5 ways the cloud can boost your business

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Cloud-based software has revolutionised every industry in the world – it’s hard to think of any type of business that hasn’t benefitted from online systems. Here are the top ways you can use the cloud to boost your business performance:

1.     Accounting software

Using a cloud-based accounting system like Xero means no more boxes of receipts, no more hand-written reconciliations, no more printed invoices. It’s also incredibly helpful to see up-to-date data, both for your accountants and for your own business management. At any moment you can get an accurate snapshot of how your business is performing and compare it to any other period. It’s a tool that’s incredibly effective for tracking performance almost in real time.

2.     Document storage

Filing and sharing have never been easier with apps like Dropbox and Google Drive. Our business used to spend time and money sending documents into storage and trying to find the right piece of paperwork. Using an online storage system means you can search easily, file rapidly and retrieve your documents from any device.

3.     Tracking your tax-deductibles

If you travel for your work or spend money on your personal accounts, you no longer need to keep a physical logbook or hold onto faded receipts. There’s an app for that! Scan and retain receipts using an app like Receipts by Wave or Shoeboxed. Use the Driversnote logbook app and your tax-deductible mileage is taken care of completely – and stored securely.

4.     Xero add-ons

Using Xero is a great start, but you can get even more out of it by making use of the add-ons. WorkflowMax, for instance, helps with timesheeting, quoting and task management – perfect for professional services. ServiceM8 is brilliant for builders and tradies because it works from appointment to completion on any contract. Kounta is fabulous for cafes because it speeds up point-of-sale transactions. Whatever industry you’re in, you can streamline admin tasks with a tailored Xero add-on.

5.     Software as a service

Instead of paying thousands of dollars for software packages that are out of date in two years, cloud-based software subscriptions let you pay in instalments and always have the latest technology. With many services, you can also turn them on and off on demand, so you can pay for cloud-based Photoshop when you need it for one month, then not pay for six months, then turn it on again for another month or two at a later date. So simple and cost-effective.

Part of effectively managing your business means reviewing your spending – use cloud-based services and apps to tailor your spending so you’re only paying for exactly what you need and no more.