6 Consulting Approaches for Executive Development – Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Behavior Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Neurolinguistic Programmings, Systemic Therapy.
Coaching as Instrument of Executive Development
It is useful for the executives undergoing a coaching to know and to understand the basic consulting approaches in order to be able to assess these approaches adequately. Here are 6 basic consulting approaches which are quite common:
Coaches with a psychotherapeutic education normally work simultaneously in their own psychotherapeutic practice. For an enterprise, it may be useful to have in their coaching pool a mixture of rather business-oriented coaches as well as a certain number of coaches who are in a position to deal with deeper and more complex subjects, if need be.
Honest coaches will not take advantage of the coaching to generate own therapy sessions following the coaching. While psychotherapy often is used as a generic term for all therapeutic methods, we will use it here only in a more limited sense. We are talking about psychoanalytic (developed by Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung or Alfred Adler) and behavior therapeutic (developed from Behaviorism after Edward Thorndike, J. B. Watson, and B. F. Skinner) methods.
Contrary to – or additional to – methods that are meant to enhance personal development, the concern and the target of psychotherapy are to reach recovery for patients in their mental or physical suffering or at least to arrive at some relief. The causes and the connections the patient will learn about during his therapy should help giving a push to his own personal development and possibly changing his own personality structure.
Analytically oriented psychotherapy also focuses on the confrontation with the patient’s unconscious for the explanation of the causes of behavior and suffering.
Without any doubt, personal life problems and the behaviour within the working environment have a strong connection. However, it cannot be the task of an enterprise or the task of a coaching measure, organized and paid by the employer, to treat principal life problems of their executives. This would definitely go beyond the scope of enterprise activities as regards cost and time. Moreover, apart from very few serious cases, behaviour in work and behaviour in private life can very well be treated separately and successfully.
Especially as regards the use of coaches with psychotherapeutic approach, the responsible persons will have to consider very carefully in how far the solution of personal problems is necessary and reasonable for a successful change of professional behavior.
Unlike behaviour therapy which attempts to change behaviour by training, the purpose of psychoanalysis is to uncover the mostly unconscious causes and to make the patient understand the connections behind his suffering. As causality research sometimes goes very far into the past, psychoanalysis is a past-oriented method which quite frequently deals with (early) childhood experiences.
Psychoanalysis may take very much time and be long-drawn-out, up to several hundred sessions. In the classical psychoanalysis after Freud, the patient lies on a sofa and talks without any censorship and freely associating about everything in his mind. The analyst, sitting behind him, listens and interprets to the patient the findings having come up during the session.
A special effort will be made by the analyst to find out the projections of emotional patterns of the patient which will come up in the relationship between patient and analyst. He has to interpret their importance and make them accessible for change. Furthermore, the analysis of dreams which may be an alternative access to the unconscious of the patient, will be a subject during the analytical treatment.
3. Behavior Therapy
In the 1950s, in the USA, behaviourism – based especially on experimentally developed learning theories – came up as a forerunner of the subsequent behavior therapy. As a result of their dissatisfaction with the poor effectiveness of depth psychological methods, the behavior therapists greatly stress the importance of empirical verification of their methods. Here it is vital to acquire an exact behavior analysis to define the actual determinants of the behavior.
Contrary to the prevalent credo in psychoanalysis, for the achievement of change in behavior it is not considered as absolutely necessary to find out the causes of the problems. This view has especially proven successful when dealing with compulsive behaviour or with phobia, and in certain cases it results in a shorter therapy duration. Unlike in psychoanalysis, the focus here is on learning resp. forgetting certain behaviour patterns without denying for example genetic factors. The change of the problematic behavior has priority, not its explanation.
Behavior therapy works with methods that, for example, are based on the theory of classic conditioning and attempts to establish a counter conditioning for instance by exposition. These methods are often applied in cases of phobia, panic or obsessive disorders.
The patient exposes himself to the problematic stimuli, at first only in his imagination then in reality in a gradual way, hereby reaching systematically a desensitization.
Psychoanalysts accused behavior therapy of essentially only reducing or eliminating the symptoms instead of removing the cause of disorders, and that this could lead to the development of new symptoms (with the same cause), the so-called symptom shifting.
More criticism came and is still coming from representatives of other directions like humanist psychology or gestalt therapy. They complain about the coupling to a behavioral idea of man that sees man strongly dominated by his environment as stimulus-reaction system.
4. Transactional Analysis
Transactional analysis was founded by the Canadian psychiatrist Eric Berne (1910-1970) in order to analyse communication structures. Three states of the ego are to be distinguished; each of them being formed in childhood: 1) parent, 2) adult, and 3) child. The parent ego represents feelings, thoughts and actions as conveyed by the parents as former authorities. They have been taken over by a person into his own parent ego. The parent ego is also called “exteropsyche” by Berne.
The adult ego, also called “neopsyche,” focuses on one’s own conscious decisions, while the child ego, also called “archeopsyche” refers to experiences and behaviour in childhood.
In the transactional analysis, existing communication patterns are being led back to these ego functions in order to make transparent the interactions in a first step and then subsequently offer possibilities of dissolving the disorder. In this way the expression of the parents ego may be considerate or critical, that of the grown-up ego appropriate and reasonable and that of the child ego well-adapted or rebellious.
The transactional analysis makes a distinction between parallel and cross over transactions. A parallel transaction happens within the same ego state that was originally addressed, whereas in a cross over transaction, the answer comes from a partner in another than the addressed ego state.
Transactional analysis furthermore acknowledges the hidden transaction, meaning that under an open message an additional message (mostly non-verbal) is transported. Although parallel transactions do not cause disturbances and may principally be continued as a “game,” the target remains to conduct parallel communication in mutual respect and within the adult ego state.
A collaborator of Eric Berne, Thomas Harris, later called this relationship an approach of “I am okay – you are okay,” an expression which later on, as a shortened motto for the transactional analysis, became rather popular and was taken over by other consulting approaches like neurolinguistic programming (NLP) or theme centralized interaction (TCI).
5. Neurolinguistic Programmings
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) was founded by the psychologist Richard Bandler and the linguist John Grinder. Bandler and Grinder started by examining therapy approaches by Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy), Virginia Satir (Family Therapy) and Milton Erickson (Hypnotherapy) and combined the findings with the ideas from linguistics as well as the analysis of the behavior patterns of outstanding personalities in the field of entrepreneurship, artistry or science.
Accordingly, NLP is not based on a defined scientific theory, but may be understood as a collection of methods aiming at permanent further development (so-called “NLP formats”).
A few typical instruments in NLP are “pacing” and “leading”. Pacing reflects behaviour patters of the counterpart (for example intonation, posture, etc.). Leading wants to give signals aiming at having the counterpart follow on and join in. The target is not manipulation (and “programming” is not to be understood manipulatively), but the establishment of emotional contacts.
Other typical methods in NLP are autosuggestion, the so-called “anchoring” (which corresponds to the classic Conditioning) as well as “re-framing”.
In autosuggestion, similar as in autogenic training, positive aspects are repeatedly internalized by affirmative statements and thus get more and more reinforced as time goes by.
Anchoring means to tie new emotional connotations or to use existing ones in order to associate specific stimuli and situations with new sensuous perceptions. Anchoring is based on the theory of the classic conditioning as formulated by the physiologist and physician Iwan Petrowitsch Pawlow (1849-1936).
In Pawlow’s experiment, the offer of food as unconditional stimulus is followed by flow of saliva as unconditional reaction. The sound of a bell as neutral stimulus is followed by nothing, as expected. However, if the sound of the bell repeatedly appears in a narrow timely connection with the offer of food, the sound alone will finally bring about the dogs’ salivation. This phenomenon was called “conditioning” by Pawlow.
The method of anchoring in NLP is supposed to dissolve the originally negative conditioning and tie it to new positive sensations.
In reframing, coming from the family therapy of Virginia Satis, an event is being given a new interpretation. It gets a new frame and a new meaning (for example, is a glass considered half full or half empty?).
The theory of the so-called “autonomous eyes’ movements” in NLP means that thoughts may be deduced from the movement of the eyes. A scientifically proven effect, however, has not been confirmed.
The combination of NLP with esoteric contents as pursued by some services and training institutions has contributed to its reputation as a pseudoscience.
6. Systemic Therapy
Since the 1960s different therapeutic institutions have been working on concepts that increasingly also include the systems (family, environment, etc.) outside the client (as symptom bearers of the problem). Family therapy assumes that symptoms only can be understood within the context of all members of a family and that a change can only be brought about within this total context.
Systemic therapy and counselling has developed out of this systemic family therapy and is based – besides different family therapeutic schools – on the system theory which, in great variety, has been formulated interdisciplinarily, among others by concepts from biologists, physicists and philosophers.
Systemic counselling is also called solution-oriented counselling because, contrary to for example psychoanalysis, it does not focus on the past – the origin and development of the problem – but puts special emphasis on a future-oriented solution. This is because the resources to solve a problem are seen as different as those who were bringing it to life.
Systemic counselling, unlike psychoanalysis, is a short-time measure and therefore it is appreciated by enterprises for its efficiency and cost saving.
The systemic counsellor will avoid to formulate solutions or even interpretations for the coachee. He sees the client as the expert who will find the solution on his own. The problem is solved where it was made, in the client system.
One of the most important methods of systemic counselling is circular questioning, where environmental perspectives are being included resp. hypotheses on the point of view of other persons concerned are being outlined by the client himself. The purpose is to make the coachee learn to get involved in a change of perspective within the system and in this way to understand the emotions of the other persons around him.
Another typical approach in systemic counselling is the so-called miracle question: the client imagines that a miracle happens and, in everyday life, he discovers that his problem has disappeared. What exactly would have changed? An analysis of such circumstances would be the basis for further procedure of the client, resp. his further point of view on the problem.
Other methods may be for example scale questions that illustrate differences and progresses, or the paradoxical intervention where the therapist paradoxically recommends exactly the problematic behaviour in question thus provoking a reactance in the client and giving a signal for active change in behavior.
The American therapist Virginia Satir is known as an essential founder of systemic therapy and counselling. Among others, her approaches to family sculpture and family reconstruction were the basis for subsequent developments like family setting or the reflecting team (developed by the Norwegian social psychiatrist Tom Andersen), where the client, by changing his place with the therapist, gets a reflection of the therapy. The purpose is to critically question the procedure and the interventions of the therapist by installing an alternate observing system.
Further developments of the systemic counselling were achieved for example by Insa Sparrer and Matthias Varga von Kibéd in form of the “therapy without audible answers”. Here, the therapist asks solution-focused questions and the client shows understanding through nodding that he has answered the question to himself. In this way, the therapist accompanies the client by proposing solutions without ever coming to know the actual problem.
Especially the systemic organization counselling which understands problems occurring in enterprises as problems of complex social systems that cannot be considered separately, has established itself successfully in the field of organizational development and change management. Quite a few coaches are active in this field and enterprises should take care that individual coachings for executives are not misused to generate further organization development projects.
The valuable contributor of the aboved writing: Cyrus Achouri
6 Billing Best Practices for Accounting Department. How to Create a More Efficient Billing Operation.
The following best practices can be used to create a more efficient billing operation.
The best practices fall into three main categories. One group covers the need for more accurate information that is used to create an invoice. These items focus on the stream of information going from the shipping department to the invoicing staff, with a particular emphasis on rooting out any missing or incorrect information.
Avoid missed billings
Remove unnecessary information from invoices
Mark envelopes with “Address Correction Requested”
Do early billing of recurring invoices
Have the sales staff review contact information for recurring invoices
Review billed hours early
Issue electronic invoices
Issue single, summarized invoice each period
Print separate invoices for each line item
The next group of best practices covers the efficiency of the invoicing operation itself, eliminating month-end statements and using a smaller number of multipart invoice forms.
Invoice Error Checking
Enhance the invoice layout
Add receipt signature to invoice
Automatically check errors during invoice data entry
Have delivery person create the invoice
Computerize the shipping log
Track exceptions between the shipping log and invoice register
The final group focuses on changing the method of invoice delivery to the customer, such as using electronic delivery or allowing the delivery person to create the invoice at the point of delivery.
Eliminate month-end statements
Reduce number of parts in multipart invoices
When taken as a whole, these best practices result in an invoicing operation that is remarkably error free, issues invoices as soon as products are shipped, and ensures that customers receive invoices almost at once.
1. Avoid Missed Billings
One of the most serious billing problems is when shipments are made or services delivered, and no billing is issued at all. For a variety of reasons, there are holes in the sales process that allow documentation of sales to never reach the billing department. Depending on the number of times this happens, the amount of lost profits can be quite large. Here are some techniques for minimizing missed billings:
- Orders not entered through standard system. The sales staff sometimes walks a customer order around the order entry department and straight to the warehouse, just to ensure that a delivery takes place as soon as possible (or worse, they hand-carry it to the customer, so there is also no shipping record). When this happens, there is no record of a customer order in the computer system, so there is no indicator of an unbilled order that would normally flag some form of investigation by the accounting manager. The only solution is to require everyone at every step of the order fulfillment process to force anyone circumventing the system to return to the order entry department, where the order will be properly entered into the system.
- Billable hours changed after the fact. Employees have a habit of going back into the timekeeping system and altering their billable hours after the billing period has closed. This problem can be avoided entirely by locking down access to timekeeping periods in the previous month, so that no changes can be made.
- Late timesheet entry. Begin reminding the staff starting on Monday to ensure that they have entered their hours in the timekeeping system for the preceding week. Each reminder is escalated, first to the human resources manager, then to the local supervisor, and then to the company president. This approach is far better than waiting until month-end to remind people, because they tend to forget what they did if too much time has passed.
- Automated reminders. Have the timekeeping system automatically send email reminders to anyone whose timesheet has not yet been entered.
- Shipping notices stuck together. This one sounds trivial, but have you ever seen glue or gum sticking multiple shipping notices together? Alternatively, they may be mistakenly clipped or stapled together, so the shipping notices on the bottom of the stack are never seen by the billing staff, and so are never billed. To avoid this, consider having a second billing clerk skim through the daily batch of shipping notices from the shipping dock, and compare them to the daily invoice run to see if any shipping notices were missed by the first billing clerk.
- Formalize sample shipment authorizations. Most shipping logs contain entries for the shipment of free samples, which are usually authorized by the marketing department. If the accounting staff is regularly reviewing the shipping log to ensure that all shipments are billed, these special deliveries require a considerable amount of investigation to verify. To reduce the work level, require the marketing department to issue a sales order through the normal order-entry system for all free deliveries, so the accounting staff can more easily trace the authorizing documentation.
- What about customer on-site pickups?. The standard system for invoicing assumes that the shipping dock sends a shipping notice to the billing staff, which triggers an invoice. But what if the customer shows up to take delivery? This is easy enough for a retail establishment, but can cause fits for a company whose systems are designed for freight deliveries to customers. If the solution is manual handling of each case, then the odds of not billing a customer pickup are extremely high. The solution is to direct customers making their own pickups to the shipping dock so that the shipping personnel (who are the most experienced in documenting shipments) will handle the “delivery” to the customer and can be relied on to fill out the usual paperwork and forward it to the billing staff in the normal manner.
2. Issue Electronic Invoices
The traditional invoicing process is extraordinarily wasteful in terms of the effort and time that goes into creating and issuing an invoice. It must be created and inserted into an invoice-printing batch, which, in turn, requires the use of a customized invoice with prepositioned fields and logos, plus a review of the printed invoices, stuffing into envelopes, affixing postage, and mailing. Even then, there is a risk that the invoice will be lost in the mail, either due to a problem at the post office or because the recipient’s address has changed. Further, there are delays at the receiving company, while the mailroom sorts through the mail and delivers it internally (sometimes to the wrong person).
The best solution is to “push” electronic invoices to customers by e-mail. This requires the collection of an e-mail address from each customer at the time an order is taken (or verification of an existing one when a reorder occurs). This address is then attached to an electronic invoice form that is generated, instead of a paper-based invoice, and issued to the customer over the Internet. It is then available to the customer a few moments later, allowing for immediate payment (possibly) or at least a quick perusal of the invoice and a return of information to the company regarding any problems discovered by the customer. This approach greatly reduces the time required to get invoicing information to the customer.
There are several problems with Internet invoicing to be aware of. First, some customers change their e-mail addresses with some regularity, so there is a chance that invoices will be sent to an old address, and therefore never accessed. Also, there is some risk that customers will accidentally erase an incoming electronic invoice without reviewing it. Furthermore, this approach leaves no paper record of the invoice at the company, just a computer record; this is a problem for those organizations where the collections effort is primarily based on paper files, rather than ready access to the accounting database.
Some of the problems with e-mailed invoices can be addressed through the careful analysis of which customers reliably pay their invoices by this means and (more importantly) which do not. If there is a consistent problem with payment by some customers, they can be flagged in the accounting database and a traditional paper-based invoice can be created for them. Alternatively, the same invoices can be continually reissued every week or two by e-mail. This is a zero-cost option, since there are no mailing or printing costs. When using this approach, the entire file of unpaid invoices can be reissued electronically to customers. However, to avoid multiple payments for the same invoices, it may be useful to alter the format of these secondary issuances so that they are clearly labeled as reminder invoices. An alternative format is to cluster all unpaid invoices for each customer into an electronic statement of unpaid invoices, which can be issued at regular intervals.
A variation on the use of electronic invoices through the Internet is the use of a consolidator. This is an entity that maintains a web site that allows a company’s customers to access not only their billings, but those of their other suppliers, too. This approach has the distinct advantage of allowing customers to pay a number of different bills at the same time, without switching to a number of different web sites in order to do so.
A company that wishes to have its invoices posted on a consolidator web site must create a data file that reformats the invoice information into the format needed by the consolidator, and then send this file over the Internet to the consolidator, which then posts the information. Customers then access their invoices in a summary format, which are clustered together for all of their suppliers, and either accept or reject them for payment; if there is a problem, customers can access greater levels of detail for each invoice, and usually access an e-mail account that will be sent to the company’s customer service department.
The cost of this service varies considerably by consolidator, with some charging the customer, some the company, and some charging both. It is best to refer to the fee schedule of each one to determine the precise amounts. The fees charged to a company are not excessive, and should not get in the way of adopting this option.
The main problem with using a consolidator is that not all customers will want to use the one to which the company prefers to send its invoicing information, since they may have already set up payment plans with many of their other suppliers through different consolidators. Accordingly, a company may find itself issuing invoice files to a large number of consolidators, which presents additional work for the person reformatting the invoice file.
3. Automatically Check Errors during Invoice Data Entry
Errors during the data-entry phase of creating an invoice can result in a variety of downstream problems. For example, an incorrect billing address on an invoice means that the customer will never receive it, which means that the collections staff must send a new invoice copy. Also, if the quantity, product description, or price is entered incorrectly, the customer may have a good reason for not paying the bill. If this happens, the collections staff will have to get involved to work out the reason for nonpayment and negotiate extra payments (if possible) by customers. All of these problems are exceptions and require very large amounts of time to research and fix.
A useful best practice is to prevent as many data-entry problems in advance as possible by using computerized data-checking methods. For example, a field for zip codes can accept only five-digit or nine-digit numbers, which prevents the entry of numbers of an unusual length. The field can also be tied to a file of all cities and states so that entering a zip code automatically fills in the city and state fields. Also, prices of unusual length can be automatically rejected, or prices can be automatically called up from a file that is linked to a product number. Similarly, product descriptions can be automatically entered if the product number is entered. An example of a “smart” data-entry system is one that flags part numbers that are being entered for an existing customer for the first time. The computer can check the part number entered against a file of items previously ordered by a customer and see if there is a chance that the part being ordered might not be the correct one. There can also be required fields that must have a valid entry or else the invoice cannot be processed; a good example is the customer purchase order number field, which is required by many customers, or else they will not pay the invoice. By including these automatic error-checking and expert systems into the data-entry software, it is possible to reduce the number of data-entry errors.
The main problem with creating automatic error-checking is that it can be a significant programming project. There may be a dozen different error-checking protocols linked to the invoice data-entry screen, and each one is a separate programming project. Also, if a company purchased its software from a third party, it is common for the company to periodically install software updates issued by the supplier, which would wipe out any programming changes made in the interim. Accordingly, it is best to apply these error-checking routines only to custom-programmed accounting systems. An alternative is to use error checking as a criterion for the purchase of new packaged software, if a company is in the market for a new accounting system. In either of these cases, having automatic error checking is a worthy addition to an accounting system.
4. Computerize the Shipping Log
For a company with no computer linkage to the shipping dock, the typical sequence of events leading up to the creation of an invoice is that copies of the packing slip and the initial customer order form are manually delivered to the accounting department from the shipping dock; then the accounting staff uses this information to create an invoice. Unfortunately, this manual transfer of information can sometimes lead to missing documents, which means that the accounting department does not create an invoice and sales are lost. In addition, this system can be a slow one—if the shipping department is a long way away from the accounting department, perhaps in a different city, it may be several days before the invoice can be created, which increases the time period before a customer will receive the invoice and pay it. Finally, there is a problem with data entry, because the accounting staff must manually reenter some or all of the customer information before creating an invoice (depending on the amount of data already entered into the computer system by the order-entry department). Any additional data entry brings up the risk of incorrect information being entered on an invoice, which may result in collection problems, especially if the data-entry error related to an incorrect shipment quantity.
The solution is to provide for the direct entry of shipping information by the shipping staff at the shipping location. By doing so, there is no longer any time delay in issuing invoices, nor is there a risk that the accounting staff will incorrectly enter shipping information into an invoice. There is still a risk that the shipping staff will incorrectly enter information, but this is less likely because they are the ones who shipped the product and they are most familiar with shipping quantities and other related information. For this system to function properly, there must be a computer terminal in the shipping area that is directly linked to the accounting database. In addition, the shipping staff must be properly trained in how to enter a shipment into the computer. There should also be a continuing internal audit review of the accuracy of the data entered at this location, to ensure that the procedure is handled correctly. Finally, the accounting software should have a data input screen that allows the shipping staff to enter shipping information. These tend to be minor problems at most companies, since there is usually a computer terminal already in or near the shipping area, and most accounting packages are already set up to handle the direct entry of shipping information; some even do so automatically as soon as the shipping staff creates a bill of lading or packing slip through the computer system. In short, unless there are very antiquated systems on hand or a poorly trained or unreliable shipping staff, it is not normally a very difficult issue to have the shipping employees directly enter shipping information into the accounting system, which can then be used to immediately create and issue invoices.
5. Eliminate Month-End Statements
The employees in charge of printing and issuing invoices each day have another document that they print and issue each month, the month-end statement. This is a listing of all open invoices that customers have not yet paid. Though it seems like a good idea to tell customers what they still owe, the reality of the situation is that most customers throw away their statements without reading them. The reason is that the person receiving a statement, the accounts payable clerk, does not have time to research strange invoices that appear on a supplier’s statement, nor is it likely that this person will call the supplier to request a copy of a missing invoice. Instead, it is easier to wait for a contact from the supplier, asking about a specific invoice. By waiting, the onus of doing some work falls on the supplier instead of the accounts payable person, which is a preferable shifting of the workload from the latter person to the former.
The simple approach to eliminating this problem is to stop printing statements. By doing so, you can avoid not only the time and effort of printing the statements but also eliminate the cost of the special form used to print the statements, as well as the cost of stuffing them in envelopes and mailing them. Though it is possible that the collections staff may complain that this collection tool is being taken away from them, it is at best a poor method for bringing in errant accounts receivable, and does little to reduce the workload of the collections personnel. Thus, eliminating the periodic issuance of statements to customers is an easy way to shift the accounting staff away from a non-value-added activity, which gives them time to pursue other more meaningful activities.
6. Reduce Number of Parts in Multipart Invoices
Some invoices have the thickness of a small magazine when they are printed because they have so many parts. The top copy (or even the top two copies) usually goes to the customer, while another one goes into a file that is sorted alphabetically; another goes into a file for invoices that is sorted by invoice number, and yet another copy may go to a different department, such as customer service so that it will have an additional copy on hand in case a customer calls with a question. This plethora of invoice copies causes several problems. One is that the printer is much more likely to jam if the number of invoice copies running through it is too thick. Another much more serious problem is that each of those copies must be filed away. The alphabetical copy is probably a necessary one, since all of the shipping documentation is attached to it, but there is no excuse for filing invoices in numerical order; they can be found just as easily by calling them up in the computer. A final problem is that multipart forms are more expensive.
The best practice that avoids this problem is to reduce the number of invoice copies. Only one copy should go to the customer, and one copy should be retained. That is two copies, not the four or five that some companies use. By reducing the number of copies, there is much less chance that the printer will jam, and the cost of the invoices can be substantially reduced. The biggest cost saving, however, is of the filing time that has been eliminated, which can be many hours per month, depending on the volume of invoices created.
The biggest objection to reducing the number of invoice copies is from those parts of the company accustomed to using them. This group is rarely the accounting department, which must do the work of filing the extra copies, but rather other departments that have an occasional need to look at them. The best way to overcome these objections is to educate the dissenters in advance regarding the required filing time needed to keep extra copies, so they understand that the cost of additional filing does not match the benefit of their occasional need for the invoices. Another option is to give these people read-only access to invoices in the accounting computer system, so they can call up invoice information on their computers, rather than looking for it manually in an invoice binder. The combination of these two approaches usually eliminates any opposition to reducing the number of invoice copies, allowing the accounting staff to achieve extra efficiencies.
The valuable contributor of the aboved writing: Steven M. Bragg