Greg Hart
Dec 16, 2021

How Will Going Paperless Impact Your Bottom Line?

How Will Going Paperless Impact Your Bottom Line?

How will going paperless impact your bottom line?

Around the web, and even on this blog too, people talk about the benefits of going paperless. But can those benefits be put into real, tangible dollar figures? What will you actually save by going paperless?

Let’s look into it.


1. The ROI of reducing printed paperwork

There’s a very real connection between cost savings and reducing paperwork. Thankfully, this ROI is also one of the easier metrics to calculate.

Cutting paper as much as possible from your business - if not reducing it entirely to zero - can reduce quite a number of monthly costs. While many of them are, individually, quite small, they add up together over time into quite serious expenses.

Let’s look at it in numbers

Here we’re going to calculate some actual figures, assuming that a small business prints about 20,000 pages per month (an assumption made by MoneyHub, which we’ve used as our basis). Your office may of course greatly differ.

Note: These are rough figures, making a lot of assumptions. It’s indicative only, and you’ll need to investigate your own business to know how it applies to you.



Per Month

Per Year

Filing cabinet

We need to store paperwork for compliance reasons, potentially for decades.

Average $400 or more for a four-drawer unit, one-off payment per unit.

$400, until more units are required.


Assuming 20,000 pages per year, 80 Gsm, 500-sheet ream costing $30.




We’ll need a device to print and scan.

Average $972.90, comparing top 10 printers on Google “buy office printer” search page. One-off payment.



The average page yield of the top 10 printer toner cartridges on Google’s “buy printer toner” was 2,770 pages. That’s eight cartridges a month.

The average cost of the same top 10 toner cartridges was $162.90. So, $1,303.20 monthly. 



In our first year, paperwork cost us over $31,000. That does not include hidden costs, such as equipment maintenance, downtime of a broken machine, staff time using equipment, and electricity.

Even if we assume your business uses far fewer than 20,000 pages per month, we’re still looking at a five-figure (or close to five-figure) annual cost.

Compare that to our own prices

For Site App Pro, a standard plan (up to 20 users) is around $121.74 per month or $1,460.88 per year. This plan would completely strip out all paperwork to do with health and safety, including daily prestarts, toolbox talks, contractor and equipment management, and compliance reporting.

2. The ROI of increasing productivity

One of the major benefits of going paperless is that it can increase productivity.

Essentially, digital tools are there to make people’s lives easier. H&S paperwork is no different. An app like ours is designed to do as much of the work for you as it can, meaning you and your people can spend more time doing what you do best and less time sifting through paperwork in the back of the ute.

  • Learn more: “5 benefits of going paperless in health and safety”

Need that in stats? We can back it up

Some companies have found that electronic document management can reduce overheads by 30-40% (source).

Additionally, research has revealed that one in four Australian tradies had to give up jobs due to the burden of admin - costing them an average AU$120,000 worth of business annually (varying by trade). So how many hours per week did they say they were spending on admin and preparing quotes? 14 hours (source).

Contextualise those figures to your own business

We know ‘productivity' can be a little hard to track in terms of dollar figures. So, contextualise the numbers above to your own company. What could you save by reducing overheads by 40%, or by giving administrative staff a little under 14 hours per week back?

An exercise to mull over:

Think about all of the paper-based tasks you conduct each week, or each day if you can break it down that granularly. How many minutes per day, or hours per week, does it add up to on average?

Consider making templates, filling out documents, printing, delivering paperwork from one location to another, asking individuals to sign those documents, transporting them back, scanning and filing.

If this was all automatic, if it could be done at the push of a button on your smartphone, you would theoretically get most of that time back. So, compared to your annual salary, how much money is that worth?

3. The ROI of minimising compliance risk

The reality is, the cost of compliance can be huge if you get it wrong - leading to major fines, and/or serious reputational harm.

Paperless compliance can reduce that risk

Using a digital tool built for the NZ compliance environment can be a huge step towards improving your company’s H&S compliance, without really having to try.

As we discussed in our benefits article, paperless H&S improves compliance by:

  • Automatically creating paper trails by keeping documents stored forever, and linked together if applicable (i.e. a hazard identification leading to a risk assessment).
  • Helping you optimise your business, by showing you real-time compliance data that shows you H&S red flags before they become a problem.
  • Improving participation, because it’s made easy. Checking in or out, signing paperwork, working through questionnaires, it can all be done via mobile, on the go, in just a few minutes (even seconds).

While we can’t explicitly point to any paperless tool, even our own, and say, “This will absolutely 100% save you money in compliance fines,” we can say it will help you reduce your risk - and prove to regulators that you were attempting to do so.

The more you reduce that risk, and the better your processes for finding, assessing and mitigating H&S issues, the less likely you will be to ever face that situation.

So, how do we go paperless?

When it comes to health and safety, we would recommend a digital H&S management tool like ours. Of course, we do have competitors and you’re always right for shopping around, but we can tell you Site App Pro is capable of everything we’ve discussed above - and, because it’s a Kiwi app built by Kiwis, for Kiwis, it’s been hand-made to suit the NZ environment already (as opposed to an app from overseas being shoehorned into local regulations).

But there are more apps than just H&S. Consider also:

  • Digital visitor management (although Site App Pro does cover this too!).
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP).
  • Digital accounting software, i.e. Xero.
  • Resource management and timesheet recording.

Learn more about how to take your business paperless. Or, to book a live Site App Pro demo (which only takes 12 minutes of your time), contact us today.

About the author

Greg Hart

Head of Design at Comply Pro

We’re not sure how Greg became one of NZ’s best UX designers and SaaS marketers. Somehow it started with tunnelling, moved through ostrich farming and evolved into travelling the globe as a rock guitarist. He claims he “just has talent” but most of us have decided he was abducted by aliens. So what’s next for this multi-talented guy? That’s right you guessed it - launching his own craft beer. Sign us up as taste testers!

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