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On September 9, 2014, Apple rocked the technology world with its announcement about the Apple Watch. Many companies had already released smart watches, but Apple’s was the first to be considered an equal competitor with fashionable “traditional watches.” The Apple watch was sleek, modern, and attractive so despite the fact that it was more expensive, sales skyrocketed. Wearable technology became a big deal almost overnight. Today, a world of data is on your wrist and at your fingertips.

James Bond isn’t the only one who can have cool gadgets.

But Apple, Microsoft, Sony, LG, Samsung and other big names were not the first on the smartwatch scene. In 1972, the Hamilton Watch Company released the first digital watch—a prototype called “Pulsar.” Perhaps Apple took note of the fact that Pulsar was wrapped in 18-carat gold and sold for over $2,000. (In today’s dollars, it would be about $12,000.) Even though the Pulsar could only display the time with the push of a button, it was revolutionary. (It was also stylishly featured on James Bond’s wrist during the opening scenes of 1973’s Live and Let Die…you’re humming the theme song now, aren’t you?).

From 1972 to today, the one trait smartwatch designers have in common is the ability to think ahead and find new ways to get you the information you want, when you want it. In fact, proactive thinking is a defining characteristic of anyone who is on the cutting edge of their area of expertise.

It’s no different in the world of business accounting. When it comes to your business’ finances, it is critical that you have quick and easy access to the most accurate and up-to-date information. Otherwise, you are doomed to make important decisions with a limited store of knowledge – decisions that could have massive implications for the future of your business. Remember information and insight helps drive decisions and actions!

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Online Tools For Every Business

Thanks to the online world being available to us 24/7, there are several tools you can take advantage of to have the absolute best information about your financial situation whenever and wherever you need it, even it’s 3:00 a.m. Here are a few tools you can benefit from:

  • Quickbooks Online App – So simple. You can pull up a customer’s balance, send a new invoice, look up last month’s sales all from the convenience of your phone. The iPad version is a little better with the reporting functionality but overall you have what you need with either the iPhone or iPad version.
  • Reporting dashboards – Information is great, but only if it’s meaningful and easily accessed. Dashboards are a great way to show your key performance indicators (KPIs) and the data can be accessed via your browser and often through a mobile app. Here are two we recommend:
    • Klipfolio – An information dashboard that you can customize in a million ways to show at a glance how your business is doing against just about any metric you have–social media followers, average call duration, Google analytics, Quickbooks info…you name it! (Some businesses, hint hint wink wink, even display their dashboards on screens like scoreboards throughout the office so the whole team can see how they are making a difference!)
    • Fathom – Dashboarding and report-building software, like Klipfolio, that pulls raw data from any number of sources like Xero, Quickbooks, and Excel and delivers beautiful results for “at-a-glance” financial information. You can create targets and KPIs to track and report trending information. It also has awesome trend reporting and goal seek analysis tool that lets you wonder what will happen when you change a variable such as price or volume. Pretty sweet!
  • Bill.comthis is a app/service that integrates with Quickbooks Online, XERO, and some other accounting systems. It streamlines your receivables and payables processes. It makes paying bills and collecting payments much easier. You get complete visibility into your bills, can electronically pay right from the app (no more writing checks or having to get a stamp). You can also upload to the app simply by taking a picture or sharing the attachment from within an email. It’s really slick

The Bottom Line

When you have to dig through countless files, spreadsheets, and reports to find important financial information, you are wasting valuable time that could be better spent focusing on your business or your family. If your head is in your numbers, it simply isn’t in the game. Having a dedicated accounting team that uses tip-of-the-spear technology empowers you and allows you to do what you do best…grow your business. And when you need a key piece of information to check your progress or take advantage of a new opportunity, you can have it instantly.

So let your MI-6 team (aka Patrick Accounting) provide you with the the futuristic tech you need to increase those profits so you can get one of those nifty smartwatches! (It probably won’t come with bullet-deflecting magnets like Mr. Bond’s. But, don’t worry. We’ve got Q and Moneypenny working on it.) Contact us if you have questions or want to feel more like James Bond.

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