Using the right enablers saves a lot of time
What is an enabler?
It’s something that *enables* you to carry out your business. Think of it as something in the business that is most critical to delivering a product or service and keeping the business afloat. i.e. enabler
What are some enablers?
- Accounting programs
- EFTPOS machines
- Employee time trackers
- Email hosting
- and other software/devices
These things have been around for a while now, so why talk about it? Well the transition to the “cloud” means that these enablers no longer need to be managed separately and integrated in some cumbersome way with file uploads and silly reconciliations.
What is the cloud?
Don’t be upset if you don’t know what it means, because most IT professionals don’t know either. It is one of the most misrepresented words used in the tech industry. In language that is easy to understand, it’s simply service maintained on a server on the internet. That service could be Hotmail, Gmail or Xero. If you use the internet to access it, it’s most definitely in the “cloud”.
How does the cloud help?
Having all of the mentioned above in the cloud means that there is likely a mechanism that can establish a connection between all your critical business functions. Take this ideal situation as an example, where you are selling something to a customer and they want to pay via EFTPOS:
- Customer requests x product or service
- You enter in x on your mobile phone and hit go
- Price shows up on portable EFTPOS machine
- Customer pays
- Accounting program automatically reconciles the transaction against the bank record in the background
Here is another example, where your employees or contractors are logging their working hours:
- Employee opens app on his/her phone and logs working hours
- You (employer) opens app, quickly check working hours match to the requested hours and hit approve
- Accounting program automatically pays employee, payroll tax and super
Make sure your programs and devices are in the cloud and connected
There are lots of other benefits of being in the cloud, such as:
- Backup: What happens if your computer crashes? Even if you have a backup, sorting out and fixing it can take out a whole days work (or more). Being in the cloud means you can keep the business running from another computer, iPad or iPhone.
- Portability: You may conduct business from different locations or on the road. Enter in invoices and collect payment right there and then, don’t worry about it later or write notes.
- Time: Going back and forth between your accountant or book keeper with the company file is a major hassle, just give them advisor access in your cloud based accounting program. Then they don’t need to visit or reconcile different company files.