With the business world moving rapidly due to the advancement of data and digital communication, there are more opportunities for businesses to leverage the changing landscape to improve productivity.
If you are running a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), you would have probably heard of new government initiatives aimed at increasing business productivity, such as the SMEs Go Digital initiative, the implementation of nationwide e-invoicing, and other Smart Nation initiatives for both individuals and businesses.
However, the push for a more efficient and resilient business operation leveraging digital technologies requires a lot of work. So, as a business owner, how do you begin with digitisation?
Here are the three key pillars you should be looking at to digitise your business, which will not only save you time and money but also set your business up for sustainable growth.
The accounting and bookkeeping software is one of the first important steps for digitisation. The ability to track finances is important for businesses as it enables business owners to plan for the future. The auditing process also becomes easier with digitalised bookkeeping.
Xero, Financio and Freshbooks are some examples that provide easy access to your financial data and near real-time views of your inventory and bank account. Some of these tools also come with features that are better suited for specific sectors and company types.
Estimated time saved per week: Most bookkeeping work can take up to 20 hours per week. With digitised bookkeeping software, users can expect to reduce approximately 10 hours per week on bookkeeping.
Invoicing looks very different now as compared to 20 years ago. In the past, financial transactions were much more tedious and time-consuming, with many inefficiencies such as manual cash deposits and cheque clearance.
Now, payments can be made and received in a timely fashion. The Singapore government is also working towards implementing a nationwide e-invoicing framework, which will bring about even faster payment cycles. New technologies including CardUp and PayNow Corporate also provide businesses with more convenient payment methods, such as the ability to shift cheque and cash payments online, or pay using just a business UEN number.
Estimated time saved per week: This is one of the most time-consuming tasks for small businesses. With invoice and payment software, users can expect to reduce the time spent from around 24 hours to approximately 8 hours per week.
Shifting traditional human resources and payroll functions to digital platforms is a newer development that is rapidly growing. Benefits include smoother experiences and faster onboarding of new employees, along with easier management of leave, employee benefits, and training and development.
Newer HR and payroll software also track the changes made to labour laws and come with automatic regulatory updates, thus saving time from manual calculations or amendments. This software also works with integrated applications such as accounting software or external bank portals, saving even more time for HR departments.
Moving these functions to a cloud solution like Talenox can also help with talent and employee retention, especially for younger employees who expect to understand benefits with ease.
Estimated time saved per week: With payroll and HR software, users can expect to save approximately 6 hours per week and more during peak hiring and payroll period.
Regardless the industry your business is serving, quickly leveraging these digital tools and government initiatives can set your business ahead of other SMEs. Using digital tools in these three areas will save you time and money, help accelerate the growth of your business, and increase your ability to reach and service customers
Nicki Ramsay | CEO and Founder | CardUp
An expert in the payments industry, Nicki has built digital payment products and has previously held various leadership roles for American Express, across Asia Pacific and Europe. She is seen as a thought leader in the fintech space and is a regular speaker at industry events including Money20/20 and the Singapore Fintech Festival.