We might have thought business was going to go paper-free, but 40% of the waste stream is still paper. Many businesses still use the same techniques to manage sales tax that they’ve used for as long as anyone can remember. When you’re looking at the total cost of doing business, the time that goes into the management of stacks of paper, the paper and printing, and the real estate where the paper lives, can add up to a pretty penny. If you’re looking to make a positive impact on your job in sales tax management, it might be time to consider going as paperless as possible.

Remember that paperless doesn’t happen overnight, especially when you’ve got a huge history in file cabinets with sales tax invoices and exemption certificates in a back room. Taking time to plan your transition to a paperless sales tax department will help you get there faster and create a more efficient office from the start. A great way to do this is to make a chart of all the documents you produce and use and their life cycles in your office and outside of your office. Once you have a clear idea of where and how you use paper, you can find solutions. Going through this process can also help you find redundancies and streamline your workflow.

The next step is to look into sales tax software that makes your paperless workplace possible. Look at your current sales tax software and see how capable it is at working in a paperless environment. Does it require printing off sheets regularly for audits or sending documents to states that allow e-file and e-form? Does the software work well with your other applications so you can easily transfer information from one to the other? If not, it’s probably time to look for a new sales tax software that can do these things easily and reduces the number of paper documents you produce. Once you’ve got a new system and software that enables you to go paperless, work towards printing off as few documents as possible.

After a month of your new routines, reassess what’s working and what isn’t. See what you’re still printing off. Asking yourself if these are necessary to print and how you can stop will get you steps closer to a paperless office. Look into STDL software — you can trust it enough that you won’t feel the need to print so many copies. Sometimes it’s that change of heart that makes the biggest difference.

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