Every New Year, we like to set new resolutions for ourselves that will motivate and help us to accomplish more. That is exactly what this list of resolutions is designed for, but it’s in the tech niche and these resolutions are tech-based and designed to help boost business productivity and generally make the job a lot easier and simpler. Most of them are relatively low cost and require little work to implement. Some benefits you could get from implementing these New Year’s resolutions to your business or workplace are improving the productivity of your employees, making boring and time-consuming tasks fairly faster and easier, and generally improving efficiency all around the business.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the list and find out of yourself which ones you think are necessary for you and which will help you to succeed more this year.
1. More Cloud Accounting
If you haven’t already implemented cloud accounting into your business you are surely missing out. You won’t believe how much easier it is to manage a business with cloud accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks Online. It saves quite a lot of time and so much more. Some perks from cloud accounting include integration with other platforms that manage expenses and also save a lot of time, it offers a dashboard where you can clearly see everything that is happening, every transaction, every payment and so much more. The first step with this, if it’s fairly new to you is to just start small, integrate it with maybe a side business you have or something similar and casually work out the perks.
A few more benefits from cloud accounting include the following:
- Bank Feeds
Bank feeds are basically automatically created lists of every transaction in your bank account. Imagine the impact of this once you integrate it into your business bank account and always have a clean and organized list of every transaction ever made.
- App Integrations
Cloud accounting offers you to integrate industry-specific apps into your business that, for example, help track eCommerce packages, count inventory and so much more. There are countless apps out there to help you with anything you might need, and they can all be made possible together with cloud accounting.
- Access Anywhere
Another great perk is that it makes it available so that you can access your own, and your clients’ accounts from virtually anywhere, or anywhere you get an internet connection. Thanks to cloud accounting, sharing one computer with everyone to do the job is a thing from the past.
- Always Updated, Backed-Up & Secure
No matter where you left off, or someone else finished off, you can always access it later and finish the job. It’s always backed up so no information is lost and anyone can feel safe knowing that it’s very secure.
- Easy Collaboration
Last but not least, cloud accounting, depending on the software you choose, is generally easy to work with. Together with every individual that has access, you can collaborate to get things done faster, and always control easily who can join or be removed if necessary.
2. Upgrade To The Latest Version Of Office: Office 365
This one might sound a bit obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people neglect or put off the update for a long time. There are so many perks to always having the latest version of Office 365 and we will cover some of them in this post. One important thing you should remember about this one is that you should get everyone on the same version. It will most definitely be worth the investment and it’s a crucial part if you wish this to go smoothly and make the job a lot easier for everyone. So, some of the benefits of this resolution are the following:
- Collaborate In Real-Time
It allows you to work with anyone on the same project live from anywhere. So, maybe you need help with a project and you need to do it fast, but you have no one next to you. Now that’s super easy with this option that allows you to invite anyone you like and they can work on a different part of the project, in real-time, and make sure it goes a lot faster.
- Latest Security
We all know that as time passes, security threats evolve with it and constantly get more dangerous. The latest version allows you to have the newest and most trusted security options so that you will be safe from threats and don’t risk losing any important files.
- Design Ideas
Now, it offers a button that helps turn anything you put in the file, a photo, text, into beautiful and professional layouts. It basically has very nicely designed layouts that are suggested to you so that you can choose the ones you like and make sure your project looks way more professional and stylish. It’s a really cool feature that brings a lot into the projects. This feature is only available in the newest version of Office 365.
- Work On The Same Document From Different Devices
This is a very cool feature that allows you to work on the same document from your computer and then maybe from your laptop or phone when you are not next to your PC. It definitely saves a lot of time in situations like traveling while you are in a car or bus and you can catch up with where you left off from your tablet or smartphone.
- Microsoft To Do
This allows you to integrate everything with your email and your calendar and is a great feature for those of you who have strict schedules and need reminders so you don’t miss anything.
3. Out With The Legal Pad & In With OneNote
OneNote is a powerful note-taking software that helps quite a lot in your business venture. We all can’t remember everything we have to do in our busy lives, so this handy tool can help us to relieve some of the tension and leave some of the hard work to it. It’s perfectly compatible with everything like laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It also allows you to sync your data and access it through multiple devices. Here are some other perks from using OneNote:
- Prepare For Meetings And Stay More Productive
OneNote makes it possible so that you can prepare more easily for things like meetings by listing everything you need to talk about or remembering important topics. Also, it’s great for listing your goals for the day and making sure you check off every single one.
- Add Pictures & Other Docs
If some notes need pictures to be described better, OneNote is already way ahead of you and is built-in with that feature as well. Styling up the notes is actually quite important and the next perk will explain why.
- Share With Others
This feature allows you to share your notes with others for any reasons you have. This explains the previous perks as why you might want to add some pictures so that the ones you are sending them to can understand more clearly what you meant.
- Organize Into Folders Including Color Coding
Lastly, OneNote makes sure that you don’t waste time searching through the notes and allows you to neatly organize them into named folders and color-coded ones as well.
4. Multi-Factor Authentication
You have probably seen this somewhere described as “two-factor authentication”. It’s basically the same thing and it’s more important than you might think. Almost every software allows and encourages this and you should definitely do it. It applies to your email, as well as your online accounting software, payroll software and simply anything you have connected to your business. It’s very important so that you can stay secure and for so many more reasons. In fact, you should secure your email first, and then branch out to other apps because your email is where hackers can find out the most about you and it leaves your information with other clients and people vulnerable.
This method is quite helpful in order to put hackers out of business and help protect millions of other businesses and individuals. And, it might just possibly be the best line of defense against attacks happening every day.
Other Security Tips
- Don’t Tell Anyone Your One-Time MFA Code
You should know that not even companies like DELL or Microsoft will ever call you asking for your one-time authentication code. No one should be asking for this unless they are your family or maybe your assistant who needs it for something important. What’s crucial to remember here is that you should only give it out to someone you really trust and know why they need it.
- Setup Cybersecurity Awareness Training
If you have employees, you could do this if you want to improve their knowledge of cybersecurity and the risks there are to causing trouble. It’s a great cause and it will help protect from unwanted mistakes or accidents.
- Remove Or Replace Old Windows Servers And Office
We should know that they are not supported anymore and anyone can rarely offer any help with such old versions. It’s a safe bet to upgrade everything to the latest version so new and fresh security information can be provided.
- Use A Password Manager
There is a great one called LastPass that helps to set up random, secure passwords for all of your sites and apps. It also has an amazing feature that lets you share passwords securely with others who have a LastPass account.
Tip: Every resolution shared here is completely compatible with both Mac and Windows!
5. Start Doing Video Meetings With Zoom
Zoom has among the most user-friendly interfaces out there and is very easy to use. You can easily share your screen in order to show something or a presentation and can schedule calls straight from outlook. A heads up is in order as you might want to record a call for a reviewing purpose, to make sure there is no echo or anything similar so you can be as professional in your calls as possible. Overall, zoom offers a great experience and you should start using it if you want your video calls to go smooth and without any problems.
6. Text Your Clients
When we say text your clients in the business world, we don’t mean that you should send a basic text from your phone to their number. No, the proper way to do this, in this case, is with special apps like Heymarket or ZipWhip. The reason for this is firstly, it looks way more professional, and secondly, when you send a text from your phone and your phone happens to die, that message is only existing on your phone, whether in this case, you have a special account for your workplace that anyone you assign can view and can be opened from any device. Some great reasons to text message include:
- Easy & Convenient
Rather than having to type a formal email with lots of steps to accomplish until you hit send, text messaging apps make this process a whole lot easier and faster. Sometimes in business, we want to ask clients quick questions regarding a decision and that’s where this method comes in handy for quick and easy contact.
- Team Collaboration and Automation
Also, a great benefit from this is that you can have automation for new clients which asks them if you can text them from time to time regarding work-related things and they can leave you their preferred text number.
7. Stop Emailing And Start “Slacking” With Your Team
Although email is an important part of any business, it’s just not fast enough to communicate between your team and luckily there is a more efficient way to do that. It’s called Slack and it’s a software that helps you share timely and relevant information with your team. It’s actually free to start using and is a preferred choice when it comes to fast and easy team communication. Here are a couple of more reasons why you should use Slack.
- Organize Conversations By Team
Chances are that your team is divided into groups and working on separate projects. With slack, you organize your conversations with every group of the team and never mix up or send a wrong text to the wrong person.
- Granular Control Over Notifications
What this means is that you have a lot of options on who to receive notifications from, when to receive them, how often to receive them and so on. Plus, you can send a notification directly to someone in the chat with the mention (@) symbol and it will send a notification only to them.
- Install On All Your Devices
You can also use Slack on all of your devices so you can communicate with your team even when you are off work if there is something urgent or important.
8. Create A 2020 Growth Plan Using A Tool Like The Vision / Traction Organizer & EOS
This is a two-page document that will bring big changes to your company. It’s generally used to get your vision out of your head and to see it more clearly in front of you. The system helps you to prioritize your goals and objectives so you can slowly accomplish everything on there and eventually reach success. It also helps you to show your plans to everyone and all be on the same page.
The first page of this document is about your company’s vision. It helps you to:
- Get Clear On Your Focus
- Decide On How You Will Get There
- Be Intentional
There are sections for you to explain your core values which means to understand who you are as a company and what you are worth. Then there is the core focus where you have to explain what you provide and how your servicers serve others. In the 10-year target section, you have to write where you see your company in 10 years. After that, it’s the marketing strategy part where you tell who your target audience is, who you want to work with and so on. In the 3-year picture section, you have to say what do you need to do in that period in order to be on the right track. You have to explain how that future looks and how it improves.
Page two of the document is all about how you are going to get there and covers topics like:
- It’s All About Execution
- Bring It Down To The Ground
- Your 2020 Growth Plan
- Focus On The Critical Few
There are three sections on the second page. The first is the 1-year plan which covers your growth plan. It offers no more than seven goals for the year which you feel that you must make sure to complete. The rocks section is basically 90-day parameters that help you divide the goals into smaller tasks to make sure of easier completion. The final part, which is the issue list is there to help you write down some roadblocks and problems you are having that must be taken care of.
9. Cloud HR Platform
A cloud HR platform brings so much to the table when it comes to human resources management. It helps a lot in managing employee data, payrolls, recruitment processes, and keeping track of attendance records. Our top pick for this job is Gusto and it makes things so much easier. Some great reasons to do use Gusto are the following:
- Integrates With Online Accounting Software
If you remember when we mentioned about cloud accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks, Gusto integrates nicely with them and works well with the data.
- Self Service & Self Enrollment
This means that people who want to join your company can fill out a form and an automated enrollment process which makes things so much faster and then sends a well-organized email to you for review
10. Automate A Workflow.
This is a great way to get things to start running smoothly and on their own. Aero Workflow and WorkFlowMax are amazing tools to get this job done. What this resolution can offer you are amazing benefits such as:
- Never Miss A Detail
- Assign Tasks And Due Dates
- Capture New Revenue & Growth Opportunities
All of these resolutions are a full-proof way to make a lot of improvements this year and to make sure you succeed in your goals. Make sure to start applying them as soon as possible and find out the amazing results for yourself.
Tech Guru is the CPA Tech Department for accounting firms of 5-100 people. We want to help you make your next busy season an all-around success.
We would be happy to talk with you on the phone about where your business is heading and how technology can help you get there
Start with a 5-minute introduction call with a Solution Architect at Tech Guru.
“Tech Guru has been our trusted technology partner for over a decade. They continue to provide expertise and return on investment as our industry and technology evolves.”