Technology – Using Technology for Gain (Continued)
Using Technology for Gain (Continued)
If you are still on a largely paper filing system, consider moving to digital.
- Hire a records-management consultant to examine your filing needs.
- Design a digital filing system for the business.
- Ensure everyone files data the same way so files can be retrieved quickly and never go missing.
- Go paperless by insisting that paper documents be scanned and stored; shred the original unless needed. Where possible, digital documents should be stored in the same digital format in which they were created.
- Establish protocols to ensure email is filed correctly for all customers, tax and regulatory authorities and employees.
- Avoid faxed documents where possible. If fax cannot be avoided, set up a virtual fax-to-email number that will allow those that will accept fax communication and transform it to an email PDF.
Streamline Business Transactions
If your business does not have sufficient employees to justify the cost of new software, develop standardized spreadsheets that staff complete for time and expense reports and create an online process for employees to submit data in a timely fashion to the bookkeeping department.
All businesses need an accounting system that incorporates sales, purchases, payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable and job costing. Even if you do not have the expertise or the need for a full-time bookkeeper, you can use remote communication software or an online accounting platform to enter records online that will provide you with the up-to-date information you need for everyday operations.
All tax data, financial statements, personal and corporate tax filings and enquiries exchanged between your office and your CPA should be encrypted before transmission.
Other uses of electronic technology include:
- online billing
- online invoicing from clients
- accepting and making all payments (including taxes) through etransfers
- online filing of all CRA and other regulatory forms
Marketing and Selling
Because your website is often the first contact a potential client has with your business, make sure it is attractive looking and the text is well written. That first impression may make the difference between getting and not getting a client.
- Hire a specialist in website design to create your website.
- Hire a specialist to service and monitor your website to make sure everything works all the time.
- Update your website regularly with news concerning key employees, changes in the organization and new products or innovations. This will show that your company is an interesting and ongoing business operation.
- Collect email addresses using an opt-in service to expand your email advertising or awareness campaign. Be mindful of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) when collecting and using email addresses.
- Set up an online sales department for your business.
- Check out the software packages that allow you to set up an online marketing system, track orders, track sales, change product suppliers and assist in up-selling by connecting the product purchased by the customer with one they may see as complementary.
- Create pricing rules for discounts, individual and bulk sales.
Use Technology Wisely
Certainly a business can be overwhelmed with the ever-changing technology, but in the final analysis, technology is not about what is available to use, but rather how we use what is available to better our business and personal lives.
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