Technology advancements in recent years are making our busy lives easier. This is also true in the small business accounting space – technology is making running your business easier too. Gone are the days where a business engages with multiple software platforms separately – it’s all about integration through AppStacks.
What is an AppStack?
An AppStack is a set of applications or ‘apps’ that work with each other to help achieve certain tasks within your business. These apps include a wide variety of things, such as point of sale systems, job management, CRM, bookkeeping, task management and internal communication, reporting, proposals, document signing, meeting software, email management, and the list goes on.
Why do businesses use apps, and especially AppStacks?
Apps are used to make things easier, faster, more efficient and more accurate. AppStacks come into play when you are using more than one app to achieve these goals. Xero research has found that businesses using apps grow revenue 30% faster than those who don’t. You may already be doing this without even realising – do you use Square to take payments, and reconcile this payment in Xero? Do you use Kounta in your café, and Deputy to manage and pay your waitstaff? Square integrates/communicates with Xero and Kounta integrates/communicates with Deputy eliminating double handling and minimising human error.
What kind of AppStack might work for me?
Apps vary in terms of what they are designed to do, what they cost, how they integrate with other apps, and the time and effort to implement them in the first place.
Think about what your pain points are within your business – keeping track of tasks? Following up debtors and payments? Having all of your receipts in one spot and the data entry done? Chances are there is an app that could help you!
From the smallest of businesses where one or two apps might be plenty, to the larger side of the scale where you may have multiple apps taking care of different aspects, there will be a stack of apps that work for you.
What are some examples of apps I might like?
- Xero is our recommended accounting software. Xero is cloud-based, user-friendly accounting software, and has payroll.
- You’ve just bought some stationery at Officeworks. The receipt is going to sit in your car until it fades and then at tax time your accountant asks for it, and you put out a crinkled, barely legible piece of paper covered in unidentifiable crumbs. Sound familiar? Not anymore. With Receiptbank, take a photo of the receipt, and the software will ‘read’ all the information, and send it straight to Xero for you - Done!
- Rostering and roster management, leave management, payroll – all in one place, and with direct integration to Xero.
- Take credit card payments through Xero by using a payment service such as Square.
So, to conclude, it’s most likely that your business is already using an AppStack in some capacity or if not, there’s room for optimisation.
So how do you get started?
- Get clear on what you need for your apps, and why. Consider the cost outlay, but also the time and brainpower savings benefits!
- Check out Xero’s app marketplace, where you can search for your industry, or a particular need e.g. payroll https://www.xero.com/au/marketplace/
- Speak to your accountant or adviser on how they might be able to assist or to see who they recommend as a Cloud Integration Expert
Accountant & Xero Consultant