If you were to go about creating a cost analysis of your company’s daily paperwork, you would think it’d be a pretty straightforward task. Maybe you’d add up how much postage, paper, and ink you’re using and assume that about covers it - however this is really just the tip of the iceberg. The full story can only be told by taking a long detailed look into every step of each of your paperwork processes.
Where the cost of manual paperwork really seems to avalanche is when you start to see the inefficiency and inconsistencies that may appear at every step of the process. Some of those inefficiencies can include:
- The inherently slow pace of manual paper processes.
- Lost or misplaced documents.
- Human error in data entry.
- Manually scanning, sorting, filing, and retrieving necessary documents.
In addition to simple inefficiency - not having a standard process with checks and balances can increase your company’s risk of compliance, security, and tax issues. These issues can escalate business costs rapidly in the form of fines and fees – all caused by an outdated paper process.
The Labor Cost of Manual Paperwork
With paper processes being so inefficient many employees are tied up performing menial tasks for a process when their time could be spent on other mission-critical work. Because companies don’t tend to have extra employees around with nothing to do, this causes employees to have to work longer hours. In some cases, a new hire must be acquired to pick up the extra slack, but many times the work gets delayed or doesn’t get done at all.
Don’t kid yourself - this is not a trivial amount of money being wasted when all is said and done. Chances are the cost associated with lost or wasted productivity far exceeds whatever is being spent on the hard costs. For most companies, the money wasted on inefficient work processes can be shocking.
The accounting department is where inefficiencies can be seen most clearly. It is estimated that 49% of finance employees’ time is spent processing transactions. That is half of their day dealing with invoices. Now think of what other things those highly skilled and paid employees could be doing if the amount of time they spend on processing invoices was automated to reduce that amount from 49% to only 30%, 20% or even 10%?
So, if you accept that wasteful paperwork is a very expensive wrench in the productivity of your office, what can you do to impact that or remove it all together? Using your current document imaging, AKA copiers, and MFPs, and pairing it with some inexpensive software can go a long way to achieving that goal. Having the right partner to help place the best hardware and software can have an immediate impact on the efficiency of your business, not to mention the bottom line.