At this point, businesses have almost no reason to use paper. While there’s an argument to be made for physical media like books and albums playing a role in our lives, there’s not one for stacks of bills and those old “in” and “out” filing boxes on the desk.
Everything in the world of business is digital now, and yet, many companies still insist on printing paper receipts that require extra work storing, finding, and filing. It’s time to go paperless. Don’t worry—it’s not hard, and we’re here to help.
Consider The Obvious Benefits
First and foremost, the environment will thank you. There’s no sense in wasting a sheet of paper for one line of ink showing a plumber’s purchase of a tub of Plumber’s Putty for $3.50. About half of the waste created by businesses comes from paper, so much so that there are whole industries built around shredding private documents. Going paperless reduces the impact on the local landfill and helps with water conservation. Did you know that a single sheet of paper takes five liters of water to make?
Then there’s pens, markers, pencils, white out, tape, printers, printer ink, and all the additional expenses that accompany paper to consider.
Forget About Pesky Receipts
How many times have you been to lunch, walked out the door only to run back inside for the receipt? Or how about coming home after a work trip and pulling dozens of receipts from your overstuffed wallet?
There’s a much better way with digital receipts. Where physical receipts can’t be avoided, snap a photo and upload to wherever you store digital receipts. And anywhere you pay by iPad should allow you to send the receipt straight to your inbox, avoiding a printed receipt altogether.
Learn to Love The Cloud
When it comes to documents, everything of importance must live in the cloud. From Google Docs to Microsoft Word, almost every program has the option to store your documents in the cloud, safer than keeping them on a hard drive that could crash. Sensitive documents can even be encrypted for added protection.
Best of all? Sharing documents through the cloud is easy—and infinitely faster than faxing.
Presentations Can Be Paperless, Too
When was the last time you were in a meeting when there was anything printed? Whatever you’re working on in a meeting can be shared on a monitor in a boardroom. No monitor? Share the information via Dropbox or another file sharing tool. There’s no need for a nicely bound book that will surely hit the trash can in a few weeks.
Bills, Bills, Bills
You can pay for everything online, so why would your business be any different? You can set just about any recurring bill to autopay. Set it and forget it when it comes to cell phone and energy bills.
When it comes to vendor invoices and bills, they likely also offer a digital option. Make a point of looking through all the mail your business receives and explore whether any of it can be switched to digital communication only.
E-Signatures Are Just as Binding
Need to send a contract to a new employee or customer? Now, e-signatures are considered equally binding and can speed up the signing process—in addition to saving valuable paper. We all know how long contracts can get, so switching to a digital signature process can make a big impact.
There might be some additional costs in the short-term to go paperless, like purchasing computers and software subscriptions, but a few upgrades would probably do the business good. From paying bills to filing an expense report, paper slows down the process across the board. And when your team gets more time back, that’s money in the pocket of your business.
On top of that, there’s a mountain of savings awaiting you when you stop paying for paper and all the supplies that go with it. Will there be some occasions where printing is needed? Of course. But changing your processes with the intention of going paperless will make those occasions few and far between.
Ready to learn about our digital (paper-free) accounting solution? Talk to one of our accounting experts and set up a demo of ScaleFactor today.