The rise of software technology has left a lot of small business owners sitting together on the fence as they mull over which cloud-based apps are the right ones for their business. Before you go writing the task off completely and tossing it into the too difficult pile, hear us out – we are cloud accountants after all.
The cloud technology, automation, processes and productivity hacks we’ve implemented at Orbit allow us to pursue our own private and professional dreams … while also saving for the special stuff. Now we want to ensure Sydney small businesses are utilising the very best tech to create an ‘app stack’ customised to their industry.
It’s time to build the perfect app stack.
Set the criteria.
Before you go dashing to the app store to purchase the first app that catches your eye, let’s consider your options. After all, we don’t want any of these applications sitting next to a calorie counter, going unused and ending up as unnecessary software cost.
To determine which applications are required to keep the wheels of your business turning, first identify all the operations involved in the running of your business and set clear requirements to base your decisions off. For example, a construction company will need a range of applications and software for their operations, including a job management tools, staffing solutions and health and safety tools.
You will be able to easily recognise which applications check all the boxes by discovering the main purpose of the software system. We’ll start the search in the Xero app marketplace to ensure we can seamlessly integrate your applications and accounting systems.
Check the integration.
You don’t want an application to create more problems than it solves and a great way to avoid this is to make sure your application integrates with Xero. As cloud accountants we love Xero as it was one of the first accounting systems that had an open API (application programming interface). This means all the applications in their app store will connect with Xero. The open API enables the applications to communicate, allowing data and information to seamlessly flow and stay up to date with automation.
Automate, automate, automate.
Your business will no doubt have a few low-level, manual processes that can easily be automated with the right applications. For example, if you are still manually shooting out late payment reminders for overdue invoices, you could look into a credit control application like Chaser or Xero to take it out of your hands. Manually logging your receipts? Book keeping applications like Dext or HubDoc can capture your physical receipts and automatically extract all the information.
Do your research.
If you choose a mismatched application, having to switch it down the road will cost you, so don’t call it a day on the first application you stumble upon.
Set yourself up for long-term success by knuckling down and finding which applications will provide your business with the most value. Read the reviews and reach out to your network to find what other businesses in your sector are utilising. If it’s possible, take them for a test drive with a free trial or a demo version, this way you will be able to see first-hand how it can benefit your business. The best place to do your research is with your cloud accountant. They typically will have other clients using similar software and know a lot of the hints and hacks to make sure your software fits with your business.
Learn the ropes.
Every application will require implementation and training, but it shouldn’t cause the team more frustration than your office printer.
These applications will become an integral part of your business and their user interface could be the make or break between a worthwhile or burdensome expenditure. A user-friendly interface will minimise the learning phase and allow you to reap the rewards faster.
Who you gonna call?
The value an application can bring, its ease of use and integration options are all critical factors to consider for your app stack. However, you don’t want to wait for things to go pear-shaped before you consider customer support.
The importance of responsive, helpful and attentive customer support cannot be understated. To avoid being on the phone all day and speaking to every man and their dog before finally getting referred to someone that might be able to help you, review the customer support the application offers before purchasing it. Look for applications that have happy customers, positive customer service ratings, offer phone support and don’t forget to check the forums.
Get off the hamster wheel.
Need a helping hand to create the perfect app stack for your business? At Orbit, we do more than keep the tax man happy, we want to help your business work like a well-oiled machine. As cloud accountants, we’re experts at all things technology and efficiency, so we can show you where to start, what to change and how best to execute it.
We’ll help you navigate the Xero app store and create a perfectly connected and integrated cloud accounting system that will have your business working smarter not harder. Book a chat or get in touch today to make more possible.