No matter what type of business you operate, you have surely heard about businesses trying to reduce the amount of paper they are using. It all seems so easy in theory, but it can be challenging to actually change the processes you and your colleagues have been used to for so many years. According to www.electronicpayments.org, “…every year Americans mail 26 billion bills and statements and 9 billion payments in paper form. The production and transportation of those paper bills, statements, and payments consumes the following resources: 755 million pounds of paper, 9 million trees, and 512 million gallons of gasoline.” Visit their Web site for more interesting facts about going paperless. Here are some of the ways you can use your accounting software to help put your business on the road to eliminating the need for paper.
Send invoices and statements via e-mail.
All of the paper and envelopes that go into sending your customers invoices and statements really add up. Many accounting systems now allow you to set up your customers’ e-mail addresses within the system, and then send all invoices and/or statements to those with e-mail with just a few clicks. If you send out five invoices/statements per day, that’s 1,300 sheets of paper and 1,300 envelopes per year! Just think of the time saved, not having to print, collate, stuff, stamp and send all of that mail. Your customer gets the invoices sooner, and you might just get paid faster, too.
Store customer pricing in the system.
Do you find yourself flipping through disorganized folders of information, seeking the customer’s most current pricing sheets? Not only does this waste paper, but it also leaves the customer waiting while you search. Keep track of pricing in your accounting software and it will always be just a few clicks away. Do keep in mind that accounting software does vary in its capability to store pricing information. Some systems let you store one set of pricing, some store multiple sets and some even allow for unlimited contract pricing. Make sure your system allows you to store pricing in a way that will work for your business!
Enter and store customer orders in the system.
Here again, if you are storing customer quotes and orders in a paper file, things will be much harder to find. You will have a multitude of papers floating around, and it will take longer to access them. Instead, create and save customer quotes and orders in your accounting software system. Quotes and orders can then be searched for by number, customer name, etc. for easy access. The information will be easier to find, and you will consistently provide better service to your customers.
The second part of this blog will be continued in the next blog post.