Jul 10, 2020

How Going Paperless Can Save You Big Bucks

According to a 2017 study, late invoice payments cost small businesses around the world about $3 trillion every year. To put that into perspective, if you were to stack $3 trillion in $100 bills next to each other, they would span nearly 70% of the United States. If you stacked $1 bills, they would almost reach the moon. 

That’s a lot of money—and one can bet the amount is higher in recent months. So what can small business owners like you do to keep more of that money in the bank and out of the ether? For starters, you can make the switch to digital invoicing. 

Simply going paperless can save your small business big money, and we’re going to tell you how.

Paper and Printing Can Be Expensive

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that your business sends out 1,000 invoices every month. Those invoices are 1 or 2 pages long and you print them yourself. The average cost to print a single page is about 2.47 cents. Let’s say that half of the invoices are single pagers while the others have 2. That puts your monthly paper and printing cost at a little over $37. Though the amount may not seem like much, it adds up quickly.

Over 12 months, you’ll pay $444. At the 5-year marker, your printing costs will reach $2,220. From there, the number grows. If you add $0.23 for an envelope and $0.55 for every Forever Stamp you use, the cost of paper-based materials alone reaches $817+ every month and $9,804+ yearly.

Manual Invoice Processing Costs Even More

When it comes to manually processing your paper invoices, expenses can skyrocket. Reports from trade associations suggest the average cost to process an invoice sits near the $15 mark. In an environment where time is money, the effort put into handling your paper invoices can cost you thousands. 

If you combine processing expenses with what you spend on paper and printing for 1,000 monthly invoices, the potential cost to your small business runs up to $189,804 every year.

That’s a lot of money you don’t need to spend.

Make the Switch to Digital Invoicing

Rather than spending time, energy, and money on paper invoices, you and your small business could make the digital switch and save. Bringing your invoice processing system and procedure into the digital realm is as easy as setting up an account with a free bookkeeping software like Sunrise.

With the click of a button, you can unlock a world of new digital possibilities and pave the way for greater success—but that’s not all. There are tangible, quantifiable reasons to go paperless as well. 

Reason 1: It Makes Invoice Tracking a Piece of Cake

When you shift to a digital invoicing system, you go from filing cabinets full of folders and loose papers to a no-mess, easy-to-navigate solution for tracking invoices. You don’t have to guess or closely follow online shipping updates to see if an invoice has been delivered. With digital invoicing, you can see real-time information and access all of the details you need to know from one location. 

Reason 2: You Get Paid Faster

On average, sending an invoice through the mail can take anywhere between 1 and 8 days to arrive at its destination. After surveying more than 1,200 US and Canadian business owners in 2017, PayPal discovered that 78% of its digital invoices were opened within 1 day of sending them. 

Making the switch to digital invoicing can get you and your business paid much faster. Instead of waiting days for an invoice to travel through a mail carrier to its destination just to sit on a customer’s coffee table for a week before it actually gets opened, you can instantly send a digital invoice to your customer’s inbox. That means immediate invoice delivery and lightning-fast payment potential.

Reason 3: You Save Time and Money

Not only can digital invoicing save you money on material costs but labor as well. Digital invoicing allows you to fully automate your process, including the setup of recurring invoices and payments. 

When you leverage the features found in Sunrise or other free invoicing software options, you can create custom invoices for free and then send payment reminders to forgetful customers with a quick click or the tap of a finger. 

Invoicing for a Digital Age

Paper invoices and manual processing are on the way out. Now’s the time to bring your business into the digital age and say goodbye to outdated systems. 

Why expend time and valuable resources when you don’t have to? Save yourself the headache and unnecessary expenditures by switching to a stress-free paperless system. Make your free account with Sunrise and see the difference it can make for your small business.

About the author

Bjólan Holyoak
Bjólan Holyoak
Bjólan Holyoak is a small business finance writer based in Utah who believes that with the right panache, financial information can be as much of a "breath of fresh air" as a hike in the Utah mountains.

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