Moving to a cloud-based system isn’t the only thing you can do to streamline your accounting. Going paperless can help you save time, hassles, and trees all at the same time.

You’re probably already using paperless tools to some degree or another in your daily life. But if you’re just getting started with your business, here are a few quick tips to get you rolling:

  • Enroll in paperless statements for your bank and credit card accounts.
  • Sign up for e-bills with as many vendors as possible (especially for recurring expenses like your cell phone bill, internet service, monthly utilities, etc.).
  • Pay for as many expenses as possible using your business credit card or debit card, then download those transactions directly into your accounting system using bank feeds.  
  • Use your bank’s online billpay service instead of writing paper checks.
  • Email PDF invoices to your customers and make it easy for them to pay you electronically by credit card or ACH/electronic transfer.
  • Get a cloud storage account (Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc.), create a folder called Accounting (with sub-folders if needed), and put all your records there. This will serve as your digital filing cabinet and help you keep everything in one place.
  • If you use proposals or contracts a lot in your business, consider using an e-signature solution (there several good ones out there, DocuSign and HelloSign are both well-known).

All in all, the goal isn't to eliminate paper entirely. But these days most businesses can be 80% paperless without much effort. It saves tons of time and makes it far easier to keep the admin side of your business organized, so you can spend your time and energy on other things.