Let me take you back to a time when double entry in a software system was the norm. This may be stirring up old nightmares for some of you, while others may be thinking, “take me back? This is how we’re doing it now!” If you're in the latter group, don't worry, below I will be explaining ways to eliminate the double entry headache.
Picture a project manager or controller of a major company without a fully-integrated business management system. It may be perfectly normal for these folks to look around the office and see a stack of paperwork (reports, project updates, time sheets, invoices, compliance documents and more), all of which need to be input accordingly. Now imagine getting halfway through and realizing you’ve entered the data wrong in multiple systems! Houston we now have a double entry problem!
Data entry made as easy as 1, 2, 3
Here’s a three-step approach to eliminating the double entry pitfall in your work place:
- Avoid the overuse of spreadsheets: Although they are not dead, standalone spreadsheets are quickly becoming obsolete thanks to advancements in business management software. Spreadsheets can be unreliable and time consuming. Have you ever had to deal with uploading an untidy spreadsheet? If so, did it lead to incorrect data? Today’s software systems feature a range of entry formats—including spreadsheet-style inputting—that allow data to flow smoothly throughout the software. Plus, applications for mobile devices allow for remote entry straight from the jobsite. Enter the data one time, wherever you are, and it populates and informs all of your business management and project management functions via intuitive workflows or automated processes that integrated software systems provide.
- Do Business in the Cloud: Making the switch to fully cloud-based software allows users to access their data virtually anywhere in the world—as long as internet connectivity is available. Why is this topic important to prevent double entry? With access to the cloud, employees can enter data wherever they are via an in-office workstation, smart phone, tablet or laptop in the field. Data is entered one time to populate and inform business and project management decisions throughout the company in real time. There is no need to wait until back in the office to manually reenter data from multiple sources. This saves a significant amount of time and lets folks focus on other areas of work.
- Invest in a single, fully integrated ERP solution: Instead of running multiple software systems, look for a complete ERP solution that seamlessly integrates data so that everyone is working from the same set of information—at all times. Having a fully integrated ERP allows you to store data in one central location. This streamlines the business process for everyone in your company and allows projects to continue unabated. The best ERP systems seamlessly integrate accounting, project management, equipment management, materials, inventory, human resources and payroll, document management, service management and more. The amount of time saved from having to access independent software systems and reenter or rework data is beyond significant—while reducing conflicts and errors.
In the long run, data can only be as precise as the person entering it. Whether you’re sticking with spreadsheets, tangling with multiple software systems or realizing the relief of cloud-based ERP software, companies must also practice the skill of efficiently entering data so that it’s right—and informative—the first time.
What steps has your company taken to eliminate double data entry?