The iconic portrait of a bookkeeper — hunkered down with an adding machine, an eyeshade and a stack of paper — is hopelessly outdated. Bookkeeping has gone digital. And the way paperwork is done has changed too, with most documents now stored online, in the cloud.
If you run a business that traditionally generates tons of paperwork that must be tracked, logged and stored in space-hogging filing cabinets, this is wonderful news.
Scrap That Paper
Have you made the transition to online banking with your personal finances? Well, just as you can now pay certain bills automatically, or transfer funds remotely without filling out deposit or withdrawal slips, you can simplify many of your business transactions. And you can eliminate a ton of paper in the process.
Advances in bookkeeping software include QuickBooks Online and other online tools that allow you to upload many documents to the cloud and store them in digital form. (To be clear: You don't need an onsite server, so you need not worry about fire or theft, or that viruses will infect your computer system and wipe out your hard drive along with all your critical financial documents. Nor do you have to install regular upgrades for multiple software applications and hard drive backups.) These resources can not only make bookkeeping simpler and more efficient, but also provide greater insights into your business by identifying key performance indicators.
Take Your Bookkeeping Online
In addition, there are apps that allow you to instantly transfer things like paper receipts to digital files by snapping a picture with your phone. And because you're no longer dealing with physical documents, you no longer need a bookkeeper or accountant to be physically present in your office or place of business. Outsourcing this function is more convenient and can save you the expense of a full-time staffer.
Take Your System Management Online, Too
Along with advances in bookkeeping software, there have been great advances in system management applications tailored to just about every type of business. This is another step toward reducing the number of documents you have to keep on file. Even such paperwork-heavy professions as law firms are storing docs in the cloud.