You're always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your company. If there was a way to both save money and the environment, wouldn't you do it?
Sure you would.
That's one of the reasons we see more businesses making the switch to paperless invoicing, also known as electronic invoices.
If your organization is still using paper-based invoicing methods, then you'll find you're outdated. And it could potentially cost you future business.
Let's see how.
1. Improve the Perception of Your Brand
When you look at who produces the most pollution in this world, you'd have to point the finger at corporations. After all, who's responsible for making all of the plastic and paper products?
Who's the one chopping down trees and building toxic factories to produce them?
So seeing companies take accountability is critical in today's environmentally-conscious world. We find 40% of Australian businesses believe proper waste management can improve public perception of your brand, increase business, and even retain more customers.
And it makes perfect sense. Consumers today want to associate with and buy from businesses that align with their own visions and goals.
This includes making the world a better place.
By moving away from printing invoices, you can save trees and the environment, while also boosting potential to earn more revenue.
2. Lower Your Business's Impact On the Environment
It's good to be aware of the impact your business has on the world around you. So before you print another invoice, it's essential to know that it takes 24 trees to produce a ton of paper.
That doesn't sound like much until you learn that nearly 2 million tons of paper makes it to the landfill each year.
Based on this information alone, we can see three ways e-invoicing can help the world.
Save More Trees
The most obvious benefit of using electronic invoices is that you cut out the need for paper. This means fewer trees required to run the financial aspects of your business.
You have to take into account all areas of the invoicing process to get a better understanding of how much paper you're saving. For example, you send a paper estimate or quote, a paper invoice, and envelopes to house them when you mail them off.
In the past, fax machines were the "future" because it reduced the amount of mail businesses sent. But why not take it a step further by sending everything electronically?
There are tools you can use today, such as invoicely, that enable you to create estimates and bills all in one platform.
Reduce the Size of Landfills
If every company committed to e-invoices, then it would significantly reduce how much paper waste makes it to the landfills.
If US businesses were able to reduce 10 billion paper invoices per year, that would translate to 200 tons of paper saved. That would, in turn, save more than a million trees.
At the same time, it would reduce greenhouse gases by 360 tons.
Then we have to take into account that invoice transactions occasionally contain errors, which means more printing to make corrections.
3. Jumpstart the Digitization of Your Company
Crossing over to electronic invoices can be the first step for your business when it comes to digitization. There are many ways you can further the cause by eliminating other unnecessary paper processes.
For example, you can implement digital signatures into your hiring and client onboarding processes. No need to print out paperwork -- just email it all using a platform like eversign.
This way, you can handle all interactions with workers and customers digitally.
4. Better Organize Your Financial Records
Managing paper invoices can be tough, especially when you're growing fast and process hundreds or even thousands of invoices monthly.
This can take up massive amounts of space in your building. And sorting through it all can be a real pain. You can easily eliminate this when you're using online invoicing tools.
By putting it all in the cloud, you can quickly find old invoices for clients. This will come in handy when you need to resend an invoice or go through the records to complete your quarterly taxes.
No more dealing with lost or misplaced invoices.
5. Access Your Digital Invoices from Anywhere
Since digital invoices are in the cloud, you won't have to wait until you're back in the office to get access. You can obtain them from your internet-connected devices, such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
This is convenient when you need to access one while traveling on business (or for pleasure).
It's also important to note that you can create invoices on the go using these devices. You can't do the same if you're stuck using printers to deliver invoices.
6. Save Time and Money
Your workers waste many hours creating, mailing, and tracking invoices manually. By adopting e-invoicing, you can reduce the time spent on all of these tasks.
For example, with digital invoices, you can use templates to create invoices quickly. Then you email them to the recipients.
The platform you use will show what stage each invoice is in, such as draft, pending, or paid. This makes it simple to keep track of late payments, which you'll clearly see in your dashboard.
Then to further save time, you can use the payment reminder features to send emails to those who are nearing or past the due date. You also have the opportunity to set up automated payment reminders.
All of these features can reduce time spent on the invoicing process so your teams can focus on more productive tasks. This, in turn, helps to reduce money and even potentially boost your revenue.
7. Save Office Space
How much real estate does your business need? If you're using old fashioned methods, then you may need a room or two dedicated to filing cabinets.
However, if you digitize your business, you can get rid of all the paper and use that space for something productive.
Or better yet, you can downsize with virtual offices or a smaller space. Either way, it's more money in your pocket.
8. Reduce the Chances of Stolen Data
Invoices contain critical information that thieves would love to get their hands on. Whether it's to try and steal money or sell company secrets about who you have accounts with.
It's difficult to safeguard this data when it's printed on sheets of paper. So to counter this, you can use electronic invoices. These are locked behind a cloud and credentials.
Access is only granted to those you give it to. This makes securing sensitive information easier.
9. Make it Easier for Clients to Pay
The purpose of an invoice is to get paid. But the only way customers can pay a paper invoice is to either mail in a check, contact your company with their credit card details, or come in person to pay.
This can be inconvenient for most, which will inevitably lead to a delay in payment. Over time, they may forget to pay so your workers will have to track the progress manually and reach out to the customers.
You don't have to worry about these things when you're using digital invoices. Once you send off your digital invoice (using an online platform), your customers can open it and pay it all in one go.
They're able to securely insert their credit or debit card information, or use a payment portal, such as PayPal or Stripe.
10. Reduce Expenses for Technical Support
You need fully operational printers to take care of the printing of invoices. However, you may come across issues that require technical support.
Such as when your printer starts acting up. It costs money to get a technician out there to troubleshoot and repair your printers.
You won't have to do this when you go digital. With an invoicing platform, you don't have to worry about downed equipment. Nor do you have to pay for any technical support.
All of that is handled for you at no extra cost.
Stop Wasting Paper, Money, and Time -- Go Digital!
There are many reasons why forgoing the use of printed invoices is a must. This is a short list and is by no means all-inclusive.
As you begin your journey towards digital invoicing, you'll likely find additional items to add to this list.
Hopefully, this is a great start for getting you onboard with the paperless movement. If you're ready to get started, you can sign up for the free version of invoicely to get a taste of what digital is all about!