Whether your business is familiar with working digitally, or you have been forced to adapt over the last couple of weeks, here are some tips that will help you work more efficiently.
This article was first published on our Norwegian blog earlier this month. Click here to access the original article (link to blog post in Norwegian).
9 tips for working smarter with digital solutions
1) Collaboration in the cloud
You can have meetings with customers, employees, and partners via a computer, mobile phone and tablet – from anywhere and at any time.
There are several tools for hosting meetings and staying in touch over chat. Google Chat, and Google Meet, is a simple and free tool for sending messages and facilitating video meetings.
Documents can also be shared in the cloud for easy collaboration, and even here, Google offers great solutions through Google Drive. Slack is another collaborative solution used by many organisations.
2) Online time tracking
With online time tracking services, your employees can track their working hours wherever they want, both on PC and directly on mobile or tablet. This simplifies the process, while at the same time gives you a good overview of the business.
If you also integrate time tracking with your accounting program, you can further digitise and automate time-consuming processes. For example, an accounting module can let you and your colleagues track hours and expenses while out of the office, and makes it easy to invoice customers as soon as the job is completed.
3) Digital signature
The signing of documents is critical to any business, and in these times, being able to do this digitally allows businesses to focus on staying up and running. Digital signature works in this way:
- The business uploads the document to the cloud and sends it to the signer via email and/or SMS.
- Signers enter their signatures via touch screen or by using a bank or mobile ID, which are then cross-checked with their identities.
- The signatures are submitted and all parties automatically receive a copy of the document.
This means all necessary documents and forms can be handled digitally, and all agreements will be digitally stored for years to come.
4) Digital invoicing
What if you could put all manual accounting work aside? Enabling electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) will help you do just that.
Digital invoicing is, simply put, a modernised flow of payment that greatly reduces the time and costs associated with sending and receiving invoices.
This is what the process of sending an invoice looks like:
- A good digital invoicing tool will create the invoice automatically, pulling in data from the correct sources, and allow you to confirm its accuracy before sending it.
- The solution will then send the invoice electronically to the recipient, who will be notified of its arrival.
- If the customer is set up to receive an electronic invoice directly into their financial solution or online bank, it will go there. If not, the invoice will be sent by email or by mail.
- Finally, the customer pays. The more digitally configured the customer, the faster the payment.
Nearly everything happens automatically and there is no need for manual data entry, printing, or sending paper via post. The solution also works as your invoice inbox: that means that you have all incoming invoices in one place, regardless of whether the invoice is originally electronic, in PDF format, or on paper.
5) Scanning services
The use of smart scanning services enables you to scan receipts and invoices so that they are sent directly into the accounting software – ready for registration.
Say that an employee needs to scan a receipt. He or she takes a picture of it, then the app reads and interprets the content so that the date, amount, VAT, and place of purchase are filled in automatically. This information is also entered into the accounting program, ready for accounting.
You avoid a lot of manual work and your employees can easily send in receipts and purchases.
Additional reading: Keeping a human touch with customers in the digital space.
6) Share the current business status
How are your business results this quarter? Cloud-based financial solutions give you a clear and simple overview of the financial results through graphic dashboards. Sharing this dashboard with everyone in the organisation, you make sure that everyone gets the same up to date information.
7) Take advantage of e-commerce
With an online store, you can sell your goods online, around the clock, regardless of where your customers are. It may be especially relevant in these times when several stores have had to close, or customers are not able to visit your store.
You may want to supplement your physical store with an online store, or you may need to change your business model as more and more people shop digitally. There are several webshop solutions that make it easy to set up an online store. It might also be a good idea to integrate the webshop solution with an e-accounting service.
8) Automatic bank reconciliation
With a bank integration to your company account, all transactions from the online bank are automatically transferred to the accounting program on a daily basis. Payments match the correct invoice and the supplier invoice is automatically sent to the online bank for payment.
You might also be interested in: How cyber-attackers are taking advantage of the current situation.
9) For accountants: Streamline period reconciliations and year-end accountings
Did you know that you can spread the accounting workload evenly throughout the year? With the right digital solution, periodic reconciliations are performed continuously with a number of automated controls, ensuring that you always have complete and correct data.
You work in real-time, avoiding the seasonal peaks so that you are better equipped for the annual settlement.
You can work with both your accountant and your colleagues in the program. When you spend less time on accounting, you free up more time for your business and your customers. Also, the time you spend on the economy becomes more strategic and efficient.
These are just some of the many ways that you can start to work more efficiently – and more smart – by taking advantage of digital technology. Want to read more about running your business in the digital age? Visit our Business category page.