems, because completed electronic purchase orders can be automatically routed to all appropriate recipients, and item names and stock numbers will always be legible.
5. Expense Reports
Expense reporting can be a real chore, but automating it – particularly if you make it mobile-friendly – can speed things along for everyone involved. With electronic expense reports, particularly with electronic receipts (or even phone snaps of paper receipts), preparation can be done anytime, anywhere. Misplacing receipts is a thing of the past, and an automated process means employees can be reimbursed promptly.
6. Employee Onboarding Forms
A new employee’s impression of his or her new workplace can make a real difference in whether they stick around or start looking for another place to work. Automating employee onboarding forms makes that first day at work much less daunting, particularly if you grant the new employee access beforehand so he or she can complete onboarding forms ahead of time. Plus, all forms are easy to find and review at any time if there are questions.
Sometimes you need to survey employees about something: when to have the company holiday party, what the company softball team should be called, or which type of an office supply is preferred. Tallying up paper surveys is messy, time-consuming, and inaccurate, but when you automate the process, you can have your workflow software tabulate answers for you in far less time, with accurate results.
8. Support Requests
Phone calls or sticky notes to request building maintenance or IT services are amazingly inefficient. Fortunately, you can automate support requests and include extras like automated email or text alerts to appropriate parties when requests are submitted. Employees will no longer worry about a support request languishing on someone’s desk or being lost in a pile of papers. Plus, documentation of support services becomes easier and better.
If you’re worried that automating forms will require the help of a programmer, you can put those worries to rest. PerfectForms allows the non-technical user to create customized electronic forms and workflows to automate a nearly unlimited number of business processes. Creating electronic forms is as easy as dragging and dropping form elements into place on a virtual canvas, and creating electronic workflows that direct completed forms automatically is equally as easy. Have a look at the PerfectForms demo demo and see how easy it can be to step up productivity significantly by automating commonly used work processes.