For some, endless piles of paperwork can be the stuff of nightmares and the dream of getting away from it seems distant. Also consider how much it costs to keep paper....files, labels, cabinets, valuable space!!
But with so much technology out there in today's market, a truly paperless office is now closer than ever!
Of course, at the moment it can be difficult to imagine not processing a single piece of paper. You still get a paper receipt when you refuel or grab a coffee on the go and you still get invoices sent in the post, in fact you may even post your own invoices out to your customers. But with the right mind set and tools it is still achievable.
In a recent report by Deloitte's they analysed that 4 out of 5 adults in the UK own a smartphone, equivalent to some 37 million people. This device has become such an everyday part of life because it can do a multitude of tasks. It goes without saying these days that with high quality cameras, image capture is something that has become second nature to many and this one such function can be your best friend when trying to eradicate your paper trail. There are many apps for document scanning, uploading to the cloud, sending images to your accounting software, pretty much everything a modern thinking business needs to make that change from analogue to digital.
The trick to this is routine. It's the training of your brain to make the almost subconscious decision to snap that receipt before it gets shoved in your drawer or your glove box. To automatically scan those signed contracts to where they're needed for easy access. It's not always an overnight thing and some will get in to that routine quicker than others but once you're in the swing of it, you don't even think about it.
Linked in to this chain of information capturing is data recognition and this is something we already use to great effect at Dijit Bookkeeping through our partner Receipt Bank. Both our clients and our staff love it as it forms an electronic link and constant flow of information between us, allowing financial records to be updated in real time rather than the end of the month or quarter. They have many submissions methods but the smartphone app is probably the most convenient. It's simple to just photograph your receipt, upload with a single tap and throw it in the recycling safe in the knowledge that is securely stored in the cloud ready to be accessed anytime and by whoever needs it.
One of the keynote speakers at Xerocon London 2018 I attended was Gerd Leonhard. Regarded as one of the worlds leadings futurists, he explained how “The world is going digital at a furious pace. We will see far more change over the next 20 years than we have over the past 300.” Of course, he wasn't being specific just to bookkeeping but he explained the exponential technological advancements to come in many walks of life and how humans need to adapt whilst at the same time, retaining those characteristics that make us human. It was clear to me from the reasons behind his prediction that automation will be such a feature of future life and that paperless is just one of the next steps in everyday business life for everyone. So although it takes a bit more thinking right now, it can easily be done.