Under the previous Conservative government, the small business tax rate was expected to drop over the next few years from 11 per cent to 9 per cent (on the first $500,000 of qualifying income), a change that the Liberal campaign supported.
However, as part of the budget announcement on March 22, the SMB tax rate remains at 10.5 per cent and any future reductions have been deferred.
The good news is that a tax break is not the only means for small- and medium-sized businesses to save money. Investing in technology, for example, can streamline administrative procedures relieving the burden on business owners. And every business owner knows time is money.
In fact, finding ways to be more efficient is one of the top priorities for Canadian small- and medium-sized business owners. Sage’s 2015 Small Business Saturday survey revealed that 44 per cent of Canadian SMB owners would like to increase their efficiencies (in general and specifically when it comes to office admin tasks).
The same survey found that 13 per cent believe that technology has the potential to reduce the time they spend working after hours.
Here are just a few technology investments that can help Canadian SMB owners save time (and money) by working in a more productive way:
- Business management and accounting software – Small errors when tracking invoices, payroll or inventory can be costly, which is where automating and streamlining office administration tasks can help. An affordable and easy-to-use software is available to manage accounting, customer data, inventory, services, jobs, and employees—all in one centralized system. By automating mundane tasks, business owners will be able to spend more time focusing on their true passions.
- Mobile technology – Having anytime, anywhere access to data, client lists or files may not come with an immediate ROI, but when an employee needs instant access to information, mobile capabilities may be the difference between saving a client relationship and failing to meet expectations. Not only does mobile technology help provide superior customer service, it also provides freedom for employees and business owners to work where and when it suits them – even during bad weather conditions that otherwise could result in a full day of lost productivity. Business owners should look for solutions that offer multiple access points – via the cloud, on-premise or both.
- File Sharing Services – Secure, electronic file sharing services make sending documents to clients or customers a simple, easy task. Yet many companies still are not using them. There is no need to experience the lag time waiting for bounced emails to clear or for physical documents to arrive in the mail. There are many options for file sharing services that allow for easy access to documents, with varying levels of security, to fit the needs of a variety of industries.
Nancy Harris is executive vice president and managing director of accounting software company Sage. She’s passionate about championing the causes of small and medium sized businesses.
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