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How Going Digital Can Cut Your Costs

Digitization

Paper is ruining your life. Yes, that’s slightly emphatic, but it’s true. Paper is costing you time and money, and it’s completely unapologetic about it.

It’s the loud, rude uncle at your lovely holiday party.

In this last “Digitizing Your Business 101” post we’re not only taking on paper, we’re digging into this avoidable issue on a high level. Each time paper touches business operations it destroys functionality. We’re ditching paper for good, and we’re taking you along with us.

Curb Costs by Going Digital

Paper = Monetary Loss. It can secretly rack up your charges because it is a physical asset. You have to buy it to use it. Those glorious, unending reams of paper you use for printing and copying? They’re costing you money. Not to mention the monthly cost of branded scratch pads, check stock, and miscellaneous forms. 

But, wait, that’s crazy, Bill.com! You’re being dramatic. You might think that’s the case but a survey by AIIM determined that the average cost of a single paper form to a business is $4.56. Four dollars and fifty-six cents isn’t a lot! Sure, but If your company relies on 20 employees to fill out one form every week for an entire year, that cost can escalate to more than $4,700.

Still don’t believe us? Another survey found that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year. Based on this, one person could cost your company roughly $150 a year. An average company of 100 would face charges cresting $15,000. Just. For. Paper.

Even storing paper comes with a price tag. Filing cabinets need space, so do boxes of papers. How much space do they take up in your company? Could you reduce your office size if you scanned them? With prices soaring for office rental space, digitization (and the relatively inexpensive cost of storing paper in the cloud) could have a significant cost impact on your business.

Paper can put you at risk which can have financial repercussions. Check books can be stolen, and sensitive client or company information saved in paper files can be accessed by unauthorized individuals. It’s not hard to steal paper, it’s usually sitting openly on someone’s desk. Breaking into a computer is much harder. Someone has to locate the information in order to steal it. Digitizing your important information can lead to a higher security standard that is protected by passwords, authorizations and automated workflows.

Save Time by Going Digital

Want that valuable me-time back? Going digital can help. 

This is time saved that you can invest back into your company for high-level returns or, you know, a hot rock massage. 

Once you digitize your processes, you can harness the power of technology to run your business. Don’t want to remind Jack that his report is due again? A solution can automatically send him reminders and track his progress. You no longer have to pick up the phone or walk to his desk, remind him, field any questions, and return to work. That may only be 5 minutes of your day, but if you have to repeat this scene across multiple scenarios that time adds up.

Take bill pay. Businesses using Bill.com often report saving as much as 50% of their time when they start using it. For one bookkeeper, depending on the size of the business, that could cut work on bill pay from 30 hours a week to 15. That’s an enormous amount of time your bookkeeper could devote to other crucial tasks rather than researching and approving bills, getting checks signed, stuffing envelopes, mailing them, and then reconciling the checks when cashed. Every one of those tasks can be automated and handled by technology.

The Perfect Storm - Paper Checks

Long considered a standard for payments (as opposed to its much shinier counterparts ACH and online payments), the price of using paper checks can lead to high costs.

First – labor. How much time is spent supporting the production, signing, reviewing, and reconciliation of paper checks? How many employees are involved? How much does it cost you to create, authorize, and send that paper check? An average check run can be upwards of 20 steps with only light review and minimal follow up. Who has to review the invoices? Who has to approve? How long is spent trying to track people down or get a good idea of where a specific check is?

Second - equipment and supplies that support paper cost money – postage, delivery charges, check stock, toner, envelopes, magnetic ink character recognition printers, and envelope stuffers and sealers. All cost money, and all aren’t leaving the paper game anytime soon. 

You also have to consider check fees and transaction costs. Businesses must pay a fee for issuing checks that may be included as separate line items in bank statements or bundled with other charges. There are often incremental charges for fraud protection such as positive pay, check reconciliation services, and retrieval of transaction history and check images. 

Join us. Jump on the digitization bandwagon, and save yourself from paper.

November 11, 2016
Kate Wilson
Social Media Manager, Bill.com
Kate is in charge of all things social at Bill.com. When she's not writing every type of content imaginable, she's drinking strong coffee and debating the use of the Oxford comma with her coworkers.