Top 5 Reasons Why it’s Time to Ditch Paper Receipts

Receipts are a part of business life. Whether you’re running a business, holding client meetings offsite or you travel for work, those little documents have probably seen the inside of your wallet, the bottom of your purse, or shoebox.

These tiny pieces of paper are integral to keeping track of your expenses and outgoings, of course. But paper receipts are outdated and only last as monuments to yesterday. Let’s be honest… they take up space, they’re environmentally unfriendly and they’re easy to lose. But, what is even worse, is that many small to medium businesses are still using them to input information manually, leading to wasted time and human error.

Like most technological advancements, the biggest obstacle is often fear: Will digitizing cost too much? Is it hard to do? What will my employees say? Why change?

Every small business should be using a receipt app that automates to their accounting software, even if they’re outsourcing their accounting. Your accountant will love you for it, but there are several other real, tangible benefits for using receipt apps and accounting software. Here are my top five…

1. Digital receipts cut down on labor costs

You know that small businesses spend more time than they’d like filling out paperwork. But even the most seasoned entrepreneur might be shocked to know how much time they’re wasting. According to Elite Business Magazine, business owners spend an average of 120 hours a year working on financial admin – three full working weeks!

Snapping and sending that receipt immediately frees headspace. It outsources the task of remembering it. And a good cash receipt app will remove much (and possibly most) of that admin while also reducing instances of human error. The human error factor is especially relevant when you consider that over half of small businesses go out of business in their first five years due to bad admin and finance management.

With digital receipts, you can now spend just a few minutes glancing over admin, instead of using up a whole morning or afternoon. You can use that time to get back to what you love about the business – dealing with customers and pursuing your passion projects.

2. Losing paper receipts is more common than you think

Receipts are often small, and thus sometimes neglected. Was that Starbucks airport receipt so important? But they add up, especially if those receipts are for travel expenses like accommodation and fuel costs. In the UK, a government poll found that 65% of decision-makers in finance and accounting admitted to losing receipts. You might have even lost a receipt without knowing it. And, to be honest, I lose them all the time.

Taking a picture instantly removes and uploading it to Nexonia, outsources this problem. Now, it doesn’t matter what happened to that silly paper receipt.

3. Going digital slashes clutter

One of the consequences of COVID is businesses rethinking their costs. This especially applies to office and storage space. And, is especially important when it comes to receipts and tax: Many governments require businesses to maintain tax records for years. In the US, it’s six years.

Keeping that box of receipts physically suddenly looks a lot more expensive. And ironically, paying for storage will generate more receipts! So, don’t you think it’s time to say goodbye to that cardboard box or filing cabinet in your storeroom, and allow all that paper to migrate north, to the cloud.

4. Most organizations are aiming to become more digital

If you’re not working towards becoming more digital, you’re in the minority. According to Finances Online, 70% of businesses have a digital transformation strategy in place or in the pipeline. Your digital transformation doesn’t have to be onerous or costly. It might be one simple change, like a receipt scanner.

Using a receipt app is as easy as taking and sending a picture. In many cases, the app will send the information directly to accounting software, where it is collated automatically. You can safely and confidently dispose of that paper receipt. We recommend shredding and – if applicable – recycling.

5. Paperless bills and receipts reduce human contact

Post-COVID, we’re all more aware of how much we’re handling items that have been touched by other people. Cash is making way for credit and debit cards, as we try to minimize the likelihood of contracting unwelcome viruses. Whatever your business, fewer receipts change hands when you’re dealing with digital, whether you’re a freelance photographer sending those receipts to your accountant, or the accountant receiving them.

The easiest way to say this is… the digital transformation is happening, and paperless is now! The best time to modernize your business was yesterday; the second-best time is now. For digital receipts and expense reporting, Express recommends Nexonia, as it integrates to both Dynamics GP and Sage Intacct.

The good news is that it’s easy to get started – by taking pictures instead of manually entering data.

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