Going paperless for sustainability and efficiency

sustainable accountants

Going paperless is one of the biggest steps a company can take to help the environment. Cloudbook Online Accountants Ltd is a sustainable 100% online accountancy service and are firm advocates of the paperless office. Our goal is to provide an efficient and sustainable accountancy service that helps save clients money.

With the world experiencing its greatest climate challenge to date, we are all looking for ways to be more sustainable. Recycling and reusing goods and materials is now commonplace but moving towards a paperless office will help even more and can also save you time and money. 

Helping the Environment

Paper use is a major contributor to global warming. The effects of paper use on the climate are four-fold because the production of paper products:

  1. requires the felling of trees that are essential to store the excess carbon in the atmosphere and provide shelter to wildlife.1
  2. requires a vast amount of energy, much of which is from environmentally harmful fossil fuels.
  3. necessitates a huge amount of water (roughly 10 litres of water to produce a single piece of A4 paper) and is a major contributor to the depletion of our water reserves.
  4. leads to unnecessary waste that goes into landfill or requires recycling (which although useful, requires energy and resources). Almost a fifth of all the waste in England is generated by businesses, and 50% of business waste is paper.

The good news is that we can easily make a difference by adopting paperless processes in our businesses. There are now a multitude of Business Management Systems and tools that can replace almost every process in our day-to-day business that formerly relied on paper. For accounts, you can use CloudBook Online Accountants Ltd for your tasks like payroll, company accounts, tax returns and bookkeeping to keep your accounting sustainable.

Saving you Money

The benefits of a paperless office are not only limited to the environment. They will also save you money. UK News Group reported in 2021 that an astonishing 11% of revenue of the average company in the uk was spent on paper. It also found that printing costs were often the third highest operational expense after rent and payroll. When thinking about the costs you would save, you should consider the following:

  • The price of paper: The average UK office worker uses approximately 10,000 sheets a year. This is roughly four boxes of paper, costing £18 per box. Based on a company with 50 employees, just the sheets of paper alone can be costing up to £3600  per year.
  • The price of storage for the paper documents: Rents and mortgages for office and home office spaces are at an all-time high. Paper documentation needs to be stored somewhere and the more you have the bigger space you need and ultimately the more you will pay for your premises.
  • The price of printing: The price per page cost for printing can be anywhere between 10p and 30p depending on what kind of printer and cartridges you have. If you print 15 print 30 pages a week, this could cost you as much as nearly £500 in ink alone per year. Don’t forget about the cost of looking after the printer too;. all mechanical items incur maintenance costs.


The savings made on banishing paper should far outweigh the cost of implementing a paperless Business Management System in the long run. Cloudbook Online Accountants Ltd use PandaDoc, Google Drive and Iris Openspace for our document sharing and collaboration. These are excellent paperless services that help us keep our fixed accountancy fees low. You can check out our pricing structure here.

Of course, there are times when printing cannot be avoided. You can however keep track of how much you’re printing by using print auditing software and by setting departmental printing budgets. Ask your employees to use the printer only when absolutely necessary and perhaps incentivise limited use. You could also consider investing in additional monitors for staff that may use paper documents as a point of reference.

Maximising Efficiency

As if saving money and the environment weren’t enough, going paperless can also make your business more efficient.


Services like Google Drive allow for easy access and simultaneous document sharing. It’s a great tool for collaboration and uses cloud-based storage, which is undoubtedly the go-to method of the future. Google Drive, PandaDoc and Iris Openspace are really useful tools for CloudBook Online Accountants Ltd. They make it so much quicker, easier and more efficient to provide online accountancy services to our clients. By using them, we avoid the need to print, post, and e-mail documents like accounts and tax returns, back and forth to clients; Using those outdated methods would be a huge waste of time, energy and costs. As far as we’re concerned it’s a no-brainer. You can check out our reviews os different accounting packages here.

The take-away…

Every business should try to go paperless. It will allow you to do your bit for the environment whilst saving you money and improving efficiency. If you don’t already use one, check out online Business Management systems to replace paper-based processes. Train your staff to be mindful of their paper use and help them get the most out of your business management tools. Contact us to find out the difference that CloudBook Online Accountants can make to you as part of your transformation into a paperless business.


  • https://www.theworldcounts.com/
  • https://www.uknewsgroup.co.uk/
  1.  Over 6 million hectares of forest have already been cut down this year and we’re on an upward trend.