How Hard Is The Switch From Paper to Software Certificates? [w/ Customer Stories]

by | Sep 25, 2023 | Business Strategy, Certificates

As a gas engineer, life is always on the move. From home to the office and one customer to the next, it can seem like you never spend more than a couple of hours in one place. 

But sitting at a desk all day doesn’t suit everyone and, for many, this is a huge perk of the job. Although, most will admit it can make it a little harder to stay organised when you’ve got pieces of paper flying around your van, office, and home.

Misplacing a schedule or job sheet is one thing – but a certificate is another. Losing one can be a huge headache. 

Fortunately, we live in a day and age where there’s a digital solution for just about anything. Going paperless with your gas safe certificates means saving precious time: Time that you could be investing into more important aspects of your business or with friends and family.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the benefits of completing certificates electronically, as well as how easy making the transition is. 

The benefits of digital certificates

Gas safe certificates are a staple part of the job. Even if they’re pretty standard and straightforward to complete, the frequency at which they’re done is reason enough to justify a new and more efficient workflow. In fact, we recently sent out a survey to our customers where 53% responded saying our digital records & certificates save them more time than any other feature. 

Let’s break down the benefits into 3 key areas:

#1: Time

Filling out a standard gas safe certificate might take 20-30 minutes if done on paper (including the time needed to print, send or deliver it to your customer, and keep a record for yourself).

Digitally, it’s far easier and takes only a fraction of the time. Many fields are pre-filled with information the software already knows (think your company details, customer addresses, and more). Meanwhile, distributing is done at the click of a button, and you can send as many copies as necessary.

“Before using Gas Engineer Software, we used to fill out paper certificates. The advantage of having the software is that it’s all instant and sent directly to the customer. You’ve not got to worry about keeping or losing paper copies and you can go back to previous certificates from last week, last month, or three years prior. It’s always going to be there and it’s very easy to access all of that information.”

The Boiler Engineer

#2: Reliability

Unless you’re meticulously organised, paper certificates are easy to lose. You also have no control over whether your customers are going to lose their copy and ask for another.  Digital certificates in this sense are far more secure. Storing them via the cloud means you’ll always have access to them as and when needed. Then there’s also the fact that that digital certificates are guaranteed easy to read. Handwriting is often barely legible even before you add on the trouble caused by smudges, water damage, and faint carbon copies. If your customer can’t read it, they’ll just ask you for another copy.  

“Let’s be honest, in this day and age, who doesn’t have that phone charging in the van? You’ve always got access to the app. The information is there. I would never go back to it. I don’t think I’d work for a company that use paper. It’s making your life harder than it needs to be for absolutely no reason.”


CJ Plumbing & Heating

#3: Organisation

Organising paper certificates is a nightmare. Big filing cabinets might have once been the norm, but they take time to sift through and a surprising amount of physical office space. A database filled with electronic certificates can be filtered and searched through much quicker. And, if you’re using software designed to handle records, you’ll be able to search by any field you prefer – like address, name, date, and so on.

“Any invoices or any paperwork that comes out – it’s got all of our header and signage and details. So from a the perspective of our customers, we look much more organised and we don’t have to go out and spend lots of money on headed paper to create that effect.”


Invicta Group Services Ltd.

How hard is it to make the transition?

As a software company, we’re well aware of how daunting the prospect of transitioning from paper to software sounds In reality, the process is simple and straightforward. But don’t take our word for it – from the same survey we sent our users: 

  • 72% were running their business on paper before using our software
  • 68% had fully adapted to using our software within 1 week, and 92% within a month. 

The transition from paper to software does not require any specialist knowledge and can be done by anyone. The reason for this is that any good software company makes it their mission for their software to be intuitive and simple to use.

Certificates are almost identical

If your customer does want a paper copy, you can always print the digital version and there’s no real difference. All the fields and information on them are identical – whether paper or electronic. The only difference is it’s far easier to customise them with your logo and company details.

Old paper records are left alone

5 Years of old paper records should still be kept until they become obsolete and old enough you no longer need them. There’s no need to retroactively create a digital version of your entire company’s records, though. Rather, the new digital ones effectively mark a new era in your company’s workflow. If you need to find a record before the date you started completing them digitally, you know to look in your paper filing cabinets. This ensures a seamless transition. Eventually you will completely phase out paper records.

Software can do the organisation for you

Rather than having to manually organise all your records and certificates in binders, there are far more efficient ways to do it digitally. For example, Gas Engineer Software automatically stores records under customer details. This way, any record is simple and intuitive to find when you need it – simply search for the customer name, address, or job number.  Importantly, this takes zero physical space and they can be accessed anywhere, at any time.

In summary

In 2023, paper solutions are becoming rapidly obsolete. Yes, everything can still be done on paper – but that doesn’t mean that it should be.  Sticking to this outdated way of doing business is taking up hours of your time each week, and causing constant organisational headaches for many.  As we’ve discussed, there are three key benefits to issuing certificates digitally: Time, ease, and organisation. But most importantly, making the transition has proven to be simple and seamless even for those who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy.

Next steps:

If you’ve been thinking about implementing software into your workflow, here’s what you can do next:


  • Visit our resources centre where you'll find more articles like this one and our detailed help centre.
  • Start a free trial to see exactly how our software works for your business. Software is hard to visualise – let alone abstract benefits like “saving time” and “boosting profits”. This is the best way to see for yourself how it works and what benefits it brings.
  • Book a demo with our customer success team to get a bespoke training and advice session. We’ll help walk you through the ins and outs of our software, how it’ll help you save time and money, and anything else that springs to mind.
  • Know an engineer who's still using paper? Help them and us out by sending our software their way!