Few business owners give thought to the benefits that they can reap from keeping their accounting operations on the forefront of technology. But in a changing world, taking advantage of new ideas and tech even in the routine world of accounting can make your company leaner and more profitable.

Take, for instance, the trend toward paperless accounting offices. How can this idea help your company? Here are five key ways.

1. Less Space

Accounting records generally must be retained for longer periods than many other departments’ records. You’ll have to maintain employee and payroll records for years, be able to track payments for months or years, and retain financial information for as long as the company is open. This quickly becomes voluminous and unwieldy.

Accounting departments take different routes to deal with this storage issue, including either finding space on the company site or paying for storage off-site. Both options can be a waste of money you can solve by reducing the amount of paper sitting around.

2. Better Control

Keeping paper records is a liability risk for any company. They can be destroyed or damaged, resulting in a failure to keep required records in the case of an audit or legal issues. And unauthorized persons may access those paper documents lying around, possibly leading to theft of personal information of the company, of its employees, and of its customers.

Reduce that liability by removing physical records and instituting access controls over who can use virtual copies of those records. Digital archiving systems let you control who can access what paperwork or sections, see who views what, and easily redact records permanently or temporarily.

3. Speedier Processes

Want to receive money quicker? Or get more real-time information about your finances? Then a paperless system can help.

Invoice customers directly through email, text, or a company portal. Receive their payments digitally and usually immediately, without any intermediaries or bank trips. Update accounting records instantly as money comes in and goes out. Allow users to enter relevant information themselves and supervisors to approve it electronically.

4. Easier Research

Researching issues in accounting or payroll records often takes too much time to be cost-effective. Your staff can spend hours searching for a single document, employee file, or number on a form. By the time you have that information, you’ve spent valuable company money that could be spent on better tasks. What if staff could resolve research questions right from their desk in just a few moments?

Paperless document maintenance has that potential. It includes indexing and search features that quickly reduce wasted time sorting through files. Documents have logical — and searchable — file names for quick access. Many digital documents can be searched for, or organized by, keywords within the forms themselves. You’ll now have even more ways to quickly find what your staff needs.

5. Mobile Access

Have more than one location? Or are your employees on the road a lot? Paperless documents offer access from wherever you need it — an increasingly necessary step for forward-thinking companies.

Employees can turn in sales documents, bill customers, log their time, fill out expense reports, and resolve billing disputes from company mobile devices or laptops. Department heads can access relevant files right from their desks. Accounting staff won’t have to spend time searching for and copying items to help other departments answer common questions.

Transitioning from an accounting office filled with paper to a paperless and streamlined operation takes some investment of time and energy. But this offers benefits that will continue for years and help your company successfully face the challenges of the future. At Indigital Inc., we are your partner in going paperless. Make an appointment today to learn how you can take the first steps.