The short answer is yes. But there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution. That’s where we, as your digital advisors, can really add value.

In previous editions of FinTech Friday we’ve looked more broadly at apps that could be used across any business, like invoice automation, expense management, cashflow forecasting.

This month, we’re showcasing a handful of industry specific apps – featuring bespoke elements tailored to industry need – to give you a sense of the art of the possible.

As is always the case, there is a mountain of information out there and it’s our job to digest it, to make recommendations and to provide a bespoke package that will remove administrative burden and give you more time on your business.

Note: The list below is by no means exhaustive, so call us on 0161 905 1616 if you’d like to discuss your industry in more detail.

Recruitment – Timesheet Portal

Timesheet Portal is a timesheet management tool designed to help the recruitment industry to oversee placements of temporary staff. It integrates with existing CRM’s and applicant tracking software. The software takes staff timesheets, creates a review and approval process before being posted directly into Xero.

Manufacturing – Unleashed

In any manufacturing business keeping on top of stock, especially all those fiddly components, can be a nightmare. Unleashed can take on the legwork and keep track of production assemblies. It also boasts batch and serial number tracking alongside other nice features like a built in B2B ecommerce store. We moved one of our manufacturing clients from manual records to full cloud engagement (Xero, Dext, Transferwise and Unleashed) in 6 weeks. This new level of commercial insight has helped them to make informed decisions at speed in a rapidly changing fast moving consumer goods market.

Garages – Mechanic Desk

Mechanic Desk is a piece of kit designed to keep track of your stock, customers, suppliers, invoices, bills and payments as well as workshop diaries, booking and job planning. Again, it links to Xero to bring in any financial data including tracking inventory and tracking categories if you’re wanting to use those.

Construction and trades – Tradify

Tradify is a fast and easy job management tool for tradespeople. We can set this up as a one stop shop to help you to deal with enquiries, quoting, job tracking, staff management, timesheets and invoicing all in one place. Tradify also ‘talks’ to Xero, so there’s no time wasted inputting the same data twice.

Landlords – Hammock

As digital records move to become mandatory for Landlords (even those with only one property), we expect to see a lot of demand in this area and are looking to move any clients not already submitting digitally over sooner rather than later. Originally a property management tool, Hammock now also has full accounts functionality ready for MTD. You can now manage properties, tenancies and handle rent easily with added insights such as rental yields and automatically updated loan to value figures.

E-commerce – A2X/Dext Commerce

This is a busy space as more retailers have moved online over the course of the pandemic. Here we highlight two apps – A2X and Dext Commerce – which we work with. Both work in very similar ways, by talking directly with the online marketplaces such as Shopify, Etsy, Amazon and Ebay. They automate the processing of vast volumes of data, linking it to the accounts software and speeding up the reconciliation of gross sales to net receipts.

Under MTD for VAT (which is already in place) there should be what’s known as “digital links” between your different software. In a nutshell, this simply means that manually transferring data between software programs and applications is not allowed. All data should transfer digitally in what HMRC like to call the “digital journey” of data. Therefore, we see systems like these as being essential for any E-commerce traders out there.

Staying ahead of the game

As your advisors, it’s important that we keep up too – that’s why we’re always looking for new ways to improve our client services:

> We now use clever management accounts software, which we can use to produce management reports and bespoke insights on your accounts and business performance. These reports are nothing like the statutory accounts you’ll have seen from us before and can be tailored to highlight key data relevant to you.

> We’ve also invested in data analytics – enabling us to deep dive into your accounts on an individual transaction basis. Our tool helps us to look for all sorts of discrepancies, such as simple posting errors, missing data, potentially unclaimed VAT, duplications and even unusual transactions. This allows us to get under the skin of your business.

> We’re in the process of shaking up the way we analyse spending, with a view to doing so directly from your software and identifying any savings that can be made. If that’s something that would be of interest to you then please do get in touch, so that we can make sure to let you know as soon as we’re ready to roll this out.

Ready to create a bespoke package?

Purchasing a sector-specific app like one of the above (or similar) is not enough on its own. That’s where our digital advisory team adds value. We work alongside you to understand your headaches, and to identify a solution to best automate those onerous admin or business processes. We can also provide guidance, training and regular advice.

For more information about what might be possible in your business why not get in touch and see what we can do for you? Contact our digital advisory team direct or email fintech@haroldsharp.co.uk.

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