The phrase “digital transformation” has taken the business world by storm with innovative solutions for nearly every niche and industry. And while those solutions often come with new and different technologies and processes, the net outcome is a new way of thinking that enables businesses of all sizes to expand their scope in the most efficient way possible.
“Paperless” accounting isn’t just the absence of paper: It also means the adoption of solutions that can streamline antiquated, inefficient and less secure practices. In short, going paperless is part of the next wave of digital transformation.
The evolution of going paperless
While some of these paperless accounting solutions are new and different, the concept of “going green” has been around for years. The mid-1990s saw a surge of business technology aimed to revolutionise accounting processes with new and more powerful computer hardware and software. The world was excited by these innovations, and theoretically, the possibilities of what they could do for traditional “paper” processes were boundless.
But like so many innovations, the tech was somewhat behind the idea back then, and paperless accounting took a back seat to the personal computer and updated tech in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Only in the late 2000s – and throughout the 2010s – did paperless accounting processes truly begin to take flight.
Now is the time to consider a paperless solution, one that can forever change the way you and your clients do business. Going paperless can mean:
- Organised documents: When a receipt, contract, or legal proceeding is digitalised, that document forever lives in a searchable sphere. Digital copies are searchable, archiveable and easily categorised. Gone are the days of sifting through a stack of receipts for hours. When those receipts are digitised and uploaded, they live on forever and are accessible in an instant. Consider a solution with optical character recognition technology for faster searches.
- Happy and engaged clients: Enabling and empowering clients to send digital copies of pertinent documents to a secure portal allows them to maintain an optimum level of ownership. Consider the time and effort spent if instead of coming to your office or mailing in a signed document your clients could instead simply sign things electronically. There’s no wait time, as this solution can be used on mobile or through a desktop PC.
- A business on the rise: It’s no secret that enabling a business to run more efficiently can have a profound impact on both its stakeholders and the customers it serves. A firm functioning at optimum levels will inevitably attract bigger and better clients.
Consider the following
As with all new technology, there are some additional considerations that must be addressed in a thoughtful and profound manner. Handling finances is about as personal a concept as can be. Paperless solutions come in all shapes and sizes, so a careful look at the current processes and firm goals is necessary to determine what aspects are most important.
Security must be at the top of that list. The financial sector doesn’t work without it and clients won’t trust anything that doesn’t come with a fail-safe or other reasonable guarantee for the protection of their data. Therefore, it is important that whatever paperless solution your firm adopts also comes with extensive safeguards to help prevent things like data losses, breaches or corruption.
Going paperless in a traditionally heavy papered industry like accounting and finance can be a hard nut to crack. But when faced with the pros of this type of digital transformation, it becomes clear that a transition to paperless practices – when done properly and securely – can benefit each and every one of us.