As computers became more prevalent in the workplace, the notion of a paperless office gained traction. Corporations looked forward to the day when their burgeoning file rooms would be replaced with much less cumbersome disks. The expenses of paper, lease costs for copiers and the constant need for printer ink would be done away with. It sounded wonderful.
And we’re still waiting for that day.
The ironic thing is, the only thing holding us back from a near-paperless office environment is habit. There are many ways to reduce our dependency on paper, as well as our costs. A paperless office is efficient and very cost effective, not to mention ecologically responsible.
The following are some ways your office can save time and money by reducing paper:
- Docusign: The American based company, Docusign, allows you sign documents electronically. The process is safe and legal. When more than one person has to sign a document, a “path” can be created where post signing, it is automatically sent to the next person in line. Using Docusign, you can create electronic documents and have them signed and filed digitally without ever having to press the print button. What a great idea for long documents such as legal and real estate contracts.
- Email: There is no need to print out your most important emails. Standard email providers allow you to make files in your inbox. The possibilities are endless. Create files for your clients, tasks, follow ups and more. Using the rules feature, you can specify that emails automatically go into their designated file folder. You can easily find what you need when it’s organized like this, or use the search feature to locate a specific document.
- Bills: Most service providers have an option to send bills via email, and when you pay your bills online too, you save even more paper.
- Meetings: You could print out agendas and have someone transcribe your important meetings, or you can connect with your clients and staff using programs like GoToMeeting and Skype. These audio/video calls allow you to share screens and jointly edit documents. Some of these services have a record function so you can digitally file a transcript of your meeting. Not only can you reduce a significant amount of paper, not having to travel for meetings saves time and money too.
Don’t let the thought of digital files scare you. They are very secure. In fact, if your building was to burn down tomorrow, how many paper files would you lose? If your digital files are properly backed up or even better, on the cloud, you greatly increase your security and have the added bonus of being able to access your files wherever you have a computer and an Internet connection.
The paperless office does not need to be a far off dream. It can easily happen now. All you need to do is make a few quick and easy modifications in your processes. Going paperless saves you time, money and reduces your impact on the environment. Give it a try today.
AF Accounting encourages innovation in Quebec’s marketplace and we want you to take advantage of today’s technology for a cleaner, safer, paper-reduced office. To learn how you can free your office from the burden of accounting documents, contact us.