Tools to set your business up for success

While many small businesses are focusing on maximising their tax returns, the new financial year is the perfect time to get set up with new tools that will help make your business more efficient, save you time and improve your cash flow.

With a rapidly increasing number of cloud-based platforms available, improving your cash flow has become simpler than ever before. With the platforms beginning to integrate with each other, SME owners can access their business data from anywhere in the world.

There are more options than ever for business owners to access affordable tools designed to empower you to manage operations on the go. This increased mobility and efficiency allows business owners to invest more time into growth.

Here are the top five business tools currently available in Australia, designed for SME owners who want to take a big-business approach to growth in the coming financial year:

  1. Square

Square gives small business owners everything they need, including a powerful point-of-sale (POS) app, integrated and affordable credit and debit card payments with Square Reader, and now the ability to send invoices directly from the free smartphone or tablet app.

The Square Reader, which was released in March, is only $19 and plugs into the headphone jack of your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. It allows you to accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express payments in moments. Without any monthly charges, hidden fees or lock-in contracts, Square is simplifying how businesses are run by uniting all the tools owners need in one powerful app.

Pricing: Square’s POS app, Square Register, is free. Square Reader allows you to accept credit and debit card payments and costs $19 at Officeworks, Bunnings and Apple stores. There is a 1.9 per cent transaction fee for any credit or debit card payment accepted.

  1. Deputy

As your business grows, so does your team. Deputy is a simple and innovative workplace management solution that gives business owners access to the tools they need to better manage their teams. Schedule employees, monitor time and attendance, manage tasks and communicate with your team. Deputy’s mobile app means that even if business owners are out of the workplace, they can see who’s at work, answer messages and call in replacement staff if someone is sick. Deputy also integrates with Square, meaning that it can track hours rostered against sales and optimise your schedule.

Pricing: Deputy pricing starts at $1 per employee, per month.

  1. Intuit QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a powerful, cloud-based accounting software that allows business owners to complete their bookkeeping and billing. Accessible from a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone, it can automate bank feeds, track sales and expenses, scan receipts and process payroll for employees. All the data is then turned into accounting reports, which can be provided to a business accountant or bookkeeper to ensure the business owner is prepared for any tax obligations.

QuickBooks Online also integrates with Square to ensure that all transaction data from your POS is automatically imported, helping to save time and increase accuracy for reconciliation against bank statements. Business owners are always strapped for time, so any process automation between platforms means they can focus more on growing their business.

Pricing: Pricing for QuickBooks Online starts at $13.50 per month.

  1. ATO App

At the end of another financial year, there’s nothing more satisfying than ensuring that you’re well across your taxation. The ATO app helps small business owners by simplifying tax and super affairs, giving you access to all the information and tools you need in one convenient location.

The ATO App lets you record work-related expenses, gifts and donations, as well as the cost of managing business tax accounting. The app also allows business owners to calculate tax withheld from salary and wage payments, and check ABN details of potential or new business suppliers before they start to work with them.

Pricing: Free

  1. Dropbox

There are also tools designed to help business owners access documents and share information in a mobile world. Dropbox Business allows SMEs to store, sync, and securely share documents, videos, music files and images, which users can access via Apple, Android and Windows devices. Securely preview, edit and share files direct from your smartphone. Files can even be accessed offline by adding them to your favourites, giving you the freedom to manage files on the run.

Pricing: Dropbox Business pricing starts at $17 per user, per month for unlimited space.

Ben Pfisterer is the country manager of Square Australia, a business that creates cloud-based payment solutions for other businesses.

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