Paperwork is what you would imagine a headache to be in physical form. Taking up desk space, never where you need it to be, tea stained and dog eared.
For a small business paperwork can easily get out of hand, become disorganised and cause havoc when we need to find one particular document. Or getting side-tracked with all the other things you have to do. “I’ll send you an invoice later!” – sound familiar?
The good news is that it doesn’t take very much time or effort at all to cut down the load on paperwork.
All it takes is your mobile phone.
Here are three clever way your phone can help you say goodbye to paperwork.
1. Say Bye To The Big Black Book
If you are a business person that likes to do things by the book – literally – then we aren’t going to rip it away from you. We understand a lot of businesses and business owners still swear by their black books. That is all well and good if you keep it in a nice orderly fashion. But what if you forget it when you need it? Or it gets damaged? Or the information is needed in two different places at two different times?
Even if those common disasters don’t happen huge paper diaries stuffed with extra notes, letters and messages are a thing of the past.
What you should do instead is get everything digitised. Getting your black books and all the notes along with it digitised and saved to your phone provides you with so much more security, sustainability and flexibility. You can have access to all of your contacts and all of the notes along with it, all in the device you will most likely be using for that form of communication, anytime, anywhere.
2. Receipt Scanners
Receipts, a tax filing nightmare. Go back to the mid ‘90s and a lot of small businesses would have had a similar expense filing methodology: Take your receipts, shove them in a drawer and hope you never need to find any specific receipt again.
If you did ever need to find a single receipt in response to an expense query it was a mad scramble through boxes, cupboards and old storerooms to find the half faded elusive slip of paper.
Thankfully, things are a bit easier now.
Filing is super easy in the digital era. Most new accounting software give you the option to take a picture of your receipt on your phone and it automatically uploads, with all the details, to the service records. And if you aren’t using accounting software just take a picture of the receipt and file in away digitally to a free cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox.
It doesn’t have to stop at digitising purchase records, either. Get snap happy with your phone and scan invoices, payslips, utility bills and everything else for easy reference and peace of mind.
3. Electronic Signatures
When someone sends you a document and at the bottom you have to sign it do you not just sigh? Now you have to go find a printer, print it, sign it, fax it over (does that still exist) or scan it, and then send it. We know business people do not have the time for all that, especially if you are trying to do numerous other tasks in a day tedious ones like that are awful.
Luckily with the technology of today, you can streamline everything to a simple action on your phone. Use e-signatures to sign documents, streamlining the whole written agreement process, cutting cutting down on both paperwork and wasted time.
About the Author
Gary Easton cut his teeth working at one of the Big Four auditors KPMG. However, a few years ago, Gary decided that SMEs deserves a better service and left to found Tax IQ, a specialist SME accountant based in Edinburgh.