Emerging technologies have made so many new innovations in the office possible. No longer are employees at accounting and bookkeeping firms tethered to their desks. Now, for example, workers can mill about the office with their smartphones or tablets while still keeping tabs on their tasks. Others are allowed to work from home on their laptops or other devices.
Some new tools are changing the makeup of the workspace itself. Across the nation in many industries, many workers are noticing that more floor space seems to be freed up, as the old storage cabinets and drawers are disappearing as a result of digitization.
Many accountants and bookkeepers are eschewing papers in their offices, especially due to the emergence of reliable accounting software, and, instead, are embracing digital workflow solutions, cloud computing platforms and other file-sharing programs that allow records to be scanned into the computer and work to be done online. Accounting firm administrators have a lot to think about before they dedicate themselves to complete digitization, as there's really no going back after original paper records have been shredded and printers thrown out.
A lot of accounting and bookkeeping leaders who have already made the switch have said that the return on this investment is both immediate and large. For instance, once digitization is complete, companies no longer have to invest in printers, reams of paper, copiers, ink cartridges, file cabinets and more.
According to Inc. Magazine, businesses can save more money over time and will likely become more productive. The source said that additional workers can be hired to sit in the areas once occupied by storage, while searching through documents is definitely increasingly efficient this way as well, which might be helpful during tax time when demand for accountants tends to increase.
Administrators must also think about how feasible this move is in a legal sense. Inc. noted that some businesses might have to contend with specific record retention laws. That being said, some firms might be more compliant by going digital.
Do it on your own terms
Each firm is different - for some, digitization doesn't have to be complete and there can be a hybrid system. For instance, Forbes reported that companies can get rid of a lot of paper in the office by moving purely internal documents like invoices, accounts receivable and payable, or communications. They can stop there if they want, as it will still make a large impact in terms of efficiency and cost savings.