Businesses are built on documents, and even before you start up your business, you discover how many documents you need to function. From business plans to bank statements, from employment contracts to NDAs, your business is awash in documents. As these documents pile up, they take up space, and you spend a lot of time looking for the right one when you need to check some terms or conditions.
We recently explained why you should use SaaS accounting software for your startup, and another way to make your business more efficient is to go paperless. As much as possible, store digital versions of documents and shred the paper.
Here’s why your business should go paperless.
Paperless is Green
When you go paperless, you obviously save paper; it’s a lot greener than having stacks of documents, some in multiple copies. With the ease of reading documents on tablets, there’s no upside to having hundred-page contracts on paper any more.
You’ll save a lot of money on printer paper and toner, you’ll use less resources, and you’ll even save space in your office as you won’t need as many file cabinets.
Paperless is Efficient
When you need to find a specific clause in a paper contract, or an expense on a paper bank statement, you spend a lot of time perusing documents to find what you need. With digital documents, it’s easy to search for a keyword, a phrase, or an amount.
You’ll save a great deal of time when you need to find important information. You’ll also save time receiving paper documents, opening mail, distributing them, then filing them; most of your documents can arrive by email, or you’ll download them directly from vendors, suppliers, or your bank.
Going Paperless Saves Money
Instead of sending paper invoices, it’s cheaper – and faster – to email PDFs to your customers. Instead of customers taking up to a week to receive invoices by mail and process them, they’ll get them immediately, and you’re likely to be paid more quickly.
And, as I mentioned above, you’ll save money on paper, and on expensive toner. Also, when you need to distribute an updated version of a long contract, you won’t need to print it out again; just update the document’s version number and send it to those who need it.
Going Paperless Makes Documents More Available
When a business has file cabinets full of paper documents, people have to go to these documents to access them. With a paperless business, you can store your documents in the cloud, and employees can have immediate access to whatever they need, wherever they are.
Since many tools today, such as accounting software, CRM software, and ERP tools, are cloud-based, it makes sense that all documents that are used with this type of software are also stored in the cloud. However, when you go paperless, a bulletproof backup strategy is essential. You can’t just store your documents in a single location, but need to make sure they are replicated and backed up daily, because your entire business depends on accessing these documents.