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Five technologies to help you work smarter this financial year.

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level this financial year, or simply optimise your business back-end to get some more hours back in your day, now is the time to invest in the tech tools you can count on. The best part is, you may be able to write them off on tax before the end of the financial year!

Putting the right technology in place is critical to streamlining your business processes, and providing a better experience for your employees and customers. Having software that helps you work more efficiently also means you’re left with more time to focus on growth.

Here are five tech tools you should be investing in this year.

1.E-invoicing

Australian payment times have been identified as among some of the worst in the world, with invoices paid on average 27 days late. Late payments make it hard for any small businesses to maintain a healthy cashflow, which is why e-invoicing tools are so important in saving you time and money. In fact, 48 per cent of invoices processed through Square in Australia are paid within one day, with all invoices, on average, paid within six days.

Online invoicing tools will enable you to send unlimited e-invoices straight from your phone, tablet or computer, and your customers can then select to pay you quickly and securely with just a few taps without having to open their personal banking apps.

2.Data and analytics

To work faster and more efficiently you have to work smarter and make more informed business decisions. Smart business owners will rely heavily on their data and analytics to make important decisions about everything, from marketing strategies and product offerings to inventory and staffing.

“Smart business owners will rely heavily on their data and analytics to make important decisions about everything.”

Investing in great analytics tools, which integrate with your payments data, will help you gain valuable insights: things like historical payment reports, your busiest times of the day or week or year, and how many new or returning customers you’re working with.

3.Mobile card reader

The data is undeniable, cash-only businesses won’t cut it for much longer. Australians are carrying less cash than ever before, and most can’t even remember the last time they visited an ATM. It’s now 2019 and almost everyone has contactless cards or mobile wallets, which means you need a point of sale system that can accept them instantly wherever you are.

Mobile payments are the fastest, most convenient and secure way to pay, and they don’t have to cost you a bundle!

4.Integrated accounting software

Streamlining your front-of-house operations is important for servicing your customers more efficiently, but getting the back-end sorted will help you save a tonne of time. Integrating your point of sale system with cloud-based accounting software, for example, means your sales transaction data flows seamlessly between the two platforms, reducing the need for manual data entry and improving accuracy. Make sure the payments provider you’re using has integrations with the big accounting platforms like MYOB, QuickBooks Online and Xero to make it super easy to pull reports ahead of tax time.

5.Employee management

Keeping track of your staff and their schedules on a paper calendar is needlessly messy and complicated. Get employee management software that lets you manage schedules, track time and set permissions straight from your mobile device, making everyone’s lives easier. Some employee management features also enable you to manage multiple employees across different locations, so you can see who is doing each job and when they’re getting paid for it.

Chris Rich, head of customer success, Square Australia

This story first appeared in issue 25 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine.

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