Has your company considered going paperless? Digital documents are easier to store, manage, search, and process. By transitioning to this kind of system, you’ll reduce the amount of paper you use, improve the efficiency of your small business, and let staff spend more time working and less time organizing.
Making your existing bookkeeping system a paperless one requires careful planning, staff buy-in – and maybe a little help from your bookkeeper. Once you get started, though, you’ll never look back!
Look At Where The Paper Is Coming From
The best way to start your transition into a paperless bookkeeping system is to digitize the processes that generate paper. Office receipts and bills are a great place to start. Look at how you’re receiving your current paper documents (e.g. mail, billing, from an employee, etc.). Once you know where all the paper is coming from, you can start moving into digital formats in ways that work for all your departments and employees.
Scan Existing Paperwork
Scan documents already on paper and convert them to digital. Document scanning takes time, especially digging through old files and removing staples. You can choose a specialist firm for the job, but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that there’s a lot to do.
It might be tempting to scan everything. It can be sensible in some cases, often depending on your line of business – it’s good to know that your archive is complete if you need it to be. Instead, you could start with the documents you need – digitizing all papers for the current year and the last year – then fill in the gaps as you go along.
Choose A Cloud-Based Program
A data capture tool like Hubdoc makes it easy for bookkeepers and clients to upload bills and receipts through desktop computers, mobile devices, email, and scanners. It then gives access to the documents everyone needs when they need them!
The Trillium team partners with Hubdoc to make it easier for us and our clients to keep track of important documents. Clients can automatically import all their financial documents into this cloud-based program; Hubdoc can auto-fetch financial documents from over 700 banks, utilities, telecom providers and online suppliers.
A handy feature called Optical Character Recognition then analyzes the scanned documents for usable data. Suddenly, there’s no need for manual data entry!
Remember: Going Paperless Is An Ongoing Job!
Once you eliminate the paper from your office, your business can become more organized and efficient. But it won’t be long before more documents hit your desk – not every client, vendor, or customer is comfortable with an entirely digital lifestyle.
Some companies may find the best way to start is in one department, then add another process if the group has a positive experience with the transition. It will build interest in other colleagues and departments who aren’t involved yet, getting them on board if they’ve had some reservations about the change.
Set aside a period during the week where someone on your team scans and files the new documents. Ask your clients, customers, and business associates to send you electronic documents instead of paper!