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Is paperless the right solution for your business?

by Jose Jimenez

February 25, 2021

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself from years ago and wonder, “Where did that shirt go?” You start in the closet and tirelessly check through every hanger and every shelf. You swear the shirt was in there, but it still seems to be lost. You are so determined to find the shirt you head to the basement and start checking old boxes of worn-out clothes. Box after box, you find dozens of shirts, but not THE shirt. Your search seemed to be a failure so you head upstairs in defeat. You wake up the next morning to get ready to go to work, go to the closet, and find the shirt you were looking for was in your closet all along. You can not believe you missed it even though it was right in front of you the entire time.

paperless office
Person working on laptop computer next to mobile phone on clean desktop without any paper in sight.

These “needle in a haystack” situations are often frustrating and time-consuming. If you had labeled your boxes in the basement or had organized the clothes in your closet, you could have found the shirt right away. We find these situations in the workplace as well as at home. A client calls asking for a specific purchase order from years ago and now you have to rummage through the old files to find exactly what they were asking for. With an automated system, all it takes is a few keystrokes and a search bar. This is the paperless advantage.

A recent Deloitte study showed overall improvement on customer service centric business after going paperless.

Understanding the Paperless Advantage

In the 21st Century, is it crucial for businesses to be up-to-date with technology in order to stay competitive, yet many companies are not utilizing these revolutionary advances. A survey by Ephesoft, Inc. reports that 85 percent of businesses are not fully paperless. While it may take time to be completely paperless, only approximately 50 percent of businesses are even pursuing a paperless workplace. This situation leaves room for your business to take advantage of this new financial technology while your competitors stick to the old methods. 

The Advantages:

Time

Just like looking for your lost article of clothing, searching for specific documents can take much longer than it should. Your new automated system can sort and store your documents and allows you to quickly find the files you need. For example, in an automated Accounts Payable system a single clerk can increase productivity by 500 percent. Now you have the speed to cycle through more invoices and the ability to find specific documents quickly. Any automated system that regulates your business, moves your time from stressful number crunching to developing strategy.

Money

An automated Accounts Payable system can decrease the average cost of processing an invoice to only $5. The value of a single employee increases due to their increased efficiency. These are some of the things that may have been overlooked or unknown when surveying your own company. A perfect manual structure for handling accounts payable does not compare to an automated system. 

Accuracy

Accounts Payable is a section of your business that tends to drown in paper. Your employees are dealing with stacks of invoices and purchase orders that often lead to confusion and error. With an automated accounts payable system, human processing errors disappear. Once your invoices are in the system, they will be able to detect inconsistencies and errors. Your team will now be able to produce the most accurate financial reports and manufacture the most reliable forecasting so you know exactly how your business has been operating and how it will operate in the future. 

Understanding the Meaning of “Automation”

While this world is getting more technologically advanced every day, some of the methods we use are still not as useful if not done properly. For example, sending an invoice through an email as a PDF is an advance of technology, but still requires an employee to manually input the raw data. The government is trying to push for “e-Invoices” for tax and regulation purposes.

Many countries are actually requiring this type of automation for the same reasons. For example, if it is difficult to find a document in your back office, the government will probably have a much harder time than someone who knows the ins and outs of your business. This update in technology is also shortening the time between receiving invoices, and processing. All parties involved are benefiting from this process and, from the look of it, will most likely be a requirement for businesses in the future. 

Updating your system to be more efficient is the next step in your business, whether it is by choice or by law. This update in technology is the future and is helping your business stay organized as well as keeping your tax information in order. By not utilizing the paperless advantage, you are putting your business two steps behind your competition. Alleviating the paper burden on your company will let your business reach new heights in the future.