Goodbye spreadsheets: The 10 best apps to use to simplify your business admin

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An employee helps a customer with the help of cloud-based app technology. (Image: Pexels, Tim Douglas)
An employee helps a customer with the help of cloud-based app technology. (Image: Pexels, Tim Douglas)

Owning a small business in 2021 can be a tricky business.

From economic stagnation to navigating a global pandemic, South African business owners have much to deal with to keep making profit, while cumbersome admin does not aid the cause.

Fortunately, we live in the age of the app and cloud-based platforms. This innovative technology has allowed small to medium-size business owners simplify and streamline their business to free up time to focus on their big picture.

Applications and platforms that give you real time access to data such as Snapscan, TripIt or Sage Accounting already offer digital answers for point-of-sale, travel, or easy accounting respectively – and can be accessed from any device.

Many of these platforms offer specific, affordable plans that are accessible for small businesses.

Here are some of those platforms you can use right now that will ease your admin headaches, freeing up time and space to focus on growth.

Storing web information

With such a wealth of information out there to read or store, it can get overwhelming deciding where to place these.

Apps such as Pocket allow you to save all the things you’ve read, or plan to read in one place for later, or to refer to when needed.

Social media and newsletters

Being able to communicate digitally and at scale is the most effective way for small businesses to reach a large audience at minimal cost.

Social media apps such as Hootsuite allow you to monitor all your social media accounts on one dashboard, as well as schedule posts in advance.

Survey Monkey allows you to create and send surveys and receive data at scale.

Travelling and mileage

If you or your employees travel frequently, it is useful to have a centralised way to record your trips.

Whether it's travelling on the road on a daily basis, or flying between major metros monthly, there are useful apps that track trips to the kilometre or plan your itinerary.

TripIt helps consolidate all your travel plans into one itinerary, while TripLog will help record your mileage for submission during tax season.

Point-of-sale payments

Two of the most popular POS payment systems are of course Snapscan or Zapper, while SA-based platforms such as iKhokha or Yoco also provide businesses with their own compact card reader.

These POS systems enable you to receive payments directly to your bank account via an instant paying app on a customer’s phone, or a single tap card reader. It is a great option to have for customers who prefer not to carry cash, or during the Covid-19 pandemic where customers prefer contactless paypoints.

Accounting

One of the best all-in-one accounting services platforms to use in South Africa today is Sage Accounting.

Sage offers small and medium businesses everything they need to manage their accounting and financials, operations, people, payroll and payments, no matter the complexity or industry - all available online, meaning anytime, anywhere access.

Business owners also don’t have to worry about extra tax legislation that comes with owning a business either, as Sage’s solution is backed by local compliance experts who do the work.

High internet speeds and endless data are also not needed, with the application accessible using smartphones, tablets and laptops that make use of 3G connectivity.

Sage empowers small businesses to "own it" - or take control. 

Clients will have access to dashboards to understand how their business is doing on a daily basis and will be able to pull reports when they need to get a deeper understanding of their finacials and sales figures. Your existing data can also be transferred from Excel spreadsheets to Sage's software platform, bringing your business into 2021 at the click of a button. Customers will also be able to send invoices easily and quickly to ensure they get paid on time, and seamlessly follow up with their clients if they don’t.

South African small businesses can sign up for a 30-day free trial and solve all their spreadsheet headaches in one easy-to-use, one stop accounting shop. 

To find out more, go to Sage Accounting at sage.com.

This post is sponsored by Sage Accounting and produced by BrandStudio24 for Fin24.

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