How to switch to paperless invoicing

How to switch to paperless invoicing

 As a business owner, you are likely continuously looking at ways to improve your business. You may be thinking about how to streamline procedures and how to increase both your business’s, as well as your employee’s productivity.

One of the current trends, if you aren’t already there, is by digitizing your business. Yes, this means going paperless.



As we mentioned in our blog, ‘Going paperless’, there are many benefits of shifting over to a paper-free office. Not only does it work, but it is well worth it.

By shifting over to a paperless office, you are not only saving a huge amount of time for yourself and your employees, you are saving your business a lot of money. You won’t be constantly in need of paper and ink for your printers nor will you be sifting through loads of paperwork or busy looking for storage space for your filing cabinets.

By going paperless, you are not only saving time and money by not having documentation and receipts coming into your office, but you are going to save time and money when it comes to invoicing as well. Of course, you will be also be reducing your business’s carbon footprint. Who doesn’t want to help the environment?


You will quickly discover that when you go paperless, not only will you be able to send your invoices out that much quicker, you may even receive payments faster. Think of the cash flow improvements that could result.

Even though it is going to take a lot of work, in the end you will find that it is worth it.

Let’s look at some of the steps that you, as a business owner, can take to get there.

One of the first things you need to do is to set a date to go paperless. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but if you don’t set a date, you may find yourself pushing ‘next month’ back a month. Set a date and stick to it.

Then you think about why, and how you are going to go paperless, explain why to your employees, and start small.

You do need to understand the benefits of going paperless for your business, especially when it comes to invoicing. If you aren’t sure yourself, check with your bookkeeper and they can help you to understand how paperless invoicing will benefit you, your business, as well as your customers.

Think about the invoices that you receive, whether they are personal or for your business. If you don’t already receive them online, think about the benefits there would be if you did. You would be able to open up an email or login to your account. You would then be able to see the details of your bill, and then have the option to either pay there or through another electronic means. Imagine if you could provide this service to your customers.

They would not only be able to see their invoice on a device of their choosing and when they want, they would have the option to pay you the same way. You have not only saved yourself the time and expense of addressing an envelope and mailing the invoice, you have saved your customer from having to go pick it up at their mailbox.

That’s reducing the carbon footprint on both ends.

The next step is to explain your reason why to your employees. It can be easy to get complacent and not want to accept change. This can be especially true if they don’t understand why or see the benefits of the changes.

When you get your employees on board, you will find the transition to be much easier.

Now it’s time to make some small changes, one process at a time. Look to see how the paper is coming in and going out of your business and then choose one of those processes to start with. Since we are looking at paperless invoicing, maybe start by looking at the bills you send out.

Remember that whether the invoice is coming into your business or going out, it had to originate from somewhere. Typically, it was generated by a computer. These invoices didn’t need to be printed, the computer just needed to have the right software.

Now that you’ve made the decision to go paperless, you need to start thinking about which software applications you want to for your business. You need to think about your business’s needs, who your customers are, as well as the needs of your suppliers.

It may seem like every day there are new software programs making their way onto the market. Some are free tools or apps, while others are more extensive and paid-for programs.

When choosing the program that you think will be best for your business, think about not only today’s needs, but what programs will also grow with your business. You want your software to scale with you.

There are also some questions that you may want to ask yourself when you are picking out your software programming.


Does the new software program you are looking at work with your bookkeeper’s program? Bookkeeping businesses typically work with all of the more popular programs, but if you choose something brand new and unheard of, they may not be familiar with it. Also make sure that the program will capture everything that you will need when it comes to tax time.

One program that most people have heard about is QuickBooks. When you look online, it is one of the best rated accounting software programs for small businesses. Not only is it scalable, but it has online training resources and support.

As well, your business cannot only create invoices on QuickBooks, but it can accept payments from your customers as well as your payroll. QuickBooks is one of the programs that can also track your expenses, your income, and help you to organize your receipts.

By going paperless, and cloud based, you will be able to access your invoicing and business from any location that has internet, and from the device of your choosing. This also means that you will be able to know in ‘real time’ when your customers have made their payments.

There are software programs (not only QuickBooks) that can match up your bank statement and credit card transactions, automatically pay bills when set up, as well as track your employee’s time and mileage. There are numerous programs and apps that can work together, and as we mentioned, some software lines are scalable. You just need to find the right fit for your business, and your industry.

Another question you may ask yourself is whether other people in your industry, or one similar to, would recommend this particular type of software. You will also want to look at the cost. Some programs can be more expensive up front, while others spread the cost out with annual updates, or renewal costs.

Does the software you are looking at have technical support? This is an important question, because even you as the business owner may not have all of the answers. If you don’t have the technical support, you may find in harder to keep your employees ‘on-board’.

As we mentioned before, will the software scale with your business needs? You want to grow your business, so make sure that your software will grow with you.

You may find out that there are some people resistant to change. You may have a customer that still needs to feel the paper in their hands when they are invoiced. Some may slowly work their way through your business changes, or you may find that you need to have your bookkeeper act as a third-party when dealing with those customers.

You may also find that some of your employees, or suppliers are resistant to change. Ask them why and listen to them for their feedback. It could be something simple like explaining the system in a new way or offering continuous support for them working through the changes. Working together as a team will help you achieve success with your paperless invoicing.

Stay disciplined! Sometimes it may seem easier to have paper copies but remember how much easier things will be once you’ve gone paperless.

Need help from an expert?

Figuring out which software program is right for your business can seem like a daunting task. Let one of our experts at Valley Business Centre help. For over 30 years, Valley Business Centre has been providing comprehensive bookkeeping, payroll and tax services to our clients in Whistler, Squamish, the Sea to Sky Corridor and metro Vancouver B.C. areas. Valley Business Centre provides reliable and effective services to all clients.

Disclaimer

This article is written for informational purposes only. It is current at the date of posting and changes to laws and regulation may result in the information becoming outdated. It is not intended to provide legal, tax, or financial advice. It is recommended that readers get advice from a tax professional before making any final decisions.


Visited 412 Times, 1 Visit today
About admin information

Leave a Comment