What does it take for small businesses to go paperless?

The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced many small businesses – possibly including yours – to confront some of their shortcomings in recent months. Perhaps chief among them could be the need for a broader and more effective document management solution, which can help your company on numerous fronts, including enabling more effective remote working.

Many companies may have a goal of operating a primarily paperless office – or at least using paperless processes to undergird many of their normal operations – and now is probably the time to finally achieve that objective as work-from-home orders remain in place in many parts of the country, according to industry executive Eugene Xiong, writing for the Forbes Technology Council.

Getting it right
When trying to figure out how to be less reliant on physical documents and more interactive in digital spaces, smaller companies may not realize the importance of getting all their old files into a document management platform, the report said. Scanning years' or even decades' worth of old files enables them to pull up critical information with a few keystrokes rather than trying to sift through potentially dozens of drawers' worth of old purchase orders, receipts and so on.

This will also tend to improve the security of such documents, while simultaneously making them more accessible to your staffers, the report said.

Unexpected needs
When it comes to these kinds of changes, however, you may not realize just how many of your current processes rely at least somewhat on physical documents, and nowhere is this more evident in the accounting department, according to CFO Daily News. You may produce as many receipts or purchase orders as you take in, and while this is sometimes unavoidable, you should certainly do more in-house to make sure your processes are as paper-free as you can make them to increase visibility, clarity and ease of use for everyone under your roof.

On the one hand, a paperless office is rarely ever totally paperless, but on the other, pushing to reach as close to zero as you possibly can is always a good idea. The more that can be done on this front – especially with many people still working remotely – the better off your company will be.