Old habits die hard. And people love paper. But that is finally changing. Acceptance of digital document storage and handling has finally reached the mainstream. In fact, many people now expect digital capabilities in every part of their life including business processes. While most companies have some paperless processes today, the advancements in mobile technology provide even more opportunities to go paperless.
According to a 1975 Business Week article, the paperless office was supposed to be a reality by 1990. Paper’s demise has been predicted every year since that time. Instead, with the improvements in printing technology, people used more paper because making multiple copies was easy and relatively cheap. However, the paperless office may finally be a reality. Since 2005, paper use has fallen sharply. 2016 may be the year for you to dump paper and go digital for all of your documents and business processes.
Clearly, it takes a long time for old habits to change, but there are many reasons why going paperless is becoming critical to remain competitive, increase productivity, and improve profitability.
Why You Should Go Paperless in 2016
- Paperless is easier. With a push of a button, you can file electronic documents; filing paper documents requires more steps and time. With a few keystrokes, you can research and locate electronic documents. Finding a paper document takes considerably more time, and if it was misfiled, it may never be found again.
- Paperless is cheaper. Printing and storing paper is expensive. The average cost of a typical business document during its lifespan is anywhere from $12 to $100. Using digital storage, this expense can be reduced. You also eliminate manual data entry labor costs.
- Paperless is more accurate. Digitizing paperwork eliminates manual data entry which often leads to errors. Once computer data is printed on paper, it becomes out of sync with database updates. According to a Prism International study, an average of 2% to 7% of documents are misfiled.
- Paperless is expected. People are moving toward digital in every part of their life. Your customers and employees expect to be able to easily access the documents and information that is important to them.
- Paperless makes you more competitive. You can use electronic documents to improve your customer experience, accelerate your sales process, attract and retain employees, and get faster reporting.
- Paperless offers you more control. Available data keeps on growing—doubling in size every two years. You need to take control now. When your documents and processes are digital, you are more organized and are more likely to meet deadlines.
- Paperless makes you more agile. Your large metal file cabinets are testament to the inflexibility of paper. Electronic data gives you the agility and flexibility you need to adapt to new situations quickly. Instead of looking for paper documents, you can spend time analyzing the data and making decisions.
- Paperless is better for the environment. “Go Green” efforts have taken root with more people trying to reduce their environmental impact. Eliminating paper reduces waste, which besides being better for the environment, also lowers costs.
- Paperless is easier to secure. In spite of the widespread stories of hacked digital information, databases are more secure that traditional filing cabinets. Digital access to information can be secured and tracked by the individual.
Using products like Sage 100 and Acumatica cloud ERP and accounting software is a great way to eliminate paper and automate business processes. With these solutions, you are able to easily automate functions including accounting, sales, inventory management, human resources, and much more. If you already have business software installed, it may be time to consider how you can automate even more processes with mobile technology or other new modules.
Accounting Systems, Inc. (ASI) can provide recommendations to help you automate your business processes. If you want to eliminate paper, reduce costs and increase productivity, we can review your current processes and find new ways to help your business succeed. Call us today to get started with going paperless in 2016.