Sustainability is a word you’ll probably hear a lot in 2022. As more and more businesses are gearing up to increase their sales and growth efforts in 2022, they are simultaneously doing their part by prioritizing greener initiatives. While large companies, such as IBM and Microsoft, are leading the way with commitments to reduce carbon footprints, smaller businesses and individuals are following suit.
So, what can accounting professionals and businesses do improve sustainability efforts? As it turns out, a lot. Below, we’ll take a look at how accountants can do their part to #GoGreen and make a significant impact in their corner of the world.
Filing Tax Forms Electronically
One of the greenest things accountants and their clients can do is begin filing tax forms electronically. The IRS has made it so most forms can now be filed electronically, making this process emit significantly less paper waste by skipping printing and mailing.
By using electronic signatures and digitizing documents, accountants and their firms can also complete important forms faster than ever. Digital documents can be emailed to clients wherever they are, signatures collected in a matter of minutes, and completed documents sent back to accountants who need them – often to meet important tax filing or financial deadlines.
Additionally, using electronic signatures provides the opportunity to use helpful features such as knowledge-based authentication (KBA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). These tools add an integral step to further prove and establish the identity of signers on important accounting and tax forms.
Implementing Paperless Systems
It’s no secret that accountants handle a lot of paperwork on a day-to-day basis. That’s why the process of taking their offices the paperless route can be so immediately environmentally impactful.
Not only is it easier to store, manage, and share digital documents, but going paperless can also save businesses big bucks. According to ADP and MultiBrief, businesses spend $80 per employee just on paper annually – and this figure doesn’t include printer, toner, and mailing costs.
Skipping the in-person team and client meetings and opting for remote options such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams will not only reduce emissions and pollution, but it helps you save on gas and keep more money in your pocket. As a bonus, your clients will appreciate the convenient opportunity to meet with you at a time and place that may work better with their schedule. Did we mention going green will also save you the daily traffic headache?
By working remotely, you and your team have the further capability of going green by reducing gas emissions, lessening traffic in your area, and saving energy by avoiding larger office space usage.
Not only does working remotely go a long way towards impactful sustainability efforts, but it can make a tremendous difference in your budget and spending and has even been shown to improve productivity.
Utilizing Electronic Signatures
Electronic signature solutions, such as Foxit eSign aka eSign Genie, have long been the best friends of green initiatives and sustainability. Electronic signatures allow accountants and their clients to skip the giant paperwork stacks and add their John Hancock’s digitally for document completion that’s not only more ec0-friendly, but also more convenient and cost-effective.
eSigning boosts productivity, increases security, and enhances and simplifies compliance efforts for businesses. In 2015, Corp Magazine reported that “U.S. businesses waste $8 billion annually just managing paper,” meaning businesses can stand to save a lot of money by switching to electronic signatures and skipping paper documents.
Maximizing Time to Save Energy
Did you know that by being more productive you are also simultaneously being more eco-friendly and going green? Streamlining yours and your team’s accounting processes by using tools such as electronic signatures mean tasks take less time and effort – allowing you to flip off the lights and turn off your computer sooner to save energy.