After years of handling clients’ data, I’ve found that a lot of businesses are still clinging on to a paper-based system. It’s such a shame because there are massive benefits when you store your documents digitally, especially your invoice and receipts.
This is why Xero’s latest survey failed to surprise me. Here are the facts:
- 65% of small businesses in Australia store some of their receipts and invoices in boxes or files.
- Over 50% of respondents admit their filing system isn’t very organised.
- Less than 4% do not have any system for storing receipts and invoices.
I know it’s not easy to commit to going paperless. It’s a lot of work.
While I understand their concerns and fears, I want to show that the benefits far outweigh the initial investment and work. These are 5 common excuses I’ve heard over the years.
Excuse #1: “I know where everything is and I can easily find the document I want quickly”
How about when you are on a holiday or off-site? If an emergency pops up, there is no way you can get back to your office to grab your documents in time. Using a cloud system means you can access your documents anytime and anywhere.
In fact, you can work anywhere when everything is stored online. Sit on a park bench and enjoy the fresh air. Type away in a café and smell the morning coffee. Work from home while minding the kids. You’re no longer tied to a physical space. You can pull up your documents instantly from the cloud and get cracking.
Excuse #2: “It’s always been done this way. It would take too much time and energy to learn and train my staff”
We’ve all heard the saying: If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The problem with having everything on paper is that your business is not disaster proof.
All it takes is a momentary lapse of judgement and all hell could break loose. It could be as simple as a coffee spill or as tragic as a fire in the office. Think of what would happen to your business if all your receipts and invoices are gone? Scary, isn’t it?
An employee misplacing or losing a file could easily happen. But the possibility of losing all your digital documents stored in a cloud system? Is unheard of. Remember, you always have backups even if it did occur.
Think of storing your documents in the cloud as a form of business insurance, in case the worst happens. You wouldn’t travel anywhere or do anything without insurance. So why risk your source of income?
Excuse #3: “I don’t know where to start. There are too many options out there.”
Any bookkeeper worth their salt will be able to help you organize your documents digitally. All it takes is careful planning and some time set aside weekly. Most cloud accounting system now give allowance for file storage.
Xero allows you to attach files with your transactions. I can’t tell you how practical and useful this feature is because you can organise all your documents on the spot, rather than leaving them to pile up on your desk so you can sort it out one fine day.
There is also software that can scan your documents and extract all the important information into your accounting system so you don’t have to flip through them one by one. Take a look at Receipt Bank, which integrates beautifully with Xero.
Digital storage also means using less physical space in your office, helping you reduce clutter. Who wouldn’t love to start work every day on a clean desk? Before you’d know it, you will be fully loving your digital filing system and wondering how on earth did you manage to do without it.
Excuse #4: “My accounts guy likes to work with paper.”
What if you need to collaborate with people? What about the rest of your team? It may be okay for a few, but others might find it difficult and tedious to work with paper. In a cloud system, all the documents can be easily accessed and edited by team members.
Your team can now collaborate easier and get the job done quickly without physically sitting next to each other while poring over documents. This is a simple way to increase productivity in the office. Then again, who says you need to be in the office to work?
Excuse #5: “The current system in place needs a signature so someone has to sign on paper.”
There are plenty of options when it comes to electronic signatures. Electronic signatures also reduce processing time as everything can be emailed through quickly, without having to fax and wait for a response. As a business, your customers will love the reduced processing time.
Xero has plenty of add-ons for electronic signatures such as RightSignature and DocuSign. In fact, you can sign digitally when you do your tax returns with Xero Tax.
So there you have it. I would even go as far as saying that going paperless is life changing for your business. Try it and I promise you won’t regret it. We can discuss the options with you today. Book a next action chat with me now by clicking here.
Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.
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