7 min

5 ways to reduce paperwork as a small business owner

Would you like to free up time, make your money go further and save the planet all in one go? Don’t worry, you don’t need to become a superhero – as a small business owner, you already are one! All you need to do is reduce your paperwork. You may think you can’t minimise paperwork – it’s just a necessary chore, right? No way! Let’s look at some innovative ways to reduce paper waste and make switching to digital a breeze.

Glen Foster

Glen FOSTER • Libeo

Published on | Updated on

How to reduce the use of paper in paperwork

Paper is an expensive commodity. Many SMEs spend 10-14K on printing costs per year. Add to that the days spent filing, checking and retrieving documents and the hours of paid time employees need to do it.

Wouldn’t it be great to save on that expense and free up your employees to do more valuable money-making tasks?

1. Mindful printing

Ask your workforce to cut back on printing. Documents, schedules and meeting notes shared electronically don’t need to be printed. For many staff members, printing these out has so long been the norm that they don’t think twice about it, so it’s time to set this as an objective.

2. Encourage the use of electronic note-taking

The costs of equipping your team with tablets are justified by the time and money saved. If notes need to be made during meetings, this is a far more reliable repository for them too. Quick and straightforward to share and always on hand if an attendee needs to double-check something after the meeting.

3. Start filing in the Cloud

You can free up office space and time by shifting your document storage onto the cloud. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive offer secure paperless storage. What’s more, it’s safe and simple to share documents with teammates who need them. So those clunky old filing cabinets can become a thing of the past, along with the hours spent printing and filing the documents that fill them.

4. Streamline your paperwork by using apps

As your team moves away from print and into the world of paper-free tech, the whole paperwork routine can be streamlined. Try using time and labour saving apps like DocuSign, Evernote and Whiteboard. And that’s just the tip of the digital iceberg.

Workplace platforms like Slack allow for real-time collaboration on projects, creating a virtual workplace where everyone’s desk is nearby – even if hybrid working. Sharing presentations, data and documents can all be done on the platform, so there’s even less paperwork and paper wastage.

5. Make your invoicing digital

A hundred companies each printing out three-hundred invoices month after month will eventually obliterate a forest. Think of the poor trees! Give the woodlands and your wallet a rest by moving to digital.

Many SMEs spend 11 to 15 hours a week just on invoicing. With an easy to use app like Libeo, this process is automated. It can be done reliably and quickly with just the click of a button. No more scrutinising spreadsheets. No risk of late or incorrect payments. Plus, Libeo integrates seamlessly with any existing accountancy software you already use.

Your staff will be liberated from mundane chores and have time to work on more exciting projects. They’ll thank you, and so will your accountant or bookkeeper, as their task is made more straightforward. Mother Nature will be pretty pleased too.

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Set Up A Sustainable Digital Payment Process with Libeo

With new features like Request to Pay, working with small, inexperienced suppliers becomes easy. A real gift for restaurants in the farm to table market. If a farmer or boutique brewery neglects to issue an appropriate invoice, you can request their payment information with one click.

In fact, every aspect of accounts payable and receivable is reliably automated, so the solution to any invoicing challenge is always just one click away. Handling multiple small suppliers couldn’t be easier.

You can create tags and categorise invoices to work for your business:

These easier internal processes make searching and checking invoice information an instantaneous and painless experience.

Plus, Libeo can extract a VAT rate from an invoice and automatically calculate VATs of different rates, adding them all together to make life easier for you:

While going entirely paperless may be impossible, you can always aim for less paperwork. Some of your suppliers will undoubtedly keep balancing their invoices atop a stack of delivery boxes – but at least Libeo’s intuitive dashboard will import invoices from all sources, so you can work digitally even when others won’t:

To learn more from Libeo, check out how you can save four days a month on invoice payments.




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