As SAS Accounting Services Limited works toward a paperless office, many of you could do the same!
No matter the size of your business, or how new it is, going paperless will always have its advantages. Whilst complete removal of paper might not work for every business, even eliminating a small amount could create cost saving opportunities and efficiency and here’s some ideas;
Saving documents onto a computer rather then keeping different types of paper is more efficient: instead of searching for a receipt, having it scanned and appropriately named allows you to find it within a couple of clicks. This could also allow the business to be quicker with response times as the need to hunt through mountains of paper could be eliminated.
Client communication could also be affected greatly by the change. It may become much faster to send client communications, emails arriving almost instantly, rather than waiting for them to receive a letter through the post. It could also drastically cut time when needing to send a client certain documents as it can just be attached to the online correspondence. People can generally receive information on any device, anywhere! Not only is client communication a lot faster, it may also be cheaper, due to the postage savings.
Saving important documents on the computer may also eliminate the risk of accidentally throwing away or losing paper documents. Some systems can provide automatic backups on a scheduled basis, which eliminates the need for small business owners to set aside time for manual backups.
People will always be worried about privacy and data protection. When filed on paper, the client documents should be stored in a locked cabinet and disposed of securely to ensure the correct data security procedures are completed. When filing online, the unnecessary storage unit space can be used for something else as many online accounting systems offer bank-like data security.
Not only can going paperless benefit your business, the environment may also benefit. Through the reduction of paper usage, less energy will be used from devices such as printers and copiers etc.
Currently office paper and documents alone are worth 20% of total paper usage. With businesses choosing to reduce the amount of paper laying around, and recycling more, businesses are working towards a better environment for us all.
How to achieve going paperless
Rather than keeping all sorts of loose paper that may not even be important, scan it on to your computer! You’ll never know if you’ll need it again and if you should, it’ll be easy to locate and not creating clutter. It’s also possible to download scanning apps on your smartphone! After creating a digital copy, check whether you need to keep the original and if not, shred it!
Digital versions of paper products
Without realising, we use paper products a on daily basis despite the fact there are digital alternatives. If possible, consider using:
- Word instead of a paper notebook
- An online calendar or on a smart phone instead of a paper planner
- Reminders or task managers online instead of post-it notes
- A cloud storage like Dropbox instead of your paper filing cabinet
Ask for digital versions
When someone suggests sending you a document, ask them to send it digitally; don’t worry about being annoying! It doesn’t only save you time, money and effort but also helps work towards going paperless.
It may be challenging in the beginning but these tips could help you work towards the ultimate goal; paper clutter will become less, and you pave the way for a more relaxed and organised life.