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Business impact of using office paper for business transactions

  • Name
    Shamsh Hadi

Last month, when ZorroSign launched its Green initiative called Paperless Life, I wrote an article about the environmental impact of using office paper. The impact on the environment is significant in terms of conservation of water, energy, and trees as well as reduction of Carbon footprint. For the organizations adopting #PaperlessLife strategy, there are tangible and intangible benefits for the company and its employees. In this article I will analyze the business impact of using office paper for business transactions, specifically the financial impact.


Challenges and Cost Factors

Almost every business process that involves document signatures is either fully manual or partially digital. The use case in this context is a combination of: Print-Sign-Scan-Email or FedEx. (Choose your favorite courier service). If it’s a document for a loan of any kind with co-signers, repeat the use case above for every signatory.


Because no two businesses are the same, it is better to provide a framework for cost calculation. We will consider each component of this use case for our framework for cost analysis.


Cost Analysis Framework


Copy paper
$5 / pack of 500 sheets

B/W: $8,000
Color: $4,500

Printer Ink (per printer)

B/W: $250 50k pages
Color: $360 20k pages


Included w/Printer/WorkCenter


$99.06 /Month/printer

Steel file cabinets

$600 average / Cabinet

Folders & stationery

$300 / Year/Employee
$1000/Year/Employee (Law Firm)

Courier services

$33,000 to $65,000/Year

Man hours, Time

260 hours/ Employee/Year

Off-site paper storage

$0.72 /Box/Month
$864/100 Boxes/Yr.

Office space (file cabinets)

15 Sq.Ft (standard 4-drawer file cabinet)
Avg. $50 /Sq.Ft = $9000/Year

Insurance (Data Breach Policy)

$12k to $120k /Year
size of company, includes cyber attack coverage.


Applying the Cost Analysis Framework

Costs of using paper may vary from one company to another. However, it is very clear that the cost is significant relative to the size of the company. The overall business impact of using office paper is tremendous. We highly recommend to apply the above framework to your business situation and calculate cost as accurately as you can. Then compare that cost to purchasing and using an eSignature and Digital Transaction Management system. Click here to check out ZorroSign Plans & Pricing.