Whether you are a freelancer or run a small business, properly managing your bookkeeping is an absolute must. There is new and improved software and technology that is developed and released to the general public almost daily. In order to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, we need to utilize all that technology has to offer, including accounting software for small businesses.
With so many quality options at our disposal, it is complete negligence to not utilize accounting software. Small business accounting software will reduce your company’s carbon footprint, if you’ll allow it to.
How it reduces your carbon footprint
If you handle your company’s taxes, or have a bookkeeper or CPA prepare them, there’s never a need to agonize over them. Nobody wants to be doing a company’s taxes by hand, anyway. Not only is it inefficient to use the paper and pen method, it increases your carbon footprint, as you have waste to account for. However, finding the right accounting software option for your small business will make your tax season less stressful and will reduce your carbon footprint. No longer will you have a need to print anything out, no need to purchase paper products for your bookkeepers, all while making your life and your employees’ lives much simpler.
Why buy accounting software?
If reducing your carbon footprint and making tax season less stressful aren’t enough to sell you on accounting software, consider the possibilities this technology has to offer. Not only can you purchase accounting software that is industry-specific, one of the greatest features of most accounting software options is the ability to account for expansion. When your business experiences growth, you can add a payroll accounting module to properly document your growth. While some software options will require you to check for updates (or set them to update automatically), many of these options provide updated modules that are designed with you and your business in mind.
Not only will this software make your life and the lives of your bookkeepers simpler, the software also greatly reduces a company’s paper waste without increasing energy use. Accounting software allows for faster and more efficient data entry and processing. Once you enter your information into your software, it is processed for the transaction you created, but is also stored for use in the future. Unless you keep your office computer on sleep mode all day, you’re using energy throughout the day on your computer. Whether surfing the web or creating invoices in your accounting software, your energy consumption will likely remain the same. So, while you may not see a reduction in your carbon footprint in this area, you will see a drastic reduction in the amount of paper waste your office contributes.
Furthermore, accounting software options have various features that allow you to set up accounts for multiple customers, storing all of their information and past invoices indefinitely. Rather than needing to keep paper files of all your invoices, you will have one system that has everything kept in a neatly-organized manner that you can access from virtually anywhere. One of the greenest elements of accounting software is how the options available allow for you to generate and print account statements as needed. So, if you ever find yourself being audited by the IRS, you can print everything you need, but only when you need it.
Ways to go green with your accounting software
While we can all agree that it is important for a company to be as green as possible, there are things that you may not be thinking of that can help reduce your carbon footprint. Here are three of the ways you can utilize accounting software and make your company greener.
# 1. Track handwritten information
While it may seem easier to simply jot down a note on paper, try to have your staff transition from creating handwritten notes to using a spreadsheet for additional information for your accounting needs. Many companies keep track of customer orders, pricing, and serial numbers by hand. However, this information is vital, and you never know if and when your handwritten notes will be accidentally discarded. Most accounting software is designed to store this type of additional information. Back up your information at the end of every day to ensure your data doesn’t get lost. This will not only reduce your company’s paper waste, but accurately keeps your information in an easily-accessible location.
# 2. Use direct deposit
Your company may already have this in place, and if so, you’re ahead of the curve. Instead of cutting paper checks for all of your employees, submit payroll payments via direct deposit. Take this into consideration. If your small business has twenty employees, and you pay everyone weekly, that equates to 80 checks and envelopes every month, or 960 of each per year. Your accounting software allows you to submit payments electronically, so you can prevent the waste of unnecessary resources. You can save your company even more in its efforts to reduce paper waste by sending pay stubs via email (which can also be done through your accounting software).
# 3. Send all documents electronically
This may seem like a relatively simple concept, but you’d be shocked at the number of companies that still use the postal service for sending their clients documents. But nearly every business has an associated email address, if not an address for each employee. Input your client email address into your accounting software, and you can automatically schedule all invoices, tax reports, balance sheets, and income statements to be emailed. By managing all of your documents electronically, you’ll be doing your part for the environment by saving paper, reducing gas emissions associated with delivering your mail, as well as eliminating your own gas emissions used to deliver your mail to your local post office. Factor in the monetary savings you’ll reap by saving on the cost of stamps, paper, envelopes, and ink, and it’s clear to see, utilizing accounting software for your small business is one of the greenest practices you can implement.
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