The Challenges of Manual Paperwork — and the Solutions

  • Post category:Digital Solutions
  • Reading time:7 mins read

The antiquated paper-based processes are slowly taking a back seat in business offices across the globe, as digital solutions penetrate business workflows. Today, many companies are starting to adopt paperless processes to do away with or cut back on the use of paper in their workplace. Doing so lets them reap the rewards of digitization or the process of converting paper files into electronic files.

Regardless of the consequences of traditional paper-based systems, many companies still refuse or are still reluctant to transition. However, manual paperwork has disadvantages that can lead to long-term damages to a company. 

From labor-intensive document management to expensive operating costs, there are several challenges associated with manual paper-based processes. 

Time-consuming document storing and retrieval

Manual document management takes time. Aside from the laborious storing and managing documents, locating documents can take a few minutes to hours, depending on how well-ordered your filing system is. If you spend an excessive amount of time managing documents manually, your productivity will suffer.


A cloud-based document management system allows users to add files to and maintain a secure online library. Utilizing an online library eliminates the inconvenience of manually storing papers and lugging around or digging through stacks of documents.

Lack of security

Physical documents can end up in the wrong hands and be lost or destroyed. Individuals who lost their documents are prone to fraud and identity theft. Organizations risk the leaking of confidential information that can cost a lot of money.


Documents, particularly legal and business documents, require maximal security. By using a document management system, you can protect your files by storing them in a secure web-based library that adheres to global data and security standards.

Only people you authorized will have access to your repository of files or particular documents. A document management system uses stringent authentication methods to verify the identity of the individuals who are accessing your documents. All activities done to any document are recorded in a digital log for tracking; such a feature makes every action traceable and easy to verify. It ensures that there is no tampering. 

Higher operating costs

One of the major downsides of manual paperwork is the associated costs. When you use paper and ink, your operating expenses can add up over time. Moreover, the use of printers, scanners, photocopying machines, and even the service of couriers has additional costs. While paper-based processes might seem inexpensive when looked at on a daily basis, the accumulated amounts are costly.


By going paperless, individuals and companies can reduce, if not completely eliminate, the use of paper and the manual processes associated with it. While paper-based procedures cost money, paperless transactions take place using devices that are connected to the internet. By adopting paperless solutions, one can earmark the money for more important and productive expenses.

Space-consuming storage

Paperwork can be space-consuming, as there is a constant need for storage. Moreover, the need to purchase and maintain bulky file cabinets where you will keep physical documents entails additional expenses. 

Every day, individuals and organizations that deal with papers have piles of documents on their tables daily. Over time, paperwork can take up a lot of space. Storing files in file cabinets means that there will be times when you would need to hunt down particular physical documents. Doing so can eat up your time and affect your productivity. Therefore, you will need to organize and store all physical documents strategically for accessibility.


Shifting from paper-based processes to digital transactions eliminates the use of papers, therefore, also the need for space-consuming bulky file cabinets. The process of digitization might seem tedious at first and consume a lot of time, but once the transition is complete will bring convenience and long-term advantages. 

Restricted communication and collaboration

Traditional paper-based processes limit communication and collaboration. When there are several parties involved in a document, each party must have its own physical copy. Therefore, several copies must be printed and distributed before finalizing the document.

In terms of signing a document, the document must be transported to several destinations, increasing the risks of being misplaced or lost. Moreover, transporting documents can be complicated, takes time, is inefficient.


Utilizing a document management application or online PDF editor platform enables individuals to collaborate no matter their location and timezone. It allows them to access documents and complete paperwork with less effort. Gone are the days when parties need to wait for several days or weeks just to receive and sign documents. Now, using only their device, they can fill out, edit, and electronically sign documents — transactions become notably faster.

Low levels of productivity

The logistics of paperwork is complex and requires attentiveness. From preparing documents and printing them to transporting them to involved parties, paper-based processes require time and effort. Often, productivity suffers.


Technology, apparently, makes our lives better. Today, there are thousands of digital solutions that enable individuals to shift from manual paper-based processes to automated workflows to improve their productivity. From document management tools and online document editors to cloud-based document storage software, you only need to find the right productivity tools that would equip you to complete your documents faster and with less effort, so you can focus on your more important responsibilities.

Despite the availability of digital solutions that empower individuals to perform their tasks easier and more efficient, many people still prefer manual paper-based processes. If you favor a difficult, time-consuming, and cost-ineffective approach to accomplish your paperwork, the challenges of manual paper-based procedures might not bother you; otherwise, you should consider and start adopting digital solutions.