Paperless Invoicing – All About How Small Businesses Can Go Paper-free For Invoicing

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Is invoicing a hurdle to your dream of a paperless office?

Well, no need to worry anymore!

We have brought you a sure-shot plan that helps you practice entirely paperless invoicing. Because you know the future is all about going paper-free. Want to know more?

Let’s get started, then.

What is Paperless Invoicing?

Paperless invoicing is a modern approach to replacing a stack of files. It is agile and convenient. And the biggest benefit is you no longer need physical space to store. Plus, you can access all your invoices at any time.

All it requires is adding software to your business, and you are ready to generate as many invoices as you can. It will automate your accounting process and eliminate the hassle of paperwork.

How does Paperless Invoicing Work?

It is quite clear by the name itself that invoicing that does not include the use of paper is called “paperless invoicing.”

Are you wondering how it’s possible?

A paperless invoice is a simplest and quickest way to invoice your worldwide clients without leaving your desk. To digitize and implement paperless invoicing processing, you need to invest in all-in-one invoicing automation software such as InvoiceOwl.

It lets you create and send electronic invoices.

No doubt you can use Google Doc templates and photoshop to create invoices but invoice creation is just one-half of the game. You need to send them and collect the payment as well.

A truly paperless invoicing process is one that lets your customer pay you online.

InvoiceOwl lets you issue electronic invoices with the help of custom-designed templates. Unlike a paper invoice, you can store these invoices digitally on the cloud. It allows you to refer to the invoices from any device, from anywhere, and at any time you want. Once you have created the electronic invoice, send it as a PDF file via the in-app emailing feature.

When the customer receives your electronic invoice, they are able to pay you online via multiple payment gateways. This helps you get paid quicker. Now customers do not need to write a cheque and mail it to you, which you have to send for clearing and wait for the bank to process.

As soon as you receive the payment, you can send an electronic receipt of the payment and send it online as well. Thus, it makes invoicing to any customer regardless of which part of the globe he/she might be.

Try our free online invoice generator today!

Whether your business is in construction, landscaping, consulting, photography, auto repair, or the medical field, invoicing takes way too long. That’s why we’re here. InvoiceOwl makes your invoicing faster and simpler so you can get paid promptly and without the hassle.

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Paper Invoices vs Paperless Invoices

The biggest difference between paper-based invoices and paperless invoices is that a paper invoice is in physical form, whereas paperless invoices are digital documents.

Other than that, both have different advantages and limitations that have a significant impact on your accounting process. Thus, to understand more, let’s compare both and get a clear idea.

Paper invoices vs paperless invoices

Criteria Paper Invoices Paperless Invoices
Form Paper format Digital format
Can be sent by Mail, fax Any digital platform, such as email, WhatsApp, and link share
Stored physically On cloud
Time required It takes a lot of time Can be created and sent instantly
Workability Can not be edited Can be edited easily
Logistics Paper, printer/pen Computer/smartphone, internet
Time to reach Can take a week or even a month (Depends on the distance) Reaches instantly
Chances of misplacing High Extremely low
Most suitable for Retail shops Service providers and contractors working remotely

It is quite clear why most organizations are switching to a paperless invoice system after knowing the difference between paper and paper-free invoicing.

However, paper-free invoicing might be better than paper invoicing, but does it have any cons?

So let’s talk about the pros and cons of paper-free invoicing.

Pros & Cons of Paperless Invoicing

If you are not able to decide whether paper-free invoicing is for you or not, listing the pros & cons of paper-free invoicing would help you make the decision.

So, let’s see the pros first.

CheckedPro: It is time efficient

Working with paperless invoices helps you save a lot of time spent creating invoices and get paid faster. This is one of the best benefits that businesses can leverage. Small business owners have a lot of tasks at hand. And they are always looking for rooms to buy more time.

Generally, doing things quickly means compromising the quality of the work, which is the polar opposite scenario with paper-free invoicing. It lets you invoice customers quickly and accurately.

CheckedPro: It is cost-efficient

Electronic invoicing automation software such as InvoiceOwl helps you automate the invoicing tasks and limit the human touchpoint. It helps to eliminate the room for human errors. So, you can create error-free invoices on the first go.

And let’s suppose you need to edit the invoice generated, E-invoices can easily be edited without costing you a penny.

CheckedPro: It is eco-friendly

In modern times, we as humans understand that climate change is real and we should do whatever we can to save the environment. Going paperless is one way of contributing to keeping the planet green. The fewer paper documents you use, the more trees you save from being cut down.

CheckedPro: It gets you paid quickly

The digital accounts payable process helps you get paid quicker than paper invoices. It eliminates the time it takes for the invoice to reach the client and the payment discounts to reach you. This way, you can get paid on the same day you create the invoice.

CheckedPro: It lets you accept online payment methods

If you use the InvoiceOwl app, it lets you send the invoice with a “Pay now” button. This allows you to accept online payments easily 24/7. It lets you accept payment gateways like credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Stripe.

CheckedPro: It strengthens customer relationships

Since digital invoices are easy to customize, every supplier can send bespoke invoices to clients. It gives a personal touch to the invoices and helps boost customer satisfaction.

CheckedPro: Easy to check invoices

The paperless invoice approval process lets your customer verify the incoming invoices as soon as they are received. If you choose to stick with paper-based invoices, the AP process automation takes 15 to 17 days on average. Whereas, the online invoice can be processed within an hour.

CheckedCon: It needs internet connectivity

All your customers might not have an internet connection. Paperless invoices might not be convenient for those customers. Other than that, some customers prefer paper-based invoices.

Benefits of Going Paperless

According to the reports, business waste includes 50% of the paper. This is where one can think of going paper-free and contributing to nature.

Another report even says that it takes around 10 liters of water to make an A4 sheet of paper. Now that you know how significant a water reservation is, opting for paperless invoices would be one of the best options.

Not only are the benefits all related to Mother Nature, but there are also personal benefits as well, such as:

1. Increase in accessibility

Accessibility is one of the biggest benefits of a paperless invoicing system. You can create and send invoices through software. Plus, you can share it with anyone who has an internet connection.

2. Data security

Only permissible users have access to digitally stored data. This data is stored on highly-secured off-site servers.

3. Enhancement in customer service

Customer service should be highly-efficient. With a paperless invoicing system, you could enhance customer service by providing quick services on the go.

4. Zero physical contact

Making minimal physical contact is a must, and that is what the pandemic has taught us. If you implement paperless invoice processing, there would be no contact with coworkers, clients, and customers.

5. No storing hassle

Storage challenges are one of the issues many small businesses face when it comes to working with paper and pen methods. Many businesses have to keep records for longer periods of time, and that’s where storage issues come into play. Going paperless means no storing hassle and access to any of the documents you want.

6. Save on many variable costs

Going paperless means saving on several variable costs, such as printing, pens, and paper. Besides, shipping cost is also majorly saved when working in paperless mode. Such savings may positively impact your business and its revenue.

So these points are both a blend of the pros and cons of paperless invoicing. Now let’s see how easily you can adopt the digital invoicing method.

How to Adopt Paperless Invoicing?

Adopting a paperless invoice processing system is not as complicated as it might sound. Here is the step-by-step invoice processing guide for businesses to go paper-free.

1. Digitize the Documents

If you want to practice e-invoicing, you have to go for cloud-based solutions for storing bills, purchase orders, credit memos, payment receipts, and estimates. Once you have stored all the invoice data on the cloud, you do not need the hard copy for any reference in the future.

2. Invest in a Paperless Invoice Processing Solution

Online invoices are easiest to create and manage with AP automation software such as InvoiceOwl. It allows your clients with the paperless AP process as it sends e-bills and allows them to pay via online payment discount methods.

3. Save Business Information in the InvoiceOwl

Say goodbye to manual invoice processing and data entry by using InvoiceOwl. InvoiceOwl remembers all client data, business details, and table of contents about your product and services with rate & description, taxes, and discounts.

This eliminates the need for data entry every time you create an invoice.

4. Design Invoice Layouts

The best part of working with InvoiceOwl is that it lets you customize the template for every invoicing document such as invoice, estimate, purchase order, and credit memo. And it is not time-consuming at all.

Simple and easy-to-understand invoice templates help you get invoice approval quickly and get paid in digital notes.

5. Send the Invoices Online

Once you have created the invoices on your desktop or smartphone, you need to send them to the customer. Since printing is not what you want, you can email them directly with the in-app feature.

InvoiceOwl helps you track invoice status till it is finally paid. You get real-time notifications of customers receiving invoices, opening invoices, missing the due date, and invoice payments.

6. Generate Payment Receipts

Generating online payment receipts gets simpler than ever. Tracking invoices, marking them paid, and generating receipts are tedious tasks for accounting professionals. They need to take regular follow-ups from AP departments and check accounts often.

But, if you practice paperless invoice processing, it generates payment receipts and marks the invoice paid automatically.

How You can Transit Your Entire Paperwork Operation to Paperless Mode

Going for electronic invoice processing requires pre-work. And this includes:

1. Get the Data

Preparing a paperless invoice requires information that is asked to fill in at the time of the manual invoice processing. Then that information is supposed to be formatted in a digital invoice. Plus, you will also be asked to set the standard format for the digital invoice.

2. Feed the data to the software

Now that you have the information required to be fed into the digital format, you are not supposed to do it manually. Therefore, you will require code to feed in all the data essential for digital format.

3. Cross-verify before updating

Some organizations also have a cross-checking method, wherein Purchase orders are evaluated against invoices. When this becomes necessary, you are supposed to cross-check entries purchase orders, invoices, and other supporting documents.

4. Approval process

Approving manually created invoices is another major task, but when it comes to paperless invoicing, the process is smoother and better. With paperless invoicing, both the accounts payable process team and the approver would be on the same page.

5. Get payments

Invoices are meant to be paid faster and that happens if they are sent on time. With a paperless invoicing system, your problem of sending invoices on time gets resolved, and getting paid for that invoice also becomes quicker.


You have totally eliminated the paper processes.

See, it is this easy with the simple online invoicing software for small businesses — InvoiceOwl.

Ready To Paper-free and Automate Your Invoicing Process?

InvoiceOwl is a feature-rich invoicing app that helps small businesses, freelancers, and contractors to create paperless invoices online and cut the paper cost.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How do I go paperless?

    Going paperless is quite easy. You just need to follow a couple of steps.

    • Digitize all existing paper documents by scanning and storing them on the cloud
    • Create all the new documents digitally

  2. Can you send invoices electronically?

    Absolutely yes! You can send invoices electronically via email. Email is the safest and most professional way of sending documents electronically. Moreover, the invoicing software InvoiceOwl lets you send an electronic invoice, purchase order, credit memo, and estimate via the in-app emailing feature.

  3. Why go paperless?

    There are many benefits of going paperless.

    • Faster Invoice Approvals and Payments
    • Easy Invoice Storage
    • Simplified Document Management System
    • Simplified Audit Process
    • Invoice Searchability


Going paper-free is one of the best things you can do to make your invoicing procedure efficient. It not only saves time and money but also helps you improve customer relationships.

If you are planning on automating your invoice process, InvoiceOwl is the perfect invoicing automation software for you. This cloud-based paperless invoicing system will help you go entirely paper-free.

So, what are you waiting for? and bid adieu to heaps of paper.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More