best business apps

The Best Apps you Need for your Business

Technology is your greatest tool for enabling your businesses to grow. But tech doesn’t grow businesses­– people do. It’s all about how you use it. As a business owner, you have the ability to streamline better experiences and services for your customers, and better, quicker ways of doing things.


Today, technology is relentlessly changing the business landscape. Once-tedious tasks can be automated at the push of a button, and intelligent software can pull increasingly detailed data analytics to make predictive recommendations about your business.


Tech has also radically changed our behaviours and the way we function as human beings; it permeates every facet of our daily lives. We can get our groceries delivered to our doors at the touch of a button, millions of movies on demand in seconds and a plethora of information at our fingertips. Our phones now function as our own little entertainment centres, our work and our shopping carts, all rolled into one. Consequently, the boundaries between work and play are becoming increasingly blurred, and with each new generation of digital natives, our society is becoming increasingly more demanding.


In a world where we’re constantly connected, how are you leveraging technology to run your business, and stay one step ahead of the competition?



We live in an era of one-hour delivery and buy now, pay later. And in a world where we’re constantly online, customer expectations are higher than ever before. Tomorrow’s business owners will have even higher expectations, and it’s up to you to live up to them. Businesses must adapt with these technological changes in order to survive. If you don’t, you’ll lose business to new start-ups who are challenging the old-guard and harnessing tech to automate menial tasks.


Here’s our round-up of the best apps and plugins to streamline and grow your business:


Streamline your bookkeeping with Receipt Bank.



Take a photo of your receipt and it will be in your accounting solution in 10 minutes. Submit your receipts, bills and invoices via your personalized Receipt Bank email address or their mobile app, and Receipt Bank’s data extraction technology provides you with all the key information. All that’s left to do is review and publish to your accounting solution in one click. With data entry out of the equation, you can spend more time growing your business, investing in client relationships, or maybe just doing more of what you love.  


Want to find out more about the benefits of Receipt Bank? Check out this blog post we wrote.


Automatically import transactions to your accounting solution with a live bank feed.


A live bank feed will import transactions to your accounting solution daily, saving you the hassle of manual data entry. Simply connect your accounting solution to your bank account and you’re good to go. Santander, Barclays, HSBC and RBS all plugin directly to either Xero or FreeAgent. Check whether there are feeds available for your bank with Xero or FreeAgent. Spend less time plugging numbers and more time keeping your eyes on the prize!  


Get paid instantly from your customers using GoCardless, Stripe & Paypal.


best business apps

•GoCardless


Get invoices paid automatically with GoCardless. For recurring payments, your customers can set up a Direct Debit mandate in minutes and then all their future payments will be automatically collected as soon as they are due. With GoCardless, you’ll stop chasing customers for payment, improve your cash flow and save hours of admin. Just schedule payments and automatically reconcile invoices when payment is collected. Simples!


•Stripe


Revolutionise the way you collect online payments with Stripe. With the right plugins, you can also connect Stripe with Xero to treat it like a synchronised bank account.


•PayPal


Alternatively, get paid on your website, in person or by invoice with PayPal. It makes payment seamless for your customers, working globally and across all major ecommerce platforms. You can also synchronise your PayPal Business account with FreeAgent or Xero.


Take control of your cash flow with Float & Spotlight. 


Why use spreadsheets to do cash flow forecasts when you can let technology do the hard work for you? Beware of the perils of spreadsheet forecasts. If your opening balance isn’t correct on your spreadsheet, the calculation for your whole cash flow forecast will be wrong! That’s a lot of wasted time and money.


With Float, you can run detailed and accurate 90-day forecasts that sync with your accounting software. You can see what your closing bank balance will be for each month and where you might have shortfalls or a surplus of cash, helping you plan for the future.


With Spotlight, you can run high level, strategic long-term forecasts of up to three years. Plan for the future of your business by creating potential scenarios and get a holistic view of your business’s performance. With the right cash flow software like Float and Spotlight, you can anticipate long-term and short-term problems and nip them in the bud by making informed decisions about your business.


Automate expenses with Soldo and Xero Expenses.


best business apps

Soldo is a prepaid Mastercard that does your expenses for you, and it’s pre-emptive spend controls help you manage how company money is spent. Soldo streamlines the entire business expense cycle – from spending to reconciliation for businesses of all sizes. It also plugs into Xero and syncs transactions daily.


You can also capture, track and manage expense claims easily with Xero Expenses. Eliminate paper receipts by capturing and submitting expense claims on the spot.


Conclusion


In today’s digital age, once monotonous tasks are now happening seamlessly. Payments are processed instantaneously, and transactions are getting reconciled at the click of a button. By harnessing the plethora of automated business apps out there, you can streamline your work flow and be smarter about your cash. And with these apps, you’ll have up to date financials and receive quicker payments, meaning you can spend more time growing your business and improving your service. What’s more, the apps above can all be seamlessly integrated with your accounting solution. Plug them in and spend less time worrying about the numbers and more time doing what you do best.


At Ashton McGill, we’re passionate about harnessing technology to help our clients build better and more profitable businesses. We’ll equip you with the tools, resources and insights you need to succeed as a small business. And with these pieces of tech in place, you can sleep easy knowing you’ve got money in the bank.