‘Oops I forgot to buy a photocopier!’.
These were my first words after upgrading Drive’s office hardware and realising that I not only failed to upgrade the photocopier; I failed to replace it. The initial response of ‘how did I not realise that?’ quickly changed to ‘it makes perfect sense!’ The new hardware was implemented to improve the efficiencies of existing processes – the photocopier didn’t belong to any process in our office.
For Gold Coast Business Accountants’ this was a major milestone, albeit inadvertent, on our ‘paperless office’ quest. But! before you toss out your photocopier, we are going to look at 10 ways to start your ‘paperless office’ journey.
Even with the most modern technology, most businesses will find it difficult to become truly ‘paperless’. Regulatory and client factors can play a part in the need for some paper. If we termed it ‘significantly reduced paper office’ instead of ‘paperless’ then maybe the journey may not seem so daunting to begin.
10 ways to kick start your ‘paperless office’ journey:
- Communicate with and lead the team about why you are going paperless, what it will achieve, and how you are going to do it.
- Dual or multi LCD monitor setups reduces wasteful printing and increases productivity. Don’t provide excuses for printing by failing to invest in digital real estate.
- ‘Good-Bye fax, Hello 21st Century’. The facsimile has to go, no exceptions.
- Document storage is the backbone of a good paperless office. Google and Microsoft have cloud-based document management solutions, and xero accountants users will be pleased to know about their alliance with Dropbox.
- Reduce the number of printers per staff member to discourage printing. No more personal printers! The cost of buying and servicing printers is huge – not to mention consumables such as ink and paper.
- Analyse why you print certain documents and strategize the digital replacement.
- PDF’s are your new paper and Adobe Reader isn’t going to cut it. Upgrade to Adode Pro XI, Document Cloud, or similar alternative to ensure productivity is being achieved.
- Encourage recycling of paper and waste reduction. Creating an environmentally aware culture is critical.
- Receive electronic documents by asking external parties to no longer provide paper copies of bank statements and invoices.
- Scanners are a paperless office’s best friend when starting the journey. Invest wisely as this is crucial to your efficiency and productivity.
- Post and Perish
- Do you have clouds gathering on the horizon?
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