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The Great Debate: The Paperless Office

6 Oct 2008 | | No Comment

AccountingWEB.co.uk and accountsIQ have teamed up for a Great Debate about the Paperless Office. The arguments from both sides are presented very well and provide great insight. Definitely worth reading if you’re at all interested in the concept of The Paperless Office.

The Great Debate: The Paperless Office

“This house believes that the paperless office is a myth.”

First proposer:

Rob Lewis, practice editor, AccountingWEB.co.uk

From its very start, the notion of the paperless office was used by the technology sector to sell stuff. The term itself was the creation of a seventies publicist and in 1975 Business Week bought the concept and made the first serious prediction that the paperless office was a distant but inevitable development. In 2008, doubtlessly spurred on in part by the rise of environmentalism, the term is still freely bandied about, although it has yet to be achieved in theory by any office I know of. Read more here.

First Opposer:

Tony Connolly, managing director, accountsIQ

The basic idea of the paperless office has been around since the late 70s with a vision that all business documents are stored electronically rather than in hard copy. The potential benefits from achieving a paperless office includes productivity gains, costs savings, space saving, sharing information easily and reduced environmental impact. The ability to scan and store an image of a document electronically was the catalyst for this idea but simultaneously printers and photocopiers have improved dramatically to make it much easier to produce documents in bulk, and PC based software like word processing has deskilled producing and printing those documents, so paper proliferates. Read more here.

Second proposer:

Mike Ivey, managing director, Leeming Brothers

Leeming Brothers are a luxury stationery company. We use a traditional printing process called engraving to achieve a raised – or embossed – effect using a copper die. Historically engraving is the method customers have used to obtain a luxury feel for their stationery. Our printing presses date from the 1930s. Read more here.

Second Opposer:

Jon Milburn, senior consultant, Scan Worx

Today’s accountancy firms are faced with a choice -to embrace technology or to watch it happen. Those who embrace technology definitely gain an edge over their competition and are usually the firms (not necessarily the largest) that deliver a superior service to their clients. This in turn can also provide the best tools for their employees to work more efficiently. Research has shown us that a more efficient team, tends to deliver healthier savings within the running of the practice. Read more here.

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