Why moving on from paper to full dematerialization?
Published on 28 January 2022
With digitization, paper documents are a thing of the past in the company! From invoices to delivery notes to pay slips, dematerialization has many advantages as long as you are well prepared and have the right tools. The beginning of the year is the ideal time to launch a "zero paper" project.
A dependence on paper format deplored by companies
According to a study conducted by IDC France in April 2020, reducing dependency on paper documents was in the top 5 priorities for IT investments of companies surveyed in the supply chain sector. Indeed, 29% of them designated dematerialization as a priority. It must be said that "all paper" entails many constraints for companies, if only in terms of storage, which requires dedicated premises to archive them. At a time when companies are looking to optimize the size of their premises, especially with the development of teleworking, which allows for office rotation, it is becoming unthinkable to devote space and therefore money for simple paper.
A challenge of accessibility and security of data
For those positions that allow it, telecommuting makes it impossible to access paper-based information sources stored at the company's headquarters. For employees who can only perform their tasks in person, it is not uncommon to lose time to find the document they are looking for in the archives. Indeed, the AIM (Association Information et Management) estimates that approximately 7.5 hours per week are spent searching for information without finding it.
Another problem with storing paper documents is their security. Access to them must be monitored so that only authorized people can access them, including employees, to avoid the risk of fraud. What if there is a fire on the premises? Years of company history can go up in smoke in a few minutes. A risk highlighted by the latest statistics from the civil security: in fact, the fire department intervened in 7,800 fires in professional premises in 2020. Finally, beyond the practical aspects, while companies are increasingly concerned about their social and environmental impact, the end of the paper format appears to be the first step towards a responsible and affordable ecological transition for the company.
A compliance issue
Going from paper to digital dematerialization of information carriers implies routing documents through several phases: their digitization, their indexing to be able to find them easily, even their versioning to keep track of all the successive versions of the modified documents, their archiving and their certification to attest their veracity. Fortunately, digital solutions facilitate these steps and allow them to be processed automatically. Regarding the invoice processing, for example, Generix Invoice Services offers to scan the documents to extract the relevant data and create an electronic file whose elements will enable automatic handling. Thanks to data control, the company is insured of the compliance (regulatory, anti-fraud, business verification, etc.) and of having quality data that will be archived for 10 years and remain easily accessible.
More automation for faster processing
Generix Invoice Services also facilitates the work of the accounting department, which can use the automatic reconciliation system to mechanically reconcile invoice data with order and receipt data. The tool validates their concordance before triggering payment without human intervention, resulting in faster processing and time savings for the teams.
Some dematerialization tools are even specialized by profession. This is the case, for example, of the Generix TMS - Transport Management solution, which enables companies to optimize their routes and expand their transport offer while controlling costs. The dematerialization of orders automatically associated with the most suitable means of transport enables companies to move faster, to optimize data management, but also the management of goods and information flows between the various players.
Some documents will soon be dematerialized
Dematerialization can affect all paper formats in the company, from HR documents (pay slips, expense reports...) or commercial documents (product and service catalogs, brochures, sales leaflets, product sheets, price lists...), to transport documents for example (pick-up orders, delivery orders...). Be careful, some documents will be dematerialized in the next few months. This is the case, for example, of the Single Document for the Evaluation of Professional Risks (DUERP), which the French law on health at work requires to be dematerialized in companies with 150 employees or more by 2023, and then the following year for the others.
This is also the case for invoices. Indeed, the 2020 Finance Act provides that all companies must be able to receive invoices in electronic format by July 1, 2024. They will then be required to issue them electronically progressively, first for the largest companies in 2024, then for small and medium-sized companies in 2025 and finally for very small companies in 2026. Anticipate these obligations by equipping yourself now with a dematerialization solution adapted to your needs.