It’s said that the average American office worker uses as many as 10,000 sheets of paper every year.When you factor in every person in every office, that’s an awful lot of trees – isn’t it? But this figure doesn’t have to be set in stone. There are ways in which we can edge toward a paperless (or near-paperless) future, with very good reasons for doing so.
One big area in which you could make inroads into your paper consumption is when it comes to your finances. The wonders of modern technology mean that your ‘books’ no longer need to be encyclopedia-rescue works that gather dust on the shelf.
Here are five advantages to be had from weaning yourself off your paper addiction:
Is your first thought as a business ‘what’s this going to cost?’. That’s fair enough – and it’s a question that will lead you to a favorable answer when it comes to paperless finance.
Imagine how much the aforementioned 10,000 sheets per office worker actually costs your business, especially when you consider the cost of the ink when it comes to printing on them. Everlast dollar and cent that you save here can go towards something more productive.
Do you care about the planet and want to pass it on in good condition to future generations? If so, we all need to do our bit to help.
Using less paper and posting a little less mail is a great way to start. Businesses can store and share most of their necessary paperwork electronically – even getting contracts electronically signed and saved as PDF files – easing the burden and saving many trees.
If you can share a document via email and get it signed electronically, then the process of getting a document signed and returned to you might take only a matter of minutes – even if the recipient is in a different country or continent.
That allows you to work quickly and avoid lengthy delays – and makes it easier to access the documents you want whenever you might need them. Convenience means being flexible to your needs too.
So there’s no reason, for example, why you can’t handle all of your accounts and payrolls on a software package while printing safe and secure checks where necessary.
In practice, being ‘paperless’ is about cutting the unnecessary printing, not purging your office of any paper.
You have a Backup
What’s the only way of being sure of not losing an important paper document? Making copies – and yet more paperwork – of said document? Probably.
By choosing to keep your key documents electronically, and backing up your files properly, it shouldn’t be quite so easy to lose key documents. Electronically searching for a document is much more efficient than scouring the back of your filing cabinets too.
It affects your office decoration. Speaking of which, it’s very easy for your office to look a mess when paperwork is involved.
Contracts, policies and other documents take up a lot of space on shelves and in filing cabinets – but take up none of that if your financial documents are kept digitally. This, in turn, might mean that you could afford to have a smaller floorspace.
There are many businesses that operate on a purely digital basis and don’t have the opportunity to store piles of paper.
A paperless office – or as near to it as possible – feels like an environment befitting the age we’re in. It makes the most of the digital technology and allows business to cut costs act in a quicker, greener and more flexible way.