There are numerous articles around technology and how companies embrace change early doors making them robust and ready to face the future.  After visiting Toronto last month on a research trip we visited a number of business support and tech hubs which were buzzing with exciting new developments.

An explosion of entrepreneurs pushing their ideas and visions using smartphone technology, cloud-based apps and artificial intelligence is changing the way we do traditional tasks like invoicing and tracking our business receipts.  From an article in Toronto’s ‘Wired Differently’ magazine, David Patterson states that admin-busting technologies do more than just remove headaches for business owners, they make companies more agile and help improve customer service.

From my own experience of using technology, it definitely helps to know what questions to ask first.  My initial use of Xero which linked to our business bank account and generated a running profit and loss and allowed us to process our VAT returns was quite amazing.  It enabled our bookkeeper to easily reconcile all the transactions each month so much quicker.  But, knowing what questions to ask in relation to forecasting and the different reports available was more challenging.

Technology is changing the way people interact with tools to carry out their day to day tasks.  Imagine running a business now without access to email or no internet banking.  We would be lost!  The reliance on apps on our mobile phones to do simple tasks gives us more time to concentrate on other important tasks they that we specialise in.

Employment consulting firm Randstad highlighted in a recent magazine that 30% of workers being part of the ‘agile’ or ‘non-traditional’ workforce.  This included consultants, contractors, part-time, freelance and virtual workers.  I would not be surprised to see this change in work behaviour to rise dramatically over the next 10 years.

I’ve picked out three apps as below from the different magazines I’ve been reading this month following my travels to Toronto.

plooto.com – enables you to pay a supplier anywhere in the world over email, with the option of reconciling payments to invoices automatically.

getsensibill.com – a receipt management solution designed to meet the needs of freelancers and small business owners.

formhero.com – enables you to ask easy-to-understand questions of your customers providing a seamless and intuitive way for people to provide. The smart forms efficiently transform the data and deliver it back to the company in the desired format.  I do like the look of this one!