Today’s guest author is small business and finance expert, and co-host of Sunrise, David Koch.
I’m a huge fan of new technology and the ease and flexibility it brings to work. I can video call in to Port Adelaide executive meetings, bring up the latest finance figures on my tablet for Sunrise and access my small business’s accounting files from the couch.
So you can understand why I’m so enthusiastic about new technology. This is also why I say that your business really needs to consider an online accounting system if it’s not using one already. Here’s why.
Peace of mind
I don’t want to scare you, but all it takes is one office disaster and your files are compromised. A dodgy employee, fire, flood or break-in and you’ve got a problem. Hard copies of old accounts are often irreplaceable, and a lot of the time businesses don’t fully recover from disasters for this reason.
Using online accounting gives your business access to the latest software and data security that’s safer than the lock on your front door. Simple as that.
Having the books in the cloud means our accountant can log in to her work without coming into the office. We can keep a finger on the pulse with staff raising invoices and expenses as they need to. It also lets everyone run project numbers when they’re on the road.
Being able to check accounts and invoices from anywhere is invaluable for businesses that aren’t office based like tradies and others on the road all the time. It’s like having an office in the palm of your hand.
In my small business, Xero automatically imports information from our bank accounts. This means there’s no need to manually reconcile accounts aor for hard copy statements. The latest transactions are categorised, bills are scheduled, and time sheets, inventory and customer relationship management are easily tracked. It’s made a world of difference to our systems.
And it works the other way too. We can easily pay bills online and store any receipts in the cloud.
I used to get an outstanding debtors list printed for me at the end of each week, but now I can log in and check up on client accounts whenever I want.
Time and cost savings
Online accounting obviously means saving on paper, printing expenses and storage costs. There’s also the time saving of not having to sift through reams of paper.
Unlike the old days of expensive software packages, there’s no big capital outlay required for this convenience.
This more streamlined, accessible system means the dreaded two-hour sit down on a Sunday night to tackle the accounts no longer exists. This is a huge change from the world of accounting when I started in business.
Creating new quotes, copying previous quotes, and turning them into invoices has all been streamlined. This means the process is fast and crystal clear from the beginning, something all businesses will be happy to hear.
Despite the belief that being able to work from anywhere means it’s harder to switch off, I find it allows me to be more productive in those previously unworkable pockets of time. Even five or ten minutes sitting in a taxi or waiting for a meeting can be used productively.
David Koch is the owner of Pinstripe Media. He also hosts Kochie’s Business Builders, co-hosts Sunrise, and chairs the Port Adelaide Football Club. Connect with him on Twitter @kochie_online.
This is the third instalment in a series of articles written by David Koch. Check out the previous post, ‘Upcoming tech trends in 2015‘.