The True Cost of a Banker’s Box

We’ve noticed that our clients have been purchasing bankers boxes because their document storage is getting out of control. So we thought, why not put a true figure on what these boxes actually cost.

We made the following basic assumptions:

  • Cost of a Bankers Box – $2.50
  • Cost of a sheet of paper – $0.01
  • Cost to print – single side (laser) – $0.05
  • # of sheets in a bankers box – 2,500

Work through these numbers and you’ll get to $152.50 per box. Pretty expensive right? Now factor in some of the intangible costs like labour, office space, storage, retrieval, and that box comes out to be a lot more now doesn’t it? There’s a ROI for having a document management system (DMS), but it doesn’t come from just scanning your records. Without a proven scanning method, the documents are simply PDF versions of your paper records without much search/retrieval capabilities.

A DMS brings an ROI not only in helping you index these documents, but also in improving the way you file, retrieve, and store them. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – because a DMS is more than just that.

The next time you’re buying bankers boxes for records storage, call us first. We’d be happy to walk you through some alternatives to consider.

Understanding Your Organization’s Records Retentions Policies

“Seven years”, they said…

And that’s how the story goes every year. When December 31st rolls around, the conversation at the office starts with generating ideas on how we can best purge the records that we don’t need to keep anymore.

Our Accountant would say, “I know it takes up a lot of space, but they said that I have to keep these records for 7 years.” When I say “they”, I refer to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); and when I say records, the CRA defines them as the following*:

  • Ledgers
  • Journals
  • Vouchers
  • Financial statements
  • Tax records
  • Invoices
  • Purchase receipts
  • Payroll
  • And the list goes on…

If you are running a business that is reliant on records, then the papers and filing cabinets fill up fairly quickly. For a business that is growing, the fruits of your labour will eventually lead to records that have to be kept in storage (sometimes known as ‘the basement’) for those specified number of years.

Certainly there are pros and cons to keeping paper records:

  • While they are easily accessible, individual files are also time consuming to locate.
  • Files are kept in a central location, though the safety and security behind them can be compromised.
  • Records are sorted by your own methodology, which may not be easily understood to another employee within your organization.

The purge that we performed last year was the final straw – it took too long, did not follow a consistent process, and was not as easy as just putting the records through the shredder.

As we went through the boxes, a common set of questions and answers came up:

  • What if we needed them later on?
  • What happens if I wanted to pull up purchase orders by a particular customer?
  • If something happened to these records, then how easy would it be for the client to recover or replicate this information?

A few days went by, and another set of questions and answers ensued:

  • “I would figure out a way to find them – but it would take some time.”
  • “I would go through the boxes and pull out the right records.”
  •  “…”
    • Is there an affordable way to manage these records so that they are readily accessible?
    • How easy is it for a client to implement a system to store their records?
    • How much time would it take to store, manage, or query a record?
  • “A lot more affordable than you might think. Our clients also seem to be experiencing on a daily basis.”
  • “Depends on the types of records. We could have them up and running in a matter of days.”
  • “It would only take seconds…actually.”

The industry calls it “content/document management” – and investing in a content management system is one of the best ways to keep your records in a safe, secure and accessible environment. Whether these records are stored on a cloud platform or private server, the ability to quickly pull these records using whichever search parameters you want is made possible with an effective system. Our pain was resolved thanks to a content management system that allowed us to index (tag) our records so that we could find any record within seconds.

Content management platforms used to be something that was reserved for big business. The price tag used to be high, the training used to be extensive, and the services that the platforms provided were highly customized based on needs. Thanks to recent advances in technologies, small businesses now have the opportunity to invest in similar platforms at a fraction of the price.

We see a tremendous amount of value in content management, and educating small businesses about it is one way we can get people talking about it. Trust us – it’s easy, affordable, and gives you peace of mind!

For more information on records retention strategies and the services we can offer, call today.

*Take a moment to find out what the records retention policies are for your business and industry. It will be very important for your company to understand them. Please visit the CRA website for more information on the Federal Government’s approach to electronic record keeping policies.

Top Benefits of AP Automation

Despite the movement to electronic and digital transaction systems, the invoice is still the primary source for payments. The shift towards electronic invoices through the form of PDFs has grown significantly, but despite this change, companies are still missing the true benefits of invoice capture through OCR, workflow and automation, that this shift has presented. We did some research through white papers, case studies, testimonials, and real-life examples – speaking with our own clients. The conclusion was unanimous: There’s ROI in AP automation – and it comes a lot sooner than you might think.

According to a January 2014 survey conducted by AIIM, the results reported that:

  • 50% of organizations have yet to adopt any automated AP system
  • 55% of organizations with AP systems, are not using any OCR or scanning solutions (12% only scan for archival purposes)
  • The median cost to process an invoice is $8

Those are some pretty astonishing numbers, considering the technology that is out there to help improve in these areas.

The report went on to comment on those who had implemented an automation or capture system for their AP functions:

  • 50% of AP system users reported a payback period of 9 months or less – 22% achieved thispayback in as little as 6 months
  • Those streaming invoices through AP capture systems were achieving 40% “hands-free” throughput (25% of users had 65% or more on straight through processing)
  • 29% reported savings of 50% or more from adopting AP solutions
  • Of these savings, the biggest benefits reported (each indirectly impacting savings on staff) were:
    • Faster turnaround time on payment
    • Better monitoring and transparency of invoice status
    • Better records keeping

With more suppliers providing the option to have invoices sent as PDF’s electronically, the key fields that need to be captured for AP purposes are likely to be the same. As such, implementing a process that will capture and automate the AP process will be easier. It will also lead to a significant amount of benefits, be it costs, process cycle time, visibility in the process, and improved cash management.

What’s’s take on building AP automation into your organization? Here’s our top 5:

The process to receive an invoice to the point of payment can take seconds – improving your ROI from the moment this is implemented

  1. Linking workflow to digital approval methods (e.g. digital signatures) allows a company to follow a consistent set of steps for each approval (controls and auditability of processes)
  2. Faster time to process = early payment discounts. Gone are the days where you have to wait for an invoice to get from one location to head office. A document management system with an effective AP process will reduce that processing time by greater than 60%
  3. Indirect benefits from an automated AP process will boost your ROI further – eliminates the need to file/retrieve paper documents, no longer requires couriering of invoices for processing, etc.
  4. Accuracy and accessibility of information is enhanced when you eliminate or reduce the need for hand-key entries. By building a proper set of quality control rules, you will ensure that the standards are being met, but simultaneously build efficiency through the reliance on technology.
  5. A desire to centralize operations is a key driver for AP automation in many organizations – it equates to savings IF it is implemented right. Platforms are now available allowing AP staff to process these invoices outside of the office, or offshore, where labour may be cheaper.

It’s time to start thinking about building better accounts payable processes into your organization. If you are not sure where to start, consider the following questions:

  1. How much does it cost to input an invoice?
  2. How much time am I spending on filing/retrieval of these invoices?
  3. What are my biggest bottlenecks in the AP process?
  4. What are my reasons for not considering automating the AP process at my company?

We would love to hear the answers to these questions to see if there’s an opportunity to build efficiencies. It’s not a shameless plug – but we deal with invoices too…and inputting them into our accounting system was one of our most inefficient areas until we implemented it ourselves.

Give us a call today to find out more about our Accounts Payable process improvement initiatives and to talk more about the opportunities for your organization.

For more information on the AIIM Whitepaper entitled “Automating AP/AR Financial Processes”, please visit the website at (

2015 Year in Review

It’s been a fun and exciting year.

January 2015 – myDigitalOffice begins their adventure focusing on building efficiencies in the back office for the hospitality sector. A lean team of two – with the trust and belief that there is value to be had through streamlining processes and eliminating manual efforts in many of these back office functions.

In the last 12 months, our team has grown, our solutions have packed in more features, and our services are now being used by over 100 hotels across the country (growing each week). Each day, we’re saving our clients time, money and resources.

It’s appropriate that I mention we focused our services on 3 key areas to generate these savings: Daily Flash Reporting, Accounts Payable, and Paperless Night Audit. – making daily flash reporting easy.

screenshot-2At HITEC 2015, we introduced, a cloud- based dashboard reporting tool, to automatically generate the daily flash report for the properties (irrespective of the PMS). Why? So that the GMs could spend their time focusing on the property, and corporate could get their reporting figures when they needed it. Owners and Management groups now have one place where they can get performance statistics on their properties and compare metrics to prior periods, budgets. can now report your weekly and monthly STR data and present it in a dashboard view too.

APLogdics – streamlining your AP process.

screenshot-1Our goal in AP has always been to make the invoice entry process into the accounting system easy and mostly hands-free. Taking invoices paperless upon receipt and using workflow/business rules to route these documents expediently, allowed hotels to take advantage of early payment discounts, timely payments, or simply standardizing approval processes.

In the last two quarters, we’ve taken it a step further and put together AP integrations with QuickBooks Desktop, QB Online, Sage 50, ACCPAC, and M3 Hotel Accounting. We’re keen on building some more in 2016.

Our biggest achievement? Introducing a PO process with a declining checkbook to aid in the procurement exercises that properties perform on a daily basis. Not only did it equate to less time searching for product codes, but it also meant less time seeking approvals, and less time following up on any purchase requests that might have been missed. It also allowed people to stay on track and accountable with their budgets.

______ – taking the night audit paperless. (We’re still trying to find a name for it!)

I’ll start off by saying that the paperless night audit solution is cheaper than renting outside storage or occupying potential revenue-generating space at your property. There’s also a very important sustainability and environmental play here. Green initiatives are just as important in the back office as they are for the guest and hotel room and need to be considered. E-Signatures allow your teams to review and sign off their reports. Document Level Security grants access to only those who need them.

Above all, no longer are you printing paper, only to store it away for 7 years. The beauty of a paperless night audit solution is that your reports (for every property) are centralized and accessible in at any time. Consider taking your night audits paperless, or at least start thinking about it.


What’s in our pipeline? We’re working on tools to make Contract Management easier for properties. We’re beefing up with more features to make it an invaluable resource. And we’re making AP easy – for everyone.

It’s now January 2016. myDigitalOffice looks to continue this adventure. We certainly hope it’s going to be as fun and exciting as 2015 was.

4 Reasons Your Hotel(s) Should Consider A Dashboard Reporting Tool

Peter Drucker once said, “if you can’t measure it, then you can’t improve it.”

It’s a powerful quote that holds true in every regard when it comes to reporting. We bring it up because it’s a

common problem to something that hotels experience daily.

Your PMS provider might give you a dashboard to review your metrics, but it’s likely specific to the brand or the

property. What if you own multiple brands? Does it make sense to have multiple dashboards? Maybe.

What if you’re a management group? You’ll know that spending time looking at multiple dashboards is difficult.

Spreadsheets help, but many of them are setup to be updated manually – meaning they’re prone to human-error,

aren’t delivered in a timely manner due, or subject to other constraints.

Let’s say that piece is figured out. What about consolidating that data? It takes more time.

Hotels deal with numbers every day of the week. It’s the nature of the business. But many are spending

opportunistic moments putting together those key statistics, when those moments could be better spent making

key decisions.

Here are 4 reasons as to why your hotels should use a common dashboard reporting tool for their daily flash:

  1. Enhances Visibility – A dashboard report provides you with a real-time pulse on the performance of your property or group of properties. When you have visibility, you have an opportunity to better react to challenges or celebrate successes with the teams on the front lines of the property.
  2. Standardizes Reporting – This is a HUGE deal. If you standardize the way you report, then you make things downstream easier. Consolidating daily stats is made possible. Comparing one property to another in your portfolio is readily available. Your teams have access to the same information. Best of all – it’s consistent.
  3. Metrics Matter – The role of the GMs and associated teams are continually expanding. This limits the amount of time they’re able to spend in any given area. A dashboard helps equip your teams with the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) in a timely manner. It also creates a “proactive” environment rather than a “reactive” one. Metrics tell a story and help make impactful decisions when they matter.
  4. Trending Helps Track – A dashboard that is setup to meet the needs of your business allows you and your teams to monitor trends. Without having to ask someone directly at the property, how valuable would it be to have more insight into your standard metrics like Occupancy, ADR and RevPAR, as well as others, such as GOP

PAR, % of BAR and Market Segmentation?

Couple examples come to mind:

– Tracking how a change in your STR scores affects gained/lost revenue vs your competitive set

– Using Business on the Books and Pace Reports to project Occupancy is one thing. But let’s say your

occupancy for tomorrow or later in the week is lower than anticipated. Tracking these trends will give you

the opportunity to adjust staffing requirements – saving you money

If you’re on the golf course, you’ll know that opening a spreadsheet on your smart phone isn’t very user-friendly.

Logging into your dashboard tool before hitting the back 9 can be – if you have the right dashboard tool. All joking

aside – this is an on-demand society. There’s a reason why you need your information when you need it –

especially when it affects your decision-making abilities.

myDigitalOffice enables hospitality groups to gain efficiencies and sustainable savings in their back office, through

key areas in dashboard reporting, document management solutions, and streamlined AP processes.

Where does our dashboard tool,, fit in? It saves time, it’s automated so that you’re not manually

entering data in, and it provides those metrics in a timely manner.

A Paperless Night Audit that’s About More than Just the Paper (Part 2)

If Part 1 convinced you to read Part 2, then I’d hope to think that having a catchy title carries a lot of weight! If you

missed part one, then you can catch the post here – (click me).

Let’s jump into it – how can a document management system (DMS) help save your hotel and/or management

group both more time and money?

Here are a few benefits and controls, not only from the lens of a hotel, but also from that of a

management/ownership group.


Stop spending time renaming files. A report from Opera comes out as (e.g. trial_balance928271), while a report

from Choice Advantage comes out as (e.g. report.pdf). A DMS will automatically standardize the naming

conventions – so when you need to pull a set of reports, you’re pulling one report name, rather than multiples.

Retention & Destruction

A DMS lets you setup retention and destruction rules so that each report is kept only for the amount of time

required (e.g. 3 years, 7 years, etc.) – that translates into making external and internal audits easier.


Don’t print just to sign a report – and then scan to store it away again. A DMS lets you do this “paperlessly”

without having to go through much effort. A DMS also allows you to comment directly on a report (think AR or

Guest Ledger Reports). Linking this area with Workflow and Document Level security (as per below) makes sure

that the due diligence and tasks that have to be performed on these reports are actioned in a timely manner.

Workflow and Document Level Security

Think about this area like the role of a mailman. The mailman delivers the mail that you’re entitled to. Workflow

and document level security operate in the same way. Workflow routes the mail to the right people on your staff

and provides the steps necessary to conduct their review. Document level security ensures that the staff only see

the reports that they need to see.

Centralized Repository

Reports for multiple properties can now be housed inside one DMS. When we spoke about “On-Demand” and

Internal Audits – this is where the big value comes from. When your reports are centralized, follow a standard

taxonomy and are accessible by PC, Tablet and/or Smartphone, pulling up a single, group or batch of reports can

be done in seconds. How quick is it? As quick as you can log in!

Measurable Savings

With a DMS, printing & maintenance can be reduced and/or eliminated. We proved that in Part 1. When you have

all of the above benefits, you now get into labor savings because of the efficiency gains. For a night audit, these

gains come as early as day 1.

Compliance and Secure Access

SOC Compliance is a big deal. Reputability in the DMS you’re using is also a big deal. If you’re considering a DMS,

make sure you take these areas seriously. When a DMS meets those criteria, and you can set up document level

security, you’re building a secure compound where your reports can be stored safely.

Time for our plug…

myDigitalOffice enables hospitality groups to gain efficiencies and sustainable savings in their back office, through

key areas in dashboard reporting, document management solutions, and streamlined AP processes.

Where does the Paperless Night Audit fit in? That’s our favorite one b/c saving paper, means saving environment.

And when you talk about sustainability – everyone wins.

A Paperless Night Audit that’s About More than Just the Paper (Part 1)

I was hoping that the title would attract some attention. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

After briefly speaking about the Paperless Night Audit in our 2015 Year In Review, I wanted to use this

post to drive more attention to the subject, and articulate why it’s importance is understated in today’s

hospitality arena.

It’s pretty obvious that there’s substantial savings to be had by not printing the pack each night, but

we’ll do some math using a few average statistics:

$0.07 – Printing Cost/Page (Toner, Paper, Printer Maintenance, etc.)

50 – Pages/Night Audit Pack

1.5 – Number of reports printed (1.0 to account for the full night audit pack, and 0.5 for specific reports

that are printed for groups like accounting, sales, corporate, etc.)

30 – Days/Month

$100 – Monthly cost of secure outside storage

Using BEDMAS from my elementary school days, [($0.07 x 50) x 1.5 x 30] + 100 = $257.50

That’s $257.50 to print and store your night audit packs each month. Pretty expensive right? If you’re

printing your night audit packs each night, then you’ve already built a business case to take it paperless.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

For a Management Group, the costs of a night audit pack grows. It’s hard to put a number on it, but I’ll

bring up some examples that could be relevant.

Accessing Reports On Demand: How much productive time is lost waiting for a report to be sent by a

property to the corporate office? Making the call to the hotel, getting the report sent over, interrupting

your work, etc. Cost – time and money. Multiple properties, add more time and money costs to the


Performing Internal Audits: How much time could be saved if a portion of the internal audits (that relied

on using reports in the night audit pack) could be done without visiting the hotel itself…or having

someone sending it over. Think transportation expenses, meals, potential overnight stays, etc. Cost –


Due Diligence: Are your teams at the properties performing the necessary tasks when reviewing the

reports in the pack? If they are, find out if the tasks are being done by printing the report, making the

comments/signatures, and then scanning/emailing them over. Cost – time and money.

Document/Report Security: It’s a big deal. Without controls in place, a night audit pack could potentially

be accessed by anyone if it’s not stored securely. Cost – security…

Sustainability and Green Initiatives for Your Back Office – that’s a blog topic coming soon!

It’s more than just the paper now, isn’t it? Hopefully the post gets you thinking about a few areas such

as centralizing records, document/report level security and cost savings, among others. We would love

to hear your thoughts and concerns, even if they’re related to similar practices outside of the hospitality


Next week, we’ll talk about why a document management system for your hotel’s night audit packs can

build its own business case.

A little bit about us:

myDigitalOffice enables hospitality groups to gain efficiencies and sustainable savings in their back

office, through services paperless night audit tools, dashboard reporting and streamlining AP processes.