Woohoo! The stress and headaches of tax season are finally over! As you celebrate though, be careful not to trip over that stack of paperwork…or that one there…or there. During the fervor and chaos of tax season, you likely realized how much paperwork you had accumulated over the years. A form seemingly arrived every day and would go into a heap that was elegantly labeled “Tax Stuff”. Because it can be so difficult and time-consuming to sift through paperwork when you are only looking for one specific document, we are going to show you the benefits of going paperless with your paperwork.
Reasons Why Your Business Should Go Paperless
As a business, you likely have a dedicated spot for your tax paperwork and business-related files. You may be someone who has been “paper-full” for a long time, and it is absolutely okay to prefer dealing with the physical document rather than an electronic version. However, there are many benefits to going paperless:
Increase Your Security
When a document is only stored in a filing cabinet (or pile), you risk losing the original document due to unexpected tragedies like a fire or flood. Storing your document electronically allows you the opportunity to store your files securely in the cloud or simply off-site on a hard drive. Also, being a paperless company helps you control file access and document workflows.
Waste Less Time
As you have already discovered during tax season, sifting through paperwork can be time-consuming and stressful. As a business, time is immeasurably valuable and could be better spent on working with that new client or business deal – not dealing with a misplaced document. Using a well-organized system, your paperless filing system could save you money and time – and headaches!
Maximize Your Efficiency
Dealing with that heap of paperwork may cost you a sale or a client. Going paperless helps you find a document in mere seconds, freeing you up to deal with other business concerns!
Removing Paper From Your Company
Alright, so you understand that being paperless will yield many benefits for your company. But where do you start? Well, there are 3 general steps to being a paperless company: scanning, organizing, and maintaining
Step #1: Scanning Your Company’s Paperwork
This initial step involves transferring your existing paperwork and records into your computer or cloud storage. To maximize your efficiency during your paperless transition, you’ll want to look into business-oriented scanners that can handle a large amount of paperwork. While all-in-ones are great for general uses, it is obviously preferable to have a scanner that is devoted to efficiently scanning large volumes of paperwork. There are many other expenses included in this step as well, such as cloud storage providers, labor costs for converting the documents into an electronic version, as well as expenses that are more specific to your own company’s situation. Be sure to scan archived documents from the past so your paperless system is forward-compatible and backward-compatible.
Step #2: Organizing Your Files & Forms
After you have converted your paperwork into a digital format, it is important to be as organized as you were with your physical documents (if not more). Nomenclature, choosing the names for your files, is obviously a priority and – if done properly – will save you stress and worry in the future. There are many software solutions available to help you throughout this second step of your paperless transition. Compare the different software solutions available and choose the best one for your business.
Step #3: Maintaining Your Paperless Company
After you have set up your paperless company, it is important to develop good procedures that will allow you, and your employees, to keep the paperless system organized and efficient. Security is also still a concern, as with physical documents, and it is paramount that you develop good practices for documenting workflow and securing file access.
Paperless At Last!
You finally did it! During next year’s tax season, you won’t be sifting through stack after stack of paperwork trying to find that document or file; you will just sit in front of your computer and, within a fraction of those previous times, find that form or document. Being a paperless company has many advantages, as we briefly discussed in this article. As stated above, being paperless will save you time and preserve your company’s efficiency; get started on your paperless transition today and get rid of that huge pile of paperwork!