If you google “The Paperless Office” you’ll come up with over 2 million results around this old debate. Is it really possible? Is it really important?…and so on. I’m here to tell you that it is very possible and very easy to do for small or medium-sized businesses.
The Finance Dept is a 100% paperless office. That’s right, not even as much as a post-it note on any desks here. Over the past couple of years we’ve worked hard to make sure we’re practicing what we preach to our clients – the paperless office. There are so many cool, and inexpensive, toys these days available on the internet to make the paperless office dream a reality.
Some examples of great cloud software that we use to make it a reality in this office include:
Microsoft Office 365 – for easy collaboration via cloud storage (Google apps are great too);
Xero – “beautiful” cloud accounting with electronic document storage;
Receipt Bank – more electronic document storage and processing for those pesky receipts and invoices – snap a photo of a receipt and toss it…done. Best friends with Xero;
Remember The Milk – a recent addition to our stable…online task management;
Adobe – signing documents electronically (there’s a heap of ways to do this);
Practice Ignition – online proposal tool especially for accounting businesses;
MailChimp – online email marketing;
eWAY – online processing of credit card payments;
Lucid Chart – awesome charts and workflows created in the cloud;
FormSite – online forms and surveys with workflow – easy to build with no coding required;
GovReports – online preparation of Business Activity Statements;
Internet Banking – who doesn’t use this nowadays?;
Twitter & LinkedIn – no brainers for social media marketing these days!.
The list goes on and is growing all the time.
We’d quite frankly rather be working on business development, or not have to work through lunch because of time wasted ploughing through piles of paper. There are varying levels of how far you can take it, we’re not suggesting every SME go out and purchase the fancy document management systems that big organisations use. No need for TRIM or ELO, just sturdy electronic filing processes and great cloud software products…like those mentioned above but specific to your business needs.
Seven great reasons to go paperless:
With an electronic filing system in place, all paper documents that come into your office can immediately be scanned and digitally stored while all incoming electronic documents can be simply saved to the appropriate location. Efficient and accessible to all.
It is no longer necessary to waste time looking for documents. Document searches can be done quickly and give results in seconds. All the documents are stored in the same organised manner, and are easy to retrieve.
With an electronic management system, you can simplify many business processes. Users can action or authorise tasks and transfer data with the touch of a button. Ordering goods and authorising invoices, are just two of the best examples of daily tasks that become more efficient when done digitally.
Digital document management can let you create security settings and give all authorised users the ability to view the same documents. This makes it easy when more than one user needs access to a single document, or in cases when the company is on multiple sites.
With time saved, management can spend their time more productively on developing the business. How beneficial would it be to the bottom line if every executive had an extra 1-2 hours in a day to spend on getting new business?
An electronic filing system stores the documents on secure servers, whether internal or in the cloud. This means that only authorised users are able to retrieve the documents, making it more secure than paper which can easily fall into the wrong hands.
Better customer service
Electronic systems allow you to access all customer data from one central location, retrieving information quickly and efficiently when required. A central database allows your business to proactively communicate with customers individually or on mass.
Return on investment
Small and medium sized businesses barely need to spend any capital in order to move to a paperless office. Perhaps a few monthly cloud-based software subscriptions, most of which would fall well below $50 per month. These are cost effective choices that will most certainly see a return on investment almost immediately.
The Finance Dept is a Brisbane-based accounts outsourcing firm utilising qualified accountants at a fraction of the cost of an in-house accounts team for your business. We are an offsite (not offshore) alternative to having an in-house accounts team or financial controller.
Call 1300 855 721 or click here to see if you should take your accounts offsite.