Friday, July 22, 2011

Move Your Paper Files To The Cloud

Ever hear of the paperless office? It’s a bit like the flying car. It always seems to be coming, but never actually arrives. Face it. We live in paper-based world and most of us are drowning under a mountain of it. Oh, not you? What’s all that stuff on your desk and in those filing cabinets?

Say goodbye to paper clutter! Shoeboxed.comOf course our business activities are more electronic than ever before. Improvements in manipulating, storing and transferring data have done two things for us. One, they’ve made it easier to create more paper documents. Two, they’ve kept us from drowning under an avalanche of documentation that would have grown with the increase of office productivity over the last few decades. Even so, how much time do still spend bridging the interface between paper documents and everything computerized?

The truth is that we burn a lot of time every day copying data from receipts to expense reports, entering business cards into a database or email client, documenting expenses for taxes and general accounting activities. Then those valuable pieces of paper have to be carefully filed so they don’t get lost.

The reason is simple. The only common denominator for everybody is a slip of paper. Someday there will be an accepted electronic exchange format and all that paper will go poof! Then we can leave work early and take the flying car for a cruise around town.

Until that happy day, you’re left with a decision. Do you handle the entry and filing of all those receipts & business cards yourself, hire an assistant to do it for you, or send it to the cloud?

How can paper move to the cloud? Won’t it just fall out and rain down on your head? Not if you do it right. What you need is a cloud based service called Shoeboxed. The metaphor is the classic shoebox that you carry your receipts in to the tax preparer. In this case, the shoebox is stored in the cloud and easily accessed from anywhere you happen to be.

Here’s how it works. You gather up that pile of papers on your desk, including receipts, business cards and other documents, and put them into a secure mailer. Drop it in the mail to Shoeboxed and YOUR desk is now clean. At the other end, your paper based documents will be carefully scanned and entered into a secure online database.

This is more than a mere scanning service. Shoeboxed’s specialty is creating human-verified data extraction so the important data from the page is put into an electronic format that you can easily work with. You can create and email expense reports or export data to programs such as Excel, QuickBooks, Salesforce, Constant Contact, Outlook and more.

What about receipts you get electronically? No problem. There’s a mobile app that lets you email them in or even snap a picture of a receipt or business card with your smartphone and then email it to your personal database.

You’re grinning, now, from ear to ear aren’t you? This sounds a lot better than all that paper shuffling you keep putting off, doesn’t it? Well, wait no longer. You can get a free trial of Shoeboxed right now and see if makes your life easier and frees up time you can put to better use.

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