Did you know, according to the Federal Government’s Green Office Guide, every year, each Australian office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of A4 paper, with approximately 50% going straight to landfill?

It’s seems like such a waste, right? But it’s not just paper you might be wasting.

One of the great benefits of the modern age is the ability of small businesses to conduct the majority of their business operations in the digital sphere. Not only does this allow your business to minimise paper waste, but also to save space, time and money by focusing resources where they are most needed – be it with clients or in production.

So we thought you might appreciate a look at various admin automation tools and how these can eliminate wasted time and money, and leave your small business more focused on its revenue-producing activities. If you’ve not read it before, you might like to read a previous blog on the benefits of online accounting.

Essentially, it all comes down to replacing paper with pixels, limiting your data entry and reallocating your valuable resources, be they time, money or people.

  1. Seamless online accounting – with Xero

As a small business owner, you’re too busy to spend any more time than necessary working on your accounts. Recognised as “the world’s easiest accounting software”, Xero can help you keep track of your bills, bank accounts, expenses, who’s paid (and who you might have forgotten) to save you loads of time. And as always, time is money.

Xero’s cash flow tools allow you to log in and see up-to-date business financials anywhere, any time. You can easily create invoices, quotes, enter bills, pay employees, reconcile your financials and so much more at the click of a button. Plus their reporting gives you, quite literally, day-by-day access to all the numbers you need to better run your business.

  1. Paperless for Productivity – with Shoeboxed

Data entry. Two words that cause a wave of dread for any small business owner. Did you feel it? Are you ready to avoid it? Welcome to the concept of Shoeboxed Australia – an online storage space for all your invoices, receipts and important documents.

The process is very simple; you send in your paperwork, reply paid via a magic envelope or snap and upload via the Shoeboxed app, they’ll scan it and categorise your invoices and you’re left with fully searchable, online records. How easy is that?

And, best of all? No data entry! Imagine the benefit to your business by reallocating one of your used-to-be-data-entry staff to client relations or production. Oh, and if that’s not enough, Shoeboxed also integrates with a number of accounting packages, including Xero. And if you’re ever audited, having all your information at your (or your accountants) fingertips is a godsend.

  1. Electronic signature solutions – with DocuSign

How many times have you found yourself printing and signing a document, only to scan it and reattach it to an email again? And once that digital copy is saved, you shred the signed piece of paper anyway? How about eliminating that process and saving on the paper, ink, shredder and the time it took to do it all?

The good news? As with most processes, there’s a simple solution – electronic signatures.

Cue DocuSign to accelerate the efficiency of your business by using the fastest, easiest, most secure technology to send, sign, track and store business documents in the cloud. Not to mention, DocuSign’s eSignatures are valid and legally binding and in use in 188 countries around the world, including Australia.

  1. Choosing the right cloud platform – with Dropbox

Of course, if you’re going to automate your admin processes, you’ll need a cloud-based platform to store all your documents. Dropbox allows you to safely sync and share files, safeguarded by multiple layers of security (for more on security read here).

The beauty of this app is that once you save something, everything is automatically synced across all of your devices. In addition, over 300,000 apps connect to Dropbox, so you can work more efficiently from anywhere.

Put simply and in the words of Dropbox themselves, “good things happen when your stuff lives here”.

The benefits of automating admin processes

While these apps all clearly have their pros (and not so may cons), you might still be thinking, “Well, how does that benefit my business and my clients?” Am I right?

By saving physical office space, time, money and valuable employee capabilities (not to mention the environment by minimising your paper consumption), you’ll have the freedom to focus such resources on the things that matter – new business, client retention, production or process streamlining – you know, those things that actually benefit your small business in terms of growth or producing revenue?

Of course, Mason Lloyd Albury are Xero certified advisors, so if you’d like help automating any of your accounting processes, we’d be delighted to chat. You can drop us a note or call Kerry today on 02 6023 1700. 

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