Do you ever find yourself staring at the rows of filing cabinets in your office and wonder what you could be doing with that space if you didn’t have to store your physical documents? For businesses that have entire rooms dedicated to filing documents, could that space be put to better use? On the surface, more space is the most immediate and visible benefit of converting your paper documents to digital, but the list of benefits is much longer.

Just a handful of benefits from no longer manually storing documents include mitigating the costs of maintaining those records and the risks that it carries.

The Costs

It costs more than you think to store your physical documents. Besides the creation of paper documents, it costs more money to maintain them, sort them and dispose of them.

Depending on how much your business interacts with archived documents, the costs in labor for organizing them and retrieving can be staggering. Office employees spend nearly 15 percent of their time searching for documents, according to Accounting Web. This equals out to about six hours per week of pay spent on looking for paper.

The Risks

Despite some people’s mistrust of storing data on the cloud, and the sentiment that physical records are more valuable and legitimate, digital documents are exponentially more safe than paper documents for a variety of reasons.

When compared to a digital document that’s backed up to multiple locations and secured with bank-level security, a paper document is far more vulnerable. Without a viable backup, disasters such as fire and floods are all but guaranteed to destroy your records, with no chance of your business recovering.

Also, tangible documents have no inherent security tied to them like digital documents do. The best you can hope for is to keep them under diligent lock and key, otherwise, they’re susceptible to be taken by anyone who can gain access to your office.

Ironically, a paper document doesn’t leave its own paper trail, so unless you have a consistent check in and check out system, you have no record of who has looked at it, made alterations to it, or made copies of it. With digital documents, it’s possible to attach an audit trail to each one, allowing you to view who has viewed the document and at what date and time.

What You Can Do

If you’re tired of living with the costs and risks of storing your paper documents, make the upgrade to digital with a document management solution like eFileCabinet. It’s possible to transition your current archive of records into a digital system, and it’s easier than you think. All you need is a reliable DMS and high volume scanner.

eFileCabinet works with you to set up a system that sorts your files for you, all with minimal input from the user. Zonal OCR is software that can identify the information on standard forms, allowing the system to recognize how it should be sorted according to your filing system. The process is automated, all you need to do is put the documents in the scanner.

After the operation of digitizing your documents is finished, all your files are accessible with just a few keystrokes thanks to full-text search, which allows you to search using words contained in the document you’re looking for, not just the file name. They can also be entered into automated workflows, further making use of their digital form.

If you decide to store your digital documents on-premise, one server takes up much less space than a room of filing cabinets. If you decide to store them in the cloud, you can rest assured that they are kept safe with multiple backups and top-notch security. To find out how eFileCabinet can make storing documents easier, fill out the form below to view a free demo.