Improve your business efficiency. Tips to finally go paperless

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Whether it is to boost operational efficiency or meet environmental expectations, demand for paperless office solutions is on the rise — and few teams benefit from this shift quite like your finance department.

As a manager, you are likely looking every which way to streamline your internal processes and get the very best out of your teams. In this article, we focus on your finance department and explore the following ways going paperless can make their lives easier:

  • Simplifying payroll and making the process more secure
  • Boosting operational efficiency when claiming back expenses
  • Better protecting sensitive information using cloud storage
  • Gaining easy access to files at the click of a mouse

Going paperless is easy and its benefits can help your finance team break free from piles of crumpled receipts and miscellaneous invoices. Read on as we explain why going paperless is your best idea since installing the instant coffee machine.

Using new payroll secure software solutions

Does your business cling to the memory of paper slips when dishing out payroll? For the sake of your finance department and wider company satisfaction, step into the future and digitise your payment system using the best payroll software.

Ditching paper and adopting payroll software is a great way to reduce hassle and cut down on needless admin work, leaving your finance department with time spare to focus on more important tasks. Plus, it removes general anxiety around getting paid on time.

Here are some benefits of adopting a paperless payroll which is sure to change your mind:

  • More secure: though online security is an ever-pressing issue for businesses, feel safe in the knowledge your payroll system is encrypted and password protected.
  • Saves time/easier to manage: payroll software automates the payroll process and negates the need to personally calculate tax and national insurance, print reams of payslips, and enclose payslips into envelopes.

While most employees only notice slight changes in adopting a paperless payroll — like receiving a retrievable email notification rather than an easily misplaced letter — your finance department has a much more secure and manageable system to deal with.

Digital receipts boost efficiency when claiming back expenses

Digital receipts boost efficiency when claiming back expenses

Snowed under by receipts and jumping through hoops to claim back expenses? You are fighting an uphill battle when claiming back expenses, made even harder by misplaced receipts and confusing government forms. Make their life easier by going digital and reduce your paper trail.

For example, transport companies (and any other business that rely on vehicles) incur inevitable fuel costs, of which they can claim back the VAT — but the process is often laborious for your finance team and relies on drivers holding onto their receipts.

This means you risk losing out on expenses owed, and your team gets buried in admin work when there are likely more pressing issues at hand.

The solution? Many vehicle reliant businesses are looking at where you can apply for fuel cards — a payment method for fuel that stores digital receipts in a bespoke application.

Here are the main benefits this has for the management and finance team:

  • Easily retrievable information: all digital receipts are stored/filed away in the app, making it easier for your finance department to find the information they need.
  • HMRC approved invoices: these digital receipts double up as an HMRC approved invoice, which helps streamline the process of claiming back VAT.

Digital receipts are the new normal and they certainly are not exclusive to fuel cards either…

Many retailers offer eReceipts which are sent over to your business via email, but you can also digitise the mountain of paper receipts already cluttering your finance department using services like Spendesk — a company that creates a digital archive of your paper receipts by sending over an image and converting them into a secure PDF.

Cloud storage is a safer way to protect sensitive information

The finance department is trusted with a lot of sensitive information: client details, contracts, national insurance numbers, company pensions — and as we have already touched upon, staff payroll. As a result, this department makes a tempting target for the ever-pressing threat of corporate theft.

By sticking firm to outdated methods like paper/physical storage you leave the team with very few safeguards. After all, with a traditional filing system, it proves hard to restrict document access on a strict need to know basis. Once the cabinet is open, anyone is free to wade through every document and pose a risk and cause potential information leaks.

Saying goodbye to paper in favour of a digital filing solution like cloud storage better protects you (and by extension the whole organisation) against theft, thereby preventing disruption and inevitable damage to your professional reputation.

How does this work? With cybercrime and online security also posing a massive challenge for modern businesses, it is understandable if you and the finance team feel sceptical about completely transitioning away from the physical world. In practice, however, is likely the safest place you can store sensitive information because it has:

  • Regular security updates: Cloud storage providers rollout regular and automatic updates to ensure their software is up to date, plus this all goes on behind the scenes so your team won’t need to worry about manually updating your system.
  • In-built firewalls: This software is naturally protected against cyberattacks and malware via its firewalls, which is a ready-made security programme that filters suspicious traffic and blocks it from getting in.
  • Data encryption: Most cloud storage services will encrypt your data, meaning they scramble all your information, making it completely unreadable to anybody other than the authorised users.
  • Two-factor authentication: You can make hackers’ lives and data miners’ lives much harder by locking information behind a two-factor authentication protocol, which requires the user to enter two pieces of data to access the documents.

Choosing cloud storage over your current paper filing system means your finance department can maintain access to those who need certain information but also restrict access to those who do not.

While online and corporate crime will always evolve, you can sleep soundly with the knowledge your team is operating under a system that can keep up with the times — and cannot simply be heisted with all the subtlety of an oversized, cartoon safe.

Gain easy access to files at the click of a mouse

Does your finance department get plagued with questions without having the right information readily available? On top of being a safer way to store information, cloud storage is also far more convenient.

No matter how organised your filing cupboards, nor how tidy your staff, paper mounts up and is easily misplaced.

Thankfully, you will not experience this issue if you adopt cloud-based accounting software — a model of data storage that allows you to easily manage your accounts without having to invest in expensive infrastructure.

Cloud storage and paperless filing allow your team to retrieve specific files at the click of a mouse — and if they are out of the office or away from the computer, most software is remotely accessible from any device with an internet connection.

Moreover, when your finance team banks online, they are not limited to general brick and mortar. You have round the clock access to your accounts and the freedom to pay bills or check balances whenever you want.

Whether we are talking about updating payroll, claiming back expenses, or getting access to important documents, going paperless can make life much easier for your accounting team — so why not move towards a paperless operation today?

Going paperless is no longer the logistical headache it once was, nowadays technology is becoming more sophisticated and affordable enough to allow for large scale rollout, while also maintaining your profit margins

Not to mention the benefits it can have for your finance department and its wider, more positive contribution to your organisation’s environmental footprint.