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Green Paper Use Reduction & Looking To Cut Waste?

Decided To Send ALL Correspondence Letters Double-Sided From Now On In Vain Attempt To Save Planet

Didn't find your answer?

But I do not want to have to explain to all my clients what I am up to. Is this approach what clients are now expecting.

On the days of yore, a professional accountancy firm would send out letters using best thick paper and also single-sided typing for that professional look. Maybe even extra spacing between typed lines for that extra layer of wastefulness.

A minority of firms (the largest ones) would also wastefully bind copy tax returns using thick, expensive card and plastic sheeting, using thick plastic spines or plastic binding combs. I suspect that most of these client copies would end up in the bin or gathering dust in a pile at the client's home.

I think those days have now gone, and from what I can see, many individuals are very waste-conscious (apart from the fly-tipping criminal element, and those too lazy to bother with recycling).

I have decided from now on to send out all correspondence double-sided to try and halve waste. It also cuts down on postage and paper costs.

Do the readers think that most clients nowadays are environmentally switched on enough to expect a minimalist approach to paper use, even though it does not have that "professional look" from decades ago.

I have on the odd occasion told clients what I am up to and they never even batted an eyelid.

Or, does it look "cheap and nasty".

 

 

Replies (35)

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By penelope pitstop
04th Jan 2020 19:31

I greatly admire Japanese engineering and innovation.
I particularly like the Japanese "stapeless staplers" they invented some time ago.
What a marvellous piece of office invention.

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My photo
By Matrix
04th Jan 2020 19:38

I don’t send any letters to clients, only email.

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Replying to Matrix:
By penelope pitstop
04th Jan 2020 19:45

Oh wow!
Zero waste, zero postage, zero paper.
A wee smidging of electricity.
The holy grail of the environmental office.
I will see how this goes down with my clients. But I think my octogenarian clients may object though.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By PERMON
07th Jan 2020 11:20

I reckon around a third of my clients do not use email so still forced to use communication by letter.

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By Moonbeam
04th Jan 2020 20:54

I'm with Matrix here. There is very little paperwork that gets posted to clients now.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
05th Jan 2020 08:27

I hate letters printed on both sides.

File them and they're hard to read.

It doesn't look professional, imho.

It's not going to happen here any time soon.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By penelope pitstop
05th Jan 2020 11:15

That's a useful comment.
So, junk mail = double sided, accountants and solicitors = single sided, to keep that professional look.
What does concern me, working for myself now, is that my paper is a bit on the thin side. It tears too easily.
Anything less than 80 grams per square metre is "toilet tissue" as far as I am concerned.
90 grams per square metre starts feeling better, but more expensive.

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
By Moonbeam
05th Jan 2020 11:53

I've always used 90 g paper. And I print on both sides.

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
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By whitevanman
05th Jan 2020 12:11

Use the 80gsm and tell the client it can be recycled with just a little imagination ( "your letter of 21st inst. is before me. It will soon be behind me.").

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
panda ketteringUK
By ketteringUK
05th Jan 2020 20:10

We buy HP Papers Premium FSC A4 90 gsm 500sh/PK 5pk/BX - very good quality for the price of £22+VAT. https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07CGS8XGS/

The only downside of using 90g paper is that majority of docs are just above 100g meaning additional 50p on postage.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
05th Jan 2020 11:28

What happens if people stop using paper ?

Then there's less need for trees.

So folk stopping plantimg them.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By whitevanman
05th Jan 2020 12:20

And no need for pencils and pencil sharpener and pencil cases and...
This is green thinking at it's best!
(PS. A [email protected]@dy squirrel plants them in my garden. Suggestions for getting rid of the squirrels?)

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Replying to whitevanman:
By penelope pitstop
05th Jan 2020 17:44

Grey squirrels? There are an estimated 2.5 million of them in the UK.

But the problem could be solved over just one weekend!

There are over 25 million households in the UK. So, if 1 in 10 households had roasted grey squirrel for Sunday roast, they would be eaten into extinction in one day.

Apparently, they taste like chicken but with a nutty flavour. And they are free-range and organic. And would not cost a penny.

Red squirrels would be quite happy with that!

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
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By whitevanman
05th Jan 2020 17:57

Would it be too ironic if I served it with a little nut roast and green vegetables?
Some people complain they are not given serious answers on Aweb! Bah Humbug (not too late I trust!).

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Replying to whitevanman:
By penelope pitstop
05th Jan 2020 18:06

I am game for that.

Forest fodder. Served with wild garlic.

Yum. Yum.

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Replying to whitevanman:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
06th Jan 2020 10:11

Kicking their nuts ought to work.

The alternative is to live on the GreyRed battle line up here, where shooting the Greys is, I believe, actively encouraged.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By whitevanman
06th Jan 2020 18:43

I tried it earlier - just fell out of the tree!
The thin red line is wearing very thin down here and shooting the greys should be obligatory. I would be interested to know if perhaps they can be ground to make toner or squeezed to create ink. If so, it's back to single sided paper and double spacing for me.

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panda ketteringUK
By ketteringUK
05th Jan 2020 12:38

We use 90g paper and all letters and tax returns / accounts are printed on both sides. As alternative to plastic bounded copies with lots of plastic, we use A4 Slide Binders which can be easily reused by the clients.

Our main consideration was actually to reduce PPS costs. Emails don't work for some of our Clients, as not all 50yrs old+ are comfortable with e-signing, password protected PDF's, etc.

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Caroline
By accountantccole
06th Jan 2020 09:11

Our main office is in the Alps so everything is electronic. We have a few clients who post paper to us and we have to post letters to HMRC but other than that we are virtually paperless.
Get an online signing portal.
Very few clients ask for paper accounts or tax packs (1 or 2 from several hundred).
This day and age unless you have lots of elderly clients who don't have email/computer access, I wouldn't bother with the half way house of double sided and jump straight to no paper.

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Replying to accountantccole:
7om
By Tom 7000
07th Jan 2020 14:21

Your office is in the Alps... do you need an office boy...? Do I get to ski at lunchtime...

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Replying to Tom 7000:
RLI
By lionofludesch
07th Jan 2020 15:06

Tom 7000 wrote:

Your office is in the Alps... do you need an office boy...? Do I get to ski at lunchtime...

carnmores will tell you that skiing is not always a good thing.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
06th Jan 2020 09:51

We email 95%+ of ours. All documents are double sided, albeit I would not put a working paper on the back of the third page of a letter etc, and always ensure the separate documents are separable rather than combining several documents as a single document and double siding the lot.

This mainly go out to HMRC and older clients, and some of those I have chipped away at in terms of sending emails first and then only posting on request.

They key thing we have found with moving from letter to email is you need to think very hard how to present it to clients for signature etc. We have a different format for post and email.

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Lisa Thomas
By Insolvency Practitioner
06th Jan 2020 15:28

We have (belatedly) just gone paperless....!

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Replying to Insolvency Practitioner:
RLI
By lionofludesch
07th Jan 2020 15:12

Insolvency Practitioner wrote:

We have (belatedly) just gone paperless....!

If I searched your office, I bet I'd find some.

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By pauljohnston
07th Jan 2020 11:07

We dont do letters double-sided and they are always sent on 100g paper. Tax Returns and other government forms always sent double sided.

The stapless stapler was brilliant and now that you have reminded me I will try and acquire one. Not only friendly to the planet but also stops broken figure nails.

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Replying to pauljohnston:
RLI
By lionofludesch
07th Jan 2020 15:14

pauljohnston wrote:
... broken figure nails.

Check out that over-active spell check.

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7om
By Tom 7000
07th Jan 2020 14:19

Whats paper? can you send an email and pdf etc typed on the back. Do you put your hear round the back of the lap top to read it.....

Welcome to teh 21st century

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Replying to Tom 7000:
RLI
By lionofludesch
07th Jan 2020 15:15

Tom 7000 wrote:

.... teh 21st century

Check out that under-active spell check.

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By Jdopus
07th Jan 2020 15:45

We do nearly everything paperless apart from final accounts themselves. For those we still print off on thick paper with a ring binder and custom covers and backs.

I was always told that as an accountant 90% of what you do is completely invisible to the client, the only thing they see at the end of it is the final set of year end accounts, so it was in your best interest to go all out on the presentation of those.

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
07th Jan 2020 18:49

Like Matrix I dont send letters unless client specifically asks to have his/her letter of engagement or tax return on paper.

I took over a practice where all clients received accounts in a lovely folder. Those clients who still want them in this format get them (although I am trying to wean them off)!. The paper is 80g and any letters are sent 100g (cheaper if you get Viking everyday paper)

But all new clients have their L Of E sent via Accountancymanager for e-signing and then get their accounts and Tax return sent by loading onto their own Portal.

Oh the time it saves!

Of course we do send some paper letters - to Co House and HMRC although HMRC are getting there - you can email them if client gives permission ... in writing.

Of course my New Years reolution is to go competely paperless.

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Replying to Jennifer Adams:
Caroline
By accountantccole
08th Jan 2020 10:18

Are your HMRC emails just on specific queries or do you have some generic channel for general queries etc?
It does make life so much easier when they accept emails for enquiries

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All Paul Accountants in Leeds
By paulinleeds
07th Jan 2020 22:46

I use double -sided PDF files and email them to clients.

Why are you posting letters?

Perhaps you could get the carrier pigeon to fly there and back (with the reply to your letter) whilst delivering your letter.

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By penelope pitstop
09th Jan 2020 12:28

It is evident from the foregoing that there is no industry norm!

But I suppose there may be no such thing as a "normal" practice nowadays.

My client base is skewed towards the elderly, conservative element of society. So I have to give them what they want.

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Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
11th Jan 2020 11:43

Currently have a HMRC compliance check ongoing.

Client wants to communicate everything by post rather than e-mail.

The dull thud you can hear is me headbutting the keyboard in frustration.

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Della Hudson FCA
By Della Hudson
12th Jan 2020 21:09

Paper? How quaint.

How serious are you about the environment? And about efficiency in your firm?

Even my parents, pushing 80, can cope with emails and online signatures without breaking the internet.

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