By Anthony Ahern
I jumped on iPhoto this morning to show one of my kids a funny photo from years ago. It turns out I have over 6,000 photos stored on my computer!
It got me thinking about technology and whether I love or loathe all the new ‘conveniences’ it’s brought into our lives.
After much weighing up of pros and cons, I came to the conclusion that I’m a bit of a fence sitter on this topic.
To cloud or not to cloud?
As an accountant and business adviser I definitely love technology. To me, anything that stops me from having to manually complete a task or worse still, pay someone else to do it for me, is a definite winner and has clear advantages for my clients as well. These days, as cloud technology gathers momentum, the shoebox filing system is (almost) a thing of the past and even receiving a USB stick from a client seems quite old school! Saving time and money on your accounting and administration is as simple as inviting your accountant to join your cloud based software and allowing them access to your real-time data.
The ‘app’ revolution has also changed the face of business as we know it, turning bookwork to tablet-work that you can do on the run. Tradesmen can now finish a job, pull out their tablet, enter the parts and labor and have the invoice emailed to the customer before they drive away.
How far we’ve come!
The convenience of technology
While the portability and to-the-minute nature of technology are arguably its greatest strengths, they’re also the reasons I’m on the fence when it comes to my feelings about tech.
The trouble with this convenience is how addictive it can become. I don’t consider myself an avid social media user and yet I still caught myself checking my phone while gardening on the weekend! It also makes it so much easier to bring your work home with you. Emails and business data are available in your pocket 24 hours a day and before you know it, you’re replying to a client or tracking your debtors while at a family BBQ.
Personally, I don’t think it’s so much technology I hate, but rather the hold it can take on people when not implemented effectively. Technology rules the workplace and tends to occupy most of our days, so when you get home, you want to be able to disengage from those pesky screens and focus your energy on those around you.
Unplugging from technology
Which brings me back to the photos I was looking at this morning … I didn’t see one photo of any of my children holding up an X-Box or Wii controller. There were no proud moments of one of them ‘reaching the top level’ on Call of Duty. All the photos were of them swimming, fishing, playing sport and getting up to mischief and that’s something I’d like to see more of. For me, the true test of value with new technologies is whether or not they leave me with more time to be spent the good old fashioned way; unplugged and outside enjoying the company of my family.
Cloud technology in business
As a business advisor I fully support the use of cloud based technologies and when implemented correctly, access to real-time data can be a true asset to your business. I do however like to remind clients that the whole purpose of cloud accounting is to allow them to run their business more accurately and efficiently, getting them out from behind the desk and spending their time on more enjoyable activities. If you’re finding yourself glued to a screen and feel like cloud accounting is occupying more of your time than it should, chances are you may not be using the software to the best of its ability.
If you feel like you haven’t quite got a handle on cloud based technologies or are interested in implementing the advantages of cloud accounting in your business, myself and the team at RS are only too happy to discuss your options with you. Drop us a line on 07 4638 1155 or contact me directly to find out how you can use cloud accounting technology to free up time for the more important things in life.