When was the last time there wasn’t a single stray document lying about at your workplace? Probably the day you moved in, right? Document piles, stuffed folders & unorganized filing cabinets are a part of our everyday work life, especially for small businesses. Because most small businesses still communicate using written documents. From receiving documents for services sought to creating documents for services rendered, an average small business handles more than a hundred documents every day. These documents need to be carefully segregated into identifiable groups & stored in appropriate folders or filing cabinets for easier retrieval. These processes are both time-consuming and error-prone.
Most of the above document processes like document creation, organization & storage can easily be improved with the help of digital filing systems. Digital filing systems allow you to store & organize files via digital mediums like computers & smartphones. Digital filing systems have plenty of benefits that outweigh the traditional paper-based filing systems still incorporated by most small businesses. Let’s look at some of the benefits of digital filing system to small businesses.
Benefits of Small Business Digital Filing Systems
The most lucrative benefit of a digital filing system is that it eliminates unnecessary paper-based costs like stationery expenses, the cost of physical storage units, document handling costs, the cost of damages & misplacements, etc. Digital filing systems like SOHODOX start from $9/month, which are comparatively low cost & easily upgradable to suit growing business needs.
Easier to organize
Ask anyone who has wasted hours trying to organize paper documents and they will tell you why digital documents are better. Digital documents can easily be categorized into different groups based on their type & content, and instantly moved to their appropriate folders & subfolders. For example, a paper invoice from ABC Ltd. for the month of October, 2022 needs to be stored in the folder name ABC Ltd, under the subsection invoices, chronologically arranged as per the month & year. This process is quite tedious. But the same invoice in a digital format can easily be stored in a folder named ABC Ltd, subfolder invoices, subfolder 2022 & subfolder October.
Better organization & keywords make it easier to locate digital documents. Keywords are important information in the document’s content like client name, date, amount, payment status, serial number, etc that act as search criteria to find the exact document a user is looking for. Most digital filing system provide the option of using multiple search criteria to narrow the search results even further.
Digital filing systems are more secure than your traditional document editing app. Digital filings systems provide additional security features like individual login credentials that limit unauthorized user activity and private folders that allow you to restrict access to sensitive documents & information. Digital documents are also more secure because they leave a digital trail that can be recovered anytime.
As mentioned earlier, digital documents leave a digital trail that allows you to track document activity like when & by whom a document is accessed, edited, shared or deleted. Document tracking also ensures the legitimacy of documents which is essential during audits. For example, a digital filing system will show that the documents you are submitting for audit haven’t been tampered with, in case it is required by the auditor.
It is mandatory for companies to store select documents for required periods of time. For example bank statements like mortgage documents, student loan documents, etc need to be kept for a period of 3-7 years depending on the country you are residing in. It is also imperative that businesses protect employee documents like health insurance information & medic history from thefts and leaks. Digital filing systems ensure companies comply with all the mandatory guidelines as per industry & international standards.
Improved customer service
More and more customers are switching to digital modes of documentation & communication. Digital filing system help you replace traditional paper-based document processes with digital processes which are easier & more comfortable for customers. Digitization also helps improve existing business processes and helps reach more customers via new sources like social media marketing, email marketing, blogs & more.