5 Platforms That Will Help You Run Your Business Online – From HR To Accounts!

Now that the government are bringing in quarterly digital reporting as part of their Making Tax Digital campaign, it’s time to explore the best options for monitoring, planning and administrating your business affairs online. So let HHH start you off!

Geniac

after raising £22m from Grant Thornton back in July 2015, Geniac announced itself as a go-to platform for all your small business needs.

The platform encompasses accounting, tax, legal, HR and company admin. All you have to do is send your invoices and expenses to Geniac’s team of experienced accountants and they will do the rest; processing, reconciling and inputting into a holistic online dashboard.

The Geniac platform can integrate with banks including HSBC, RBS and Natwest, and there is now an app that allows you to upload receipts and invoices on the go.

Qualified accountants are on hand to save you time and guide you through the accounting and tax process, and integrated HR and RTI compliant payroll are also available, as well as all the documents you need to make hires, record staff life events, and upload handbooks and policy documents.

Legal documents can be turned around same-day, covering everything from IP to compliance, and the annual return statement, which must be returned on time to Companies House (unless you want to incur a fine!), alongside statutory registers, board minutes and details of your registered office and service addresses.

All information is stored within a cloud based system – once you are set up with Geniac, you are going to feel a lot more secure and whilst your business will not quite run itself, you will be secure in the knowledge that you have the backing of an expert team. The kind of peace of mind any founder craves!

Bob

“Beautiful HR and Benefits – for smart businesses who love their people” – Bob completed one of the UK’s largest ever first funding rounds – $7.5m led by Bessemer Ventures, and appointed ex-Chairman of the Pension Protection Fund and current chair of the IoD Lady Barbara Judge to its board shortly afterwards.

The platform is HR focused and allows a company’s employees to upload much of the data you require themselves via a simple to use platform.

Bob is designed not just to capture the essential data, such as onboarding, document management, payroll and benefits, but for employees to log in and out of, which means you can track their total working hours, holidays, and even their extra-curricular activities via a visual, transparent display.

Drag and drop spreadsheets directly into Bob’s system, perform auto-enrolment for pension schemes (now a government requirement, don’t forget) and remind staff of your cultural values in a gentle, yet persuasive manner.

So who’s your uncle? That’s right.

Liveplan

“The world’s leading business plan software, built for entrepreneurs like you”, LivePlan is a Silicon Valley based business that helps you “pitch, plan and track your business. Anywhere.

From drafting business plans, to sharing them with your team, to stress testing, pitching for funding and tracking milestones, Live Plan does all this and more – 400,000 businesses have already signed up.

Founded in 2013, LivePlan uses a step-by-step guide to help businesses get their plans down in a way that makes it easy to see things from a holistic point of view.

If you are a founder with the genesis of an idea but this is your first time striking out on your own, LivePlan is the platform for you. Before too long, you will have a tested, complete and pitch-able business plan with which to wow investors. And that includes budgeting, forecasting, and competitor analysis.

The platform even features its own scorecard, so you can measure progress against your own expectations, or even those of the investors you are courting. Prices start from just $11.66 pcm.

Sage

the original, and best, Accounting software?

Sage is used by more than 3 million businesses worldwide, and offers cloud accounting, cloud payroll, a pensions module and invoicing tools.

Software is probably Sage’s strongest suit, and there are many different programs available as well as add-ons for everything from e-commerce, to construction industry software.

There are training modules available too, with e-learning and virtual courses, and plenty of material and tools to keep developers busy.

Sage operates a “try before you buy” policy and its accounts software is available from just £10 per month on special offer.

The platform contains all of the features you would expect, and doubtless much more besides, including the ability to manage multiple businesses.

Perhaps Sage is not the platform for absolute beginners or early stage startups, but at some point, if your business is successful, you will end up taking a close look at what this suite of software tools has to offer. And it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed.

WordPress

ok, so you can’t run a business or do your accounts using WordPress – yet – but this is the ultimate content management system and the system you will almost certainly use if you are launching a business online.

The beauty of WordPress is that it is a truly global product, and being open source, developers are constantly adding handy plugins that means there is very little you can’t do using WordPress.

e-Commerce, advertising, content sharing, product demos, design – WordPress excels at all of these, and it is easy to integrate with backend systems such as SQL, excel, Access and more.

There are plenty of support networks available and initial setup costs are negligible – if you are the kind of entrepreneur who loves to get cracking, you can be up and running within 24 hours, and after all, it’s all very well planning a business meticulously using business plan software, but you truly never know until you try.

WordPress is a phenomenon to rank alongside the likes of Salesforce, IBM, and even Facebook. If there is a criticism, sometimes the platform can be frustratingly non-intuitive, but it is getting better all the time.

Once you have WordPress licked, you can start planning for online domination!

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