The Average Cost Savings to Go Paperless


Some companies go paperless to help the environment. By using electronic bills, invoices and filing systems, companies use less paper, and, therefore, kill fewer trees per year. Businesses can also save money and increase their profits by going paperless, as purchasing and storing paper costs money and renders workers less efficient.


If a business uses paper -- even recycled paper -- it has to pay for paper purchases, printing items on paper, fax and copier supplies and service, storage costs and distribution or courier costs. These costs can quickly add up, depending on how much paper the company uses and where the company needs to send the paper it uses. Efficiency expert K.J McCorry says companies can spend billions of dollars on paper management and can save about 20 percent to 25 percent of those costs by going paperless.

Technology Costs

Installing software for electronic paper management may cost a few hundred dollars. However, this cost is a fraction of the cost just for storing paper in the office. According to McCorry, one hard drive can store the equivalent of 70 filing cabinets' worth of paper. While the hard drive may cost $200, purchasing and using the filing cabinets costs 11,000 times the cost of the hard drive when you consider how much labor goes into filing paper.


Going paperless can help your business become more efficient. Instead of storing paper in filing cabinets and having to search for records when they are needed, you can store documents on computer and find them instantly. Improving efficiency allows workers to get more done, which always improves profits. In addition, you may not have to pay a worker to file papers once you have your computer system installed.

Calculating Savings

To calculate savings, first determine your paper costs. Check your records to see how much you spent on paper and paper-related services over the cost of the month. Write down the total cost of each item and multiply it by 12 to determine how much you are spending on paper for the year. Estimate the costs of a paperless system, such as the cost to install it and the cost of any training your employees will need to begin using it. Subtract these costs from your yearly costs to determine how much your average cost savings will be.

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