Work smarter with your mobile phone

Fitting all our jobs into a day can feel like a struggle or even a distant dream for some people.

Fitting all our jobs into a day can feel like a struggle or even a distant dream for some people.

MANAGING time can become more difficult the busier our lives get. Fitting all our jobs into a normal day can sometimes feel like a bit of a struggle, or perhaps a distant dream for some people.

For those who are self-employed this often means working a full day on your “day job” then coming home for the night shift of emails, admin, phone calls, organising jobs, paying bills. Then, if you have time, figuring out what you’re going to do tomorrow.

Often we are too busy to sit back and figure out a better way of working, as the way it has been done for the past five, 10, 15 years has been working and so if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it, right? Not necessarily.

Technology has moved leaps and bounds in the past five years with the rise of cloud-based systems and faster internet speeds. This has been a real advantage for the small-to-medium business owner as the variety of software and services available has grown immensely. Technology often reserved for large businesses can now be leveraged by small and medium businesses for a fraction of the price.

There are so many different business applications and tools out in the marketplace that have been designed and built specifically to help simplify your business processes.

The key is finding and using the software solutions that will help you the most. But where do you start looking? The easiest and cheapest way to find some useful tools is with your mobile phone.

The Google Play Store and the Apple App Store contain plenty of useful apps for smart business owners. One I use on a regular basis is Camscanner, which allows me to create PDFs using my smartphone’s camera. I can store these on my phone or easily email them to clients and colleagues.

The Microsoft suite of applications — Word, Excel, Onedrive, etc — on your mobile phone can also come in handy when you need to get access to and edit files while on the run.

Trello is another application I use often. It’s a very basic web application that works on the web browser and mobile that creates lists. A simple concept, but executed brilliantly, it helps keep track of things — both at work and at home.

Today’s accounting systems like Xero offer many opportunities to help simplify and streamline your business processes. The Xero Marketplace has over 500 applications that link and interact with the program in some way.

In the Xero Marketplace there are filters based on application function and industry types, making it easier to see the solutions that could work for your business. Linking applications and building a solution around your business needs can create many opportunities and save you time.

Popular solutions that link in with accounting systems include payroll solutions, job management software and payment services.

Payroll can easily be managed from a smartphone, with employees capturing their time and submitting this for approval. No more hassles around collecting and then interpreting messy timesheets just before wages are due to be paid.

Job management software can save countless headaches around managing and organising jobs, parts and staff. These systems will collect up all the information you have captured, putting everything together to help turn invoicing the job into a simple click-of-the-button process.

Being able to email invoices directly from your accounting system helps speed up invoicing and keep on top of accounts receivable. Integrating your accounting system with an online payment service means that customers and clients can pay there and then, based on the invoice you have emailed.

This helps getting paid faster and provides options to customers and clients to help them save time.

Everyone has a different appetite for change. But those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone, embrace change and new ways of working, will find there is the opportunity to become more efficient in your processes.

You can save time, save money, and increase customer and client satisfaction all by making simple and cost-effective changes to the way you do business.

Hamish White is a BDO Gisborne chartered accountant. He heads their Information Systems team.

MANAGING time can become more difficult the busier our lives get. Fitting all our jobs into a normal day can sometimes feel like a bit of a struggle, or perhaps a distant dream for some people.

For those who are self-employed this often means working a full day on your “day job” then coming home for the night shift of emails, admin, phone calls, organising jobs, paying bills. Then, if you have time, figuring out what you’re going to do tomorrow.

Often we are too busy to sit back and figure out a better way of working, as the way it has been done for the past five, 10, 15 years has been working and so if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it, right? Not necessarily.

Technology has moved leaps and bounds in the past five years with the rise of cloud-based systems and faster internet speeds. This has been a real advantage for the small-to-medium business owner as the variety of software and services available has grown immensely. Technology often reserved for large businesses can now be leveraged by small and medium businesses for a fraction of the price.

There are so many different business applications and tools out in the marketplace that have been designed and built specifically to help simplify your business processes.

The key is finding and using the software solutions that will help you the most. But where do you start looking? The easiest and cheapest way to find some useful tools is with your mobile phone.

The Google Play Store and the Apple App Store contain plenty of useful apps for smart business owners. One I use on a regular basis is Camscanner, which allows me to create PDFs using my smartphone’s camera. I can store these on my phone or easily email them to clients and colleagues.

The Microsoft suite of applications — Word, Excel, Onedrive, etc — on your mobile phone can also come in handy when you need to get access to and edit files while on the run.

Trello is another application I use often. It’s a very basic web application that works on the web browser and mobile that creates lists. A simple concept, but executed brilliantly, it helps keep track of things — both at work and at home.

Today’s accounting systems like Xero offer many opportunities to help simplify and streamline your business processes. The Xero Marketplace has over 500 applications that link and interact with the program in some way.

In the Xero Marketplace there are filters based on application function and industry types, making it easier to see the solutions that could work for your business. Linking applications and building a solution around your business needs can create many opportunities and save you time.

Popular solutions that link in with accounting systems include payroll solutions, job management software and payment services.

Payroll can easily be managed from a smartphone, with employees capturing their time and submitting this for approval. No more hassles around collecting and then interpreting messy timesheets just before wages are due to be paid.

Job management software can save countless headaches around managing and organising jobs, parts and staff. These systems will collect up all the information you have captured, putting everything together to help turn invoicing the job into a simple click-of-the-button process.

Being able to email invoices directly from your accounting system helps speed up invoicing and keep on top of accounts receivable. Integrating your accounting system with an online payment service means that customers and clients can pay there and then, based on the invoice you have emailed.

This helps getting paid faster and provides options to customers and clients to help them save time.

Everyone has a different appetite for change. But those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone, embrace change and new ways of working, will find there is the opportunity to become more efficient in your processes.

You can save time, save money, and increase customer and client satisfaction all by making simple and cost-effective changes to the way you do business.

Hamish White is a BDO Gisborne chartered accountant. He heads their Information Systems team.

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