A paperless environment will not only result in less harm to the environment; it’s also a great way to save costs. Businesses can save hundreds of dollars every month by going paperless. A paper-free environment can also make a positive impression on customers.
But how do you go about transforming your business to a paperless environment? What steps do you need to take to go paper-free and save costs?
In this article, you will learn about four tips for businesses to go paperless and save on their bottom line.
1. Electronic Signatures
Electronic signatures are a digital alternative to the pen-and-ink signature. They don’t need to be scanned into your PC. You can use an electronic signature software to automatically create a digital signature. The signature will be considered valid and legal if it is made using a software that complies with e-signature laws in the country.
In the US, the relevant e-signature acts include Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and e-sign Act 2000. Electronic signatures in the EU must conform to the requirements set by the eIDAS. Different countries have different regulations that make digital signatures legally binding. E-signature software such as DocuSign and FillAnyPDF.com comply with international standards relating to digital signatures.
2. Online Storage
Instead of storing documents on local storage, you should consider storing documents online. Cloud storage allows you to save costs in comparison to local storage. When you store documents online, you don’t have to invest in and maintain costly servers and backup devices. The online storage service provider takes care of these tasks for you. These providers also give you access from anywhere using any internet-connected device
However, not all online storage providers are secure, and the security and access controls of certain online storage providers may not comply with the standards of your industry. This is why a virtual data room is considered the gold standard of secure online storage and will help your business succeed and make sure your customer, client and investor data does not fall into the wrong hands.
3. Send Electronic Invoice
To reduce the need for paper documents, you should consider sending electronic invoices to your customers. You can use accounting software for that purpose. Accounting software has features that allow you to make billing less cumbersome.
Instead of using paid accounting software such as QuickBooks, you should consider free or open-source software such as GnuCash, TurboCash, Invoice Expert, and AdminSoft Accounts. Most small business owners will find the free accounting software more than enough for their accounting needs. Using online accounting software can not only reduce the use of paper and thereby costs, but also result in increased convenience for customers. You won’t need to buy as much envelops, paper, and postages. And there is less wait time between when invoices are sent and when they are returned by customers.
4. Use Online Banking Services
A lot of paper is consumed due to printing bank statements for reconciliation and other purposes. Signing up for an online business banking account will greatly reduce the paper you use. Most of the online banking services can be accessed via mobile. This provides more convenience in performing tasks such as viewing account balances, paying bills, and even filing taxes. However, the most important benefit of using online banking services is that it will help reduce the use of paper.
The above tips can help your business to go paperless and significantly reduce operational costs. Going paperless will also streamline operations and make processes more efficient. This will provide the boost required to make your business profitable. What’s more, this will lead to a cleaner and less polluted earth that will surely impress your customers.