A few decades ago, the idea of a paperless office seemed like a futuristic dream. However, with inexpensive technology, pervasive cloud computing protecting data and improved compatibility between software programs, this dream is becoming more of a reality every day. If you're considering moving to a fully digital office, here's how to develop a strategy that will help you get the process started.
Start by backing up current documentation. Though this sounds arduous, it can go fairly easily if you have idle workers to handle scanning and storage process. An automatic document feeder on a multi-purpose machine can scan bulk documents, which can then be separated or joined into individual documents, named, tagged and stored.
Consider items that may still require paper copies. If regulatory or legal requirements or customer preferences demand that some portion of your business continue working with paper copies of documentation, work on going digital with your remaining paperwork.
Start with the simplest parts of your business. Is your receptionist still taking paper messages? Switch to a digital messaging system to convey those messages. What about receipts? Ask customers if they'd prefer an email receipt instead of a paper copy which can be lost.
Get paperless documents from your financial institutions, vendors and other organizations. Can you get your bank statements electronically? What about receipts from the office supply store? Downloading a digital copy of your tax return is always a good idea.
Start using electronic signatures for as many documents as possible. This process is covered under the ESIGN Act of 2020, allowing you to use an electronic signature for a wide range of documents while delivering the same level of protection as a printed sign document.
Switch your internal documentation and manuals to an in-house Wiki document. This allows quick access and search functionality of your internal information, making it much more accessible for all of your employees, whether they're in the office or working remotely.
A paperless office can be a dream come true, but only if the transition is managed properly. If you need help developing a strategy for transitioning to a digital office, the experienced business professionals at AccountRely can help. Please feel free to reach out today with any questions or to get started.