Paperless Office: Advantages for Small Business Professionals

Paperless Office: Advantages for Small Business Professionals

My husband and I run small businesses from home, and we are fortunate enough to each have our own office behind a closed door. We recognize this is a blessing, as many people who operate a business from home do not even have one spare room. Having said that, space is a premium whether you have no office, one or two offices, or are running a small business from a location other than home. As such having to have space to store paper documents/files can become a bit of a problem.  One way to solve this is to have your small business go paperless. Continue reading to find out about this advantage and more.

Advantage 1: Saves Space

It is unrealistic to think that every piece of paper can be eliminated from a small business, however, as stated above space is a premium especially when working from home. While not every piece can be discarded, in a digital age it is possible to reduce the amount of paper one needs to store, manage, and process. It has been said that some businesses can take up to 25% of their office space for storage, so imagine what this could look like working from home. By purchasing a scanner, instead of more filing cabinets or filing boxes, one can scan hard documents in a paperless filing system which then puts documents in a centralized location. If you were to use a cloud-based filing system you can access data from any device with an internet connection. Why not rid yourself of cumbersome filing cabinets and closets of boxes and open up workspace by implementing a digital management system?

Advantage 2: Saves Money

From storage to printing expenses, using and storing paper costs money. One must consider the cost of paper, ink, manila folders, filing cabinets, printers as well as maintenance and repair of said printers and fax machines. Moving to a paperless system cuts down on all of this expense. Furthermore, you have heard it said: “Time is money”. Whether you are the sole employee or you employ a handful of people, you can reduce the amount of time spent assembling, organizing, and filing paper as well as searching for particular documents. This manual task can be replaced by a few keystrokes and the click of a mouse. Who doesn’t want to save money? Going paperless goes a long way to making this happen.

Advantage 3: Saves Time

As alluded to above, going paperless saves time. Imagine having to wade through a whole pile of papers looking for that certain document, or having a client call looking for some particular information. This may require you to get up from your desk and go to a filing cabinet, or box tucked away in a closet looking for said document and by the time it is found you may be frustrated. A digital archive is streamlined making document retrieval as well as sending documents quicker. This same system makes it easier to do additional tasks like ordering goods and authorizing invoices. Furthermore, a digital management system makes these documents available to numerous employees in numerous locations. 

Advantage 4: Office Appearance and Reputation

As you can well imagine by cutting down on the amount of paper used your office will naturally become less cluttered. From your desk to your overall work environment, organization and not clutter will be evident. Two side benefits of a well-organized space are a greater focus for yourself/staff and good first impressions for potential clients you may visit your office. Having a paperless office also goes a long way in being environmentally friendly. Using paper may require 2-3 copies of the same document located in several different locations. Going digital reduces this duplication and provides a boost to the companies reputation as being conscious of the environment.

Advantage 5: Increased Security and Prevention of Loss

Filing paper documents are not nearly as secure as digital.  In some instances, all one needs is a key to access personal/private information. On the other hand, a digital document can be protected through several layers of security.  One can create password-protected accounts ensuring that only those who need to see them can.   Furthermore, digital information is harder to misplace or lose since electronic files can be backed up.  Finally, while disasters such as fire or flooding may be few and far between they are still a concern.  Paper documents are much more susceptible to these occurrences, whereas digital documents are protected as they are stored offsite.  This provides peace of mind.

Whether you run your small business out of a room in your home, or you have a location elsewhere, going paperless clearly has several advantages.  While this is not something accomplished overnight, with some commitment, patience, and careful planning it can be done. Why not give it a try? 

Watch this video to learn how you can use Pro Ledger Online for “paperless” bookkeeping.

Pro Ledger Online offers a cloud-based bookkeeping solution for small business professionals click here for a 30-day free trial. “Bookkeeping Made Simple”



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