- Tips & Tricks
10 Benefits of a Paperless Office: How Going Digital Can Save You Time and Money
Papers, papers, papers everywhere. If it’s starting to feel like you’re drowning in paperwork, it might be time to consider going paperless.
But how do you ditch some of the most important documents your business deals with regularly?
Well, going paperless does not necessarily mean you won’t be using paper at all.
It means you’ll rely on digital documents, forms, and signatures more often than their physical counterparts.
What does going paperless mean?
Documents are the lifeline of any business. From invoices and contracts to employee files and customer records, nearly everything your company does relies on documents in one way or another.
While physical documents have been the standard for centuries, the rise of digital document management has allowed businesses to move away from paper-based processes.
Businesses can save time, money, and resources by digitizing their document workflow.
In an era where technology is constantly evolving, more businesses are switching to paperless processes. Programs and software continue to revolutionize the office landscape, and the paperless office is the latest innovation.
Technology has it that you don’t necessarily have to print every document that comes your way. You can now sign, store, and manage your documents electronically.
This not only saves you time and money on paper and printing costs, but it also helps you become more organized and efficient.
By digitizing your documents, you’ll be able to access them faster and easier. No more digging through filing cabinets or stacks of papers!
Here are the top ten benefits of going paperless in your office.
1. Saves you time
One of the most common complaints in any office is there’s never enough time to get everything done.
Going paperless can help alleviate this problem by allowing you to access documents quickly and easily without searching through piles of paper.
Every month end, bookkeepers and accountants have to hunt down employees to get their expense reports. This process can take days, if not weeks.
But with a digital document management system, you can eliminate the need for physical expense reports and gain real-time insights into your employee expenses.
This saves time for bookkeepers and employees who no longer have to fill out paper expense reports.
Month end or the tax season will no longer be dreaded as employees and bookkeepers can access all the documents they need with just a few clicks.
You can also automate tasks that generally take up much of your time, such as filing and scanning documents.
For instance, Envoice can help automate the expense reporting process where employees only need to take a picture of the receipt. Then the program picks data from invoices and receipts and uploads it to your chosen cloud accounting platform.
Another great way to save time is using e-signatures instead of physical signatures. You can now electronically sign and manage documents, eliminating the need for physical signatures and speeding up the document management process. (1)
2. Saves you money
In addition to saving time, going paperless can also save your business money.
The cost of paper, ink and toner can add up quickly – not to mention the cost of maintaining a paper filing system.
According to Green America, the average office worker uses about twelve thousand sheets of paper annually. If your business has one hundred employees, that’s a million pieces of paper! (2)
And that’s just for internal use – not counting the cost of paper for invoices, marketing materials, or shipping labels.
A paperless office can help you reduce these costs by eliminating the need for paper and printer ink.
Of course, you’ll have to pay for the digital platform, but the cost is a fraction of what you would pay for a paper-based system. In the long run, a digital document management system will save you and your business lots of money.
Plus, you can access your documents from anywhere – which means you won’t have to waste money on storage space or shipping costs.
3. Helps you stay organized
Being disorganized can lead to lost documents, misplaced files, and a general feeling of chaos. A recent study shows that employees spend up to 5 hours each week looking for lost or misplaced documents. (3)
This wasted time can quickly add up, costing your business money and reducing productivity. A cluttered office can also make it challenging to find the right supplies when you need them.
A paperless office can help you stay organized by allowing you to store all your documents in one central location. This way, you’ll always know where to find what you’re looking for – and your employees will be able to work on more important things.
With a digital platform, you can create folders and subfolders to keep your documents sorted and easy to find. You can also search for keywords to quickly find the proper document.
Plus, you can give different employees access to various folders – so they’ll only be able to see the relevant documents to their job. This helps reduce clutter and makes it easier for everyone to stay organized.
4. Improves security
When you think about security, you probably think about physical security – like locks and alarms. But there’s another type of security that’s just as important: data security.
Data breaches are becoming more common and cost businesses a lot of money. The average cost of a data breach is now over $7 million. People are now more cautious with their information, and they expect businesses to take data security seriously.
Your business is at risk if you’re still using a paper-based system. Paper documents are easy to lose or steal – and once they’re gone, there’s no getting them back.
One of the best ways to protect your data is to go paperless. With a digital platform, you can password-protect your documents and control who has access to them. This way, you can be sure that only authorized employees will be able to view or edit your documents.
When important documents are floating around the office, it’s hard to track who has access to them. This can be a significant security risk, especially if dealing with confidential information.
If a document falls into the wrong hands, it could be copied or shared without your permission – which could lead to severe consequences for your business.
A paperless office can help improve security by giving you more control over who has access to your documents. You can set up user permissions and passwords to protect your files with a digital platform.
Plus, you can track when a document is accessed and by whom and when. This way, you’ll always know who has seen or shared a particular document and can take action if something goes wrong.
5. Faster and easier access to documents
When you know a document is in “the filing cabinet,” it can take time to find. This wasted time looking for papers can be frustrating and unproductive.
For instance, take an employee looking to have an expense report approved. They will need to find the proper form, fill it out, and submit it to their manager.
If the form is stored electronically, the employee can simply pull it up on their computer and fill it out. Then, they can submit it with a click of a button. The whole process takes just a few minutes – and there’s no need to waste time looking for a physical form.
This also makes it easier to share documents with others. Instead of printing out a copy and emailing it, you can simply attach the digital file to an email and send it off. This saves time and paper – and it’s more convenient for everyone involved.
A paperless office can help you access your documents faster and more efficiently. With a digital platform, you only need a few clicks to find the correct document. The approval process becomes faster and more efficient – and you can get back to work sooner.
6. Better customer service
Your customers expect quick and efficient service – and a paperless office can help you deliver. With a digital platform, you can send invoices, quotes, and other documents in just a few clicks.
Plus, you can track when a document is viewed or downloaded – so you’ll know when to follow up with a customer. This way, you can ensure your customers are always happy with your service.
In an era where clients expect instant results and answers, going paperless can help you stand out from the competition and deliver the best possible service. Since customers are your most valuable asset, giving them the attention they deserve is essential.
A paperless office can help you do just that. By going digital, you can improve communication with your customers and deliver better service overall.
7. Reduce environmental impact
Did you know that the average office worker uses about 200 sheets of paper weekly? It adds up to about 10,000 sheets of paper annually – a lot of trees! (4)
And if that’s not big enough, almost three-quarters of all those sheets will end up in the trash can. In other words, office workers contribute to about 40% of all solid waste.
This has a significant impact on the environment – and it’s something that we can all help reduce.
A paperless office can help reduce your environmental impact in several ways.
First, you’ll be using less paper – which means fewer trees will be cut down.
Second, you’ll be using less energy to print and store documents. And third, you’ll be generating less waste – which means there will be less strain on our landfills.
Going paperless is better for the environment, but it’s also better for your bottom line.
8. Improved communication and collaboration
Keeping everyone on the same page in a paper-based office can be challenging. With so many documents floating around, it’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. This can lead to miscommunication and confusion – which can be frustrating.
A paperless office can help improve communication and collaboration by giving everyone access to the same documents. For example, with a digital platform like Envoice, you can easily share documents with your team – and you can even leave comments or mention specific users.
Plus, there is easy access for team members to provide updates on projects – so you can stay up-to-date on the latest developments.
This way, everyone is always on the same page – which can help improve communication and collaboration.
9. Eliminate storage costs
Paper documents take up space, which costs money. If you’re renting an office, you’re paying for the square footage that your paper documents occupy.
And if you’re storing documents off-site, you’re also paying for the storage – which can be costly over time.
Eliminate these storage costs by digitizing your documents. With Envoice, you can store all your documents in the cloud, so you won’t have to pay for storage space.
And when you need them, you can easily access your documents from anywhere – which is much more convenient than digging through boxes in a storage unit.
Plus, you can share documents with anyone without making copies or worrying about them getting lost in the mail.
10. A Better audit trail
The audit process can be time-consuming and frustrating – but it’s a necessary part of the business. The truth is, the audit process is one of the most dreaded parts of running a company.
Bookkeepers and accountants have to have their affairs in order – and this requires a lot of documentation. If you’re running a paper-based office, this can be a nightmare.
A study by Vanson Bourne showed that in 2021, a whopping 97% of financial institutions had a ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ disruptive auditing process. And do you know what makes the audit process a headache to many? Missing documents, of course. (5)
But it doesn’t have to be this way. A paperless office can help you prepare for an audit by keeping all your documents organized and accessible. The audit process is much easier if you’re running a paperless office. With digital documents, it’s easy to track and manage your records.
This can save you time and headaches during the audit process. On top, a paperless office will have an audit trail for all your documents. This way, you can track who has accessed a document and when.
Plus, you can see what changes have been made to a document over time – which can be helpful in the event of an audit.
Nobody wants a messy office – and nobody wants to waste time searching for lost documents. A paperless office is proving to be the long-awaited solution. Technology is helping people work more innovative – a paperless office is one way to do that.
The benefits of a paperless office are clear. Not only is it better for the environment, but it can also save you time and money. Go paperless if you’re looking to improve communication and collaboration, eliminate storage costs, or prepare for an audit.
With tools like Envoice, lost documents are a thing of the past. With its digital systems, you can keep your office organized and tidy. You can also save time by sharing documents electronically.
Envoice is changing business processes and operations – and it’s making things easier for everyone involved. If you’re looking to go paperless, Envoice is how to do it.
We can help you switch to a paperless office – and we’ll show you how easy it is to do it with Envoice. Get in touch with us as we help you ditch paper files for digital files.