The High Cost of Paper-Based Business

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Cutting overhead costs is crucial to any company’s sustainability. Coupled with a looming recession, the time for cost reduction strategies is now. But where can you start?

One of the largest overhead expenses for the average business is an ancient material: paper. Factor in storage, filing, printing supplies and labor costs, and companies can find themselves spending over $600,000 per year on paper-based processes.

To fully grasp this number (and why going paperless is the answer) let’s take a look at how paper-based business costs companies in ways you may not realize.


The average American office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year. With offices spending $8,000 on filing cabinets and 3% of revenue on printing supplies (this could equal hundreds of thousands of dollars) annually, the expenses are staggering.

The worst part?  Nearly half of all paper printed in offices ends up in the trash. Surely there are more effective ways to use this money.


Paper-based business costs don’t stop with materials and supplies. A paper document is not going to get transported, copied and filed away on its own – it takes people and time, which equals more money.

Consider the number of people-hours needed for the following tasks:
  • Filing
  • Retrieving
  • Sorting
  • Indexing
  • Scanning
  • Shredding
  • Archiving
  • Reviewing
  • Protecting
  • Distributing

Lost or Stolen Documents

Paper documents can be easily lost or stolen when unattended to, misfiled, improperly disposed of or while in transit between sites. In fact, the average company loses 5% of all their documents. This requires more labor to replace, redistribute and refile the documents.

In addition, paper files are not hack-proof. Security breaches of paper documents occur when they’re not disposed of correctly or are left in plain sight. With an average total cost of $4.35 million per security breach in 2022, the consequences can be dire.

Costly Errors

Manual processes are also error-prone. Without the digital features that can calculate, autocorrect and provide error messages, human error is inevitable when filling out paper forms. Common mistakes include miscalculations, misspellings, filling out the wrong sections and leaving sections incomplete.

Managers who need to analyze or copy this data then need to spend more time looking for and correcting these likely mistakes. They may also have trouble reading it due to illegible handwriting or physical damage – leading to inaccurate data analysis.

Lack of Visibility

Speaking of data analysis, paper-based workflows cannot provide real-time data insights. While crucial documents are slowly being hand-delivered through the ranks or from the field to the office, key decision makers are left in the dark. Timely action based on real-time data is not possible when there are delays in reporting.

The Solution: Go Paperless

A fully digital workflow will allow you to shred your overhead and invest in more significant areas. Save on supplies and labor while reducing the risk of lost, stolen and inaccurate data.

FastField is a complete and fully-customizable solution for you to transfer your paper forms into dynamic mobile forms. Cut costs and optimize data collection with our robust capabilities:
  • User-friendly mobile app and web platform
  • Powerful form features
  • Automated workflows
  • Real-time data insights
  • Custom reports
  • Seamless integrations
  • Automated data storage & organization
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