Updated: Feb 10
Image Source: Pexels As a business owner, you’ve surely contemplated the idea of going paperless. But, may have chosen against it for one reason or the other. We, at Z Squared Studio, understand the challenges making an organizational-wide change can bring, however in the case of going paperless, the benefits far outweigh the risks. In this article, we provide a tried and tested framework to guide you through the transition and explore the numerous benefits you’ll reap in the process.
Steps to Go Paperless
Going paperless should be a relatively straightforward process if you follow these steps:
1. Make a Transition Plan
Going paperless will be a gradual process that spans days and weeks. The best way to
implement this process will be to create a transition plan which includes the following:
An approximate timeline to start and end the transition
Areas of the business that will be made paperless first. You can start with simple changes such as sharing announcements through emails and gradually build up to important business areas such as marketing, accounting, etc.
Guidelines for going paperless which every team lead will then implement for their respective department
2. Sell Existing Equipment
According to research by Record Nations, on average a single employee in the US uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Given that you’re committing to going paperless, it’s important to avoid having printers in the office. If they’re in relatively good condition, consider selling them to recoup some of the purchase cost, another option is to lease them to other offices or a work- sharing space.
During the transition phase, keep at least one machine as a backup. But, implement strict policies for its use. For instance, allow printing of documents only after approvals from management and significantly reduce your investment towards buying ink and paper.
3. Use the Right Applications
Here are the best applications you should use for a smooth transition:
Document Management System (DMS): A DMS is a type of software that is used to store, edit, and share digital documents across an organization. Additionally, it has in-built security features to keep data safe from bad actors and ensure your business is protected at all times.
Scanners: Uploading all paperwork to the DMS will require employees to scan documents, and save them in PDF format If there are existing records in other formats, use a PDF converter. Going forward mobile scanning applications can be used to scan ad hoc physical documents.
Accounting Software: Using this software eliminates the need for storing physical financial records. Additionally, you can manage accounts accurately, create financial statements in an instant, and simplify the process of filing taxes. To get started, you’ll need to upload existing financial statements and link your business bank accounts.
Benefits of Going Paperless
Now let’s look at the best ways going paperless will benefit your business:
Faster Invoice Payments Going paperless will develop stronger relationships with your clients. Instead of having to print and mail documents each time, you can start sharing them via mail in an instant. When it comes to managing payments, consider using an invoice generator that provides you with a plethora of professionally designed templates to choose from. Along with a digital invoice, add online payment options as well. This will significantly reduce payment times and result in positive cash flow.
Reduced Costs Eliminating the need for printing will save you thousands which would be spent on paper and ink. Additionally, you won’t need to purchase cabinets or rent extra space for storage. Money saved can directly be used towards important business projects.
Positive Work Environment According to research by Zippia, employees having access to collaborative tools (such as a DMS) are 17% happier and more satisfied with their job compared to those who don’t. Going paperless makes it easier for employees to collaborate on projects leading to the creation of a great work environment. With numerous tools such as a DMS and invoice generators at your disposal, going paperless has never been this easy. While the transition will take time, in the long run, it will prove to be the right decision as you’ll reap the benefits of increased productivity, and higher employee satisfaction levels.