To date, paperless office has been little more than a pipe dream for many businesses. But the signs are clear and undeniable – post office service is in rapid decline, paper communications are giving way to social media and the office desk is quickly becoming a thing of the past for many. The trend over the last decade has steadily pushed towards cutting paper as an overhead and environmental cost.
The time is ripe now for you to go paperless, not only to save money and trees, but also to promote the integration of proper work ideas that make digital information and workflow an integral part of your daily business life.
Here are 7 key things to consider when taking your business paperless:
1. Cloud-based – Cloud based technologies provide a simplified way to receive, capture, process and document information, allowing you to save both time and money. Businesses moving to the cloud quickly see how much more efficient and streamlined their workflows can become with the help of integrated tools which give the kind of organization and convenience that a paper-based system just can’t match.
2. Collaboration – Integrating paperless collaboration across your whole business eco system unifies users in different locations to act as effectively as if your business operates in just one location. This desire to go paperless combined with access to affordable technology has made capturing and sharing information through Dropbox, Google docs, Skype etc. so much easier, resulting to a more productive collaboration.
3. Compliance – Business compliance is critical, as fines and other risks associated with non-compliance can be damaging. In order to mitigate risks from any scheduled or surprise tax office audits, etc., your business needs to look at the foundation of compliance in a paperless way. These include electronic document retention policy, ensuring your auditors agree with your paperless policy, audit trail and user access controls.
4. Business continuity – Business continuity plans are placed on preserving the best interests of all employees in the case of natural disaster or other emergency. Developing reliable procedures in a paperless capacity can make the process of familiarizing staff with these tactics much simpler.
5. Enhanced security – Storing data in the cloud is wonderful, but just like with your file cabinets at work, security measures need to be in place to keep the records confidential. Have secure passwords and require those passwords to be changed at regular intervals.
6. Training – Having a paperless office is great, but if no one knows how to access or use it, it won’t work. Make sure that you have adequate onboarding and continuous training and updates for your teams.
7. Rallying customers and suppliers – Rallying customers and suppliers on the benefits of going paperless makes your business better positioned to increase customer satisfaction and manage vendor relationships. Paperless transactions reduce the time and cost required to process invoices, payments and receipts and allows you to trade with your partners in a more collaborative way.