Businesses everywhere are involved in a worldwide shift to paperless payroll. The effort to use less paper is not only beneficial to the planet but also in keeping a business organized.
However, the benefits of going paperless don't stop with paperless payroll software. Here is what life for your business could look like with paperless human resources software (paperless HR) and how to get there.
Why Paperless HR Software?
Working with paper documents is a given in most offices, as well as during business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions. Team members can come up with lots of justifications, like “physical copies are easier to read”, “I need to file it”, “we need to archive it”, or “our business has always done it this way”. However, the future of paperless HR processes isn't going away.
The truth is paperless HR software is not just a quick and easy way to implement a green initiative for your business, but one that can save your managers time and money, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives for your business.
Here are the benefits of paperless HR Software:
HR Paperless Solutions are Convenient
Formats like JPEG and PDF are well on their way to outlasting many of the different businesses that use them. It is true that some older computer records can be difficult to access for now, but with standard migration efforts and long-term preservation processes, they can be handled as part of document life cycle management with ease.
Manage Compliance with Paperless HR
For many years, paper documents were required to complete some kinds of business transactions, especially those that involved a signature in order to be binding or those used to prove something in court. Big events like selling a business, applying for a loan, or signing off on a car purchase are examples.
The specific requirements for digitized or digitally created documents to be accepted in court vary by country and document type, but government regulations often involve requirements that can only be met in a digital process that maintains a complete chain of custody.
In short, paperless HR is a great way to help with compliance management for those not looking for HR services.
Paperless HR Software Is Affordable AND Saves Money
Old-fashioned, paper processes may seem to be the more affordable option for human resources, yet, this is rarely the case and is more of a misconception if nothing else. So you may be wondering how paperless HR saves money.
The total cost of operating a primarily paper-focused office comes with a list of externalities including printers, network connections, ink, toner, the paper itself, and the maintenance of all of these.
As your business grows, so do these costs. At the enterprise level, these costs are scaled up only to culminate in waste. When paper is a part of a business input, like an insurance claim form or paper survey submission, there are still significant labor costs needed to manually process information coming into the business.
How Paperless HR Software Helps Internal Processes
There are many benefits to making the move to paperless processes. Employers looking to get started with paperless HR can expect the following advantages.
Better Internal Organization
No more piles of paperwork on the desk or shelves. No more clunky filing cabinets, either. This avoids misfiled or misplaced documents that take up valuable time that should be spent serving customers or working on other business priorities. Files and documents will be far easier to find, access, and share.
More Efficient Business Processes
Digital documents are much easier to manage, store, and retrieve than paper ones. Having documents available to access and share with customers regardless of the location, improves team productivity and brings a better customer experience. Extracting required data from a document (through automated recognition of machine print, handwriting, or optical marks) is much quicker and less error-prone than keying from paper.
Healthier Business Growth and Scalability
Without rows of filing cabinets towering throughout the office, a paperless operation requires much less space. Personnel required for handling high volumes of business inputs during peak times or during a business expansion is hard to scale, while it is an easy task in a digital environment.
Easy Way Create Green Initiatives
Reduced printing means fewer trees will be cut down to produce paper. Paper is also highly energy consumptive both in production and transportation. The eco-friendly aspect of going paperless is a popular and relatively easy concept to garner support from your employees.
Faster Employee Communication
Unless you’re footing the bill for overnight delivery, such as when insurance claims need to be processed quickly and the agent needs to rush the documentation to a claims expert, paper documents will take at least a day to transfer from Point A to Point B. Even then there may be delays, misplacement, or complete loss. Once digitized, a document is available where it is needed, instantly.
Document Storage and Recovery
It is costly and time-consuming or in many cases impossible to replace a paper document when it is damaged or misplaced. Your stakeholders may never be able to access important documents because someone misplaced a file, or when disaster strikes, like a fire. With the paperless office, documents are stored electronically for simple and easy backups to a remote server or cloud repository that safely stores your essential information.
Who In Your Business Will Benefit From Paperless HR?
Beyond the general advantages of going paperless, there are specific advantages to moving paper out of workflows as quickly as possible for some of the most paper-intensive business applications. Here are some processes, employees, and departments that can benefit from the switch to paperless HR.
Invoicing costs money; eliminating paper from the process reduces the overhead. Invoice processing is one of the most advanced applications with digital solutions available to handle end-to-end, in many cases without any human interaction. Digitizing paper inputs in an Accounts Payable process enables:
- Faster processing and easier control of payment timing to take advantage of discounts or avoid penalties
- Avoid costly and time-consuming efforts to match invoices and purchase orders
- Reduce time-consuming manual efforts involved in tracking and chasing approvals
A company mailroom can be a key bottleneck for a company or the speedy onramp to many business processes. Handling peak workloads is possible with a digital mailroom to a degree that a manually operated mailroom can never achieve. A digital mailroom helps to:
- Eliminate wait time for documents in the respective functions and departments
- Ensure that employees have real-time access to data and documents
- Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty through faster turnaround time
Forms are often used in business applications, where customers expect an instant response. They present a key opportunity to offer customers a digital-only alternative (i.e. eForms) or to digitize and process automatically. Paperless form processing can:
- Streamline the data entry process to speed up the entire business process
- Reduce the error rate compared to extensive manual re-keying
- Free up knowledge workers to focus on higher-value tasks
Customer onboarding requires far less work when digitized. Using the right platform, an organization can bring new customers on board more quickly and smoothly. Digital onboarding is more personal. As oxymoronic as it may seem, it’s true. By cutting down the time it takes to onboard a new customer by reducing paperwork, there is more time available for face-to-face interaction which makes a new customer feel more valued. Paperless onboarding can help:
- Reduce time to process, increase customer satisfaction
- Spend less time on lower-value administrative tasks, increase employee satisfaction
- Significantly reduce errors
Many regulated industries need to follow clearly defined processes and rules for handling and storing business documents. New regulations require process adjustments, additional validation, and documentation which makes records management a moving target and particularly hard to accomplish in a paper-based environment. Paperless recordkeeping allows businesses to:
- Eliminate inefficiencies, time wasted, and added costs of a paper-based system
- Protect sensitive personal data; store digital information more securely with features such as password protection, access controls, and data encryption.
- Improve compliance with mandated regulations
How to Get Started with Paperless HR
The following four tasks are the essential steps in making the switch to paperless HR Software.
1. Assess paper-driven bottlenecks
- Inventory the processes in your business that are most critical, such as the ones that stop or harm the business if they are held up
- Review existing documentation or establish a quick step-by-step overview noting where paper is used in the process and the task involved
- Assess the number of paper business inputs required for the chosen processes in a typical month and the time involved in the manual handling of the paper document
- Identify process steps that provide a significant opportunity to digitize
2. Establish paperless processes where feasible
- Identify processes that rely on paper-based inputs and can be easily shifted to digital, such as offering an eForm to replace a paper form
- Ensure that digital and conventional processes can be handled in parallel and are fully integrated to enable a smooth transition as volumes shift from paper to digital
3. Scanning and Backfile conversion
- Any documents that arrive in paper form should be converted to electronic as quickly as possible upon receipt. You can’t force your clients, vendors, or licensing contacts to go paperless, and chances are that paper documents and files will likely be a part of your operations for some time. The key is to digitize those files as soon as they arrive in your company or agency.
- There may be value in converting existing archives to digital, but this requires high retrieval rates or frequent integration into the processing of new business input. A business case assessment needs to confirm the business value.
4. Update Clients
- Once you implemented the shift to fully electronic or digitalization, you should inform your clients about the changes and how it affects them. You may want to issue an email notice highlighting the advantages for them and cover any concerns that may exist about security and privacy.
- Where applicable explain e-signatures to your clients as well.
- Ensure to offer and communicate incentives for your clients to change, like lower fees, added loyalty bonuses, etc. to ease the hurdle of convenience.
Finally, enjoy the benefits! The rewards in time and savings will begin adding up quickly and the return in customer satisfaction and loyalty is huge.
Get Started with Paperless HR
For those who aren't ready to enroll in HR Services, making the switch to a paperless HR solution is the first step toward not only bringing your business into the future, but the first step into higher performance and productivity, stronger compliance management, and a more successful business.
Make the smarter more efficient choice for your business, and make the switch to paperless HR and Payroll Software today.