4 min readBy Published On: August 12, 2021Categories: SAP Business One News

Document management simplified and how SAP Business One handles it

Document management is becoming a critical tool for small to mid-size businesses. Having the ability to quickly and efficiently manage and view documents across your organisation is essential for smooth day-to-day operations. SAP Business One has its own system for basic document management in the form of SAP Business One Attachments.

What is Document Management?

Document management is a system or process used to capture, track and store electronic documents such as PDFs, word processing files and digital images of paper-based content. The benefits of implementing and utilising a document management system include:

  • More Storage Capacity and Less Paper – More and more documents are being sent, signed and returned electronically as the call to print, fax or physically send documents diminishes. Less paper means less physical storage space is required to house and file it correctly, and having the ability to keep all of your relevant documents online or in the cloud means there are almost no caps on your storage capacity.
  • Document Security and Access Control – Keeping your documents online or in the cloud means you have more control over additional security procedures, such as 2FA, and more control over staff access. You can keep all of your documents in the same location while allowing different members of your organisation different permissions, so only authorised staff can see the more sensitive documents.
  • More Functionality – Not only is a document management system a convenient way for all of your staff, including WFH (work from home) staff, to access important documents but it also has increased functionality potential with things such as document history, auditing capabilities, data validation, an advanced indexing and more, available in most document management solutions.

How Does SAP Business One Handle Document Management?

SAP Business One handles document management with a single attachments folder. The majority of customers will upload files to this attachment folder when a document is required to be attached to a transaction or master file record in SAP Business One. This works well when dealing with a small number of documents, however, over an extended period of time, the volume of documents can become unwieldy and it becomes harder and harder to control the chaos.

A feature of this SAP Business One Attachments folder you may not know is that every time you do a print preview or you forward a report, invoice or purchase order to a customer or supplier, a copy of that document at that specific time is added to the attachments folder. With SAP Business One saving all of these documents in the one attachments folder, you can end up with thousands of documents there and thousands of duplicates of those documents as the change tracking/audit functionality of SAP Business One will want a “snapshot” of the document that was sent at that specific time/date to that specific person.

SAP Business One Alternative Document Management Solutions

The issue of duplicates and document storage/management in the SAP Business One Attachments folder is one that still needs to be addressed and dealt with by SAP. In the meantime, users are turning to alternative solutions to assist in streamlining their document management.

Some of those solutions include:

  • Creating Subfolders – Just like in a normal folder on your computer, you can create subfolders within the SAP Business One Attachments folder. While this is a great way to index and sort your documents, unfortunately, when you select a document to attach from your subfolder, SAP Business One will copy that document back into the main Attachments folder and link the document there. So while this is a great option for easier navigation, it doesn’t solve the duplication and wasted storage issue.
  • Using Alternative Cloud Storage Options – More and more companies are turning to alternative cloud storage options such as OneDrive and Sharepoint to assist in their document management and storage. However, using an alternative application still doesn’t solve the issue of the way the SAP Business One core attachments functionality works.

IT providers and SAP partners, such as SMB Solutions Cloud Services, work with people from SAP on a regular basis to discuss issues with the software such as this and negative customer experiences. Companies looking for more robust document management solutions are advised to consider alternative solutions; something we will be exploring in a future blog post.

Your SAP Business One partner or the team at SMB Solutions Cloud Services can assist you with the setup, population and management of your own document management system. Get in touch with the support team today for more information on our SAP Business One Cloud Hosting Services and Managed Services.

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