Any professional on the move already knows that the iPhone is an important travelling companion; a crucial asset for communication and keeping on top of things. What’s truly new is that it can be a central tool for all your accounting needs.
Recently, the Wellington-based firm Openside, whose board I chair, notched up a local first by incorporating the very latest iPhone technology into its accounting operation.
In a sense, the decision to seize the iPhone technology was a no-brainer. The iPhone is an amazing device, and it’s the phenomenal App Store that’s made the iPhone so revolutionary, offering independent developers the ability to extend and transform the device with their creativity.
In our case, what we wanted was a customised app designed for our clients — and indeed any New Zealand small business requiring the most direct access by way of iPhone to the ever-growing number of accounting, taxation and business resources.
At the same time, it seemed clear that this had to be done in a way that was clear, crisp and concise — the virtues that have made the iPhone such a popular tool in the first place.
For one thing, the app allows businesses the opportunity to be immediately connected with an accountant, to access the latest tax rates, stay connected to the latest business accounting information, and to inform themselves on Key Performance Indicators that can be applied to their business.
Among the other current features of the app are the tools for clients to:
- Send a question directly from the app, with the guarantee of an immediate response;
- Book a meeting with the relevant Openside staff member;
- Access Xero accounting information and manage business remotely;
- Use the handy reference guide for the latest New Zealand tax and business information (tax rates, tax deduction information & KPI ratios)
- Keep fully up to date with tax lodgement requirements and upcoming seminars with a dedicated calendar
- Follow breaking business news and developments by accessing the Openside blog and tweets;
- Find contact details and connect with key staff members through LinkedIn.
I can see that some might think it strange that an accounting firm would get an iPhone app built — but then some people probably thought it was a bit strange when Xero first announced its plans to husband accounting online. To me, though, it’s simply the next step in meeting customers’ needs, and staying ahead of the curve. For more about this app, see tinyurl.com/32ssdh4.