Paper documents, prehistoric faxes, and other modes of antiquated correspondence are wholly outmoded in 2012. In fact, many Web-based services can help you reduce or even eliminate your use clumsy and ecologically unfriendly handling of paper, but is making the transition worth the challenge? Very possibly YES.
Here are four benefits of going paperless from Kathryn Hawkins at Intuit Small Business –
1. Improve efficiency. It can be time-consuming and tedious to sift through months or years of documents stored in filing cabinets to find the information you need. By going digital, you can reduce errors and retrieve data faster. Maintaining searchable electronic records also makes it easier for employees to respond to customer requests, from the office or remote locations.
2. Save money on office supplies. The cost of paper — around $40 per case — isn’t the only cost of relying on printed documents. Equipment, ink, toner, and storage, to name a few, all add up. So does the time that you and your employees spend managing and filing paper. In fact, Fortune 100 companies spend roughly $7,500 per employee each year to manage paper documents.
3. Help the environment. A typical office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year, notes Reduce.org. Cutting back that number to zero (or as close to it as possible) can conserve significant energy and resources. For instance, if every U.S. household shifted to paying bills online, the release of greenhouse gases could be curbed by 2.1 million tons.
4. Speed up your receivables. If you rely on paper documents and checks for billing and invoicing, you can spend a lot of time waiting for clients to receive your invoices and cut your checks. By eliminating paper invoices and checks and making the shift to electronic billing, you may entice your clients to process payment immediately: Intuit’s PaymentNetwork customer survey found that business owners who used electronic methods to request payment were paid within 10 days, versus a 27-day average for all methods.