With increasing challenges facing businesses today, now is the time more than ever to apply focused effort to your business by working on it and not just in it. Taking time to explore the ever growing world of business Add On’s or App’s to enhance your business systems is vital.
At the hub of most businesses today is the Accounting/Bookkeeping software system and though there have been tremendous technological advancements over the past 10-20 years, the future is all about the new breed of Add On solutions.
Add On’s or Apps are essentially a solution that bolts onto, integrates or synchronises with your existing accounting software program relating to aspects of the business not provided by your main accounting software program.
Traditionally the void consisted of business processes that were considered “outside the scope or on the fringe” of the mainstream software providers. Large Software vendors haven’t been interested in developing numerous applications to support and maintain, whilst satisfying a relatively small percentage of their existing market. So filling this need has been taken up by smaller entrepreneurial software developers with the hope of leveraging off the already established databases of the major accounting software providers.
So what Add On applications are emerging? The following list details just some of the areas that we have seen Add On’s implemented into businesses in the last 12 months:
- Mobile Time & Billing systems.
- Rostering and Payroll Scheduling integrating with existing payroll systems.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
- Web / Online & Facebook Store integration.
- Manufacturing / job tracking / advanced inventory management.
- Online email Marketing Systems / eNewsletters / Surveys.
- KPI’s & Dashboards Business Reporting.
- Backup and redundancy systems, offsite & automated.
- Advanced management / business reporting.
- Online point of sale.
- Document Management.
- Plus much, much more………
Add On’s are a great way of building your business systems and adding value to your business and ultimately helping you Buy Time. Make sure you do your homework before you decide to implement an Add On service into your business, some things to consider should include:
- Does the Add On fully integrate with your mainstream Accounting / Bookkeeping System?
- Is it a Cloud/Internet based application?
- Where is the Data Stored and How is it Secured?
- What is the reputation of the Solution Provider?
- Perform online searches for ratings and reviews of the product and company.
- Ask for testimonial sites and follow these up (preferably in your industry).
- Does the software work with the Australian version of your Accounting software?
- What local support is in place?
So what areas of your business could be streamlined with the use of an Add On Application?