By Gary Wang*
It is a great time for small businesses here in Australia. With further tax deduction from the federal budget and booming cloud business solutions, small business owners can better align with and achieve their entrepreneurial goals. In this article, I would like to share a few useful cloud business applications and services for small businesses and discuss how business owners can best benefit from using them.
Through my daily meetings and chats with local business owners in Canberra, I am thoroughly aware of the concerns and stress faced by our everyday heroes in the local industry. The most prominent issue faced by most small business owners is the struggle between having more control and meeting the deadlines of their key stakeholders. Business owners want to have better control of their business activities, but the more control owners possess, the more effort and time they have to devote to the business. For example, sorting out petty cash and receipts is an extremely time-consuming process that eats into one’s personal time. Fortunately, cloud technology and services are emerging as a more affordable and efficient alternative for small business owners to handle their cash flows and bookkeeping processes. With a little help from cloud solutions such as Vend, Tyro and Receipt Bank, business owners can free themselves from endless paperwork and focus on growth and opportunities.
Local business owners can customise cloud solutions to meet their business needs and environment―for example, Vend has become a popular Point of Sale choice among local retail businesses because the software is straight-forward and very easy to learn. First-time users are able to get oriented to the system within a day! Additionally, with functions such as product register, stock management and sales recording integrated into the “Vend HQ” interface, business owners can manage sales centrally. The owner of one of my favourite gift shops shared with me how Vend saves her an hour each day by populating payment receipts and e-mailing them to customers automatically.
Receipt Bank is another app that many business owners love. Collecting and sorting receipts can be a nightmare during tax time. Receipt Bank is so popular because it saves hundreds of hours by eliminating the hassle of digging out receipts and invoices left carelessly in car trunks or shoe boxes. Simply upload photos of receipts or invoices using your mobile phone, and Receipt Bank will extract and process the key information (e.g., invoice number, date, GST, etc.). The information is subsequently published to your cloud accounting package (e.g., Xero or Intuit QuickBooks), which saves time and money all thanks to automation.
While cloud technology offers significant benefits to small business owners, it is crucial to consider the following factors as not all cloud services are suitable for your business needs and environment: What are your business categories? Where is your major revenue coming from (online/walk-in)? Which business activity do you spend the most time on (and is it extremely important or extremely time-consuming)? Keep in mind that when choosing a specific cloud product or service, you need to consider the eco-system that it operates in as well. Just like preparing dinner for an important guest, your decision to cook a beef steak as the main dish will significantly influence your choice of wine. Hence, before cooking, it is better to find out if your guest prefers beef to other meat choices.
If you want to ride the cloud technology wave, give us at a call at (02) 6169 5196. Our team of young, highly adaptable and tech-savvy accountants are competent at cloud-based accounting platforms including Xero, MYOB, Intuit QuickBooks and Sassu. I look forward to working with you.
* Gary Wang is Tailored Accounts' team member. Gary is an ANU graduate majoring in focus on management accounting, information systems and taxation law. Find out more about Gary and our team here.