Many of us now own smart phones, whether that be for business or pleasure. From the classic iPhone, to the Samsung’s and HTC’s- these phones can do just about anything other than make you a cup of tea… (give it time).

However, these phones are a great tool that you can utilise in your business if used to their full potential. Yes, it now means you can make sales calls or business calls from wherever you are- but the use of certain apps and systems allows you to take business anywhere that you go.

Here at Abacus, we use an award winning book keeping system called Xero. It is based in the cloud, and therefore this means it can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection- including on an app on your smart phone. This gives you the ability to gain up to date account information and bank feeds for your business anywhere that you are. It’s exactly the same as now being able to access your bank account from your phone, using online banking. This not only means you can take control of your money and keep track of what is coming in and out of your business, it also means that it is a quicker and easier way to pay people, or receive payment- and it can all be checked from the palm of your hand.
Xero allows you to chase debtors, raise invoices, do bank reconciliations, as well as use all of the great add ons that come with it- such as receipt bank.

This is where it really starts to get interesting and you can use your smartphone to its full advantage. Only use your camera to take the occasional selfie for Instagram? Now you can photograph all your receipts and expenses, and it gets uploaded straight through receipt bank on to your Xero page. This means you no longer have to sit typing up all the information onto a spreadsheet from tatty receipts, because receipt bank is able to recognise all the information you need and pull it for you. This proves how smart your “smartphone” really is.

There are so many great apps that you can use on your phone to make collecting data a lot easier. Some phones/phablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, comes with a stylus pen, allowing you to write directly onto the screen, so it is almost like capturing data on paper with a pen- but it is all in one place.

Furthermore, you are also able to schedule meetings and appointments into your diary on your smartphone, keeping you on track with your day to day schedule. Also, your phone now most likely will have either ‘google maps’ or some GPS that will make sure you can get to appointments in due course and so you don’t get lost along the way!

You can really use smartphones to your advantage and to help grow your business. They are a handy tool that most of us can use for business and pleasure.