Investing in the new financial year: tools to set you up for success

While many small businesses focus on their tax return at this time, the new financial year is the perfect time for to get set up with new tools that will make help to make them more efficient, save time and improve their cashflow.

With a rapidly increasing number of cloud-based platforms available, this has become simpler than ever – as the platforms integrate with each other you can access your business data from anywhere in the world, and use data in one platform to make informed decisions using data from another.

There are more options than ever in affordable and powerful tools that empower you to manage operations on the go. We see businesses using Square being able to accept credit- and debit-card payments wherever they do business, and then all the valuable sales data and insights are uploaded automatically to their cloud-based accounting systems. This mobility and efficiency allows them to spend more time reinvesting in growth.

Here are the top five business tools designed for small-business owners who want to have a big-business approach to growth this new financial year:

  1. Square

Square gives you everything you need with its powerful point-of-sale, integrated and affordable credit- and debit-card payments – with Square Reader – and now the ability to send invoices directly from the free smartphone or tablet app.

Square Reader, released in March, plugs into the headphone jack of your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet and allows you to accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express card payments in moments. Without any monthly charges, hidden fees or lock-in contracts, Square is simplifying how you run your business by bringing all the tools you need into one powerful app.

Pricing: Square’s point-of-sale app, Square Register, is free. Square Reader costs $19 at Officeworks, Bunnings and Apple stores. There is a 1.9% transaction fee for any credit or debit card payment accepted.

  1. Deputy

As your business grows, so does your team. Deputy is a simple and innovative workplace-management solution that enables you to better manage your team. Schedule employees, monitor time and attendance, manage tasks and communicate with your team. Deputy’s mobile app means that even if you are out of the workplace, you can see who’s at work, answer messages and call in replacement staff if someone calls in sick. Deputy also integrates with Square, meaning that it can track team and hours rostered against sales and optimises your schedule to costs.

Pricing: Starts at $1 per employee, per month.

  1. Intuit Quickbooks Online

Quickbooks Online is powerful, cloud-based accounting software that does your bookkeeping and billing. Access from a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone, to automate bank feeds, track sales and expenses, scan receipts and process payroll for employees. All the data feeds into accounting reports for your accountant or bookkeeper so you are prepared for any tax obligations.

Quickbooks Online also integrates with Square to automatically import transaction data from your point-of-sale, helping to save time and increase accuracy for reconciliation against bank statements. Process automation between platforms helps save precious time, meaning you can focus back on growing your business.

Pricing: Starts at $13.50 per month.

  1. ATO App

At the end of another financial year, there’s nothing more satisfying than ensuring that you’re well across your taxation. The ATO app simplifies tax and super affairs, giving you access to all the information and tools you need in one convenient location.

The ATO App lets you record work-related expenses, gifts and donations as well as the cost of managing tax accounting. It also allows you to calculate tax withheld from salary and wage payments, and check ABN details of potential or new business suppliers before working with them.

Pricing: Free

  1. Dropbox

All the above tools are designed for businesses to operate on the go – others help business owners access documents and share information in a mobile world. Dropbox allows you to store, sync, and securely share Office documents, videos, music files and images via iOS, Android and Windows devices. Securely preview, edit and share files direct from your smartphone. Files can be accessed offline by adding them to your favourites, giving you the freedom to manage files on the run.

Pricing: Starts at $17 per user per month for unlimited space.

Ben Pfisterer, Country Manager, Square Australia

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