20.9.2023 | Tax

Going digital – office solutions that make paper a thing of the past

Going paperless can be a real relief – Head of Taxation at Beatons Andrew Diver, gives some tips on some of the most effective solutions.

Paper – what’s that? OK, so we’re not quite there yet, but the trend for digital office solutions is well underway.

Most of us are now very aware of our business and personal environmental goals, as well as our drive to improve business efficiency, so there’s no doubt that digital can be the answer.

Streamlining internal procedures can lead to more profit and happier teams – we’re seeing that at Beatons within our own operation and certainly with many of our clients.

Heading to the clouds

Being in the cloud is no longer associated with a lack of focus – quite the opposite, as cloud storage offers clarity and organisation.

Holding customer information, contracts, and sensitive employee information on paper is increasingly unstable and has a real risk of data loss.

Storing this in a secure online portal is now the way for most businesses – so if you’re holding off, it really is time to change. 

Online storage means regular security updates

And a host of features that protect your business and the data it holds, such as firewalls, securing against cyberattacks and viruses, and data encryption, which means providers make it unreadable to everybody apart from approved users. Plus, two-factor authentication makes information very hard to access other than approved users.

Accounting online – it’s a no-brainer

Invoices, bank statements, order forms – they all pile up. Paper gets everywhere, and these days, trying to store it and keep track of it is not an effective way to run a business. Especially one that needs to be audited – though that’s another topic.

Andrew Diver says: “Cloud-based accounting software really is a no-brainer for most businesses nowadays. It reduces so many problems and, in the long run, will boost your business finances. You’ll keep track of income and outgoings more easily, payout and get paid on time. Software enables you to process sales, purchases, receipts, and payments, and you don’t need to invest in costly infrastructure. Most cloud providers charge a reasonable monthly subscription. Beatons can happily help you work out what’s best if you get in touch.

“You can take photos of, for example, a purchase invoice and post it automatically, your bank data will feed directly into your accounts, and you can see who owes you money, who you owe and your business bank balance – so it’s easy to see how you could streamline the day-to-day running by going digital.”

Expenses made easy

Everyone wants to claim their expenses, but nobody actually enjoys the process. It can be a struggle to remember dates and amounts and keep paper receipts safe. Going digital takes all that pain away. And you reduce your paper trail.

Andrew Diver says: “Many of our clients use an App to take a picture of their receipts, which is then automatically processed by the software and posted directly into the accounting software, with a summary being produced for the employee to claim back the expense from the business. It’s revolutionised the process and helps hugely in ensuring cash comes back where it’s needed.

Even most retailers now will provide an E-receipt, making paper a thing of the past in accounting. You can use software to scan and digitise them into your accounting software quickly and securely.”

For any accounting advice and more information on ways to go digital, please contact Beatons Group at info@beatons.co.uk or call 01473659777.