Paperless? Probably Less Paper

Trent Yesberg –

Reducing paperwork, one app at a time

Biologists say 'ecosystem' to describe a community of organisms interacting in their environment. We can use that definition with business as well. Then, in a business ecosystem, the relationships between things matter. In fact, they matter a lot. Everything touches everything else so the way that humans interact has a big effect on the system.

I'm sure most people who work in offices appreciate just how much waste we all contribute to our environment. Whether it's product packaging that gets thrown out; piles and piles of paper stored in archive boxes; or even the amount of old gear that sits idle in the back room – the list is endless. The western world thrives on a material, wasteful and inefficient culture. 'Back in the day' you could walk into your bank, talk to your manager about your plans and walk out with a mortgage – same day. Now you have to provide a mountain of information, fill in multiple forms, wait a week and then sign another mountain of paperwork before you are finished. Weren't computers supposed to make our life easier? Wouldn't they help save the rainforests being cut down? Finally, it seems we are making some headway. Queue dream sequence music. Welcome to the paperless (or rather, lesspaper) future

QuickBooks Online/Xero
The all-in-one accounting software package that not only encourages you to store your documents electronically, it acts as an integrated hub for all of your business software needs. Download your Bank Feeds, pay your bills, create your invoices, automate your staff payroll and lodge your BAS; online from anywhere you have Internet. That's right, you can work ANYWHERE. Think about that for a moment.

Receipt Bank/HubDoc/Entryless
Useless at remembering to ask the attendant for a copy of your fuel/Bunnings/Officeworks receipt? You're not the only one. Australia Post and Officeworks are using email receipts which is a great time saver. But what do you do, even if you have the receipt in a pdf? The app Receipt Bank actually takes the pdf (or a photo) of the receipt and inputs the accounting data into your QuickBooks Online (or Xero) file as a transaction, with the receipt attached against that specific transaction for you or your accountant to refer to at any time! Receive your invoices and statements via email? Forward it straight to app via your personalised email and the same will happen. It certainly makes filing a prehistoric concept.

Service M8
This is the tradesperson's best friend, after their dog of course! Picture this: either yourself or your staff, on-site on your iphone; conduct a Hazard Assessment; complete your job sheet, record your hours; then receive payment for the job via credit card; issue your receipt with all of the necessary professionally presented paperwork attached and then have it automatically updated in your QuickBooks Online (or Xero). You can even include photos of the work/repairs, track your staff via GPS and SMS clients if you're running late, all within an iPhone app!

Change is inevitable. It will take getting used to, but once you are (paper) free of your old habits, your business (and even the environment) will be very thankful.

The aim is to make your life easier with less paper and more time do you exactly what you want!

(Originally published DUO Magazine March 2018)