Cloud Accounting is the key to taking your business to the next level
Talk to any small business owner and they’re bound to tell you how cloud accounting has helped to change their business… and their lives. When people mention “the Cloud”, they are almost always referring to using the Internet as a means of storing, managing and processing data.
Cloud accounting will completely transform how you do business and once you experience how revolutionary it can be, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using it all along. Read on to discover the reasons why cloud accounting is the way forward and what it has to offer that is sure to take your business from good to great.
Real time, all the time
With cloud accounting, as long as you have Internet access, you are able to see all your data at any time and in real time. Any changes you make are automatically saved meaning that you and others are always working with the latest versions of information. Also, more than one person can work on a single file at the same time, facilitating better communication between you and your financial expert (aka, your accountant) as queries can be answered and issues can be resolved there and then.
Manual data entry is a thing of the past
Gone are the days of having to manually re-enter relevant transaction data from your banking system into your accounting software. Live feeds from your accounts can now be linked to your cloud-based accounting system so that you not only have access to up-to-date, live data, but you also get to say goodbye to lengthy data entry time and slow downloads. In a nutshell: cloud accounting saves you time making it easier for you to focus on the aspects of your business that matter most.
Effective business decisions are made faster
Being able to access real-time information anywhere using a mobile device means that your business is no longer at a disadvantage because of its accounting data lagging behind reality. When it comes to making important and effective business decisions, it certainly helps to have immediate access to the up-to-date data that is needed to make the best possible decisions. Cloud accounting does just this – it assists business owners with making more informed business decisions more smoothly, and in the fast-paced business industry, this is hugely beneficial.
Flexibility with peace of mind
The Cloud is able to adapt as your business changes and grows, remaining a valuable business tool that supports the running of your business, rather than restricting it. In this way it allows you to have a great amount of flexibility when it comes to conducting business, something valuable in a world in which the business landscape is continually changing. The necessary security measures are also taken to ensure that all your data remains safe and protected in the Cloud so that you can proceed on a day to day basis without having to worry about the security of your business’s sensitive information. The added bonus is that you never have to be concerned about losing your data due to theft,disaster (such as fire) or even load shedding because the Cloud is not a physical thing. With cloud accounting you have peace of mind so that you can focus on the important things.
Cloud accounting software, such as that offered by Sage One, helps you maintain a bird’s-eye view of your business wherever you are, helping you to revolutionise the way you do business. It’s simple to use, hassle free and safe – what more could an on-the-go business person ask for?
Featured image: http://inboldsolutions.com
Four ways the cloud will help your small business
As an SME, you know that you need solid computer systems such as payroll and accounting to effectively grow and manage your business. Yet the newest technology can seem prohibitively expensive when you’re just starting out. This where cloud computing can help you to enjoy the benefits of technology while freeing you from many of the costs and complications.
As an SME, you know that you need solid computer systems such as payroll and accounting to effectively grow and manage your business. Yet the newest technology can seem prohibitively expensive when you’re just starting out.
This where cloud computing can help you to enjoy the benefits of technology while freeing you from many of the costs and complications. Cloud computing is about consuming computing as a service rather than a product that runs on a system on your premises. Here are four ways the cloud will help you succeed:
Work anyplace and anytime
When you choose to run your accounting or payroll system in the cloud, you can work nearly anywhere you have an Internet connection available. That means you can check on your financials and keep business running smoothly, even when you’re spending a day dashing from meeting to meeting.
And on nearly any device
Your accounting or payroll package is no longer tied to one licensed computer when you opt for a cloud application. If your hard drive crashes or your computer is stolen, it will not be a problem. Simply log in through nearly any device with a modern web browser – including your tablet – and you can keep working as if nothing happened.
Enjoy peace of mind
Keeping a technology environment running smoothly involves a lot of drudgery. You need to do backups to make sure that you don’t lose any data if something goes wrong. You must patch your applications software with the latest security updates as well as install new versions as they come along.
And you need to maintain your server hardware. With cloud computing, these tasks all are the service provider’s job. You can keep focused on running your business rather than on running your IT.
Pay as you grow
If you decided to install and run software at your own premises, you’ll need to pay upfront for the licences. Depending on your needs, you might need to invest in servers and other infrastructure. And you may need professional help getting all of this technology up-and-running.
With the cloud, all you need to do is sign up for a service on a website and pay a modest fee for it each month. If your business grows and someone else needs to use the software, adding them is as easy as signing up for a new user name. The best part is that you get to keep your capital so you can invest it in growing your business.
Sage One for mobile
This month saw the release of a range of updated mobile applications by Sage One as its mission continues to try and take customers’ business connectivity to the next level. In a world of ever-changing technology, Sage One knows the importance of staying up-to-date and providing business leaders with the relevant tools they require to run their businesses more efficiently and easily.
This month saw the release of a range of updated mobile applications by Sage One as its mission continues to try and take customers’ business connectivity to the next level. In a world of ever-changing technology, Sage One knows the importance of staying up-to-date and providing business leaders with the relevant tools they require to run their businesses more efficiently and easily. Forming part of the Sage One add-ons, these smart apps have been designed to keep you connected to your data, anytime, anywhere, on most smart devices. Committed to keeping you connected while on-the-go, this range of mobile apps are going to change the way you do business… for the better.
Sage One on the iPhone
iPhones have soared in popularity over the last few years and now you can access your Sage One data using this iPhone app. Log on to view customer information, record important notes and contact clients using your standard phone and email applications. Revolutionise the way you use your iPhone for business with the Sage One iPhone app.
Sage One on the iPad
When you log on using the Sage One iPad app, you’ll have immediate access to your Dashboard which will enable you to see your company’s performance at the touch of a button. Once again, you’ll also be able to get customer information, take notes and view any balances that are outstanding. Most importantly, you’ll be able to create quotes and invoices on the spot, and then e-mail those off to your customers directly. What could be easier?
Sage One on your Android Device
Available from the Google Play Store, the Sage One app for android is the one that will put you ahead of the rest. View a variety of customer information, create quotes and then convert them to invoices, and record notes in the To Do section on your Dashboard. You’ll even be able to find your way to your customers’ offices with the help of the map links made available – the options are endless when it comes to this ingenious app. Doing business on-the-go has never been simpler.
Sage One on the Windows Phone and Sage One Windows 8 App
Get an overview of your business when you use either of these apps. Keep track of your sales and purchases for the day, check your due and over-due tasks and have immediate access to your customer information. Of course you’ll also able to issue quotes and invoices directly to clients, all while on-the-go. Both of these are available from either the Windows App Store or the Windows Phone Store.
Please note: This app is for Windows 8 phones only.
The Latest Feature – Processing Business Expenses on the Go
This new feature allows you to process expenses even when you’re not in the office. In three simple steps, you’ll be able to transform the way in which you process expenses:
Step 1: Add a new expense from your phone and complete the expense details
Step 2: Take a photograph of the slip relating to a particular expense and then attach the image to the new expense you’ve created.
Step 3: Click save to process the transaction after which it will be reflected automatically on your Sage One Accounting banking screen.
You can then simply accept the transaction as is or you can reclassify it if necessary. Either way, the expense is captured together with the slip so that you can take a look whenever you need to do so.
Beta users have started to use this feature to capture supplier invoices as well, even when they’re in the office. This just goes to show how Sage One can transform the way you do business, in the office and beyond.
See all the add-ons available from Sage One, including all of the above mobile options, and discover how you can have your business at your fingertips wherever you are.
Featured image: http://rack.1.mshcdn.com
The low down on data security in South Africa
When it comes to the matter of data security, it’s something that should be very high on the list of priorities for businesses that handle sensitive and personal information on a daily basis. This is especially true for companies that use the Cloud as a means of storing such information, which in this technological age, is almost every one – with Sage One being no exception.
When it comes to the matter of data security, it’s something that should be very high on the list of priorities for businesses that handle sensitive and personal information on a daily basis. This is especially true for companies that use the Cloud as a means of storing such information, which in this technological age, is almost every one – with Sage One being no exception. At Sage One, we’re committed to keeping our customers’ data safe and secure so that business managers can run their businesses smoothly using online software that they know is protected every step of the way. Read on to find out all you need to know about data security in South Africa.
First, let’s make sure that everyone understands what the Cloud is
“The Cloud” is essentially another way of saying the Internet. The software offered by Sage One operates within the Cloud – so ultimately, it’s considered “cloud software”. Because all data relating to the software is stored within the Cloud, upgrades take place automatically so that you’re always working on the latest version, and the best part about it is that you’re able to access the information you need at any time, wherever you are. Another prime example of cloud software is Facebook.
But how does this affect security?
Many people are weary of sharing important information online and this is a valid fear. Identify theft and unwanted contact from marketers are areas of concern for many South Africans, but there are ways to combat these and ensure that all data is safeguarded.
So, what security measures has Sage One adopted to keep your data secure?
When it comes to accessing your Sage One software, a unique password and username is required. Only invited persons are given access, using their own passwords and usernames. Remaining inactive for a prolonged period of time once logged in, results in the system automatically logging you out.
All your business’s Sage One data is stored in a managed hosted environment at a secure location. Access to this specialised data centre is restricted, with only authorised personnel being able to enter. Around-the-clock armed security employees together with CCTV ensure your data always has a watchful eye over it.
Furthermore, an industry-standard firewall is in place which makes sure that only intended traffic reaches the Sage One service. Injection attempts, service attacks and intrusions are avoided with the help of regularly produced logs and alerts that are reviewed frequently. Close attention is paid to all systems as well so that new vulnerabilities and possible weaknesses can be identified quickly and resolved even faster.
Lastly, all information is encrypted using a security certificate obtained from a reputable provider, allowing it to remain safe and protected while in the Cloud.
The Protection of Personal Information Act was passed as a means of keeping data secure and protecting the personal information of South Africans. Organisations need to take the necessary steps in accordance with this law to ensure that they comply with it and safeguard all the data with which they’ve been entrusted. Sage One does its part, now so should you.
Data security is highly valued in South Africa and when it comes to a business being dedicated to upholding it, Sage One is no exception. Rest assured that when working with any of the Sage One online products, your information remains safe and secure.
Featured image: http://www.buydata.me
Five minutes with Steven Cohen (Head of Sage One in the AAMEA region)
Getting to know the people behind a large, established company can help to remind consumers of the human element behind all the success. At the end of the day, without people, a brand wouldn’t exist, and without customers, it wouldn’t flourish. We caught up with the Head of Sage One in the AAMEA region, Mr. Steven Cohen, to find out a little more not only about the exciting world of online accounting software, but also more about the man behind the title.
Getting to know the people behind a large, established company can help to remind consumers of the human element behind all the success. At the end of the day, without people, a brand wouldn’t exist, and without customers, it wouldn’t flourish. We caught up with the Head of Sage One in the AAMEA region, Mr. Steven Cohen, to find out a little more not only about the exciting world of online accounting software, but also more about the man behind the title. Here’s what he had to share.
What is your career background and how did you find yourself in the world of online accounting? Also, for those who don’t know, what is Sage One, how did it start and who can benefit from it the most.
SC: I’m a qualified CASA (since 1987) and I was one of the founders of Softline, a provider of business management software to small and medium sized companies. That was, in essence, my first real job. We listed on the JSE in 1997, before being bought out by Sage in 2003, after which a rebrand took place and we became known as Sage.
I then moved from a group role to MD at Sage Pastel in the same year. It was during this time that a group of programmers and myself started to develop the online initiative for which Sage is well known. What started out as a “let’s see what we can do” sort of thing turned into something much greater and its success recently led me to resign from my role as MD of Pastel and take up the position of Head of Sage One in the AAMEA region. I still work from the very same desk though – in the support office, close to the customers and right in the middle of all the action.
Simply put, Sage One is a cloud accounting program. I tell people that it’s just like Facebook, except for the fact that it’s not social software, but rather geared towards business and accounting. Sage One offers all the conveniences that come with the cloud: it offers mobility, so that you have the freedom to work from where ever, whenever, as long as you have access to a computer and a browser. All your data is kept safe and secure with the help of an internet service provider (complete with generators, mirrored backups, 24/7 security etc).
And who can benefit from it the most? The short answer: any SME with an internet connection! It’s a full accounting system so it looks to satisfy the business needs of a range of companies. Some people use it solely for the online payroll option while others in the service industry use it for billing time and services.
Why do you think online accounting (and online systems) are the way forward for small businesses?
SC: Two reasons:
1) It’s accounting software for the “new age” and therefore the user experience is far simpler and easier. Whilst many accounting software vendors have evolved their software over the last 20 years, it’s still hard to use, as the majority of people using it tend to have a lack of the necessary accounting knowledge that would make using that specific software easier. Sage One is designed for the cloud so it’s fresh and beautiful form makes it simple for anyone to navigate and utilise. Using the knowledge and lessons acquired over two decades, Sage One has been developed in such a way so as to ensure it contains all the necessary functionality, yet not at the cost of simplicity when it comes to the user’s experience.
2) The convenience the cloud offers is compelling in every way possible. The best part is that this convenience extends beyond the PC to include other platforms (such as mobile), making it an incredible option when it comes to mobility. Because all the necessary information is stored in the cloud, gone are the days when it all sits in the “domain” of the admin staff – now everyone who needs to have access does, wherever they may be. It’s the ultimate software for businesses and will change how they operate on a daily basis.
Sage One software is based on the same trusted Pastel software, but what makes it different and unique?
SC: Sage One software is not like Pastel software; in fact, it’s entirely new. Of course, they do share the same parents though: the same people who originally developed it. Sage One has the same engineering and philosophy behind it, yet it’s new. As I like to put it: it’s like your grandmother always drove a Volkswagen Beetle back in 1950 and now you drive the latest golf in the 21st Century – same design, same ethos, yet more current.
Where do you see online accounting in the next five years? What do you predict the developments will be?
SC: It’s undoubtedly going to be at the centre of most SMEs, more than likely integrating with third party applications through APIs, facilitating automatic bank and payment integrations, and of course promoting, more than ever, the ongoing importance of mobility in the business world.
As time passes, online accounting software is bound to become more than simply something that helps you electronically organise the books and records of your business – it’s set to become a “business tool”, in every sense of the term. It will allow business owners to use it as so much more than just its original record keeping purpose – it will also show you who owes you money, who you owe and what profits and losses you’ve made. Simply put: it’ll be about so much more than just the numbers. You’ll be able to operate your entire business from this single platform, from managing your to-dos, to using it for marketing purposes and bettering customer relationships. Operational information will be able to merge seamlessly with accounting information, making it a breeze to manage your business with user-friendly and reliable software.
What is it about this industry that gets you fired up?
SC: Many things, but the fact that we are manufacturers, artists, creators, really gets me fired up. I’ve always been excited about businesses in which people are making things, building things that are essentially making other peoples’ lives easier. I feel we do that here at Sage. We want to create things that people can benefit from, things that can change the way businesses do business. Nothing makes me happier than getting feedback such as this from a satisfied Sage user and knowing it’s something we built that has led to such satisfaction: “I’m working on it and I think I’m falling in love with the software.”
What advice can you offer to the future Sir Richard Bransons out there?
SC: Employ the right people.
Don’t patronise them.
AND SHARE THEIR PASSION.
And lastly: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not online?
SC: I enjoy guitar, chess, history, philosophy and riding my motorcycle. I also love movies and listening to Van Morrison and Radiohead.
Thanks to Steven for taking the time to answer our questions.
Featured image: http://www.itnewsafrica.com
Here’s what you should be doing differently when it comes to your small business
Sometimes in business, entrepreneurs just get it right. Others will look on in awe and wonder what the secret to their success is and what they could be doing differently in order to become as successful. Establishing, running and growing your own business is one of the hardest yet most rewarding things you can choose to do, and it requires consistent patience, persistence and dedication.
Sometimes in business, entrepreneurs just get it right. Others will look on in awe and wonder what the secret to their success is and what they could be doing differently in order to become as successful. Establishing, running and growing your own business is one of the hardest yet most rewarding things you can choose to do, and it requires consistent patience, persistence and dedication. As a small business owner you need to be constantly re-evaluating your business to ensure it’s performing at its absolute best. Here’s our list of a few things you should consider doing differently, if you aren’t doing them already.
Tweak and diversify
In order to have a successful business, people have to buy what you’re selling, be it a product or a service. If you noticed that sales have taken a dip, it may be time to make some changes to the things on offer. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean complete replacement, but perhaps only a few tweaks here and there. For example, you may consider creating new packages for clients that consist of a handful of your products, thereby adding value. You may find this better speaks to the needs of customers, something that should be constantly being met by your business. Diversification can also be an effective route to go and involves branching out a little. If you own a fashion business, you could think about expanding into garment care by offering a range of products that can be used to maintain the items of clothing you offer. You can end up not only appealing to already existing customers, but to an entirely new consumer market as well.
Don’t just market your product – sell your story
The key here is context. Consumers will be far more inclined to buy your product if they understand how it can help solve their problems. So how do you as the business owner go about achieving this? It’s simple: you provide the story behind the business. People tend to connect with stories, especially when it comes to those linked to specific products. The story will automatically inject meaning and emotion into the purchase process, but most importantly, telling a story brings a human element to the often clinical business world. By putting a face to the brand and sharing the story behind it, consumers are bound to feel more connected to it, and connection can not only lead to more sales, but to brand loyalty as well.
Whether you like it not, the reality is that the role technology is playing in the success of small business is becoming more and more important every day. You can’t expect to grow in a technologically saturated world by turning your back on it. We don’t mean becoming tech-savvy overnight and investing in every possible element of technology pertaining to your particular business, but rather embracing it slowly but surely over a period of time. A good place to start is with social media– when used correctly, it can completely transform your marketing strategy…and for the better. Another thing to consider is the power of the Cloud. Software that operates within the Cloud can help to change how you run and manage your business dramatically. Sage One Software provides you with a fast, efficient and simple way of dealing with the financial side of your business, such as payroll and accounts. Don’t shy away from technology – it could be just the ingredient you need to boost your business.
Don’t compromise your vision
Among other things, flexibility and adaptability are two important aspects to bear in mind when it comes to running your own business. There’s no doubt that you will experience bumps in the road that require you to adapt and make changes fast, but in doing that, it’s important that you don’t lose sight of your purpose and core values. This can be easier said than done, but at the end of the day, if you compromise your vision and the principles you hold dear, you may end up regretting it. By all means make adjustments at times, but that shouldn’t mean having to sacrifice your vision completely.
Part of running your own business is learning as you go. You will stumble at times but the important thing is to get up and keep moving forward. Observe the businesses around you – you can only learn from them.
Featured image: http://michaelhyatt.com
Sage One Accounting Software: How it can help you run your business smoothly
In a previous post we took a look at the reasons why your small business needs Sage One Payroll software, so in this post we’ll be showing you how Sage One accounting software can help you run your business more smoothly. Here at Sage One, we value the hard work, effort and commitment that goes into getting a new business off the ground and operating smoothly and efficiently.
In a previous post we took a look at the reasons why your small business needs Sage One Payroll software, so in this post we’ll be showing you how Sage One accounting software can help you run your business more smoothly. Here at Sage One, we value the hard work, effort and commitment that goes into getting a new business off the ground and operating smoothly and efficiently. We want to see entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed, and that’s why we’re dedicated to doing what we can to get you there. The online accounting software Sage One offers is designed to help you manage the financial side of your business in the simplest and fastest way possible – something that will hopefully take you and your business a step closer to becoming a serious player in your particular industry.
Saves you time
You’ve heard it before, but it’s true: time is money. In business you want to be able to use your time wisely and find ways to avoid wasting it unnecessarily. One way of achieving this is by incorporating simplified processes into the everyday running of the business – the easier things are, the faster they’ll be completed which will save you time. Sage One’s accounting software is simple to use and a lack of confusing jargon makes it a breeze to deal with on a daily basis. It has an “intuitive interface”, making it easy for you to navigate your way around the system and find what you’re looking for fast.
Fewer hassles with your software and operating systems usually results in smoother running of things all round. There are numerous “hassle-free” features of Sage One software, such as:
- Upgrades: Because you’re working in the Cloud, your work is automatically “updated” instantly whenever you make changes which ensures that you’re always working on the latest version.
- Installation: Again, using the Cloud means there’s nothing to install.
- Accessibility: Provided you have Internet access, you’re able to access the system 24/7 from where ever you are. What could be more convenient?
- Security: The Cloud stores all your data safely and securely, so you never have to worry about it landing in the wrong hands.
Full over-view of the business
Having a bird’s-eye view of your whole business is best when it comes to running things. When you can see every aspect of the financial side of your business, you’re able to manage it in the most effective way possible. With Sage One’s carefully designed Dashboard, you can keep your eye on everything, from who are your best customers, to your sales history and which are your top-selling products. Having a full-overview of the business will help you spot problem areas faster, make changes where necessary and overall, have a better idea of your business’s financial landscape.
The Drill Down feature is an added bonus that allows you to look deeper into the information presented to you by the interface. Having immediate access to the details behind the information you receive will provide you with a better understanding of why things are the way they are and this will hopefully lead to faster problem-solving and improved relationships with customers.
Sage One software provides the perfect platform for business owners to deal with many things at once. From managing customers, suppliers and inventory, to creating customised invoices using the Sage One Custom Layout Designer, producing reports and managing the business’s bank accounts, Sage One’s online accounting is truly a one-stop shop. Furthermore, your accountant can be granted access to the system, allowing him to keep an eye on the financials from where ever he is.
Sage One software is everything rolled into one, making it the ideal financial management tool for any small business. To find out more about this fantastic software and its features, take a quick tour on the Sage One website.
Featured image: http://blogs.voices.com
E-commerce websites: The essential tools you need to get your online business up and running
Starting your own business requires a lot of planning, research and investigation. There are many things you need to consider and arrange before launch, such as devising a clear business plan, refining your product and registering the business. When it comes to starting your own online business, most of the same steps apply, yet added to those is also a string of other boxes to tick.
Starting your own business requires a lot of planning, research and investigation. There are many things you need to consider and arrange before launch, such as devising a clear business plan, refining your product and registering the business. When it comes to starting your own online business, most of the same steps apply, yet added to those is also a string of other boxes to tick. Because the Internet is so vast, it offers a variety of different opportunities for aspiring online business entrepreneurs, but it also brings with it a whole new space to navigate through. Read on to find out the essential tools you’ll need to get your e-commerce site up and running.
First thing’s first: arranging a suitable web host. Since it’s the web host that will form the technical backbone of your site, it’s important that it’s of a high standard. Whilst there are many free web hosting options available out there, you’d be better off looking into enlisting the services of a professional web hosting company because in this way, you secure a dedicated space in which your venture can exist through a virtual private server (VPS). Going this route almost always ensures you’ll get a high quality, sleek-looking site and you’ll avoid having to share any resources, as is often the case when using a free option.
Helpful hint: Before even looking for a web host, be sure to secure a domain name for your business. It should be concise – make it something easy to remember and fast to type (for example, avoid using hyphens).
Content management platform
Once you have your chosen web host, you’ll want to consider where the content you create will live. Having a platform that is easy to use and versatile is key, so you may want to go with something like Sage Online Tools. From the market leaders in business management software, Sage Pastel comes a platform that allows you to build an entire site, Also, because it’s fully customisable, business owners are able to mould their site into whatever they want. However, if you have specific needs or a particular vision in mind, then you may want to consider hiring a professional developer who you can work alongside as they build the site for you.
Simple check-out system
Especially if as a small business, your main source of revenue comes from selling products online, a simple, quick check-out system is a must. Part of creating the best possible user experience (UX) for customers is ensuring that once they’ve found what they were looking for and added items to their shopping cart, they can easily pay and then leave the site. The last thing you want as a business is to make it complicated for your customers to get what they need. Offering a wide variety of payment options will also help make the check-out process as smooth as possible.
Social media presence
Since your business lives online, it only makes sense to utilise it as much as possible. As it is, most successful businesses make sure they use social media to their full potential as it is one of the most effective marketing tools. Establishing a solid social media presence is an important part of your online business model, as it will allow you to connect and interact with current and potential customers or clients, thereby marketing your business and ensuring your customer service is of a high standard. It can be used to build your community, as well as a social listening tool that can help you make changes to your online business so as to deliver maximum customer satisfaction.
Newsletter and mailing list
Consider putting together a mailing list and weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletter for those on the list. You can get visitors to sign up on your site to receive the newsletter and in so doing, provide you with an excellent opportunity to form a strong connection with your customer base. Having a mailing list will allow you to contact customers en masse and inform them of any deals or promotions, whilst also sharing any information from which you feel they may benefit.
Once your online business gets off the ground, why not consider another online tool such as Sage One to assist with all your financial business needs? Easily one of the most efficient systems available, having Sage One on your side will help you take your online business to greater heights.
Featured image: http://cdn.business2community.com