Monthly Archives: March 2008

My friends laughed at me when they heard I was being audited!

Several years ago, I got a letter that my business was going to be audited.  When I shared my news with several of my friends that we business owners also, they laugh and predicted that auditors would find all kinds of things that would cost me additional taxes and fines.  To say the least, I was worried even more after talking to them.

 

Well, when the day the audit was to begin, it was one on those days when you just knew nothing was going to go right.  It had snowed the night before, and then the wind had come up.  So, traffic was miserable.  And, the wind chill and traffic delays had put everyone in a bad mood, including the person who showed up at my office two hours late to start the audit.

 

She sat down and started by telling me for a company my size this would be a two or three day process and she would start out by looking at copies of our invoices for the past 3 years.   Well, when I told her that I got rid of all my paper invoices after I had scanned them into my Laserfiche document imaging system and that we would have to look them up on-line.  Now, that put her even in a worse mood.  She said in her twenty years of being an auditor for the state, she had never hear of such a foolish thing, everyone know you need to keep paper copies of all your important paperwork.   I assured her that I would assist her and that she had nothing to worry about.

 

I don’t think she was convinced.  So, we started the process, 1st she asked for a list of AR and AP for a certain period and she watched and with in a few seconds I had searched Laserfiche and had the info on the screen but she was not satisfied because she didn’t have a piece of paper with the information on.  I hit the print button and quickly got the reports into her hands.  Then she demanded that I show her a certain item that was purchased and the proof that it was sold to a customer.  Well, for me it was a simple search and I had the information in seconds, she was amazed but not happy until she had piece of paper so I happily printed it for her.

 

Then I think it became a game, she asked me for the all kinds of things.  One in particular she picked a serial number of a computer we purchased and wanted to know who it was sold to, well, that was no problem for me I just did a quick full text search on the serial number and on my screen was all the documents related to that serial number, I was able to show not just the one document she was looking for, but every document with that serial number on, such as the packing slip, bill from vendor, work order to install, invoice billing the client, and even service orders that we had worked on that item.

 

After a few hours of this and the game was over.  She was convinced and said that in 20 years of auditing she had never experienced anything like this. 

 

Later, my friends hit me up hoping for a nice juicy story of how miserable the auditor had made my life.  They were shocked and maybe a little sadden when I told them that it was a really great experience and it over before I knew it.  Not long after that some of those friends became customers and now use the Laserfiche document imaging system I sold them and can’t wait for an auditor to show up at their door step, because they are prepared to play the game.

 

If this sounds like something you are interested in, just let me know I would be happy to give you a free demo of Laserfiche document imaging and document management software.

Larry Phelps

Solbrekk Inc

612-382-4069

larry.phelps@solbrekk.com

  

Stop being efficient!

Recently, I met with a business manager who was proudly telling me how efficient his employees were, as he was showing me his immaculate paper filing system.  He was right.  His employees put a lot of effort into making sure all their paperwork was neatly filed and organized.  Everything had its place and everything was in its place.  But one thing that occurred to me was that in the process of being efficient, I think he lost the reason they had all this paperwork to begin with.  It seemed that the paperwork was more important than what it represented:  customers and customers’ needs.

How much better off would the company be if they used technology to minimize the time needed to handle the paperwork and spent that time contacting and servicing their clients?

Author Michael E. Gerber, in the introduction of the E-Myth Revisited, says:  “The problem is not that businesses in this country don’t work; the problem is that they’re working on the wrong work.”

What is the difference between being efficient and being effective?  Which would you rather be?

Efficient can be defined as doing things well.

Effective is doing the right things.

My advice to the business manager is use technology, such as Laserfiche Document Management software, to help his organization become more efficient; then his employees will have more time to be effective.

Here are a couple of good articles if you would like to study this subject in more depth:

http://expandglobal.com/journal/sp99f.PDF

http://www.rosencoaching.com/information/dist_2.php?id=2