People have been predicting the arrival of the paperless office for decades, but for whatever reason or reasons, paper is still to be seen everywhere in almost every office. Most of us don’t think about it much, but our businesses often expend a whole lot of time, effort and money just moving paperwork around from one place to another. It doesn’t make sense, nor does it need to be this way. In almost every area of business, it’s now feasible to get rid of paper entirely.

Why do we use and store so much paper?

Firstly, business owners need to ask themselves what might seem to be a rather obvious question: Why do they store documents at all? In most cases, the answer is that they are required by law to retain them for a certain number of years. Invoices, receipts, banks statements and a ton of everyday transactional documents can clog up everything from a simple shoebox to entire buildings. The storage industry has largely been built around the need to retain such items.

The digital alternative…

The obvious alternative to storing paper-based documents is to digitise them, then store them locally or in the cloud. Here are the key advantages of taking that approach.

Cost savings

I’ve already mentioned how much space document storage can consume. Digitising documents can reduce storage space from rooms or buildings to a simple digital drive (or even a thumb drive). The cost savings are obvious.

Retrievable

Government agencies, law firms and other organisations used to (some still do) employ archivists. Their job was to record the location of every document ever used, so it could be retrieved. Digital technology makes that same tedious task achievable in just seconds – no human beings needed!

Sharable

One of the primary reasons for storing documents is so that they can be shared with people who need to see them. Digital storage and retrieval offers the important benefit of being able to instantly share documents with people across the room or across the world.

Secure

What’s more secure – a room full of paper that could be stolen or go up in smoke, or digitally stored (and backed up) files held in multiple, secure locations? The answer is so obvious that it barely requires any explanation.

How Xero can help

One of the primary drivers of paper accumulation is accounting and bookkeeping. Xero bookkeeping software offers a cloud-based solution that can virtually eliminate your need to store paper – and offers all of the benefits outlined above about digital storage.

Invoices

Invoices can be created and emailed to customers with Xero in real time, either from your office or out on site. Invoicing is simple and easy, with apps making it possible to create an invoice from your mobile phone in seconds.

Receipts

Receipts can be scanned straight into Xero, also from your office or out in the field using an app on your mobile phone. No need for paper!

Bank Statements

Going paperless with Xero is easy, with Xero able to electronically access, encode and enter your bank statements straight into the Xero system.

Storage and retrieval

Store all of your accounting records digitally in the cloud, then retrieve what you need at any time, with Xero. Not only is storage convenient and easy, Xero provides direct visibility over which documents are associated with a particular transaction or transactions, leaving a flawless audit trail.

Try Xero bookkeeping software for free

If you’re uncertain about the benefits of going digital with your accounting, I can organise a free trial for you with Xero. The free trial will let you see for yourself that Xero delivers on the promises it makes and how well it does that. Click here to send me an email or just give me a call on 0447 370 301.

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