Technology has worked its way into just about every aspect of the business world, and companies have, for the most part, adapted to the changes that have been brought on by its rapid advancement over the years. Instead of notebooks, rolodexes and constant travel for meetings, we have laptops, smartphones and programs like Skype or GoToMeeting making our professional lives much more easy and efficient.
But one surprising area of technology that business owners are not taking advantage of is the potential to go paperless and store all of their files – all those bits of data responsible for piles and piles of paper – online, where they’re easy to access, easy to keep secure and don’t take up a single bit of space in the office.
Dene Paquin from SmallBusinessBC recently wrote a detailed and engaging article on this subject, covering the benefits of going paperless as well as different ways to do it. His points on both make a compelling argument for the switch; given what he outlines, it’s quite a surprise that this is not a more common practice amongst businesses of all sizes. Here’s a snippet:
Ease of Storage
Many document management systems give you the ability to manage and share electronic documents with anytime, anywhere access, as long as you are connected to the internet. You are also able to securely share access with multiple users by granting permission to specific files or folders.
It’s the truth: move your documents online and, hey presto, everything is a lot easier to store away, access and share. A switch to paperless means a switch away from big, bulky filing cabinets and rows and rows of folders that you need to waste time digging through in order to fine a single file you might only have needed to glance at to begin with. For my money, a few clicks is preferable to a scavenger hunt that could end up turning the storage room upside-down.
Dene goes on to talk about some methods businesses can utilize to go paperless. Here’s a look at one:
Paperless Statements and Bill Paying
Running your business’ finances online allows for prompt payments that are much easier to track. Many banks offer paperless statements, and sometimes even provide incentives for customers that manage their accounts online. By receiving and sending payments online, you are able to cut down on the time you coordinating invoices, cheques, and mailings. You also cut down on the time you spend at the local bank!
Online banking has become huge in the past decade or so, and it’s one of the most logical reasons for switching to a paperless office. Rather than poring over pieces of paper for hours, sorting out which cheques to mail where, and taking time out of your day to go to the bank, you can sort out all of your business finances from the comfort of your computer chair. Besides, doesn’t it sound a lot less stressful to have easily accessible documents on your screen instead of a mountain of paper you often don’t even know where to start with?
If you’re yet to make the switch to paperless, we’d recommend giving this article by Dene Paquin a read. We here at AIS Solutions have been enjoying the benefits of paperless for some time now, and our cloud bookkeeping services center around the concept of storing and managing documents online.
Have you gone paperless? Have you been thinking about making the switch? What other advantages or methods for doing so do you know?
Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!