For most people, this means using paper files and dealing with the hassle of storing hundreds of pieces of paper in an overcrowded filing cabinet.
Believe it or not, paper waste is responsible for about 40 percent of the waste that ends up in landfills in the United States. Just think of the number of times you have to take out the trash when you’re cleaning out your filing cabinet! The sooner you can ditch your paper filing system, the better off you’ll be.
Going paperless can feel like a big deal. Here’s why it’s more than worth the effort.
Going Paperless Saves You Time
If you’ve ever relied on paper files for your business finances, you know that searching for a single page out of hundreds can take time. That’s time you could better put to use running your company and making sure your clients and customers are happy.
Things get misplaced and tracking them down when the files are out of order is time-consuming at best.
When you go paperless, you’ll save yourself time anytime you need to access information. Instead of having to flip through file after file, you’ll be able to search for the exact information you need on your computer. All it takes is a few keystrokes and the information will be at your fingertips in a matter of seconds.
Once you’re done, all you have to do is close the webpage window. You won’t have to make sure the paper gets filed in the proper folder in the right order!
You’ll Stay More Organized
It’s rare for a filing cabinet to stay organized all the time. When you add new documents, the system gets crowded and when you pull out a file, things often get misplaced.
This makes it hard for you to keep things organized so all information is available when you need it.
When you take your finances into the digital space, you’ll be able to improve your organization methods immediately. The physical filing cabinet will get replaced with digital files that never get shuffled around.
The more organized you can keep your finances, the easier it will be to stay on top of things.
Just make sure to invest in the right equipment to make going digital easy. Start researching your options and look for ways to save a PDF as a JPEG to further improve your organization methods.
Paper doesn’t just clutter up landfills. It also uses up tons of water. In fact, it takes over 3 gallons of water to produce a single sheet of paper.
By cutting out paper files and documents from your life, you’ll dramatically decrease your carbon footprint each day.
You can even advertise your business as an eco-conscious company. If you combine your paperless initiative with other environmentally friendly improvements, you may be able to attract new customers that otherwise wouldn’t have approached your business.
Paperless Files Save You Money
Believe it or not, ditching your paper filing system in favor of a digital system can save you serious money each month. Anytime you print a document, you’re using up paper, electricity, and toner. Over the course of the month, the amount you spend on those items can really add up.
By ditching paper, you’ll decrease the amount of money you have to spend on those costly office supplies. Your electricity bill may even go down slightly since you won’t have to send power to the printer often.
Remember, you’re already relying on your computers each day. Using them to manage digital files won’t add to your expenses.
It Improves Information Security
Paper files go missing all the time even when you and your team are incredibly careful. Unfortunately, even a single missing file can be a huge security risk for both business owners and individuals.
Clients and customers expect business owners to keep their information safe at all times. Misplacing files means their sensitive information is at risk and could get intercepted by identity thieves.
Going digital actually improves security for you whether you’re a business owner or taking control of your personal finances. You can add password protection to the files and control who has access to the information at all times.
You don’t even have to store the information on-site. Instead, you can use cloud-based data hosting services to keep your sensitive files safe at all times. These companies have the right protocols in place to keep your files secure against the most common cyber threats.
You’ll Be Less Stressed During Tax Season
Businesses and individuals alike have to deal with the uncomfortable task of filing taxes each year. To get the most out of your tax return, you need access to your financial documents, accounting records, and receipts to claim the largest deductions possible.
If you lose track of those files and records, it will only delay your tax return and increase the stress you feel when you’re trying to file by the deadline.
By scanning your documents onto your computer or storing them in the cloud, you’ll never have to worry about misplacing critical information. If you can’t find the document you’re looking for, all you have to do is search for it.
This can dramatically reduce the amount of stress you feel during tax season.
See the Benefits of Going Paperless for Yourself
If you’re considering going paperless, don’t wait. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to experience these benefits for yourself.
Don’t worry about rushing the process, though. Take your time, go through your existing files, and get rid of ones that you no longer need. This way, you won’t have to deal with an overcrowded hard drive.
Going paperless isn’t the only way to improve your business or personal finances. You just need to know where to start. Check out our latest posts for more tips and tricks to help you take control of your finances once and for all.