Governments Going Paperless

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There have been multiple reports recently of local governments turning to document management software in order to place files of all kinds on computers.

Governments Going Paperless
Governments Going Paperless

If you work in an office that still records client, internal, financial and industry information on paper, chances are you have to sift through a whole slew of different files each day. Consider invoicing alone, either between companies or sending bills or paychecks to employees - how many of these need to be reviewed and signed every single day?

This means that it's relatively easy for crucial documents to get lost in a sea of papers. Moreover, it probably gets expensive - what could your company buy if it didn't spend money on sheets of paper, the ink printer on them, the staples that hold them together and so on?

It seems that many offices, no matter the size or industry, are increasingly eschewing paper and instead getting work done on the computer. Nearly anything that can be done faster, more efficiently and correctly by incorporating electronic workflow. Think of it like this - rather than sending out invoices to business partners and waiting for them to be signed and sent back, it could all be taken care of in a matter of minutes over the Internet.

But it's not just private companies that are going this route. There have been multiple reports recently of local governments turning to document management software in order to place files of all kinds on computers. The potential benefits are massive.

So what are the factors that are making digitization more attractive than traditional strategies for local government leaders, and what can business owners hope to accomplish by following similar paths?

Increased ease of access
Government administrators in many regions have been considering making the switch over to electronic workflow because they'll be able to share a given record with workers in other departments and organizations.

Houston County News reported that local government agencies in the entire county will soon be getting rid of paper for a digital landscape, though it won't be completely paperless. One of the main reasons leaders are doing this, the news source noted, is because it will make the various departments more efficient. Judges, for instance, will benefit because they'll be able to study case files and other records no matter where they are.

"We're going to feel some pain right now with the work, but in the long run, there's benefit to us," Houston County Court Administrator Darlene Larson told the County News. "There's ease of access for ourselves... We're trying to be as efficient as possible."

This goes back to the invoicing example. Companies can share financial documents and contracts with their business partners - this way, both parties have access to the same records and can save them for their records and for reference points in the future. Everyone involved would be on the same page, and this strategy can represent a virtual paper trail showing the history of a business relationship.

Saving costs
City, town and county governments tend to have to base their financial decisions around how much money they get from the state budget, while everything else can come from taxpayers or fundraisers. As such, cutting corners when possible might be beneficial for consumers, and government leaders can do this by digitizing.

The Watertown Daily Times reported that New York's Ogdensburg City Council recently chose to go paperless, and money was a major motivator. The news source explained that the body can save about $2,500 every year, which may not seem like much, but it also eliminates the need to pay police officers to deliver important documents to administrators, which can cost upwards of $22.99 every hour.

For companies, they wouldn't have to hire police escorts or other security personnel to handle sensitive files, nor would they have to use couriers to deliver any type of memo or invoice. Finally, the price to maintain a storage facility would be wiped out, meaning that the cost savings could be massive for a business that goes digital.

by PaperSave

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