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Paper stacked to the clouds

Friday, 7 June 2013 | By John Russell

I have worked in four accounting firms, all with a mix of paper and paperless (or less paper as I'd like to think of it).


Even in my time spent consulting to various businesses I saw so much unnecessary paper it wasn't funny. It seems to me that nobody seems to get it right!


What grinds my gears


You know what really grinds my gears about the fact that some large corporations could literally stack paper to the clouds every year they operate?


It's not the ‘green’ factor, it's the inefficiencies that these businesses refuse to acknowledge due to the thought of change. Both the inefficiency of the paperless process and the fact that people are so negative towards change really grinds my gears.


Heading towards a paperless or less paper environment brings on many different creativity opportunities to gain efficiencies. Instead of reviewing that next contract on paper, try reviewing it on your iPad.


After 10 goes you won't notice the difference and you'll get the added benefit of being able to watch your favourite TV show at the same time. Instead of printing your next document why don't you just save it to PDF in your Dropbox or Skydrive?


As the little green slogans say at the bottom of emails – ‘think before you print’ (clearly these messages should be at the top of emails, anyway).


The other gear grinder for me is that people are adverse to change. Change is a good thing. Do you think we got to where we are today by doing the same thing? No!


People have tried new things, taken different approaches and because of all this we now all live in a better world. I personally think that the world could be even better if people were just that little bit more responsive to change.


I'll never forget the book that my first manager got me to read Who Moved My Cheese? It's a great short story about why change is important. If only everyone could be inspired by this book, a paperless environment would thrive with new ideas coming from all angles rather than just the one.


The last word


Finally, I'll have you know that once you go paperless you don't go back. So while it seems like a giant hassle now, you probably already know that you're going to have to do it at some stage. Why not now?


Cloud technology with accounting, CRM, word processing applications and DMS all at the click of a button makes all this so much easier than it once was. Make the move now or forever swim in a sea of paper.


For more information on how to go paperless, please do not hesitate to email me at or follow me on Twitter @JohnRussellAus