There are several issues that are pushing companies toward the paperless office. A good accounting system with appropriate additions and backup strategies can make this ideal something that is very close to attainable with few notable exceptions.
The main issues that companies should consider when pursuing this goal are material costs, filing manpower and the obvious overall effects on the environment.
Paper and forms are expensive. If you print multiple copies of every invoice so that you can file them by customer, invoice number, etc. you must pay for those extra copies this month and every month thereafter. In most cases invoices are filed to permit easy retrieval for audits and addressing customer billing issues. If the invoice data is retained electronically this data is readily available from the computer to serve that purpose.
Some large customers actively promote sending invoices to them electronically as well, since this saves them the time of re-entering the data to their Payables system. In this case companies save the cost of the invoice as well as the cost of the postage. Minor changes to invoice printing can skip
printing invoices for these customers.
Similarly payroll cheques can be replaced with direct deposit services, saving the price of the cheque, although less expensive paper earnings slips are generally distributed anyways. The cost of direct deposit services, particularly when dealing with large numbers of employees, can be considerably less than the cost of printing and clearing cheques.
Filing takes considerable time and often requires one or more personnel to process the forms and considerable time to retrieve the information later when it is required.
MAKING IT ALL WORK
The foundation of any transition toward the paperless office is good data retention and a solid backup system. If we are not going to print and file extra copies of invoices, we had better be sure that we can reprint them later. Tax Auditors or customers may request copies of invoices at a later time.
Some changes to your accounting system and daily backups may be necessary to make it all work. We can help in this area, where necessary, to confirm your strategy is sound.† An inexpensive CD-Writer can be a valuable tool to help guarantee good data retention.
Another way to avoid needless paper usage is to print reports to the screen. Proof Listings serve only one purpose which is to check data before posting. This can be done to the screen in most cases. Other reports that are run to check totals and such can also be run to the screen. Posting Registers and Journals should still be printed and filed in most cases after scanning them for errors.
If you are printing a report to get data to be input into a spreadsheet, consider exporting the data via one of the Report Writers and Importing it directly into your spreadsheet. This will save you both paper and time spent re-entering the data to your spreadsheet.
Try E-mailing spreadsheets and documents instead of printing and faxing to save more.
Even reports that you do need to print can be adjusted to save paper. Some reports have a summary mode, which may meet your needs. You can also set most reports to print at† 8 lines per inch rather than 6 lines. This can save every fourth page if you donít mind the vertical compression. Keep in mind that you must adjust the lines per form and/or per page to 80 or 81 on most laser and inkjet printers and 88 on most dot matrix printers.