Thursday, September 12, 2013

Small Business Accounting and Technology

A recent survey from Sage North America showed U.S. small business owners are working harder than ever. That's the bad news.

The good news, revealed in a study from Citi Corporation, is that almost half of those surveyed (43 percent) say overall business conditions are positive, while one-third say their own business is better than it was a year ago. We guess it's proof positive that hard work does pay off.

While 43 percent may not indicate staggering economic optimism, it is a significant increase from a similar poll in August 2010, which showed only 24 percent of all small business owners reporting positive business conditions.

In addition to working harder as the Sage study showed, the Citi survey also showed that small businesses are changing with the economic climate to stay ahead and compete. Fifty-three percent say they reinvented their business "to stay afloat or competitive."

Some changes owners are making?

- 47 percent overhauled their products or services

- 24 percent overhauled their infrastructure, including technology or staff

- 18 percent beefed up their sales and marketing initiatives

In addition, of those who did not make such dramatic changes, there were still some minor adjustments:

- 67% updated/upgraded computer systems

- 52% increased their use of the internet and social media

- 51% built a network of suppliers and partner companies

It's interesting that large percentages of small businesses are using new or updated technology as part of their business growth strategy, as well as partnering with suppliers or outside firms to be more productive and profitable. They are also relying on this technology to do their work more than ever before. According to the study, 78 percent of survey participants use a mobile device to access work-related information while away from the office or their computer.

Is this constant connectivity a good thing? Most business owners say it is. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed who use mobile technology say they feel that it has positively affected their company's productivity.

Did you know that cloud-based accounting software can help make your company more productive without a large hardware, software or IT infrastructure investment? When you leverage the power of Software-as-a-Service, combined with a virtual bookkeeper and financial controller who can help you strategize your next move in these competitive times, you can practically ensure that your business conditions will continue looking up for years to come.

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