Reams of paper were a normal part of the HR and payroll processes of the past. Upon entering the computer age, that paper was supposed to be eliminated. What happened? Why are so many companies still relying on paper-based methods when nearly all of that paper, and the problems that come with it, can be eliminated by moving things to the cloud?

Cloud-based HR and payroll systems are safe, secure, and exponentially more efficient than paper systems. They are more robust and responsive than legacy software. With very few exceptions, there really are few good reasons to continue doing HR and payroll the old way.

BenefitMall, a Dallas company that offers payroll and benefits administration services throughout the U.S., offers the following five reasons to abandon paper HR and payroll in favor of a cloud-based solution:

1. Paper Documents Are Easier to Lose

While there is no form of record keeping that can guarantee no information will ever be lost, there is no denying that paper documents are easier to lose than their digital counterparts. Paper documents can be misplaced, stolen, lost in a fire or flood, etc. Digital records can also be lost in the same way, but the benefit of the cloud is that multiple copies of that data exist. Each copy is hosted in a separate location for security and redundancy.

2. Paper Systems Invite Fraud

HR and payroll systems based in paper records are easier to scam. As such, they invite fraud. A good example is the paper time sheet. A company that tracks time and attendance by requiring employees to fill out a paper sheet is trusting workers to be honest. Most employees are, but there will always be those who aren’t. A few minutes here and there can really add up to a lot of money over time.

3. Paper Systems Invite Inaccuracies

Next, paper HR and payroll systems require direct human participation. Two examples include manually adding up hours at the end of the week and manually keeping track of vacation time. Both exercises invite inaccuracies simply because human beings are imperfect. A cloud-based solution combines automation with data integration to reduce errors.

4. Paper Records Might Invite Litigation

The federal government requires employers to keep four years’ worth of payroll records. A single employee record contains more than a dozen different kinds of information that must be kept up-to-date throughout the year. What if an employee challenges an employer’s record keeping and those records turn out to be inaccurate or incomplete? Litigation may be forthcoming.

5. Handwriting Isn’t What It Used to Be

The need for handwritten information has been greatly reduced with the use of computerized systems. As such, there is less emphasis on correct handwriting in school. Our collective handwriting skills have diminished as a result. This can create significant problems in the HR and payroll departments.

For example, sit a new hire in front of a computer and have her submit her information via an online form and everything is fine. Ask her to submit a written form, and you may not be able to read her handwriting. Now you either have to guess or go back and ask her to submit the information again.

It is understandable that some employers fear cloud-based HR and payroll systems. But more often than not, such fears are simply fears of the unknown. There really is nothing to be afraid of. Cloud-based solutions are superior to paper methods in nearly every way. Making the switch is like going from a rotary dial telephone to a smartphone.