Tips for Going Paperless in Your Home Office

paperless document management 2

Big corporations across the world are starting to go paperless as part of a drive to cut expenses, save on space, and to do their bit to help our ailing environment. These companies have the expertise and resources to easily convert to a paperless environment while still meeting regulatory requirements to keep documents for tax purposes.

It’s also possible for the little person to go paperless with just a few adjustments to daily routines. Here are a few trips to help the home business move down the paperless trail.

Go offsite

Many home-business owners are keen to embrace the paperless trend, but still grapple with problem of creating office space while meeting tax requirements to keep certain materials. If one of the reasons you are going paperless is to create room in an already cluttered environment, you may need to send paper files off site. External storage companies such as Fort Knox can assist with the space and style of storage you may need.

Ask for invoices on line

One of the fastest and easiest ways to cut back on paper entering the office is to request electronic statements and invoices from your suppliers and creditors. Most companies offer this service and are all too happy to meet your request. Similarly, start sending your invoices to clients solely through an electronic billing and payment system.

Go fully digital

Start keeping all your new files in electronic form and set up a digital signature. Rather than printing documents for clients to sign, or emailing them for signature, scanning the returned signed version and digitalising them again, the digital signature will allow the signing of documents through a simple process. Most computer operating systems have digital signature options that are accepted as valid in courts of law.

While you are jumping on the digital wagon, any paper documents you still use on a daily basis should also be scanned and added to your electronic database. Similarly, any bills or other items that still come by old-fashioned mail can be scanned and placed onto your electronic system for easy paperless storage.

Store in the cloud

One of the things that has in the past made small business and home office owners wary of a fully electronic office is the possibility of a computer crash, where everything you have is lost. Owners were urged to back up every day onto a disk drive not attached to their computer in case of emergency, but who had the time to do that? Today there are a number of safe and secure programs available where you purchase storage space on a server not in any way associated with your home system. Storage companies such as Dropbox or File This not only safely hold your material, you can access it with a username and password from any computer anywhere in the world.

There is no excuse not to discard paper in the office and to get on board the digital revolution. Concerns about privacy and document security are no longer insurmountable and cloud storage comes in a range of products to suit the home business of all sizes. You really won’t know what to do with yourself once you’ve lost the weekly chore of filing all those paper documents.

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