Paperless Office Strategy: The Complete Guide - Ricoh Scanners Skip to main content

Paperless Office Strategy: The Complete Guide

Scanner Guide

Paperless Office Strategy: The Complete Guide

Prepare your business for a paperless future with the right software, invoicing, and payroll solutions.

Transitioning to a paperless office is a worthy goal for many reasons. Chief among them are increased efficiency, cost savings, and a reduced carbon footprint. But that is just the beginning of what it means to move a business that uses paper as its primary form of information storage into a fully digital future.

Make no mistake, it’s a significant shift that cannot happen overnight. It’s also one that must be done carefully. Follow the advice in this guide, however, and you’ll be well on your way to creating your own paperless office strategy.

Shop Scanners Now

Digital imaging solutions built with your business in mind.

Shop Now

Paperless today: Industries that are going digital now


Paperless offices are no longer a futuristic idea. They’re how many business verticals are already conducting their work. Are you looking to catch up or even set yourself ahead of the curve? Here are some examples of industries helping to define paperless office strategies.

    Why businesses are making the move to paperless

  • Maintaining paper filing systems takes more time and resources.
  • Digital systems streamline workflows.
  • Enhanced security, sustainability, and collaboration are possible in paperless offices.

3 business verticals on the leading edge of paperless office strategy


Documentation is required for compliant and reliable finance work. However, paperwork can slow down processes and add potential liabilities. Paperless solutions let CPAs and many other finance professionals work smarter. They also make onboarding new clients and employees easier.



Moving files to digital systems helps smaller law offices compete against larger firms. This is thanks to the potential savings and flexibility inherent to paperless offices. Finding the information you need to represent your client is much faster and easier in a fully digital system.



Digital delivery tracking can save time on invoices. Factories with paperless accounting can send and receive payments faster. Paperless also allows manufacturers to make their processes better. Efficiency and automation are at the heart of modern manufacturing, and paperless supports that work.

Read more about industries that have already gone paperless in Paperless Businesses: 3 Verticals Embracing the Digital Age. 

Did You Know? The fi-7600’s 300-page hopper helps it handle lots of documents at high speeds. It can even digitize both wide and normal-sized pages in the same batch. Click here to learn more. 

Paperless office software: What to look for

Despite the name, a paperless office will likely still handle paper documents. For instance, it may digitize external documents for more efficient handling, then dispose of the originals. Finding the right paperless office software will make this process as seamless as possible.

    Benefits of paperless office software

  • Increased flexibility.
  • Potential cost savings due to more efficient processes and decreased physical resources.
  • Document security that is easier to maintain and more effective.

Features to look for in paperless office software


Your solution should minimize labor-intensive tasks like data entry. This includes meta-level tasks such as naming, sorting, batch processing, and more. Automatic remote access management is also a key feature for the modern workplace.

Scanning and file conversion

Document management software should index and tag documents to make them searchable. It should also convert digital files so they are easier to find and edit. It should not require printing and re-scanning documents at any point.

Optical character recognition

This feature allows your paperless office software to translate printed text into digital documents. These documents are easy to parse and edit. OCR can also vastly speed up data entry, freeing up employees for more impactful work.

Read more about paperless office software in 10 Things to Know Before Buying Software for a Paperless Office. 

Paperless transactions: The choice of today’s customer

The last three decades have seen businesses and customers alike embrace online payments. Being able to log on to a site and submit payment information was just the first step. Modern consumers expect to be able to pay from the convenience of their personal devices. The benefits are compelling on both sides.

    Common examples of paperless transactions

  • Online utility payments.
  • Automated credit card invoicing and payment.
  • In-person payment via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or other mobile solutions.

Why customers embrace paperless transactions

Speed and ease

Payment via physical mail can be painfully slow compared to paperless. Customers often prefer to get a bill in their inbox, open a link, and pay it all in a minute. Plus, their email records and confirmation number prove the transaction occurred.


Going paperless lets customers choose their payment option in a way that’s already been set up for ease of use on both sides of the transaction. They may use credit cards, direct pay via bank, or even dedicated services such as PayPal, all via a familiar interface.


Better security

Checks come with increased exposure to fraud risk due to tampering or copying, and cash is easy to lose. Built-in security options for paperless transactions can help ensure customers know exactly where their money is going.

Read more about consumer adoption of digital payments in 5 Reasons Why Customers Prefer Paperless Transactions. 

Did You Know? The fi-7900 was built to handle high-volume production scanning. Its 500-page hopper and speed of 140 pages per minute can accelerate your office’s paperless transition. Click here to learn more. 

Paperless billing and invoicing: Making money work smarter

Many checkbooks have begun gathering dust in recent years. But that doesn’t mean their owners have gone off the grid. Instead, both people and businesses have begun to favor the convenience and security of paperless billing and invoicing.

    Common paperless billing solutions

  • Email
  • Text message (SMS)
  • Account-based online portals.

Key considerations for paperless billing and invoices

Create your workflow

What should your paperless office strategy look like? Plan out how customers will pay their bills and how accounts payable will process invoices. Audit trails and review periods help ensure nothing gets left behind.

Build in backwards compatibility

Not every business may be as quick as yours in the transition to paperless. Make sure your policies are flexible enough to support intake and output of paper documents where required. But don’t let them knock you back into old habits, either.

Transition and evaluate

This fundamental change to your business’ information policies shouldn’t be rushed. Try moving some customers or accounts early as a “smoke test” to make sure your systems are up to the challenge. If they stand up to the pressure, you can expand from there.

Read more about modern payment solutions in What Is Paperless Billing and Paperless Invoicing: 5 Steps to Make the Switch.

Paperless filing and payroll: Streamline your business

Information is the lifeblood of any business. Going paperless for your internal filing, especially your payroll department, will help that blood flow more efficiently. Making this transition may take some work up front, but it will be an impactful step forward for your business.

    Benefits of paperless filing

  • Potential savings on material costs, such as paper.
  • Reduction of physical space needs.
  • Faster lookup and instant sharing.

Important aspects of a paperless payroll


Depending on where your business is located, you may be required to offer paper checks as a payment option. Make sure to check your local and state laws, as well as any other regions your employees work out of, before making a change.

Employee portal

Creating an employee self-service (ESS) portal will allow workers to input and update their own payment information. This will allow employees to receive compensation with minimal delay and overhead. Many such portals also provide essential tax documents.

Direct deposit

The next step is to ensure your paperless office can deposit funds into employee bank accounts. Your solution should use information from verified timecards to disburse appropriate payment. Employees without bank accounts may be paid via dedicated payment cards, much like gift cards.

Did You Know? The fi-8170 uses innovative feeding technology and Clear Image Capture technology to reliably scan documents. Its paper protection and multi-feed detection features minimize hassle.  Click here to learn more. 

Shop Scanners Now

Digital imaging solutions built with your business in mind.

Shop Now

Our recommendation: fi and SP Series scanners

Those in the market for tools to empower their paperless office strategy have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing, and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi and SP Series of scanners.

Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi and SP Series scanners are capable of processing tens of thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.

Making the initial transition to a paperless office, then maintaining that commitment, requires the right tools for the job. The enterprise-ready solutions that compose the fi and SP scanner line are ready to meet that need. Their speed and compatibility make them an excellent choice for a range of offices as well as paperless approaches, while their reliability ensures they’ll help keep your office digital-first for years to come. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line. 



Note: Information and external links are provided for your convenience and for educational purposes only, and shall not be construed, or relied upon, as financial or legal advice. PFU America, Inc. makes no representations about the contents, features, or specifications on such third-party sites, software, and/or offerings (collectively “Third-Party Offerings”) and shall not be responsible for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of such Third-Party Offerings. Please consult with a licensed professional regarding your specific situation as regulations may be subject to change.