Digital Document Management: The Future Is Paperless


Senior Writer

Digital Document Management: The Future Is Paperless

Even before we begin, let’s first answer this question — what does ‘paperless’ mean?

As the name implies, going ‘paperless’ in an office means that the use of paper is either drastically reduced or eliminated. In short, it means going digital. 

Looking for Document Management Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of Best Document Management Software solutions.

Earlier, every business used to manage their company documents and records in a traditional paper-based filing system. The disadvantage is that it requires a lot of storage space to maintain all the files. Not only that, but it also consumes a lot of time and effort to make sure that all the data are appropriately arranged. 

However, things are changing with the advancement of technology. More and more businesses are adapting to the new innovative electronic document management system. And why not, a study reveals that document issue accounts for more than 21% of productivity loss daily. 

An average professional spends about 18 minutes searching for a document. It takes up to nearly 50% of their total time on the job.

Transiting to a paperless environment and implementing a document management system software can make a massive difference to any company. It can help improve efficiency, reduce costs, and provide better security, to name a few. 

Companies those who decide to move to an electronic paper system have a lot of benefits to reap. For starters, it saves you the expense of expensive real estate as you don’t have to set aside extra storage space for documents. Instead, shifting to a cloud document management eliminates the need for physical space. Plus, it allows employees to access all the information from a single place and can be shared from anywhere across the globe with an internet connection. 

Paperless Business Is Becoming a Reality

While it might be impossible to avoid the paperwork, businesses are putting efforts to reduce the amount of paper usage.

A press release by CompTIA, the IT Industry Association, revealed that nearly 80 percent of companies are trying to make an effort to become a “less paper” office. Out of which, 1 in 5 businesses are trying to pursue a “less paper” strategy to a high degree. And, another 56 percent are doing so to a lesser degree. 

You would notice how industries are trying to adapt to an electronic document management system. Like courier companies, they are making deliveries and confirming receipt digitally. Or bank institutes who send bank statements via email instead of parceling it. The advantage is that it ensures quicker transactions, and all the information shared is accurate. 

Of course, there are sectors like the education industry, which still have the highest print usage. Transiting into an entirely digitized document management system can be a big step, and it might make business owners think twice. However, the business world is changing globally, and taking a small step towards a digital environment is only going to help you grow big. 

All Digital Documents Can Be Scanned

The reason why business houses can think of paperless office is the document scanning service. All documents can be scanned — by it letters, invoices, notes, receipts, etc. 

Document scanning services enable you to make digital copies of paper documents. The facility is provided within the document management system software, which allows businesses to scan records of business documents, both new and old.

Once you decide to go paperless, you must develop a scanning strategy. It will help you scan, index, and store all the records as they are created — making things accessible for you and your staff. 

Impact of Building a Paper-Free Environment

1. Paper Passé

Did you know an average office employee uses about 10,000 sheets of paper in a single year? 

The number of sheets used during a single day in organizations towards printing documents is enormous. However, this number can be drastically changed by implementing the electronic document system. It helps avoid the needless printing of documents. 

When multiple copies of the same paper document are created, it can be hard to keep track of its location and any updates made on it. But by using an electronic document management software, the information can be managed automatically. For instance, an organization can reduce costs and better manage discretionary spending by automating invoice processing and disbursements. By integrating billing and invoicing software, it can save a 29 percent reduction in invoice processing costs.

Also, employees dislike creating manual expense reporting involving paper receipts as it can get tedious. They find collecting revenues and filling reimbursement forms very cumbersome. The finance department also dreads deciphering receipts copied manically onto sheets of paper. It can all be avoided by streamlining activities using accounting software and integrating it with electronic document management.

2. New Levels of Compliance

Every business type has to document policies and procedures in place to lay a foundation for the planned program. This compliance provides the users with a thorough understanding of the responsibilities and the actions which are expected out of them.

Developing a compliance program from ground zero manually and continuously updating it can prove to be a time-consuming process. However, you can easily automate such a compliance program by using the best document management software and integrating it with payroll software. The document software solution provides a new level of compliance with collecting, processing, storing, and sharing other entities’ information. This way, organizations can focus more on implementing their strategies rather than collecting data.

Plus, it ensures a high level of security for documents that contain vital and other confidential information. 

3. Digital Payments

Moving towards a paperless trend, CFOs are looking for a more automated and integrated payment approach. Many employees find massive paper files and paper-based processes decrease their efficiency as it consumes a lot of time and effort. 

That’s why people are adopting the digital payment system, whereby the invoices are generated digitally and shared with the clients. The cloud document management solution makes it easy to accurately store the data, which can help improve decision-making and reporting process.

Not only that, a document management solution helps in reducing cost and lower manual labor. It frees up resources for more strategic uses. 

4. Improved ROI

Cloud-aided electronic data capture solution has radically improved information flow and management regardless of your industry or application. In short, by digitizing workflow, it has resulted in saved time, improved employee productivity, and reduced costs.

Companies who have adopted an electronic document system have reported a whopping 58% reduction in processing cost and generated high ROI. The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) conducted two surveys on the costs and benefits of paper-based and paperless solutions. The study revealed that 84% of the organizations surveyed had achieved a total return on investment (ROI) from a paperless office software project in less than 18 months and 26% achieved ROI in six months or less.

List of Digital Document Management System

You will find hundreds of free and open-source document management systems in the market. It could be hard to select the best document management software among-st the lot. That’s why to make it easy for you. We decided to make a list of document management systems with top reviews. 

Some of the best document management software names include:

Final Thoughts

So let me ask again, why do businesses need to go digital? 

To thrive in this digital era, companies need to integrate digital processes into their systems to support their businesses. With an automated system in place, there is more benefit in terms of increased employee satisfaction and productivity. 

You are storing documents digitally in the cloud streamlines processes. It also results in faster, accurate, and global access to documentation without couriers and filing. Users can access the information from anywhere with a secure internet connection and act in real-time. 

Besides, employees feel that they find more time to add value to the business instead of wasting time sifting through outdated filing archives and pushing paper around.

To sum up, the best digital document management system solutions will give your business a competitive edge.

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