Brought to you by
tax cloud

Tax Cloud is an R&D Tax Credits claim portal.

Share this content

5 tips for a paperless office

8th Apr 2022
Brought to you by
tax cloud

Tax Cloud is an R&D Tax Credits claim portal.

Share this content

Ah, the paper-free office. No more hunting around for scribbled notes or sifting through piles of files (file piles?)

The fact is, paper still has its uses in business and being entirely paper-free is unlikely. After all, who doesn’t need to grab a pen and a post-it sometimes when the phone rings. But printing and paper costs add up fast and in these eye-wateringly expensive times every penny matters. Plus of course there’s the environment to think of.

At Tax Cloud we’ve aimed to be as paper-free as possible across our offices. Going digital has been pretty easy; it’s not letting paper creep back in that can be difficult. We therefore thought we’d share our tips and tricks which your practice may find useful.

1. Set an objective

The hardest part of a quest to go paperless is getting started. Evaluate exactly where paper - and ink - is currently being used, preferably with costings. Understand how much paper each member of the team is using (without playing any kind of blame game) then work with them to implement a paper-saving plan into their daily routine.

It’s worth making sure any paper-saving goals or targets are specific and measurable and include a timeframe. This gives people something to work towards, increasing the chances of success. After all, many of us have used paper for so long it’s a tough habit to get out of.

So what targets should you set? A printing limit is a good place to start and reduce the number of paper packs you order. You could start off with fairly generous limits for a few weeks then gradually move the goalposts to decrease how much paper is used around the office even further.

Reward staff for meeting paper-saving targets by offering some kind of fun incentive to encourage everyone to get involved. Also make sure your whole team understands the specific benefits to the company of going paperless, so everyone is motivated and working towards the same goal.

2. Make sure bills and payments aren’t sent through the post

Banks and utility companies have been encouraging their customers to go paperless for some time now. Does your practice still get paper bills? If so, contact any banks or providers to ask about going paperless. There’s usually an option to do this online so no need to hang on the phone.

Assess your internal processes too. Instead of printing invoices, use online digital invoicing platforms like Xero to manage everything in one place. And by the way, Xero integrates perfectly with Tax Cloud.

At the very least, send invoices to clients by email or text instead. Not only will automating your processes save paper, but it also reduces the chances of human error and gives your team time back in their day.

3. Get your cloud storage sorted

A cloud storage system basically allows you to access and manage all your company’s documents online. So we’ve already mentioned invoicing, but a half decent cloud storage system can actually store pretty much anything you like. HR documents, client information and any other number of functions can be securely accessed and worked on by any member of your team anywhere in the world. All they need is a log on. And as everything is stored digitally your business is therefore more resilient against cyber attacks, fires and flooding for example. Better collaboration between staff who may not work on-site too.

The storage service you choose should also back up your documents at regular intervals and allow real-time document updates. Many firms also use a cloud storage system that has a file-sharing service, such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox.

One last thing - make sure the digital storage platform you use has enough space.

Tech Radar has just released its latest Best business cloud storage service of 2022 article that looks at space as well as other important considerations. It’s well worth a read as a starting point.

4. Chuck out the filing cabinets

Pretty much what is says on the tin. Several filing cabinets been lining your office for years? Go through them, throw away the stuff that’s not needed any more (because you’re going paperless… hint hint) and throw them out!

Obviously don’t immediately chuck any documents you’ve not backed up yet and that you actually need.

Once your cloud-based system is up and running you’ll likely find you just don’t need the filing cabinet space like you used to. It’s the perfect chance for a thorough audit, not to mention the ushering in of a tidier, more modern office.

5. Go for paperless marketing

Still sending out fliers and brochures? These days that’s pretty old school with cheaper, more effective (paperless) alternatives.

When communicating with clients - and internally for that matter - go digital. Yes, direct mail campaigns still have their place and you may not want to ditch them altogether. But go for other ways to engage current and prospective clients, including email campaigns, social media, blog posts, ebooks, digital ads and videos.

Xero has actually recently put together their guide to Marketing for accounting firms packed with handy tricks and tips to get you started.

This article was brought to you by Tax Cloud

“A great experience and results driven team, would highly recommend Tax Cloud to anyone looking to complete an R&D tax credit application.” - Richard Orme, Think Create Digital Ltd.

Tax Cloud is the UK’s premier self-service R&D Tax Credit portal developed and supported by the R&D tax specialists at Myriad Associates. Secure and easily accessible from anywhere 24/7, it’s ideal for accountants looking to file maximised, successful R&D tax relief claims on behalf of their clients.

Our expert team will work with you while you enter your clients’ figures and put their claim together. We will also check claims thoroughly before submission to HMRC so nothing is left on the table.

It’s a great opportunity to not only financially benefit your clients but also to expand your firm’s services without the extra overheads.

Ready to get started? Find out more by taking a look at the free Tax Cloud demo or call 020 7360 4437. There’s our great Partner and Introducer packages too.

See also the Top 5 reasons accountants are using Tax Cloud for R&D Tax Credits.