By Jonathan Amponsah CTA FCCA, The Tax Guys
Is running your business taking over your life? If so you might like some help to reduce stress and grab back some time for other aspects of your life. It’s a good idea to look at some of the apps that can make a difference and help you with tasks as varied as keeping track of your finances or rescheduling meetings.
Here’s a sample of apps that can make a big difference to your business life, and beyond.
Receipt Bank, Auto Entry and Expensify
There are good apps including Auto Entry, Expensify and Receipt Bank that allow you to capture your receipts on the go and send them directly to your accountant. You can even ask your suppliers to send their invoices to the app to free up your inbox a bit.
Spotlight Reporting, LivePlan, Profitsee etc.
Do you know the key numbers in your business? Are these presented in a useful way that helps you make business decisions? Can you predict what your cashflow will look like in, say, three months? If you’re spending a lot of time and energy on your numbers or you simply don’t know where you’re at with the finances try the above tools either independently or through your accountant for free.
FreeAgent, Quickbooks and Xero
The likes of FreeAgent, QuickBooks and Xero have truly transformed the way bookkeeping and accounting is done. And if you combine this with regular bookkeeping reconciliation services, you no longer have to spend time and energy at year end worrying about the books. You can see how your business is doing on a monthly rather than yearly basis.
People HR, Breath HR etc.
Do you still spend time on paper forms or legacy desktop systems to keep your HR records? Do staff have to submit forms or send you other manual requests to book their holidays? How long does it take you to check whether the business will have sufficient staff during a holiday period and then to approve the holiday? Try any of the above tools and discover the time, effort and money they can save.
Toggle, Clockify, Hubstaff and Time Doctor
Where did the time go? Now you can automatically monitor how you spend your time and identify where and how to be more productive. You will be amazed how much of your time gets diverted away from important tasks. And these tools also help you get organised.
Business Operation and Management Apps
If you’re retailer, restaurant or you hold stock, then an apps like Vend, Izettle and others are worth looking at. If you’re a Nursery, then review Blossom educational, EY log, Procare software and others. And for other businesses, tools like Zoho CRM, Infusionsoft, Trello, Monday and Asana can really save you time and help you find time for creative thinking.
GoCardless, IntegraPay etc.
Chasing customer for payment can be a pretty stressful experience. Why not avoid this and use an online direct debit app so that you and your customer can agree when you will take payment? Easier and quicker for everyone – and certainly less stressful for you.
Calendly, Acuity Scheduling and Timetrade
Going back and forth with clients and stakeholders to schedule appointments, reschedule, and then reschedule again can be time consuming. Avoid email and telephone tag when arranging meetings. With any of the above tools, people can now access a version of your diary that shows them all of the slots that you have decided to make available for meetings.
Workato, Zapier etc.
It’s important to ensure apps integrate and talk to each other to avoid further waste and chaos. Apps like Zapier and Workato allow you to link two systems together without any coding or programming skills. A key selection criterion for your apps should be whether the App has what is called an API to enable it to link to other systems.
I hope this quick overview of some of the apps available is helpful to you. Of course, there are others you may also want to use. What’s most important is that you make use of the help at hand. If you automate as much as possible, you’ll not only have time to plan for your future business development, you also have time for other things.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Amponsah CTA FCCA is an award winning chartered tax adviser and accountant who has advises business owners on business streamlining apps and processes to make business less taxing. Jonathan is the founder and CEO of The Tax Guys.