You would have certainly heard the buzz about the paperless office, and the promise of a hassle-free, more productive, working environment. If you’re ready to make the move towards going paperless, we’ve put together this article going over what your office may need. So, what does your office need to go paperless?
The first thing you need is a plan of action to go paperless, you can’t just throw your printer out the window and hope for the best. Your paperless action plan should identify where you currently use paper in your business processes, come up with paperless alternatives, and involve a plan for converting your old paper documents into digital.
Your paperless training plan is critical to make sure your team effectively adopts your action plan. Without training your team on how to do their jobs the new paperless way, your entire digital workflow will be a mess and some will just end up continuing to use paper. To create an effective training plan, break each of your changed business processes into step by step instructions, then run a live demo with your team going through each step together.
To get your paper documents onto the cloud, you either have to re-enter the data into the computer, or scan the document. To do this, you can use a scanner, or if you don’t want to buy a scanner there are mobile scanning apps like Evernote Scannable. Mobile scanning apps work pretty well now, and provide a cheap and easy way to scan your documents, but if you have hundreds of documents to convert, it may be easier to just buy a good scanner.
At the core of most paperless offices is a good storage service like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or DropBox. These file sharing and storage services are where you would keep the bulk of your documents, which can be securely searched and accessed by the rest of your team.
How will you manage invoices, receipts, purchase orders, and other accounting matters digitally? Accounting software like Xero can take the hassle out of it, most accounting solutions also provide a lot of features that can help you stay paperless, such as automatically emailing invoice reminders, and automatically converting pdf documents like bills or invoices into their systems.
Does your office use paper forms, or paper checklists? A data collection app that works on the web and mobile, like Locale Central, can help your team submit new forms with ease, and manage form data all in one central place. When choosing a data collection app, look at the features they provide and see if they provide everything you need to convert your paper forms into digital, as well as any other business needs. You can create an account for free with Locale Central.
An eSignature app like HelloSign or DocuSign can take the hassle out of printing, signing, then scanning legally binding documents. Instead, you can sign your documents online with an eSignature, as well as get others to sign your documents from the app as well.