Requesting Funds for a New Project? Here’s How to Do It Better
Capital expansion is part of the long-termprogress of a business. It may involve acquisition of assets or upgrading of existing assets. Perhaps it involves upgrading or replacing IT infrastructure. What capital expansion does is help businesses enlarge their operational scope. Capital expansion is managed by the capital expenditures process.
Having a capital expenditures process is necessary for ensuring funds are spent responsibly and the company ends up with the real estate, IT infrastructure, or upgraded heating and cooling system it needs. A well-managed capital expenditures process saves time, saves money, and keeps all stakeholders in the loop in terms of monitoring progress.
Typical Steps in the Capital Expenditures Process
Though the specifics differ from one organization to another, usually the capital expenditure process involves several steps:
• Submission of a request (written, often with supporting documentation)
• Verification and request for further documentation and / or description
• Approval or rejection
• Greenlighting the project for the department in charge of the capital expenditures project
Generally, larger organizations – particularly those with multiple or international locations – have more involved capital expenditures processes due to the generally larger and more complex nature of the projects funded.
How a Manual Capital Expenditure Program Holds Back Your Organization
Think of a manual, paper-based capital expenditure process. It’s slow, complicated, and prone to irregularities. A paper capital expenditures request may be routed by hand or through the company mail room, and may ultimately land on the desk of someone who is out for the day, or taking vacation time off. Here it may languish for far longer than it should.
If additional supporting information is requested at one or more points during the process, and this information is also submitted manually, further slowdowns can be expected. And if a form is lost at some point, the capital expenditure process may have to backtrack significantly to get things moving forward again.
Automating the Capital Expenditure Process
The inherent inefficiency of the manual capital expenditure process is why so many organizations elect to automate as much of the process as it can, making paper forms electronic, and routing them electronically rather than manually. Furthermore, an automated capital expenditure process keeps all supporting documentation, forms, and memos in a central location on the company network or in the cloud so that all decision-makers have access to the information whenever they need it.
At any time, an authorized stakeholder in the capital expenditures process can check on the progress of a request, and email push notifications can be incorporated so that whenever someone’s input or action is required, they are notified automatically and can respond quickly.
Focus More on What Really Matters
In short, automating the capital expenditures process makes it faster and more accurate, saving time and money. Another result is that it frees up those involved in the process to spend more time on more important tasks and less time with administrative chores. Investing in workflow software, even if it only results in the automation of the capital expenditures process, can produce a positive return on investment in a short amount of time.
Smaller or newer companies, that may not have big budgets, may think that an investment in workflow software is itself a capital expenditure, but that doesn’t have to be the case. PerfectForms is workflow software that makes it easy to create electronic forms, connect them into logical workflows complete with notifications and alerts, and enjoy the benefits of not having to use a cumbersome, manual process for capital expenditures.
Best of all, PerfectForms has a user-friendly, drag and drop interface that makes it so non-technical people can create electronic forms and workflows without knowing how to program. After automating and streamlining the capital expenditure program, you’ll probably think of countless other work processes that can benefit from using workflow software.
If this sounds like a smart plan to you, why not try it out for yourself? You can sign up for a free trial of PerfectForms and see how easy it is to use a graphical interface to create beautiful, pixel-perfect forms and sleek workflows that really pay off in terms of time and resources saved.