4 Ways to Go Paperless in Your Small Business

4 Ways to Go Paperless

If you’re not using technology to leverage the time you spend taking care of your business’s money, you’re missing out. You’re wasting your own time, spending more on bookkeeping services than you need, and probably missing out on some customers too. The solution? Go Paperless.

“It makes a significant difference and it multiplies efficiency,” says Dara Sklar of Paper Zero. “Paper is becoming less and less relevant in our increasingly digital world. We just don’t need it.”

Sklar’s Paper Zero is where ‘digital clutter gets kicked to the curb’. The business launched earlier in 2016 and provides online video training and support to help businesses get rid of paper processes and organize digitally.

Paper Zero is the result of Sklar’s own experience doing the books for her previous business. “I was taking eight to ten hours for my month end. That’s a day or two of not doing billable work for clients! I would find myself a week or two into the following month, and I hadn’t sent invoices or collected any money. Not good.”

Imagine if you were already organized with your bookkeeping “paperwork”. Then it wouldn’t be a big job when it comes time to file taxes, or produce reports.

Cloud-based Storage

Cloud-based Storage

Cloud-based Storage

When you go paperless, the objective is to set yourself up so that you can always find things quickly. One of the key pieces of advice from Paper Zero is to use a cloud-based storage system. Dropbox is one great example, but there’s also Google Drive, Microsoft’s One Drive and more. The reasons to choose cloud-based rather than local computer storage include:

  • Search functions and security are better in the cloud than they are when locally-based.
  • Automatic backups in the cloud mean you don’t lose anything from virus attacks, crashes, or theft.
  • Does not use your computer’s memory, so no matter how much “stuff” you have filed there, it will not slow you down.
  • The ultimate in flexibility, giving you access from anywhere, anytime.

Organizing Files

Organizing Files

Organizing Files

Once you have your cloud-based system chosen, and you’ve set up separate personal and business bank accounts, the next step is to organize your electronic folder structure to mirror a well-set up physical filing cabinet.

  • Create separate folders for each bank account and credit card associated with your business. (If you don’t have a business credit card, consider getting one that you use only for business purchases. It could be a separate card altogether, or an additional card on the same account. But the purpose is to be sure you can completely separate business and personal expenditures.)
  • Within each account folder, you will create sub-folders for each monthly statement.
  • Inside that monthly folder, you will save receipts for all purchases made that month using that account and the statement for that month.

The behaviour that will really put the cherry on top of your new approach is to adopt a “touch it once” philosophy. When mail arrives, it gets scanned and saved in the appropriate folder right away. A few minutes each day will save you days of work at month end.

Ditch Cash

There’s not really any need for cash in most businesses today. Sure, if your business is a pizza delivery service, you’ll want to accept payment in cash. But to pay the business bills, track expenses, invoice customers, and budget? Not needed. Go digital. Paying with a bank or credit card rather than cash means fewer manual entries when you reconcile your expenses.

Ditch Cash

Make it Easy for Customers to Pay

And, go mobile. It’s expected today that businesses enable anytime, anywhere payment methods. A clear benefit for customers, but it’s also better for you. Go paperless and have more time building your business and generating sales.

Make it Easy for Customers to Pay  

Complement your digital move to mobile by making it easy for your customers to pay. Yes, credit card fees can be outrageous, but the easier you make it for people to pay you the fewer barriers there are to doing business with you.

Use the technology tools available today and watch what happens when you’re not buried in paperwork. The world is your oyster when you’re digitally organized. Go paperless.

Originally published by Troy Media

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