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The True Cost of a Paper-Based Document Management Process

Holly Condon October 1, 2021

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Paper-based document management processes have been around for years, but they’re no longer the most efficient and economical way to handle your invoices and other financial documents. To save money, try PairSoft’s accounts payables (AP) solutions. Many organizations across Miami rely on our all-in-one document management software to quickly and accurately capture, process, and retrieve data from invoices, forms, and other documents.

To determine how much money you’re saving, it’s essential to look into how much a paper-based process is really costing your company.

1. Material and equipment costs

Paper isn’t pricey, but the average employee uses 10,000 sheets in a year, 14% of which is unnecessary. When you take into account the folders, storage cabinets, printers, and inks needed to create and store your documents (as well as the tools to dispose of them) then the costs only balloon further.

Data suggests that the cost of using paper is anywhere from 13 to 31 times the cost of the paper itself. This means that you’d be spending $1,300 to $3,100 to use paper you bought for $100.

Then there’s maintenance. File cabinets take up over 50 percent of office spaces in the United States — space that could have been used for additional desks or more legroom for your staff. An incredible 45 percent of those documents are duplicates and 80 percent are never accessed again. That’s a lot of paper — and money — gone to waste.

2. Labor and productivity cost

In traditional paper-based processes, a large portion of your staff’s time is spent creating, copying, and finding documents. In a year, professionals spend 21 days in total just reviewing documents and an additional six days looking for misplaced files.

To give you an idea of how much money you’re losing, imagine an employee earning $30 an hour. Every year, you pay this employee $4,500 just to work on paper documents instead of them focusing on their tasks and contributing to your company’s bottom line.

3. The cost of errors and losses

Paper-based document management involves a lot of human input and a high risk of human error. A single misfiled document sets your company back $120. What’s worse, a single error, when not found and rectified early, can lead to multiple pricier mistakes.

Misplaced and damaged documents are another common problem with paper-based processes. Without a proper backup, there is no hope of recovering lost files, which is something you don’t want to happen with crucial documents. If you do have backups after all, then the cost of reproducing your lost documents can reach up to $220 per sheet. In fact, nonproductive document work, including reproducing, reformatting, and reentering documents, cost US companies $1.5 trillion in salaries in 2018.

But that’s not all you have to worry about. Misplaced, misfiled, and damaged documents cause delayed payments and deliveries of products, resulting in unsatisfied vendors, disgruntled customers, and a damaged reputation. If your business is in a highly regulated industry like healthcare, lost documents may even lead to penalties from regulating organizations.

4. Environmental costs

The huge number of sheets used by the average company is a humongous burden on trees, from which paper is made. Recycling helps offset the cost, but unfortunately, just 33 percent of paper is ever recycled on average. This means that most of the paper you use in the office is manufactured fresh from forests and has a negative impact on the environment.

How can PairSoft help you save money?

PairSoft is an AP automation solution that lets you capture data straight from invoices, forms, receipts, and other documents, ensuring accuracy and preventing costly human error. All data is converted into electronic files through our Electronic Document Imaging technology and stored in the cloud, helping you save office space and enabling you to view and retrieve the documents you need quickly. Our system even allows you to approve invoices on the go using your mobile device.

The platform is entirely paperless, which means you not only save money on paper and associated materials and equipment, but you also ease the burden on the environment.

Discover how you can optimize PairSoft for your business by scheduling a free personalized demo today!

Holly Condon

With over 25 years' experience in the SaaS space, Holly brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the table. She previously held leadership roles at PairSoft's subsidiary PaperSave and resides in South Carolina with her family.

View all posts by Holly Condon

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