Michael Hsu likes to say that every number tells a story. Instead of starting a traditional accounting firm focusing on taxes and compliance, his firm, Deep Sky, helps businesses compile relevant data and use the story this information tells to make effective decisions for their company. “At the end of the month our clients can take a glance at a one page report to see what aspects of their business are currently working well, what areas need improvements and what changes to make,” Says Hsu.
Of course this digital company is run with virtual offices. To keep up with clients and all ten of his employees across the United States, it’s essential that Hsu stay connected. He does that with the help of these three apps.
Bill.com Paying bills can be exceptionally time consuming for a small company. Which is why Hsu uses Bill.com as his accounts payable department, taking tedious tasks such as approvals and printing and mailing checks digital. He estimates that the app saves his clients four days a month and his company thousands of dollars a year, since they no longer need an accounts payable department. Convenience is another factor, since people don’t need to be physically available to sign a check or approve a payment. “One of our clients was trying to purchase a $50,000 media buy and couldn’t find [the company’s] owner,” Hsu says. “We finally located him on vacation, and he was able to approve the purchase from his smartphone while standing in line at Disneyland.”
Lyft. When Hsu headed out of the train station into the -2 degree weather, he was thrilled that he did not have to hail a cab or stand in a long taxi line. He had already used his Lyft app while on the train to call a cab, and it was waiting at the curb to take him to his hotel. “I travel a lot for business and constantly use this app to request the type of transportation that I need to be available when I need it,” Hsu says. “I can even set my preferences to include the type of music I want playing in the car.” Since his credit card is already stored in the app, the drive automatically bills him through the app and eliminates the scramble for cash if the cab’s credit card machine is broken.
Line. Since both his family and some business clients are overseas, Hsu relies on the Line app, a tool that allows those with the app to make calls and send messages for free. “When I travel overseas, people can find me whether I am in Europe or Asia without worrying about the telephone network issues or fees,” Hsu says. “It really helps me stay connected no matter where I am.” He especially likes that the app was simple enough for his parents to master. Maybe too simple. His mom has started to use the app to send photos of products she can’t find in Asia for him bring from the States on his next visits.