Vast majority of firms now rely on mobile and web apps

More than seven in ten businesses now rely on technology to run their operations and drive expansion, new research has revealed.

According to Intuit QucikBooks, 71% of UK small businesses rely on mobile and web-based applications to work, reducing administrative tasks in the process.

That figure compares to 59% of US firms, 74% of Australian businesses and 68% of those in Canada were reliant on tech in the same way.

The study revealed that many businesses feel there are a number of benefits to using technology, but the main one in the UK – named by 44% of firms – was an ability to adequately manage costs and expenses.

The most popular applications were found to be ones that deal with banking and finances, used by 59% of those questioned, as well as for payment (49%) and payroll management (37%).

Business owners said that using applications also meant they were in a better position to deal with competition from rivals and to retain existing customers.

Financial management for small firms is of particular importance as poor organisation and administration can leave a business facing financial difficulty.

If left untouched, such issues can result in lost sales and may ultimately drive a business towards insolvency or the need for corporate recovery.

The good news for businesses is that there are plenty of options to support them, although those fearing difficulty are encouraged to act sooner rather than later, even if the first step is just to review their business activity.

Technology can streamline many of the basic administrative tasks while enabling owners to focus on expansion and creativity.

Owners were also found to be focused on the bottom line when considering which apps to implement – 48% judge the success of an application on its ability to increase revenue.

Two thirds of owners also said they were aware of the value of data that can be harvested from applications to support their business.

However, owners also warned that the vast range of apps makes it difficult to find the ones that are best suited to their businesses, while 38% raised concerns over costs, complexity and training.

By Phil Smith

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