The treasury at Kforce, the Tampa, Fla.-based staffing firm, came up with $25,000 a year in savings by eliminating paper printouts and making PDFs of documents instead. And those savings represent only part of the benefit of going paperless. Treasury's move reinforced business continuity planning (BCP) by making it easier for the staff to work remotely in emergencies, like the storms that hit Florida, and also made it possible for treasury staffers to work from home.
One big step necessary before going paperless was getting both the company's internal assurance group and its outside auditor, Deloitte & Touche, to sign off on what would constitute an original signature for audit purposes, in order to have all approvals done via e-mail. "They said that anything that was signed and scanned as a PDF would be included as an original signature," says treasury manager Laura McGhee. "Any e-mail forwarded with the original attachment could constitute an original signature."
After considering other options, treasury went with the standard version of Adobe Acrobat, at a cost of $1,000, which puts the ROI for the project at about 25 times cost. McGhee took pains to come up with a clear and standardized system for naming electronic documents so they could be easily found and retrieved. To check her system, "I actually had people who didn't work in our department come over to my desk and see if they could find things," she says.
Kforce's treasurer, Judy Genshino-Kelly, notes that when records were paper-based, getting a document from a prior year meant locating it in a box. "It really is much easier finding things," she says. "You just go to the folders on your system and it's there."