Making the Switch: Integrating Cloud-Based AP Automation

African American man in suit with face mask on

The coronavirus pandemic has presented unique workforce challenges in industries ranging from supply chain to fast food. In its wake, an increased necessity for secure, cloud-based document systems has also become evident. It is especially true of accounts payable departments who work remotely to ensure their team is safe while assuring the company’s creditors and suppliers get compensated on time.

Transitioning your company’s financial records from their locked file cabinets to electronic files can be quite the task, but your team does not have to do it alone. A systems integrator, like the paperless guys at Mosaic, can help put your AP documents at your fingertips with accuracy and transparency. But how do you objectively determine the best integration resource for your project? As with choosing any vendor, we recommend completing a full vendor analysis.

Understanding Your Scope of Work

To begin your search for the most appropriate integrator, you are encouraged to first be clear on your scope of automation. Know what you want to accomplish, when you need it taken care of, and how the integration will affect your teams. It’s also not a bad idea to reference your standard operating practices when unraveling your project’s scope. 

Be sure to outline your payable processes in steps as well as your accounting department’s invoice management and approval processes. Also, include any known pain-points to be addressed during this integration.

Let’s consider this the discovery process, during which you may also seek to develop a project timeline that could be adjusted in real-time. Accounting for system upgrades and human error will afford you additional time to implement the automation software you choose. Taking adequate time to define the scope of work and implementation process expectation before vendor selection could help eliminate costly mistakes later in the process.

Software automation process spelled out on wooden blocks

Selecting an Integrator

Getting the most out of your accounts payable automation software solution is critical to your company’s bottom line. Selecting the integrator who best fits your needs will help provide the framework to improve your organization’s expense-to-revenue. Once you’ve identified the scope of your integration process, research your vendor’s entire organization. Peruse their website for positive results. Pay close attention to customer success stories. Do not hesitate to reach out to other customers about the potential vendor’s professional services. To inquire about an integrator’s business and viability, our recommended questions include, but are not limited to the following:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have licensed engineers on staff?
  • What is your process for hiring and equipping new engineers as veteran engineers retire?
  • How will the integrator learn your business?

Deciphering the AP Automation Process

“Accounts Payable automation (AP Automation) refers to the technology used to streamline and automate accounts payable processes, removing manual tasks, and providing better visibility and control over important financial data.”

The Institute of Financial Management reports that 73 percent of organizations used AP automated software in 2020. Whether you use Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Infor, Syspro, SAP, or any other ERP system, a viable accounts payable automation software should make it easier to retrieve data for reporting, reviewing invoices and purchase orders, and immediately knowing your company’s cash flow. AP automation tools synergistically improve invoice processing and the overall workflow of the accounts payable department.

Incorporating AP automation software is an ideal solution for circumventing common issues with manual accounts payable processes. Now’s the perfect time to switch if your company:

  • Processes 500 or more invoices per month.
  • Has more than 2 full-time AP clerks
  • Outsources your AP
  • Has too many late payment penalties
  • Misses early payment discounts

Take a look at our recent blog posts for more on the benefits of AP automation.

Stacks of paper in filing folders

Mosaic Can Help with Integration

Our accounts payable tools can help free up your team, and a path for you to continue growing your business. Together, we can facilitate business optimizations that yield results your entire company will feel. Our DocStar solution integrates with accounting software to: 

  • Stimulate productivity through intelligent automated capture of invoice data
  • Capture early payment discounts
  • Automate your company’s AP approval process
  • Reduce accounts payable processing labor costs
  • Securely store electronic versions of your company’s financial documents

Why You Should Tour our DocStar Tools

Give your accounting department a break! Decide to automate your AP solutions and allow your accounting systems to do the heavy lifting. Your team’s day-to-day objectives will shift, giving way to the capacity for more revenue-generating activities that your current process may not have room for. 

Accounts payable automation solutions with paperless invoice processing are critical in transforming your AP Department. Take a tour of our DocStar automation software to see how the integration of our software can make your team and stakeholders happy.

Start your journey to AP automation with us today.

The Great Eight: Here Are the Top Standout Benefits of Going Paperless

At Mosaic, we’re in the business of matching the right paperless solution with your unique company and the needs of your team. 

That said, some things are universal. The below list comprises the one-size-fits-all, exciting, and sometimes surprising benefits of getting into the green game and leaving behind those mountains of paper behind forever.

1. You’ll have way, way more time on your hands.

Even for people who are still lucky enough to have jobs that let them work from home, navigating current economic challenges can be tough. With remote work on the uptick and the line between work and home becoming ever more blurred, exhaustion is on the rise. According to one recent survey, “Over two-thirds, or 69%, of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home.”

Bearing that in mind, freeing up your time and mental energy to focus on what’s important has become more critical than ever. Going paperless at the very least cuts out the endless hassle of storing, organizing, and filing (not to mention frequent trips to take out the recycling as it piles up at home).

Going paperless also means that you can share files, back up reports, or whatever else you need to do simply and easily from your mobile device, while on the go, which means no delays or having to wait around before getting to that next item on your to-do list.


2. It’s healthy for the environment.

Statista reports that, worldwide, we produce around 420 million metric tons of paper and cardboard every single year (of that, the United States accounts for 72 million metric tons!). To put that in context, that’s equivalent to around SEVEN separate Great Walls of China, one of the weightiest and most gigantic structures in the world. 

Lots. Of. Paper.

Not only that, but despite numerous campaigns and calls for reducing the amount of paper we use, the consumption of these natural resources is growing. In 2015, TIME magazine wrote about a new report stating that humans cut down 15 billion trees per year, much of which goes toward printing and writing paper specifically.

What’s extra dandy about going paperless is that it not only behooves you from a convenience standpoint AND makes you feel good about investing in the future of this planet. As famed writer and environmental advocate John Muir put it: “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right.”

Get your heart right, step into that light, and ease up on the paper trail for a while, why doncha?


3. You’re less at risk for potential legal trouble.

Over the past ten years, the landscape of records management has changed dramatically. 

Beyond just being an inconvenience, an outdated content management system can have negative implications such as civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance and rapidly growing costs. Does that catch your attention? It did for us. 

Luckily, significant advances in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) have been shown to benefit a wide variety of organizations in this regard. It’s easy to get up-to-date in no time.


4. Bolstered security = greater peace of mind.

Privacy and data protection are big ones these days, with cyberthreats at top-of-mind for some of the most prominent players in the industry. Just recently, Wired reported on the troubling rise in government-sponsored hacks ramping up during the pandemic.

Of course, your business may be looking at risks that look a lot less like an international spy thriller and a lot more like just messing up or losing all of your essential data or putting your customers’ information at risk.

No matter what you stand to lose, you need to make sure you have the right data security measures in place — which no longer means just having a paper shredder on site. If you’ve got a cloud-based accounting system, you need to look into how you’re going to protect your customers’ financial information.

The best news is that we work with companies of all sizes – so you don’t have to be a giant to get air-tight security in place for low-stress operations.


5. Two words: Bragging rights.

Okay, so maybe the water cooler talk may not precisely revolve around who saved the most paper that day, but we’re just saying that it could lean in that direction. Think how much fun you’ll have bonding with your coworkers once paper processing is a thing of the past!

Here, we’ll get things started with this freebie: “Wanna hear a joke about paper? Never mind, it’s tearable.”


6. You’ll save lots of moolah.

Four years ago, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) and partners released findings that “paper is the largest waste category, and that if [large] companies reduced paper waste by just 1 percent, it would save them nearly $1 billion.”

Think about everything that goes into the paper process, too, even beyond just the paper itself: printer upkeep, ink, postage, office space for files, and employee time. Take all of that off your plate by investing in an overhaul that takes you into the digital future. Your savings will skyrocket.


7. Getting to communicate with clients faster.

Electronic communication is nothing if not efficient. You can send over the right papers in a flash rather than having to rely on old, antiquated means of transferring. And since we’ve already outlined how much more secure this method is, it’s a no-brainer.


8. All of your dreams will come true — you’ll be respected, wealthy, admired by all, and will have no problems ever again! 

… Okay, like the bragging rights bit, this one may be a bit of a stretch. However, you’ll certainly be saving yourself lots of time and headache in your day-to-day, and with something like that, who’s to say that the rest won’t fall into place?

All About Integrating your ERP with your ECM

When your organization needs to complete your daily financial tasks, you don’t take out a pen and paper and get to work. You’ve likely already invested in an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system that allows you to manage your organization’s finances, and while that solution can be great on its own, it becomes even stronger when coupled with a smart ECM (Enterprise Content Management) solution. Many assume that the two exist separately, doing separate tasks, but DocStar was designed to work WITH your ERP, not just alongside it.

What is an ERP?

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning is a business process management software that helps manage and integrate a company’s finances. It also manages key tasks such as supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities. An ERP is what keeps a business’ wheels turning each day, and ensures that they can plan properly for the future.

What is an ECM?

ECM, or Enterprise Content Management, is a way to manage your organization’s data in a way that allows it to be accessible, secure, and organized. It is a way to eliminate the reliance on paper in daily tasks and helps protect crucial information for your organization.

Mosaic offers robust ECM solutions that help businesses store, organize, and protect data. Rather than existing as merely a digital filing cabinet, our solutions are designed to work with your existing software to ensure long term success.

What does software integration mean?

By integrating your ERP with your ECM, you can make the most of both investments.

DocStar ECM can easily be integrated with common ERP and line of business systems such as MS Dynamics, Sage, Epicor, Oracle, SAP, Infor, and others.

DocStar is built to integrate with these systems without the need for complex work from your IT team.

Why integrate your ERP with your ECM?

Beyond simplifying your workflow with integration, there are clear benefits to investing in a solution that works with your ERP. Integration works especially well within AP Automation, where you can synchronize data between DocStar AP Automation, enterprise content management and any enterprise application for streamlined business processes.

A key problem integration solves is eliminating the need for duplicate data entry and going back and forth between different applications to complete day to day tasks. For employees working in accounting, this can save time better used for other more meaningful tasks. It also reduces the possibility of incorrect data being entered into your systems, which when added up can save your company a significant amount of money.

Within accounting, another major productivity waster is the “stare and compare” often required when validating data. Integration eliminates that by automatically validating data before inputting into your accounting software for additional efficiency.

Integration can also vastly improve your data visibility with real-time updates, making decision making much easier.

What are the next steps?

If you’re already using an ECM, you can ask how your system can integrate with your ERP. If you currently aren’t taking advantage of the benefits of a digital content storage system, there’s no time like the present to invest in a solution.

Mosaic is here to help! We’ll gladly share how our ECM solution integrates with your ERP and answer any questions you might have. Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859.

How to Continue to Promote Success with your Remote Teams

Your organization likely settled into your new normal of working from home, and as offices reopen and some employees choose to remain working from home, cultivating and maintaining a successful strategy to continue to manage your teams across multiple locations is key. After seeing the success of adapting to remote work, many organizations are making the decision to give their employees a more flexible office schedule, and some are moving to remote work entirely.

We previously covered some basic tips to assist companies in creating their remote work strategy, today we’ll highlight some specific processes that can be transformed to best support remote employees, or allow for a flexible workplace with employees both at home or in the office.

Hiring and Onboarding

Your organization may be in a place where you can hire new employees to manage new tasks that have come up as a result of increased demand or shifting focuses, particularly within spaces such as manufacturing. If you’re hiring for employees in your facility but have a Human Resources team that is remote, coordinating the necessary paperwork and tasks required for hiring and onboarding can be incredibly difficult without relying on an automation solution.

With Document Management and Automation, you can build a hiring workflow of forms to send to each new hire, including common forms such as I-9s, benefits enrollment, background checks, and other employee documents and manuals. By building a workflow within DocStar, each completed form can be routed to the correct manager, who can review, approve, and then file it to the appropriate employee file, all without needing to physically be in the office. This can be also particularly useful in cases where your new employee will be remote from day 1.

By innovating your current hiring and onboarding process, you can stand out as a competitive employer and also can speed up the hiring process to get your new employees working quicker.

Document Collaboration

With employees across multiple locations, collaborating on and approving a document can be time-consuming when you’re sending documents or PDFs back and forth. When key documents need approval or updates, and you don’t have much time, how can you ensure that it’s seen by the right people at the right time? DocStar allows for annotations which give you the flexibility to mark up your electronic documents and save these notes as annotations, allowing for collaboration that’s recorded and consistent.

Sharing permissions are also a key part of making document collaboration successful when your teams are in multiple locations. Ensuring that confidential documents stay confidential can be difficult in any scenario, but especially when files are passed around digitally. DocStar allows for granular permission settings in documents, inboxes, folders, workflows, and retention policies. With DocStar you can grant access to documents based on user permissions, which helps to ensure that only the right people see documents at the right time, easing any concerns you may have about utilizing a shared system.

DocStar was designed to be used from anywhere, so the functionality to access, annotate, and approve documents regardless of whether you’re in the office or at home is there for you from day one.

Sales Orders

Maintaining successful relationships with your customers should be your organization’s top focus, but often customer relationships get neglected when things feel “status quo.” Ensure your customers are getting the attention they deserve by building a more effective sales order process that can be completed from anywhere.

Consider how your organization receives orders. If they come through the mail and there isn’t anyone there to pick them up, it’s possible orders will be delayed or worse, not fulfilled at all. Emailed PDFs can be a great alternative, but what happens once the order is received? Does it get caught in the shuffle of emails back and forth or does your organization utilize a system that can ensure new orders can get distributed, approved, and filed in a timely manner?

Automating your sales orders is a great way to better support your customers, and make fulfilling the orders easier. Sales Order Automation works by automatically capturing and extracting data with Intelligent Data Capture (IDC). Once IDC recognizes and indexes the order, it can be passed along to be received by your ERP. This step eliminates the traditional step of receiving the sales order and then manually entering the data into your ERP. This entire process can happen with next to no human intervention, except for scanning in an order at the beginning and data validation at the end. Because this process is hands-off, orders can be completed and processes from anywhere.

How to implement remote automation processes

Mosaic has experience in creating custom solutions for businesses of all sizes and across industries. We’re prepared to work with you to understand your current pain points and drive your organization towards a more effective strategy to manage both in-office and remote employees. Ready to take the next step towards a more efficient workplace? Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859

Understanding E-Signatures

“Sign on the dotted line!” How many times do you hear that phrase when completing forms? You likely have had to sign your name countless times throughout your life, starting out by writing it at the top of your homework in kindergarten and then including it on nearly every form since. 

Your signature is just as unique as your fingerprint, and it can hold a lot of weight. It’s your mark of commitment on contracts, your security on checks and credit cards, and your stamp of approval on office paperwork. 

The problem with these traditional signatures though, is that they’re a pain. Typically these forms are piles of paper that someone has to go through and mark off where they need to be signed, and then you sit there, pen in hand, signing and initialing. It takes time that could be spent doing more valuable tasks, and it’s certainly not enjoyable. 

Fortunately, E-Signatures alleviate much of that. 

What are E-Signatures?

According to current U.S. legislation and the Electronic Signature & Records Association (ESRA), E-Signatures are defined in technical terms as “an electronic sound, symbol or process that is attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”

In layman’s terms, an e-signature is a mark on an electronic document that captures the signer’s intent to approve or accept the contents of that document. E-Signatures are just like a physical signature, just digital. 

Do E-Signatures have the same weight as regular signatures?

E-Signatures have the same legal standing as a handwritten signature as long as it adheres to the requirements of the specific regulation it was created under. Some of these requirements might include:

  • The document signer can be uniquely identified and linked to the signature
  • The signer is the only party with access to the private key used to create the signature
  • The signature must be able to identify if the associated data has been tampered with, post-signing
  • If the data has been changed, the signature must be able to be voided

Fortunately, E-Signature software is designed to comply with these requirements and ensure that the documents being signed have the same legality of physical documents with pen and ink signatures. 

How can I utilize E-Signatures?

With DocStar Enterprise Content Management (ECM), you also get an embedded electronic signature capability developed using the DocuSign E-Signature API. You can access DocuSign from within DocStar ECM workflow tasks and ad hoc actions for all DocStar ECM document content, forms, and packages. 

This integration means that accessing and signing off on approvals and agreements is simple, quick, and secure. Need someone else’s signature? You can easily upload and send documents to others to complete anywhere at any time. No more waiting days for mailed documents or for them to print, sign, and scan, you can even send reminders and check on the status so you know exactly where the document stands. 

The combination of DocStar ECM plus DocuSign eSignature allows for a comprehensive contract management system and facilitates end-to-end business workflows. In scenarios where content validation with eSignature is required for documents, forms, and packages, this integration shines. 

Within DocStar ECM, DocuSign maintains a complete, automated history of every viewing, printing, sending, signing, or declining activity on a document. Once a document is signed, a certificate of completion is attached in DocStar ECM as proof of the signing. With DocuSign, you can be confident that your technology meets current regulations and statutes, such as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), the U.S. Federal ESIGN Act, and E.U. Directive 1999/93/EC, and others.

Let us help

Being DocStar implementation specialists, Mosaic can help implement this integration and help your organization complete advanced workflows to automate your entire end-to-end process. Give us a call at 800.387.7859 to set up your customized demo.   

Comparing DocStar to Free Storage Services

When organizations are considering migrating to a paperless office they often ask, “why is a paid ECM solution better than the free ones I see online?” It’s a valid question, after all, there are plenty of free file sharing and storing solutions available with enticing features (and of course, an enticing price tag).

In order to understand why free storage solutions may not be an effective content management strategy for your organization, it’s important to understand the differences between free storage and ECM.

But it’s not a viable long-term solution for your organization, and what you may save in upfront costs you may wind up losing down the road in operating expenses, often without even realizing it. So, why should your organization utilize a robust ECM solution vs. a free storage one?

You get what you pay for

DropBox, Google Drive, Box, and a wealth of other storage solutions draw you in with their “free” price tag and seemingly limitless possibilities. These cloud-based solutions are excellent for storing simple text-based documents and collaborating and sharing. Unfortunately, you have a limit to how much you can store, and with little sorting and organization beyond basic filing, keeping track of multiple documents can get overwhelming.

You may not be able to organize and track the information from these documents in the way your organization requires. If you’re utilizing a free service to manage your AP/AR documentation, you won’t be able to search the document content itself for specific information such as date, purchase order number, or vendor attached to it. So while yes, this solution will eliminate paper from your PO workflow, it won’t alleviate any of the frustration associated with managing hundreds, if not thousands, unique files.

All of these solutions require you to store your documents in their cloud, which could be a security concern for organizations that need to keep everything on-premise or in a more secure cloud environment. These solutions offer little security for sharing these files as well, so when sharing confidential information you may put your organization at risk.

At the end of the day, these online storage solutions offer just that, storage. While many organizations certainly benefit from these products and features for certain documents, it’s often not the best solution for sensitive financial, employee, or other important business documents.

Why ECM is different

Where these solutions fall short, DocStar thrives. ECM provides more than simply a digital filing cabinet, it provides a more efficient workflow for your documents. Features such as Smart OCR capture can pull information from your scanned and uploaded documents, allowing you to search by the document’s content vs. just its name. This means you can quickly find the exact document you need just by searching for a specific field.

A smarter ECM solution means you can store your records on your terms, either on-premise at your location or in a secure cloud environment. Having options means that you can determine what would work best for your organization’s needs rather than simply be forced one way or another based on what the servicer requires.

While an ECM solution may require upfront and maintenance costs, you’ll quickly find yourself saving more than you spent. With proper implementation and maintenance, your organization will save money, time, and work.

The next step

Once you fully understand the scope of your organization’s needs, having a conversation with our team of experts to understand further how DocStar ECM can help your organization across all departments.

Give us a call at 770.452.7373 to learn more.

DocStar Advanced Workflows Overview

Many organizations believe that just by storing their records in a document management system they’ve done enough to improve their processes. Savvy organizations know that the next step to further streamline their day-to-day processes is by utilizing advanced workflows. Like most effective processes, workflows are specific to the organization using them, and you may be unsure of how they work and the difference between Basic and Advanced Workflows.

What exactly is a workflow? It’s the sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. Some of these workflows are relatively straightforward, like making a chocolate cake (the tastiest type of workflow) while others may be far more complex, like building a skyscraper.

Within document management, some sample workflows might be requesting approval, PO requisition, or onboarding.

Workflows are incredibly important, they help provide transparency within key processes, and allow you to identify any potential red flags. Also, like a recipe, it moves along processes so you can get to a successful end result.

By creating workflows then using Reportworks to review them, you can ensure that the processes you work to build are successful.

What is the difference between Basic Workflow and Advanced Workflow?

The basic workflow is described as single steps with sequential actions. The easiest example of this is a recipe, each step leads to the next and even though you started with just a few ingredients, you wind up with a great finished (and hopefully delicious) product! In DocStar, standard workflow is included in the base product. Known as a 2-step workflow, it relies on if/then logic then stops. 2-Step workflows are full-featured but limit administrators to only one step with no branching.

Advanced Workflow is 3 step (or more!) workflow that relies on if/then/else logic, that’s when you can really streamline a process. It adds in things such as conditional logic and chaining of multiple workflows to allow complex processing and routing. This would be like if you were making a recipe and depending on what ingredients you added it would go to a different step, but end up even more delicious!

How can workflows be utilized?

While there’s a place for a custom workflow, whether it be Basic or Advanced, in just about any part of your business, our most common use cases are within accounting and finance.

An example of an Advanced Workflow would be in scenarios within Accounts Payable approvals where different approvers would be notified based on the department making the request. Utilizing branch conditions within Advanced Workflow means the right approvals go to the right people at the right time. Additionally, multi-step advanced workflow can be seen in situations where a workflow needs to search and compare a value on an invoice (such as PO number) to an existing PO in Docstar with a matching value and determine if the total amount of the invoice matches the total amount of the PO. If the totals don’t match, you can easily be notified and work towards getting that rectified quickly, having spent little-to-no manual work on catching the error.

Additional ways advanced workflow can vastly improve your document management process include multi-level approval routing exception reports, matching, mathematical equations to capture options like OCR, barcode, separation, and image enhancement. But with advanced workflow, the possibilities are practically endless.

How Mosaic fits in

As an automation solution provider, we typically see clients who start out using ECM for just record storage then progress into advanced workflows and added products to improve their efficiency. After implementing advanced workflows, they quickly see a transformation in how they process key documents. Mosaic Paperless Solutions has knowledge in creating custom workflows for clients, and we’d love to show you how your organization could directly benefit from them.

Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859 to learn more.

Comparing Sharepoint to an ECM

Often one of the biggest questions we get from potential and current customers is what’s the difference between Microsoft Sharepoint and an ECM? On the surface, the two seem similar, and their overlapping features may make deciding between the two of them a difficult task.

While there is some overlap in the features of the two applications, their core functionality, and benefit to your business, is very different. Fortunately, you don’t have to decipher the differences on your own. We’ve put together some of the key features and will compare and contrast the two platforms.

To put it simply, companies who are looking to improve processes, reduce the usage of paper, and perform enhanced imaging functions – SharePoint is not the correct solution for you. However, if you’re simply wanting a collaborative site, where people can share ideas, notes and some electronic documents in their native format, SharePoint may be a good fit.

Microsoft SharePoint positions itself as an all-in-one solution for team sharing and content templates for any business scenario, and for some organizations, it can be effective. SharePoint has been growing consistently at 25% annually in the past 17 years it’s been on the market. It boasts solutions such as team file sharing, customization options, approval processes, and other transformative features. At a relatively low cost, it’s enticing for many organizations who are in need of a way to collaborate, host and approve files, and develop a workflow within their business processes. Unfortunately, many organizations realize quickly that SharePoint is technologically intensive, and if they’re switching from paper-based to SharePoint, their employee’s learning curve can be incredibly frustrating. So, why should your organization use an ECM solution instead of SharePoint?

One of SharePoint’s downfalls is that it’s promoted as a turnkey solution for all types of organizations. Not only is it difficult to implement, but the solutions themselves are not industry specific. A legal team is using the same tools as a manufacturer, and while they may certainly need similar solutions, it’s unlikely that SharePoint’s functionality can work perfectly for both of them without intensive customization. That customization is nearly impossible for someone without an IT background, and can quickly become costly to implement.

There are also security concerns. There are no feature access permissions and for IT professionals configuring the system it can be a technical nightmare. While yes, it’s more protected than Google Drive or DropBox, it still has gaps in security which can be detrimental if your organization hosts sensitive information. An ECM system has security features in place from the first day of use to ensure information will not be vulnerable when sharing it with employees, customers, or vendors. By providing granular permission settings, a secure central repository, compliant audit trails, redaction and annotation support, redundant backup using secure 2056 bit encryption, and single sign, you can feel confident about hosting your information within your ECM solution.

Many users believe that SharePoint is free or is included with their Microsoft 360 subscription. While true to an extent (it does come free via download or with Windows Server software operating systems), the main interfacing component for end users is a paid service. The paid features start at $5/month per user but that doesn’t include any customization or support. SharePoint can quickly get expensive, and oftentimes the clear cost is never laid out. While on paper, a more sophisticated ECM solution may seem like a larger investment, what you save in time and frustration, coupled with a clear understanding of costs from the beginning, will be well worth it.

Organizations also aim to use Sharepoint to create custom web forms, which can prove to be difficult and time-consuming. Moreover, these forms may lack specific features, only allowing for basic fields and attachments. These forms are fine for simple information-gathering, but organizations looking to create forms for specific HR processes will find these forms won’t fit their needs in the long-term.

One of the main reasons organizations choose SharePoint is because of its association with its parent company, Microsoft. Since many organizations already use Microsoft Dynamics, Dynamics NAV, GP, or SQL Server, it seems like a natural fit to use SharePoint. What many of them don’t realize is that more robust ECM solutions also integrate just as well, if not better, with their existing ERP, HRIS, ArcGIS and other business applications, allowing you to import your documents and data in one step while storing them in the central repository.

When given the choice between SharePoint and an ECM solution, it may seem like SharePoint is the better option, simply because of its cost and functionality. But when you closely examine SharePoint and compare it to an ECM, it doesn’t even come close to the benefits an ECM will provide.

Want to learn more about an ECM solution that will work for your organization? Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859.

Understanding the Legality of Scanned Documents

Many organizations who are considering a document management solution aren’t entirely sure if the documents they scan and store in their ECM are going to be legally admissible or compliant. Oftentimes, rather than seek out a more effective storage solution, they let piles of paperwork build up by holding on to documents longer than necessary.

Typically physically storing important records in filing cabinets or closets puts them more at risk for being stolen, destroyed, or lost than digital record keeping.

But before moving all your records into digital storage, it’s important to understand the legalities of the process. What are the rules of records management, and most importantly, are scanned documents legally accepted?

What are the laws?

In the United States, there are two laws that clearly establish if digitally scanned documents managed on an ECM are admissible in court:

1. The Uniform Photographic Copies of Business and Public Records as Evidence Act (UPA) (US 1128‐0020‐00) ‐ Enacted by almost all states, it specifies that reproductions of records have the same legal significance as the original and may be used in place of the original for all purposes including evidence.

What does this mean? In short, it means that copies, microfilm, and other reproductions, documents are the same as physical documents and are just as legally valid.

2. The Uniform Rules of Evidence (US 128‐0060‐00 to 0170‐00) ‐ the other major uniform law, “The Uniform Rules of Evidence“, has been adopted by the United States federal courts and 34 states. The Rules of Evidence allow a duplicate to be admissible in evidence “to the same extent as an original” and defines a duplicate as a counterpart produced by any technique “which accurately reproduces the original.”

What does this mean? It means that as long as your digital duplicates are the same as the original (which with the proper processes and procedures they would be), you can utilize them in U.S. Federal Courts and the majority of state courts.

Both laws state that duplicate records may be admitted into evidence if they accurately reproduce the original. Because document imaging technology is a duplication technology similar to physical reproduction methods such as photocopies, microfilm, and facsimile, digitally stored documents fit within these regulations.

What classifies as a reproduction?

The most widely‐used reproduction techniques, including photocopy, microfilm, facsimile, and document imaging all exhibit the same characteristics:

Image Capture

A photographic, scanning, or another process that identifies and captures the image of the original document.

Image Manipulation

A photographic, electronic, photostatic, or another process that transforms the captured image into a format for storing and reproducing the image.

Visible Reproduction

A photographic, photostatic, printing, or another process that converts the manipulated image into visible form. A document imaging system, for example, utilizes an electronic scanner for image recognition, computer software, memory and optical disk storage for image manipulation, and graphic terminals and laser printers to make the image visible.

A document imaging system is similar to other reproduction technologies, it utilizes an electronic scanner for image recognition; computer software, memory and optical disk storage for image manipulation, and graphic terminals and laser printers to make the image visible.

As long as it’s correctly done, courts have upheld that imaging and scanning are just as legally binding as paper documents.

Regardless of how you store your documents, audit trails are recommended in order to prove that a transaction was properly processed by the organization. With an audit trail, you can instantly know every time an electronic document has been viewed or manipulated. They help ensure document integrity and prove that the image is a true representation of the original ‐ reducing exposure to risk. Mosaic’s solutions allow for the easy creation of audit trails and

In Conclusion

In the United States, records made from a document imaging system will be admissible in evidence to the same extent as the original record, as long as the document imaging records accurately reproduce the original. If that standard has been met, an organization can feel secure in destroying the original records and relying on digital records as evidence.

Similarly, records required by government agencies can be maintained in document imaging systems. Whenever the government agency requests information, the organization would prepare duplicates from the document imaging system. The government agency may require that original records be kept or that your document imaging system meet certain standards.

Government agencies in the United States may also use document imaging systems to manage and retrieve information. Original short‐term paper records could be destroyed after the images have accurately been preserved in a document imaging system. Since document imaging records are not archival, long‐term (retention over 10 years) or permanent records must generally be maintained in either paper or archival microfilm form. It is not expected that state and federal archives will permit the destruction of long‐term paper records after scanning into a document imaging system, even when document imaging are certified for archival purposes.

Understanding DocStar Reportworks

Day-to-day, many of your workflows stay relatively consistent. While they may seem like they’re working “well enough,” it’s possible there are gaps you may be missing.

How does an organization identify those gaps and fix them? The first step is gaining a deeper understanding of your current workflow.

This first step is crucial in ensuring that your workflows are working for your organization. By reviewing how effective your workflow is you can quickly identify what’s working and what’s not, and then take the steps necessary to fix it.

This task may sound daunting, but if you’re already utilizing DocStar to help manage your record storage and other processes, you already have the tools required to effectively visualize your workflows.

With ReportWorks you can utilize an interactive display designed to make visualizing bottlenecks in your operations easier. It allows you to quickly analyze system-wide metrics to get an overview of how your workflows are doing as a whole.

ReportWorks empowers you to address any issues it discovers. And just like your DocStar ECM, it integrates seamlessly with other common business applications and technologies, complementing your existing approach rather than just complicating it.

Where can you use ReportWorks?

Accounts Payable:

See the approval status of any invoice, if they’re waiting on approval, and who needs to approve it. This can help speed up your current AP process and help your organization make payments more efficiently.

DOT Records:

Many organizations rely on trucks, construction equipment, or other vehicles to keep your business running daily. With ReportWorks you can quickly review what needs servicing or replacement, meaning you won’t be surprised by any repairs.

Human Resources:

Managing your employees’ certificates, licensing, medical cards, and other crucial items can be a difficult and time-consuming process. With ReportWorks you can be notified when these key documents are up for renewal. Receive automatic updates via email when employees are due for a review.

Contract Management:

Contracts are another type of document that when not managed actively can quickly become a much bigger problem. In ReportWorks you can quickly see any contracts that are about to expire so you can take action before it becomes an issue.

Audit Reports:

Compliance is important for any organization, and audit reporting is a key part of that. Audit reporting in ReportWorks allows you to see what users or groups are active and access rights to specific levels in your security classes.

Document Level Auditing:

Feel confident in your compliance by gaining an overview of what documents, content types, and workflows are assigned to specific security classes.


We know not all organizations are the same, so it’s important to allow for the ability to build custom reports from searchable parameters on any document or metadata stored within the DocStar system.

Automatic Emailing:

Another feature of ReportWorks is the ability to have your report automatically emailed to anyone on a custom schedule (ie. hourly, daily, monthly) in a custom format (ie. PDF, Excel, or Word).

Once your workflow gaps are identified, utilizing DocStar ReportWorks for the processes mentioned (and countless others) can help fill those gaps and ensure that your organization continues to succeed.

ReportWorks can help benefit your automation process, and once you become a pro you can utilize it across your organization. Need help learning ReportWorks? Call  1-800-387-7859 to schedule training.