Technology

Keeping the Pace With the Dynamic Tech Ecosystem

Application and Add-Ons revolution has ensured that newer feature-rich competitors enter the fray every 6 months.
  If you look at the document management tools, for instance, it started with the document repositories among which Dropbox, Box etc were popular. Today newer versions and newer apps like Hubdoc and Receipt Bank have gone on to provide increased document management automation options. Your bills and statements can now be pulled into one secure hub. It gives you one login to view and manage the documents from all of your accounts. These apps automatically sort and organise all of your documents into searchable and customizable folders as soon as they arrive while employing bank-level security to ensure that your data is safe.

Scanning the ecosystem for the latest options available for your workflow, therefore, has become an unavoidable exercise.

Having a documented digitised workflow for your end to end processes will once again prove very useful for such an exercise.  If you do not already have this in place, make it a priority to engage a workflow engineer to document this for you. This document will provide you the basis to evaluate new applications and make clear judgments on what might suit your workflow.

If you do not consider yourself as the best person who can keep an eye out for new and emerging technology, be sure that you assign this responsibility to another trusted resource. Have this resource update at least quarterly on the technology ecosystem that is relevant to your business and any tools or add-ons that you might need to consider. If you do not have the right talent within your organisation, you have the opportunity to engage such a role virtually on a part-time basis. Service providers [...]

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    How will you know if you are utilizing technology well enough?

How will you know if you are utilizing technology well enough?

There has been an explosive invasion of technology into every area of professional engagement in our times. But that does not mean that a small business owner or the key decision maker of a firm is harnessing the power of technology well enough. So how can you do a quick assessment on how well you are utilizing technology that you already have?
Here is a simple test. Write down the most important questions that you need answers to, on a regular basis. How easily or quickly does your existing technology environment provide you the answers?
For an example here are 3 questions put down by a client of ours – a practice in Australia. The technology environment involved was Xero as well as Xero Practice Manager (Workflowmax)

How do my clients compare between each other with regard to the overall effort my team and I put on their account Vs. the actual time we bill them for?
How much time overruns is my firm experiencing across client accounts when compared  to initial estimates?
Can I look at a consolidated performance summary for each of my staff to see how I can better incentivize them?

Now, the questions can be different for each business and the experience and wisdom of the leaders of the firm will determine the best questions in each case. The important thing for you is to write these questions down and investigate how well they are being answered by the systems you already have in place.
In case you are interested to look at the reports that were generated for the above example, please Click Here.
Of course, our client has journeyed on to fine tune these reports and [...]

9 Essential Tools for your Practice Tool Kit

Practice owners are emerging as the trusted advisor for not just business accounting but also on the right applications or tools which can add value to the business while working seamlessly with a cloud accounting software. But do you  practice owners practice what you preach? We conducted a survey recently and turns out that many don’t.
Only 29% of the practice owners said that they are completely on top of technology and know the right tools to use for their practice. Close to 53 % of the practice owners are aware of tools but are still looking out and investigating the right tools for their practice. So we thought we could help. Below is the Infographic which gives you the 9 Essential Tools for your Practice Tool Kit:

With the practice owners not just working with people in the office but from around the world, knowing the different tools which help turbocharge such a business model is absolutely vital in successfully growing and taking the business  to the next level.
Also in this digital age, practice owners might work with clients around the world and that requires them and their staff to move from the typical 9-5 time window to working with different time zones and from different locations (home, coffee shops etc). You are going to need  a virtual platform as well as workflow with cloud applications to help you with all the information and management control required.

Take a look at the 9 Essential Tools for your Practice Tool Kit and let us know if you agree with what we say or if you have other cloud tools that help you with your practice.

Reining in the Right Technology

Do you use a CRM?
Or do you continue to manage with a simple contact list that you maintain on a spreadsheet or smartphone address book? The problem with this approach is that it does not give you the intelligence when you most need it.
Many small business and practice owners often struggle with selecting and maintaining the tools that would make up their dream system and end up getting precious little in return for the effort they put in.

Here are  3 tips that could make a difference
Define the outcomes upfront:
Rather than go in with a vague idea of what you hope to get out of the system, write down the specific problems you want to see addressed. For example, if you are looking for  CRM applications, first clarify to yourself what exactly your business needs. Are you looking to improve your customer acquisition cycle and quote process? Track progress across stages towards sales closure? Tracing existing customer communications across email and other channels to ensure that customer CTQs (Critical to Quality issues) are not missed out? Being armed with the top 4 to 5 concerns that are very specific to your business is the first essential step. Today, CRMs have moved beyond being mere sales tools, as most people understood them. Team collaboration across departments and geographies, tracking of email campaigns and social media conversations etc are some of the  newer zones of value delivery for these systems

Map the current workflows for these outcomes as they happen for you today:
The mapping exercise may seem a bit cumbersome but it really helps clear things up for you. Once you have this on hand, you have an immediate advantage in evaluating what [...]