How to Transition Into A Paperless Practice
Before the advent of technology, filing cabinets and paper documents were the most reliable way to store and organize information in a workplace or home. That also meant that rooms were often full to the brim of heavy metal cabinets and stacks of paper that can seem incredibly intimidating to sift through at first glance.
People quickly grew tired of the old ways of handling information, which is why many homes and offices embraced electronic document management systems. Gone were the days of rifling through papers for hours to find a snippet of information, as you can now enter a search term into the software and view the results in minutes. A paperless system is also convenient for accountants. An accounting workflow software can help these professionals accomplish hours-long tasks in mere minutes.
The Practicality of a Paperless System
Going paperless has become the norm over the last few years, thanks to the digital business climate. Although paper still has its uses, it’s proven to be an expensive resource that takes up both time and storage space. It’s also wasteful, especially since many workplaces tend to shred or throw documents they no longer use. Switching to a paperless practice will help your business stay competitive, modern, and efficient, giving you and your employees more time to enjoy outside the office.
Transitioning to Paperless Practice
If you’re curious about making the switch, here are four steps to take that will transition your practice into a completely paperless one:
- Rally the team.
- Organize your files.
- Acquire the right software and systems.
- Start filing your information electronically.
1. Rally the Team
The primary reason that many offices feel hesitant about going paperless is that management doesn’t show any initiative or will to start the transition. However, once they see that you’re practicing a paperless environment yourself and observe the benefits, they’ll be more willing to try it out. Start by scanning the files in your documents and uploading them into an electronic system so you can familiarize yourself with the process, making it easier to train your team.
Once you get everyone on board, you can start setting goals for each department to launch the transition process. Encouraging them by discussing all the money, time, and effort saved by going paperless is an excellent way to expedite the process, as they’ll jump on anything that makes it easier to complete their tasks.
2. Organize Your Files
Now that your team is ready to start using a cloud-based management system, it’s time to start organizing your paperwork. Ensure you divide your team and delegate the paperwork to scan the documents as quickly and efficiently, making the transition easier. This step will be the lengthiest, more time-consuming one, but you’ll never have to deal with your paper files again once you set up your preferred accounting practice management solution.
3. Acquire the Right Software and Systems
Preparing the documents will take a while, so you want to use this time to obtain the right software for your practice that will smoothen your accounting workflows. You’ll need to make a list of the tools that your business will need to continue operating smoothly without relying on paperwork, along with features you’d like to have, like data backup, employee permissions, and automation.
Finding the right software can take a while, and you’ll have to train your staff to use it properly. However, our workflow software for bookkeepers, for instance, allows you to create checklists for work, delegate tasks to your team, and monitor their progress. It’s also easy to use, which means your employees can learn how to use it without popping a vein.
4. Start Filing Your Information Electronically
Once you’ve chosen your software, you’ll need to start filing your scanned documents into it. This process is also the opportunity for you to evaluate how to manage incoming documents and digital files while working on uploading the rest of your scanned paperwork. Once you start this process, you’ll need to make sure that your company files all incoming documents electronically to prevent growing your backlog by the dozen.
Going paperless may be the next best thing that has ever happened to your office. It will save your company from having to invest money in tons of paper and hours upon hours of sorting and filing them. By transitioning into a paperless practice, you’ll enjoy endless savings and increased security.
Financial Cents is an easy to use workflow software for accountants and bookkeepers. It has everything you need to grow your practice, meet your deadlines, and keep client work from falling through the cracks. Try a demo today for free!