Go Paperless  – Go Smart  – Go Green

These days, businesses need to reduce paper dependence, move to easily accessible online document storage and automate their processes through secure and legal mechanisms.

Changing a process is always difficult for any business. However, if a business wants to stay competitive, they need to improve their processes.

The first step is choosing a document management system to have your papers electronically filed and organised. Some useful online document management software include:

  • Google Drive
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive
  • eFileCabinet

Why Go Paperless Bookkeeping

Daily, many activities occur in an organization, including production, distribution, sales, and procurement. All of these processes generate invoices, purchase orders, and different documents every day. Most of these documents go through the accounting department, creating a mountain of paper for bookkeeping. Also, a business owner, generally have to keep your source records for 5 years after you lodge your business’ tax returns. Most of these papers contain sensitive information; hence, it’s not possible to throw them out. Disposing of these requires special machines and shredders, and they don’t come cheap!

Staying on top of document management is especially important in accounting considering the amount of paperwork accounting departments and firms produce. By adapting a paperless system for managing records, it helps loosen the time and cost-efficiency  bottlenecks that otherwise come with hard-copy document management.

An accounting software have the function to store the digital versions of your records, upload scanned/digital copies of your invoices and receipts and attach them to your transactions accordingly and generate and send your sales invoice by email to your customers.

The power of online accounting lies in clouds which come with liberty of entering transactions, storing documents, interacting with customers and vendors, managing cash flows, making right & timely decisions with accurate and always updated reporting.

Going paperless in any business is not just cost-effective and straightforward. It also makes it easier for an accountant to manage all the files and invoices needed for effective bookkeeping, as they are electronically generated.

Benefits of Going Paperless

It Saves Time

Time spent filing, organizing, and searching for paper documents is time that could be spent on more productive tasks. So much time is wasted digging through filing cabinets for documents that may not be there or have been misplaced.

Send emails instead of mail to cut down on paper, money and time.

Going paperless allows employees to work remotely as electronic online documents can be accessed anywhere.

In a paper-based organization, information access depends on where your documents are stored and your proximity to them. If you’re out of the office and need to access a paper document, you either have to drive back to the office to retrieve the file or ask someone to retrieve it for you. The latter may not be a secure option if the document you need contains sensitive or confidential information, and in that case, they may not even be able to access the document you need. But digital files can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, on any device to support your information access needs.

It Is Safer

Electronic documents can be protected from theft through password access protocols. They can also be stored on the cloud without worry for any immediate threat from human and natural conditions.

An e-based storage system (cloud) protects your document secure location and allows you to search anywhere and anytime with the internet.

The software easily compiles digital documents using scanners, mobile capture using a camera on a phone or tablet or importing any file type (.docx, .pdf, image files). Many commonly used applications, like Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat, integrate with document management systems and have native plugins which allow you to file your document into your content management system with just one click.

Globally laws have been made to make digital signatures and digitally signed documents legally valid. This legal status of digital signatures has enabled governments to shift to paperless environment, reducing response time and maintain process transparency.

It Saves Money and Space

Going digital improves process efficiency, saving you money. Paperless offices can process a much larger volume of paperwork compared to traditional offices in the same amount of time.

Eliminating the majority of paperwork helps you save money spent on paper, printers, ink, postage, office space for files and employee time to manage paperwork.

When you print out documents and files, you add to your expenses, because you have to buy filing cabinets (or storage), put away the documents, and use staff time building systems to organize and fetch documents. Not to mention all of the clutter this creates.

Paper takes up a lot of space – as do filing cabinets and space to store those filing cabinets, plus printers, shredders and bookshelves.

Digital record storage allows you to reduce your office space requirements, reducing lease costs.

Converting all of your paperwork to electronic documents will free up tons of space — meaning you can downsize to a smaller space and pay less in rent and maybe even less in staff overhead.

It Saves the Environment

There is a growing momentum around climate change, global warming and increasing de-forestation. There is a growing corporate responsibility for every business to reduce paper dependence, thereby saving trees. Going paperless means that your business is doing its bit to make a difference. People today are willing to pay more for products that are proven to be more environmentally friendly.

Recycling can offset some of the environmental impact, but not by much. Most paper eventually ends up in a landfill. Further, ink and toners contain volatile compounds and non-renewable substances which are damaging to the environment. It is much more sustainable to simply reduce paper use

Paperless office requires a team effort

Creating a paper-free office is an ongoing process and one which can be adapted and perfected over time. A little team effort is required, and everyone involved with the business to be in the same page.

The steps to going Paperless

  • Shift company culture and get whole team on board.
  • Create an implementation plan and set goals
  • Find the right software for your business
  • Invest in a scanner
  • Convert paper forms to online forms
  • Encourage electronic note-taking
  • Share all documents online
  • Send invoices, purchase orders, letters and documents via email
  • Request paperless statements and bills
  • Provide training to everyone involved

Focus Bookkeeping can help your business go paperless, improving your system and finding the appropriate apps to integrate with your bookkeeping software.

Call us today for a free discussion with Fabiana Silva, a registered Bookkeeper and BAS Agent.

Read more about Fabiana and Focus Bookkeeping.