The pandemic taught us a lot about working remotely. As a result, we've spent the past two years re-evaluating our processes and plugging our inefficiencies.
But one of the main inefficiencies we noticed while working from home was the use of physical documents. They're hard to store, expensive to distribute, and easily lost or damaged. So we started researching the best software for going paperless.
During the process, we learned that going paperless can save you from filtering through filing cabinets and improve your productivity, security and profit margins!
So with that in mind, we wanted to share our top incentives and software suggestions for going paperless.
Why Accounting Firms Should Go Paperless
There are several compelling reasons for going paperless. In fact, if we listed them all, we'd be here all day! So rather than rattling off an extensive list, we've whittled down our favourite benefits into four succinct points.
Here are four reasons why accountancy firms should consider going paperless:
Going paperless significantly increases your productivity! Instead of wasting your time printing, filing and searching through mountains of paperwork, save yourself the hassle and let your computer store and locate files for you.
It only takes a quick google search to understand the severity of the climate crisis. So do your bit by going paperless - it's ethical, environmentally friendly and great for your company's image.
3. Reduced costs
Did you know that the accountancy industry wastes £11 million a year on printing? It's true! Going paperless could save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds a year on printers, ink, paper and postage!
Cloud software allows you to store all of your documents safely online. So rather than rifling through filing cabinets (which are prone to damage and pretty easy to break into), you can protect your sensitive documents with digital security systems and encryptions.
Essential Tools for going Paperless
Now that we've shared just a few of the benefits of going paperless, it's time to discuss what software you'll need to make the transition.
Again, a plethora of software is available, so we've tried to limit this list to include only the best software for going paperless.
With that in mind, here are our software recommendations:
Document management system
Let's start off with the basics. Document management systems store, track and manage your documents. In addition, they allow you to collaborate with colleagues, organise your resources and share information across numerous desktops and devices.
Whatever system you choose will become the digital hub for all of your documents - so this is a very important first step.
Scanning hardware and software
Not to state the obvious, but if you're going to become a paperless firm, you'll need to transfer all of your documents online. So you'll have to invest in some scanning hardware and software.
Whether you purchase a physical scanner or an app is entirely up to you - but the priority should be ensuring your files are automatically uploaded to your document management system.
Now that you've decided to take the plunge and go paperless, you need somewhere to store all your digital files.
Cloud-based storage allows you to store and categorise your documents online without fear of theft or loss. Also, by adopting a cloud-based system, you can access your files anytime, anywhere (as long as you have an internet connection). As a result, you can improve your efficiency and heighten your security!
Bill pay software
Bill pay software is some of the best software for going paperless because it allows you to create, send and track invoices online. So you can stay on top of your finances and kiss goodbye to signing checks, sending physical invoices and processing payments.
PS - you can manage all of your finances in one place by simply connecting your bill pay software to your cloud accounting software.
Workflow management software
Not only is it some of the best software for going paperless, but it's also perfect for managing a remote team.
Workflow management software allows you to design custom workflows, create and assign tasks, monitor progress and automate simple processes. So, if you want to improve your overall efficiency, we strongly recommend investing in this software.
Rather than wasting your time printing, posting and signing physical documents, you can cut out the middle man (sorry, postie) and sign your documents securely online. It’s safe, super-efficient, and saves you from leaving the house!
Go paperless today
So there we have it - the best software for going paperless.
Whilst there are plenty of things we would like to leave behind with the pandemic, going paperless is not one of them! These paperless systems are helping to reduce waste, increase profits and boost productivity. (And that's just a few of their many benefits!)
So what are you waiting for? Take the plunge and go paperless today!
Need more help? Download our Guide to choosing a practice management software cheat sheet!