The digital age has transformed the way businesses operate – from interacting with customers to financial reporting – and has provided the opportunity to make efficient and effective business decisions.

“Technology has brought about positive change when it comes to how we can interact with clients and suppliers and be more connected to them than ever before,” James Solomons, Head of Accounting at Xero told The Pulse.

“It has also meant that businesses are now visible even if they remain offline because the social aspect has meant that people talk about their experiences with businesses online and hence why it is important to remain in the discussion and respond to comments, queries and complaints.”

The ability to integrate real time data from different platforms into a single dashboard

via digital business tools such as Xero, Reckon and CommBank’s Albert system can play

a vital role in helping businesses get ahead

in a competitive marketplace.

“Understanding the levers in a business and how it interacts with financial results means SMEs can see their businesses in a whole new light and begin to make data driven decisions in a fast and effective timeframe,” Mr Solomons said.

“You can a have a world class, totally connected e-commerce system in place for less than $1,000 a month which includes accounts, sales, inventory, CRM and an online platform,” he said.

“My advice to SMEs and accountants is to always look where technology can do the heavy lifting.

There is no need for data processing anymore and if you can streamline operations you can save huge amounts of time and resources.”

Xero’s top 3 tips for implementing digital business tools are:

• Map out processes and understand the pain points in the business. Asking “what would I love technology to be able to do for me?” will help identify which changes need to be made and in what order.

• Seek out an expert to analyse your needs. They can also assist with implementation and training. In some instances, a self-

implement approach is easy as many programs are ‘plug and play’.

• Start small. Begin with a free trial of relevant software to become comfortable with its functionality and see if it’s the right solution for your business.

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