April marks the season when executives kick off company-wide “green” initiatives, just in time for Earth Day. Some encourage their employees to use reusable water bottles; others hang signs near sinks and water fountains reminding people to conserve water. While these activities may be well intended, they are often short lived and have very little impact on a business’s overall carbon footprint.
What many executives fail to recognize are the significant fiscal benefits associated with strategic environmentally-friendly business processes. Here are some easy ways cloud-based tools can help your company go green while also growing your green year round:
Pay Without Paper
Despite some business’s recent migration to a more digital workplace, paper consumption has risen by 400 percent in the last 40 years, worldwide. From checks to receipts, AP and AR departments can use reams of paper without even realizing. By implementing an electronic payment system, organizations can eliminate the burden of paper checks and cash in B2B financial transactions.
In the U.S., companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time. Switching to paperless, electronic payments frees up a significant chunk of your departments’ budget while also allowing for quicker transactions and organized, centralized payment data.
Organize With e-Invoicing
American businesses process hundreds of thousands of invoices per day. All that paper adds up. Paper in the U.S. represents one of the biggest components of solid waste in landfills – 26 million tons. By reducing the amount of paper you use through e-invoicing alone, you can reduce your company’s negative impact on the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
The hundreds of thousands of paper invoices sent daily not only drain the globe’s resources, but can drain a company’s resources as well. Paper invoices are cumbersome, expensive and incredibly time consuming to handle. This puts an unnecessary drain on an organization’s finances. Switching to e-invoicing cuts invoice processing time, ensures data accuracy by removing manual errors and eliminates the possibility of lost or misplaced paper invoices.
Automate, Automate, Automate
45 percent of the paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day. This lifespan accounts for over a trillion sheets of paper per year, worldwide. utomation and cloud-based systems allow data to be updated frequently and viewed in real-time, which otherwise would have required dozens of copy edits.
Employee inefficiency can quietly cost a business thousands of dollars a quarter. For example, a typical employee spends 30-40 percent of his time looking for information lost in email and filing cabinets. Automating AP and AR functions with cloud-based solutions organizes, streamlines and speeds up approval processes and allows employees to spend their valuable time on projects that help the company grow.
Automation also helps foster greater client and supplier loyalty. With an automated, cloud-based system, your AP and AR departments can quickly resolve discrepancies between POs and invoices and regain control over purchases and payables. This saves your organization time, money and valuable business relationships.
Migrating business functions to the cloud protects both your company’s and the planet’s resources on Earth Day and beyond. Save time, save money, save paper and help your company reduce its carbon footprint.
Kate Freer is Vice President of Marketing for AmeriQuest Business Services.