5 Essential Apps For Your Paperless Cloud Business

While a completely paper free office may be a fantasy, it is becoming more of a reality. A change of working practices is required to make it work as well as the right tools for the job.

Here are my top 5 to help you on your way:

Receipt Bank

 If there’s one piece of technology that’ll streamline your business – this is it.  Invoice and receipt capturing software, such as Receipt Bank, can capture all the vital info on your receipts and invoices with little or no input from you.

With a little bit of set-up (which we can do for you) you can snap a receipt on your smart phone, email it to a dedicated, personalised, address or upload directly, then pretty much forget about it.

Output can be to your cloud accounting software (see below) or to csv.

An image of the document is even attached to the transaction in the accounts software and can be viewed on screen without having to leave your desk.

Xero online accounts

Online accounting is essential for the modern and paperless small business.  Billing, invoices, statements and chasing of payments can be easily automated.

Multiple users can access your accounts at the same time, from any location with internet access: sales staff can issue invoices while at your customer’s premises; staff can work from home with ease; and of course, your accountant can access and monitor your key performance indicators, in real-time.

Automated bank feeds make bank reconciliations a breeze without the need for repetitive data entry.

Coupled with Receipt Bank, and a payment processor (see below) online accounts is the key component of a paperless office.

GoCardless and Stripe

These days any business can easily accept credit card payments (both online and offline) using services such as paypal, Stripe, Square-up etc.

The real benefit of taking credit card payments is the reduction of cash and cheque payments and consequent bother, counting, lodging, checking and reconciling.  The main credit card processors will link in with your online accounting software allowing you to add “Pay Now” buttons to your invoices, which if activated will automatically update the invoice to “paid” status, and credit all the necessary accounting entries.

If you take recurring payments from your customers it’s worthwhile looking at a direct debit option such as GoCardless.  At a maximum fee of €2 per payment processed it’s much cheaper than taking credit cards.

Document management

Although our purchase invoices and receipts are taken care of with Receipt Bank, all businesses accumulate horrendous amounts of documents. If you are serious about going paperless you need a robust document management solution.

I use Office 365, so can only vouch for that, but presume other document management solutions have similar features.

With Office 365 you can tag documents with key words, set required document properties that must be entered before the document can be saved, create templates (such as standard letters, schedules etc).  Documents can be shared, and version history allows each iteration of a document to be kept.  Workflows can be set-up for frequent processes and documents can be kept in draft form until approved by certain staff.

DocuSign

This is a must for any business that enters into written contracts with its  customers, and/or requires “sign-off” or approval from customers before taking action.  To use myself as an example, I use it for getting customers to sign engagement letters (contracts) and tax returns before submitting to Revenue on their behalf.

So what is it, eaxactly.  Check out Docusign or Adobe Echosign.  You upload your document, add the places where signatures are required and email it to those required to sign.  You can have mulitiple signers, including yourself.  Each signatory is given an encrypted copy of the signed documents.

There is an Office 365 Docusign App that allows you to send documents for signing within Office 365.  The App creates a folder where the original document was and automatically saves a signed copy in it.

 

People often quip that computers were supposed to usher in the era of the paperless office, but instead have done nothing but create more paper.  Computers may have contributed to the creation of more documents but we don’t need to hve these in paper form.  Start using the tools described here and you’ll soon realise that the paperless office may be attainable.

Would You Like To Learn More About Automated Paperless Accounts? Check out these videos:

Learn More About Receipt Bank Xero

Watch a short video about Receipt Bank and Xero

 

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field