Why HR Departments Are Going Paperless

close up oaf stacked papers, notebooks, and file foldersAccording to a survey of over 150 HR professionals conducted by Archive Systems Inc., 77% of those polled at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2015 conference said their departments had moved to paperless HR. What is driving companies to move their HR departments to paperless forms and workflow? Saved time. Immediate Access. Lowered Costs. Monitored compliance. To name just a few advantages.


Saved time

The same survey found that HR professionals whose companies had more than 50% of their files in digital format reported a 35% decrease in time spent on paperwork. Digital documents are quicker to store and easier to find when needed for compliance audits or updating.

Some software products provide alerts and workflow features that notify employees and managers of deadlines for events like benefits enrollment or recertification and also streamline the routing and approval processes of employee appraisals and other forms. Integrating such software with a strong HMRS system that provides a central repository for all employee information eliminates duplicate data entry.

A more efficient HR is a more productive HR. Bringing the department into an increasingly paperless environment frees staff to contribute their expertise and become more involved in strategic business conversations.

Immediate Access

The majority of today’s workers are accustomed to accessing information quickly using the internet and mobile devices. As Debra Card, partner, ISG HR/Benefits Practice, quoted in a press release,says:

“As the ‘war for talent’ heats up, CEOs recognize that their employees—especially Millennials—expect their interactions with HR departments to be as easy and engaging as shopping on Amazon.”

Self-service in HR helps meet these expectations by providing access to real-time workplace data using familiar technology at work whether that is in an office, in the field, or at home. No more calls or trips to the HR offices for updates to personal information, choosing benefits, or checking on PTO. No more paper forms to complete. It’s as easy as …well, shopping online!

Lowered Costs

Printing, mailing, and storing paper forms are costs that can be eliminated with online or web-based forms. From paper to postage to physical filing cabinets and the office space to hold them, the costs of maintaining a paper-based HR add up.

Those numbers do not include the time employees spend manually filling out forms (in many cases, duplicating data entry), filing and retrieving them, and tracking forms routing through the approval process. Another “cost” of paper forms are errors that are often made when manually entering data. They must be corrected, perhaps multiple times, if incorrect information was copied from one form into another.

Monitored compliance

HR deals with a plethora of federal and local compliance regulations including those related to employment verification, workplace safety, non-discrimination, tax withholding, offers of benefits, and garnishment orders. Maintaining accurate documentation and filing the correct forms on time is easier when the process and forms are paperless. And when regulations change, forms are updated for you.

Many HR forms contain confidential information. Enhanced security for these forms is another advantage of using paperless documents. You can both protect the data and control who has access to it.

As Lori Kleiman states in her HR Topics post “To File, or Not to File THAT is the Question!”, electronic filing provides a central storage location and usually connects with your payroll system for security.

Making the move

It’s not just millennials. IT departments and CIOs are pushing for change. Jan Erik Aase, also of ISG, reports that non-IT leaders have an increased role in driving their company’s transformation into more digitally fueled workplace. Remember, the changes empower the end users, your employees, and increase productivity as well as satisfaction.

Sage HRMS HR Actions

If your business hasn’t already made the move into a more efficient, paperless HR, ask yourself, “Why not?” Let us help. Delphia Consulting has developed a Sage-endorsed product, Sage HRMS HR Actions, and a variety of plugins that make the move easy.

Visit our Sage HRMS HR Actions web page or attend a webinar to learn more about it. For additional information, call us at 888.421.2004 or use the CONTACT SALES button on our website.

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Mary van Balen
Mary van Balen
Technical Writer at Delphia Consulting
Mary is our copy editor and writes for the Delphia blog on Human Resources issues and product news.