Apps Archives - BUSY01 and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

Category Archives for "Apps"

Choosing the right apps for your business

Choosing the right apps for your business

Software technology has evolved massively in the past decade, with cloud-based apps now fundamental to many of the internal and external processes in your business.

To ensure you’re getting the best from the available tech, it's important to choose the right apps for your business and in your specific industry or sector.

But how do you know if the latest ‘must-have app’ is really going to be an asset or just an additional software cost?

The Xero app store is a good place to start so that your apps integrate with your accounting system.

Choosing the right apps

Before you dive headfirst into the Xero app store, it’s important to do your homework and give yourself some firm foundations on which to base your app purchase decisions.

Decide on the main aims of your software systems

Look at the specific aims of the business and tie each app into the various operations within your business model. A construction company, for example, will need a site management tool, staffing solutions, health & safety tools and an inventory app, to mention just a few.

Make sure your apps integrate with Xero

Xero’s open API (application programming interface) allows all the apps in the app store to connect directly with Xero. This means that data and financial information can flow seamlessly between your apps and Xero, helping you keep all your management information up to date.

Look for opportunities to automate manual processes

If there’s a low-level manual process in your business, try to find a way for your apps to automate this. For example, a bookkeeping app, like Receipt Bank, will snap photos of your receipts and automatically digitise and code the contents.

Research the app market in depth

Look at online reviews, talk to your industry network and find out which apps your peers trust and would recommend. Where possible, try out free trials and demos, so you have had some hands-on experience of the apps in your shortlist. The more user time you have, the easier your purchasing decisions will be.

Look for an excellent user interface (UI) 

If you and your team are going to be using an app every day, it needs to be easy to use, with a small learning curve. Choose apps that have a great UI and offer a quality user experience. The sooner you can get up and running with your solution, the more value this app will add for the business.

Partner with apps who offer excellent customer support

The functionality and ease-of-use of your app are obviously important considerations when you’re looking to buy. But don’t underestimate the importance of solid, helpful and personalised customer support. Look for apps with phone support, good customer service ratings and a happy and satisfied user base – check app forums to get the lowdown on this.

Talk to us about your app requirements

Our job as your bookkeeper isn’t just to deal with your numbers.

We specialise in helping you review your operations, formulate the most efficient systems and choose the apps that can deliver the most effective and productive business performance.

If you’re looking for help in choosing the right apps for your business then talk to us

7 ways to save time and money in your business


7 ways to save time and money in your business

We all know that time is money. So, it’s worth finding ways to reduce those tedious and repetitive tasks. And technology is the answer.

How can technology help?

Here are 7 ways to save time (and money) in your business.

1. Automate your invoicing

While invoicing is a vital part of running your business, it can take up a significant amount of your time. Using a digital/cloud accounting system to extract data from supplier emails and auto-populate your invoices can save hours each week. You can also use cloud accounting systems to set up recurring invoices and timely payment reminders, saving your more time.

2. Simplify your expense claims

If you have a manual expense claims process, implementing a digital automated process means your team will save time submitting receipts, approving expenses and dealing with any mistakes.

3. Reduce human error

It’s well known that manual data entry brings a high risk of error. You can eliminate this risk by automating key manual data entry tasks. And that allows you to spend more time on data analysis so you can make better decisions.

4. Automate approvals

Streamlining your bank reconciliation with an automated platform means you don’t waste time manually approving individual transactions.

5. Up to date payroll

Keep staff details up to date and calculate tax contributions within your accounting software. You’ll save significant chunks of time and you’ll avoid mistakes.

6. Accurate information for tax

Instead of Excel spreadsheets, receipts and physical documents, by using cloud accounting software. the information needed for your accountant to complete your tax is accessible through your software.

7. Better access to business data

With smart software and cloud based apps and add-ons, you get accurate business data wherever and whenever you need it. No more going back to the office to check a number, getting back to clients with final details, or reworking quotes because the numbers were wrong.

So, if you want to save time(and money) in your business talk to us about setting you up with the right systems.

Leveraging your technology


Leveraging your technology

The decisions you make in your business are only as good as the data you use to make them. The more accurate and up to date your data is, the better your decisions will be. Leveraging your technology will provide you with accurate real-time data to make more informed decisions in your business.

Processes and systems drive your business, so it’s important to ask yourself if all of yours are clearly documented and up to date? Some processes may be followed simply because they always have been. Although other processes may have evolved over time, your documentation might not necessarily reflect this.

Using technology to streamline your processes and systems increases efficiency in your business, saving time, money, and reducing stress. You’ll also prepare your business for the future, making it more sustainable, scalable, and saleable.

Leveraging your technology can help you to:

  1. Make your data accessible from the cloud, allowing you to view real-time data and make decisions on the go.
    Example: Xero.
  2. Reduce human error and increase productivity by automating repetitive tasks and workflows.
    Example: Asana for workflows.
  3. Track your expenses and load them directly to your accounting software simply by taking a photo.
    Example: ReceiptBank.
  4. Minimise double handling and increase efficiency by integrating your apps.
    Example: Xero Marketplace.
  5. Collaborate with your team regardless of where they are.
    Example: Slack and Microsoft Teams.
  6. Save the time and money needed to travel by using online meetings.
    Example: Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
  7. Induct new team members seamlessly with clearly documented processes.
    Example: Deputy.
  8. Monitor your inventory in real-time, reducing inventory days and freeing up cash.
    Example: Fishbowl and Unleashed.
  9. Store customer preferences to personalise customer experience, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.
    Example: Vend and Kounter.
  10. Make your business become scalable with systems in place to allow the business to grow without the wheels falling off. Talk to your business adviser. 

Using technology to its maximum advantage will help to improve your business. However, implementing these changes can often be overwhelming.

Talk to us about any of the above technology to improve efficiencies in your business.



benefits of forecasting

What are the benefits of forecasting?


What are the benefits of forecasting?

There are many benefits to forecasting for your business.

First and foremost is that you’re more likely to maximise your profits if you are able to accurately project your revenues and expenses.

Additionally, accurate forecasting helps you to identify potential opportunities and manage your cashflow. And when you have this information you are able to make educated decisions at the right time for your business.

Here are some examples of questions that an accurate forecast of your cash flow could help you answer:

  • Can I start creating a new product/service?
  • Can I open a new office/location or start selling in a different area/country?
  • Can I afford another member of staff or outsourced assets?
  • Can I take more money out of my business?
  • Am I at risk of running out of cash?

How do you create a forecast?

The short answer is you don’t have to do it manually anymore.

Forecasting Apps, such as Futrli, mean that the complex, manual time-consuming forecasting is a thing of the past. Forecasting is now possible with the click of a button.

An added benefit of using Futrli to forecast, is that you can test out your decisions before you make them.

Using automated predictions means you have a second brain on your business 24/7.

Futrli

  • Creates separate predictions for invoices, cash transactions and journal entries
  • Works out how many days it takes for invoices to be paid for every account
  • Accounts for Covid-19 where it sees a potential impact
  • Considers ‘what we thought the month will look like’ compared to current month actuals and adjusts accordingly
  • Reads account names and looks for account-specific patterns
  • Creates staff payroll predictions just like your payroll software does

And the information is presented in chart format, making it easy to understand.

How far into the future should I forecast?

Forecasts are most beneficial for looking at the next year. They should be used in the short term for immediate planning and decision making and medium to long term to assess and extrapolate current trends.

It’s important to remember that the further you look into the future, the less accurate your cash flow forecast will be as there are too many unknowns yet to pass.

Talk to us about forecasting and how Futrli can benefit your business. 

why data matters

Why data matters

Why data matters!

With cloud accounting software, such as Xero, simplifying much of the bookkeeping process, you now have greater accuracy over business numbers with less effort and time.

Yet, there is still one point of weakness.

Your data.

Data is often still manually entered. And if your data has errors, is missing information or is out-of-date, your results will reflect that.

Remember the saying “garbage in, garbage out”.

And that’s not a good thing when it comes to your business. Especially when it comes to forecasting.
When making decisions about the future of your business, getting the full picture is essential. And that means you need clean and accurate data.

When you have accurate forecasts, you can say goodbye to surprises and take better control of your business.
Businesses who consistently make errors with their data and base decisions upon incomplete data often end up in a cash flow crises. And more often than not, realise they’re about to run out of cash when it's too late to respond.

There is a direct line between accurate, up-to-date data and making better decisions for your business.

One way to improve your data accuracy is by automating as many points in your bookkeeping process as possible. 

Using apps that integrate with Xero, such as ReceiptBank and Futrli, makes it easier to get the right information you need to make the best decisions for your business.

Using Receipt Bank makes it easy to photograph snap your receipts with your phone and extract the information your accounting system needs.

No longer do you have to file away physical copies as your information and a copy of the receipt is stored in the cloud.

Receipt Bank then “talks” to your accounting software, for example Xero, and uploads your receipts.

Your information is available in your accounts system ready to be reconciled by your bookkeeper. And then Futrli uses that information to report in, predominantly, graphic form. And most importantly, provide the ability to set budgets and forecast. 

Talk to us about how Receiptbank, Futrli, and Xero can help make better business decisions.

nine ways to improve your business

Nine ways to improve business performance

Nine ways to improve your business performance

Supercharge your business with some simple tips.

Here are nine ways to make sure that you continue to drive through each business quarter with purpose, vision and the courage to super-charge your business.

1. Get a plan

You don't go on a journey without a map or any idea of where you're headed - so why fly blind with your business? Have a planning process, create a plan and execute. 

2. Eliminate distractions

Time is the scarcest resource and biggest killer for most businesses. When we get busy we can also get distracted and focus too much time and energy on the wrong things. Be brave - slash standard meeting times, reduce unnecessary admin and delegate roles and responsibilities.

3. Use technology

Technology can help you decrease admin, improve communications, improve reporting and accountability. Whether it's for team communication or cloud accounting, slash paper and automate where possible. Talk to us about the different Apps that can help you make your business more efficient. 

4. Keep on top of the numbers

Do you have enough information to monitor business cashflow and see emerging trends? We can help you identify the metrics to track on a regular basis, in order to run your business efficiently.

5. Say goodbye to bad customers

If possible in your business, get rid of ten time-wasters, bad payers, or customers who cause you pain. You will feel instant relief and spend your time better elsewhere.

6. Surround yourself with positivity

Make sure the people in your business understand and share your vision. Bring them onboard, listen to them and give them ownership. Don't let people who don't get it, or don't care, be a millstone around your neck. If they're not right, do them a favour and free up their futures.

7. Be different

Break the mould and position yourself to attract ambitious, growing and engaged clients, and employees.

8. Deploy marketing

Create a simple marketing plan to increase reach and penetration. Set aside a budget to treat this seriously. Start by making sure you really understand your customers. Existing customers are prospects too, keeping them happy is your first step. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to attract more of the same.

9. Take a break

Don't underestimate the time you have away from your business. It can allow you to come back refreshed with new enthusiasm and inspiration for the way forward.

Whats next?

If you would like to know more about ways to improve your business performance, book a time with us to discuss your options.

Your business success is important to us and we are here to help you.

4 tips to help your debtor management

4 Tips to help your debtor management

4 Tips to help your debtor management

It’s not easy to request payment right now, but it is important to keep cash flowing into your business so you can cover expenses and meet your obligations to others.

As with all business dealings right now, a little empathy and a lot of open communication can go a long way.

The following tips might be useful to keep in mind when you are asking for payment.

Communication

Connecting with your customers is important. Try to make it personal to their situation rather than a one-size-fits-all email.

Connecting on a more personal level shows you value them and are conscious of the impacts that the current situation may be having on them. The empathy you show now will also be remembered when business returns to normal.

And, be proactive . Early communication will help you stay on top of cash flow and will also alert you, if you need to account for late payments.

Add value

Use your expertise to give something back. Surprise and delight your customers by offering something over and above your usual services.

It could be as simple letting customers know you want to help and being open to requests, offering a one-off discount or an offer just to chat one to one.

Offer flexible payment options

For customers who can’t pay in full, consider breaking invoices into multiple payments with payment terms moved to a longer timeframe.

Set up a credit card facility to give customers other options for payment. After all, the easier you can make it for them to pay you, the quicker you will get paid.

If you don’t have payment services set up in your Xero account, we can help you do this.

Offering a discount for early payment might provide the incentive for customers who can settle, to pay your invoice before others.

Set up debtor management apps

Debtor management apps allow you to automatically send payment reminders, provide cashflow forecasting, automate and tailor debtor communications, and more.

Dedicated debtor management tools help you to collect your debtors faster.

Keeping cash flow going is vital for your business so the earlier you can communicate with customers the better.

Inventory Management Best Practices for Retailers

Inventory management best practices for retailers

Inventory management is incredibly important in retail and yet studies reveal that 43% of small businesses either don’t track inventory at all, or do it manually. Proper inventory management can be the difference between a lost sale and a lifelong customer.

Here are some quick tips on how you can stay on top of stock control:

Understand the relationship between sales and inventory

Look at inventory and sales data together so you can see the relationship between the two.

For example, if you pull your sales results and see that dresses are 20% of your sales, and jumpsuits have only generated 4%, the instant reaction is to buy more dresses.

However, if you simultaneously look at your inventory results, you may see that while dresses generated 20% of sales, they represented 40% of your inventory, while jumpsuits generated 4% of sales but on 1% of your inventory.

By considering the relationship of sales to inventory, you might discover you are over-inventoried in one item, and missing opportunities to sell another.

Manage residual inventory to control costs and preserve profit

Residual inventory is what remains at the end of one selling season and is carried into the next season. A few examples include wool apparel that is on sale in the spring season or outdoor furniture sets that are marked down after the summer season.

An effective way to manage this is to create season codes with style numbers when you enter items into your inventory management system. This can make analysing sales and inventory by season a significantly easier task.

Equip your business with the right inventory management tools

From choosing the right inventory management software to finding a POS solution that fits your business, it’s essential to implement tools.

The right ones will integrate together to streamline and automate processes, making inventory management more accurate and efficient.

In a competitive market, knowledge is key to business success.

social distancing

Social distancing: Running effective online meetings

Social distancing: Running effective online meetings

In unprecedented times, businesses must adapt to remain productive. If face-to-face meetings are a key part of your daily business operation, here are some tips to take your meetings online with minimal disruption.

Find the best system for you

There's a range of free or low-cost platforms, including GoToMeeting, ezTalks, Join.me, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and TeamViewer.

Before you choose one, consider:

  • How many people generally attend your meetings?
  • Do you require screen share functionality?
  • How many meetings do you run? (If it’s a lot, a small monthly subscription may pay off due to better functionality)

Schedule your meeting

Depending on your chosen system, consider how you schedule your online meetings. It may be that you include a link generated by your system into an email calendar invitation. However you do it, make it easy for your meeting attendees to be reminded of the meeting and access the meeting at the time.

Check your tech

Do you need a webcam (usually built into laptops) or an audio headset? These are a must for any online meeting. Communicate the need for this technology to your meeting attendees, and if required consider completing a quick online tech-check before the first meeting.

Set a clear agenda

Like any face-to-face meeting, you’ll need a well-structured agenda to follow. You’ll also need to specify the time a length of the meeting, and respect this. Decide who will take minutes, define the next steps, and if appropriate - BAMFAM (Book a meeting, from a meeting).

Does it need a meeting?

These unfortunate times act as a friendly reminder that some meetings can be emails. Consider using free tools such as Loom to document a longer and more engaging message in a video to send via email. The recipient can view the video multiple times before responding, resulting in a more considered reply.

Online meetings have been a great tool for global businesses for some time; maybe it’s time for your business to adopt online meetings as part of social distancing. They also create capacity for you to do other, more productive, things through reduced time spent travelling to face-to-face meetings.

Automation can ease your business workload

Automation can ease your business workload

Small and medium-sized businesses are spending on average 120 hours a year on admin tasks, according to recent research into productivity at UK SMBs.

If your people are spending 120 hours wading through tedious and unproductive admin, that’s bad for the business and for your overall efficiency. Fortunately, technology and software automation can go a long way towards automating the low-level admin tasks.

Better productivity through automation

Automation is an important way to ease your business workload, with a host of different business apps and cloud solutions offering ways to automate your admin.

With ‘smart business tools’ increasing in number and choice, software is utilising automation algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cognitive solutions to help remove the mundane admin tasks from your workflows.

Core processes that will benefit from automation include:

Automated bookkeeping

Just take a photo of your receipts, expenses and invoices and ‘optical character recognition’ (OCR) technology will digitise the output and pull it through into your accounts software. No data entry, no human error and no lost receipts! We can do the rest to ensure your records are accurate.

Automated credit control 

Chasing up debts and late-paying customers takes time. Automated credit control apps track your debtor numbers and automatically sends out customised chaser emails as soon as an invoice is late. This reduces your credit control time, speeds up cash collection and cuts your aged debtor figure.

Automated payment collection

The easier it is to pay you, the faster your customers will pay. Automated card payments and cloud-based Direct Debit solutions allow you to automatically take payment from a customer as soon as an invoice is due. Some solutions will even automate the invoice matching and bank reconciliation process.

Automated reporting and forecasting 

The better your reporting and business intelligence, the easier it is to make informed decisions about your company strategy. Accounting platforms and fintech tools now offer automatic, real-time reporting and forecasting, giving you access to the important numbers and metrics, fast.

Automated digital marketing

Digital marketing is key to raising your brand’s profile. Marketing platforms offer important time-saving ways to schedule and post social media content, or email automation that sends a pre-programmed cadence of emails to specific target audiences within your wider customer base.

Talk to us about embracing the power of automation

If your admin is starting to hold you back, come and talk to us about how automation can pick up some of the heavy lifting as well as giving you the metrics you need for decision making. We can review you business processes and identify the automation opportunities, helping you choose the best apps to drive your business efficiently.

Contact us to discuss your automation opportunities. 

There’s an app for that!

There's an App for that!

Are you overwhelmed with paperwork? Or do you spend too much time wading through administrative tasks? Do you need more time for key staff communications?

As life gets more frenetic, it’s worth looking at utilising the tools to help improve workflows and productivity. In an ‘always on’ digital world, it’s time to get the technology working for you.

But with so many out there, which do you choose?

The idea is to spend less time on admin - not more. So, we have done the research for you.

The following Apps can help streamline your business operation and maximise productivity.

Evernote 

Keeps your notes organized. They can also be files, photos and voice memos. Great for projects, sharing information and collaboration.

Trello

Great for project management.Like an online ‘to-do’ list, your Trello board is the place to organize your tasks, keep track of due dates and keep everyone in the loop on a project.

Google suite 

If you use gmail you can use google suite.You get easy creation, collaboration and sharing of documents (Google Docs), spreadsheets (Google Sheets), presentations (Google Slides) and more.

Toggl

Tracks time on tasks and projects. You can set up manual time entry or put a timer into any web tool making the whole process easier and providing valuable information for billing but also to track your productivity.

Sl​​​​ack

Slack is a communication channel designed specifically for teams. Teams create dedicated channels for projects or areas of work so that the members have all the information in one place.

Zoom

Video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars. Zoom allows participants to join a meeting from their desktop, mobile and tablet device. Easy to set up and free for up to 50 participants for a maximum of 40 minutes.

WhatsApp 

Send messages, images, audio or video.The app allows you to automate, and quickly respond to messages from customers. Also great for sports teams or other groups.

Other Business Apps

We specialise in understanding the different options of business apps for different industries and businesses. And, we can provide you with insights and guidance on what Apps would best suit your business. 

Talk to us today about finding the right Apps to help you grow your business.