August 17, 2018

These days many offices are choosing to go paperless and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it reduce office clutter, it also saves time and money, AND the environment.

Here’s why we think your office should go paperless too:

  • Although paper is cheap, the associated costs can quickly add up. Think about how much you spend on paper, ink, printer servicing and support, postage and other paper related expenses. There’s also the cost for storing documents and other paper related supplies to consider.
  • Less printing means fewer trees cut down for pulp, and less energy used to make and transport paper. Going paperless is an environmentally conscious decision.
  • Digital documents are easier to store and send, and it’s much simpler to file and retrieve digital documents. Shuffling through a disorganised filing cabinet or stacks of paper to find that elusive document can be extremely frustrating, not to mention time-consuming. A digital filing system eliminates this issue; it becomes as easy as conducting a simple search to find that elusive document.
  • With all your important documents digitalised and stored in the cloud or accessible through a remote desktop application, you’re not tied down to a brick and mortar office. Being paperless gives you the freedom to work virtually anywhere and a digital filing system is easy to organise, search and tweak over time.

So, how do you go paperless? Take a look at these 5 tips for reducing paper in your office:

  1. Assess what you print now & calculate potential savings. Depending on the size of your office, print audit software may be useful to keep track of all printing while you are assessing what you currently print. Track all your print-related costs including printers, ink, paper, service contracts and technical support. Check through your mail as it comes in, you may be able to request newsletters, statements and bills be emailed to you rather than mailed.
  2. Set up online applications. Cloud-based applications let you access your data easily from virtually anywhere and make it easy to share data with staff, clients and suppliers. Some of our favourite applications are: Xero for your accounting needs, Google Docs to collaborate on documents, Dropbox to share files, Basecamp for simple project management, Evernote or Keep for digital notes, and PayPal or Stripe for the transfer of funds.
  3. Talk to your staff. Discuss with your staff the changes you want to make and ensure they know how to use any new applications you are introducing. Listen to any ideas they have on how to reduce paper; they know their work department best. In a larger office, it may be helpful to offer an incentive to print less documents.
  4. Set procedures in place to protect your data online. Use encryption to keep your data secure and back up everything regularly. Electronic documents may be easy to store but they are also easy to delete. Be sure to save backups both online and offline.
  5. Index all your electronic documents. Fully indexed documents make searching and finding what you’re looking for fast and easy. If you are scanning documents, use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

The decision and ease of going paperless will vary from business to business; some will easily be able to make the transition, others will need to take small steps over time, some will always need to keep paper documents.

Regardless of the type of business you operate, every step towards a paperless environment will save you time and money, decrease storage and clutter, and increase productivity.

Piles of paperwork belong in the past; the future is digital.

Need help keeping on top of your accounts? Get in touch with our team to talk about how we can help you.

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