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 modernized approach to handle all your invoicing operations digitally. This advanced approach is all set to replace tedious paper clutter. It is agile, convenient, and accurate. And the biggest benefit is you no longer need physical space to store. Plus, you can access all your invoices at any time.

However, to leverage the perks of paperless invoicing, all you need is a robust invoicing solution. The key capabilities that come with a paperless invoice approach are:

  • Automated invoice creation
  • Easy customization 
  • Instant invoice sharing
  • Minimal invoicing mistakes
  • Real-time invoice tracking
  • Reduction in paper and labor costs
  • Accurate invoicing status 
  • Comprehensive customer support
  • Easy integration with accounting systems

Worried about making invoicing mistakes?

InvoiceOwl automates calculations and ensures accuracy in your invoices. Stop worrying, and start invoicing with confidence!

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 the simplest and quickest way to invoice your clients globally without leaving your desk. However, the only way to digitize your invoicing processes is to invest in all-in-one invoicing automation software.

Investing time, energy, and resources in the integration of the right invoicing software can level up your paperless invoicing operations in numerous ways.

Here is how invoicing software can help you go paperless:

  • Invoices can be instantly emailed directly to your clients instead of printing and mailing physical copies. This is faster, cheaper, and more convenient.
  • Recurring invoices can be automatically generated on scheduled days without any manual work. This saves a lot of time for regular clients.
  • Track invoice status on a real-time basis – sent, delivered, and viewed by the client. This provides better visibility and clarity which can be difficult to experience with the paperwork involved.
  • Online payments can be accepted by simply including a payment link or link to the payment portal on the invoices. Clients can easily pay digitally.
  • Store all invoices securely in the cloud in an organized manner with instant global access. This eliminates physical storage needs and retrieval issues.
  • Embed payment reminders directly on overdue invoices which get sent automatically to clients. This significantly improves invoice collections and cash flow.
  • Go green by eliminating paper usage and carbon footprint associated with traditional invoicing postal/courier services.
  • Integrate directly with accounting software like QuickBooks Online for seamless, error-free data syncing between invoicing and bookkeeping.

Free Yourself From Invoicing Headaches

With InvoiceOwl, experience an effortless shift from manual, paper-based invoicing systems to an automated digital workflow ensuring accuracy, precision, and efficiency all at once.

How to Switch to a Paperless Invoice Processing Solution?

Switching to a paperless invoice processing system is not as complicated as it might sound. With this detailed step-by-step guide on transitioning into a paperless invoicing system, businesses can adopt a paper-free approach.

Let’s explore each step minutely:

1. Assess the existing process 

Take stock of current invoicing workflows, and identify pain points and areas of manual intervention. Analyze volumes and segments of invoicing.

2. Define goals

Define quantitative and qualitative goals for the new system around efficiency, accuracy, speed, payments, collections, etc. This will drive software selection and change strategy.

3. 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.

4. 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. 

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.

Once you have stored all the invoice data on the cloud, you do not need the hard copy for any reference in the future.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Approval process

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

9. 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.

10. Generate payment receipts

Online payment receipts can be generated quicker than ever before. 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.

Voila! You have eliminated the paper processes.

See, it is this easy with the simple online invoicing software for small businesses — InvoiceOwl. Here is a detailed video on how to easily transition into a paperless invoicing workflow.


Don’t let invoicing hold you back.

Use InvoiceOwl and get paid on time, every time.

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.

Top 12 Benefits of Paperless Invoicing

Going paperless with online invoicing systems streamlines billing workflows and connections with clients. By automating time-consuming, manual processes, electronic invoicing provides some major advantages over traditional paper methods. Have a look:

So, let’s see the pros first.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 bills you use, the more trees you save from being cut down.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. It is easily accessible 

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.

9. It is secure

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

10. It has 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.

11. It has no storage 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, and that’s where storage issues come into play. Going paperless means no storing hassle and access to any of the documents you want.

12. Save on many variable costs

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


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.

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 bills 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 to adopt paperless automation, InvoiceOwl is the perfect solution 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

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