For many years now, many businesses across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom have relied on paper documents for all manner of accounting processes. But could we go paperless for accounts as a UK company? There’s definite potential to do so and below we detail some of the benefits in going paperless.

Currently, paperwork in the accounting world amounts to masses of invoices, account management, record keeping files and much more! However, there’s multiple disadvantages with this manual system. These include misplacement, fire or water damage, security breaches and the negative environmental impact on the natural world. The huge impact on the natural world is enough to make accountancy firms, and other businesses, try and switch to a paperless system.

In truth, a more conscious approach to accounting and all things finance alongside a desire to avoid the issues above, signals the shift to go paperless within business.

What are the benefits of going paperless?

Significantly, it is easy to translate all types of paperwork. This includes turning typewritten or printed text files into electronically readable files for ease of storage, sending via email, archiving and safe back-up. Furthermore, it means that finance departments and accountants specifically can easily convert existing paperwork to electronic files.

Furthermore, paperless accounts also cut down the need for additional manpower. If you have multiple accounts, listing, depositing and transferring files from various different accounts can become a laborious task. It can also be really messy if paperwork gets mixed up. In reality, human error is far more likely with traditional accounting paperwork in comparison to paperless systems.

What’s more, gaining access to existing data, as and when required, can be tedious. Through the touch of buttons, it is easy to retrieve paperless documents on demand and also report an increase in productivity at the same time. Here, there is the benefit of being able to access files remotely. This is an excellent feature, especially in the age of coronavirus. With encrypted access and a secure internet connection, there’s no need for a terminal server solution anymore.

Next, going paperless is a more environmentally friendly solution. For any business, the overuse of paper has an impact on their carbon footprint. This is due to the fact traditional systems rely on cutting down large volumes of trees, unlike paperless methods. Huge amounts of paper is needed to produce printed documents. These include invoices, receipts and the sorts. However fossil fuels and chemicals are also used in the printing process which has a damaging effect on the environment as a whole.

Paperless benefits continued…

Paperless systems are also far more secure than traditional paper methods. This is because such systems are encrypted. They also offer more than one backup of data, including all scanned documents and more. Paper records can be misplaced, mislabelled, accidentally thrown away, stolen, edited or altered, sent to the wrong recipient, or completely lost. Whereas paperless documents are securely filed and stored, easily backed up and encrypted, and safe from all kinds of natural disasters including water and fire.

Moreover, operation is simple. The input of documents is via a quality double-sided scanner or email which then bills directly to the document management system. Not only does this reduce the opportunity for something to go awry, it also offers complete peace of mind and ease of use as such technology is readily available within most businesses already.

What’s more, there’s the topic of storage. Unlike traditional paper methods which require extensive physical storage, paperless documents can be retrieved in just a couple of clicks. The downside of traditional paperwork systems is that you need to outsource it. This incurs a fee and there’s a lot of manual interventional when the user needs to carry out a document search.

Finally, with a good accountant to help, the transition to a paperless system should be a relatively hassle-free experience. Once set up, you’ll be able to enjoy competitive advantages to other businesses who are still relying on traditional paperwork systems.

Zoho Books- A paperless software

Firstly, if you’re considering going paperless, finding a suitable paperless software is a great place to start. As with most things in life, there’s various options to choose from. Online accounting systems such as Zoho Books offer a huge range of features and benefits via sophisticated accounting software.

Here, some of the key points to take note of include end-to-end accounting, VAT compliance and an integrated platform. These offer complete flexibility and convenience. If you’re looking to handle day-to-day accounting tasks, with the end-to-end accounting aspect, it’s possible to negotiate deals, raise orders and organise invoicing. This means that with your daily business in capable hands, you can focus on the bigger vision of the future, whatever that may be.

Next, in terms of the legality of VAT compliance, Zoho Books allows you to meet the HMRC guidelines for complete peace of mind. By choosing this paperless system, you’ll be able to prepare your audit reports, VAT liability and VAT returns with ease.

Finally, Zoho Books allows you to manage and run all aspects of your business, wherever you are. There’s over 40 apps to choose from. So, as your business grows, the system allows you to add on whichever apps you choose for complete flexibility.

Document management features

Next, as part of the Zoho Books offering, there’s no need for any filing or data entry. This is thanks to the Auto-scan option as part of the Documents feature within the system. This function allows you the flexibility to scan your invoices, receipts or other paperwork. Plus, the software itself extracts key information which can easily be converted into transactions for review.

In summary, if you’re a UK company considering the benefits to going paperless for accounts, there is definite potential to do so in today’s day and age. There are plenty of great reasons why going paperless is a great idea. These range from heightened security, easier retrieval and better storage of documents. Plus, increased productivity and significant environmental factors. Taking all of this into consideration, there’s no denying the fact that going paperless in 2021 is a very wise business decision. Going paperless for accounts saves time, money and effort both immediately but also across time. What’s not to love about it?

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