Going paperless will save your business time and money

Four areas you need to tackle to get your business running smoothly in the digital world, and on the path to better profit and efficiency

paperless businessTORONTO, Ont. Oct. 24, 2016/ Troy Media/ – If you’re not using technology to look after your business’s money, you’re wasting time, spending too much on bookkeeping and probably missing some customers.

“It makes a significant difference and it multiplies efficiency,” says Dara Sklar of [popup url=”http://www.gopaperzero.com/” height=”1000″ width=”1200″ scrollbars=”1″]Paper Zero[/popup]. “Paper is becoming less and less relevant in our increasingly digital world. We just don’t need it.”

Paper Zero is where “digital clutter gets kicked to the curb.” The business launched earlier in 2016. It 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 experience doing books for her previous business. “I was taking eight to 10 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 your bookkeeping was already organized. Then it wouldn’t be a big job when it comes time to file taxes or produce reports.

There are four areas you need to tackle to successfully go paperless:

Cloud-based storage

The objective is to set 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. 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.
  • You’re not using your computer’s memory, and no matter how much you have filed on the cloud, it will not slow you down.
  • It offers the ultimate in flexibility, giving you access from anywhere, anytime.

Organizing files

Once you have your cloud-based system chosen, and have set up separate personal and business bank accounts, the next step is to organize your electronic folder structure to mirror a well-setup 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 or an additional card on the same account. The purpose is to be sure you can completely separate business and personal expenditures.)
  • Within each account folder, create sub-folders for each monthly statement.
  • Inside that monthly folder, 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.

And go mobile. Businesses today are expected to enable anytime, anywhere payment methods. It’s a clear benefit for customers and you. The result is less paperwork, 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 today’s technology tools and watch what happens when you’re not buried in paperwork. The world is your oyster when you’re digitally organized.

Between them, Boni and John Wagner-Stafford have five decades of experience as entrepreneurs and/or providing consulting services to other small businesses across Canada. Boni and John are included in Troy Media’s Unlimited Access subscription plan.

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