Tax & Accounting Blog

Celebrating Small Business Week: Using Technology to Drive Local Businesses

Blog, Indirect Tax, ONESOURCE, Sales and Use Tax, Sales Tax Calculation, Sales Tax Nexus May 6, 2016

Small business owners go into business for all sorts of reasons. They may see an open opportunity in a market they know well, or they may want to work for themselves and have the freedom to do things their own way. They create businesses they’re passionate about, which in turn shape the character of towns and cities.

The one quality practically all small business owners share is the aspiration to see their business grow because communities thrive where the small business sector is strong.

Small Business Week, May 1 — 7, is a celebration of those who take the calculated risk of opening and operating a small business — a celebration we share in.

So as the celebratory week draws to a close, business owners are going back to doing the real work of increasing sales, addressing new challenges, and facing all types of competition. For example, what happens when they face growing pains?

Growth Without Growing Pains

A small business that catches on can easily outgrow its existing infrastructure. Most small business owners would welcome this challenge with open arms.

First, finding and putting in place the right technology and processes to solve the growth issues of today while scaling for tomorrow is a wise move. These solutions contribute to the bottom line and they reduce manual work so that owners can concentrate on growth.

Furthermore, rapidly growing small businesses are constantly competing with larger companies that have greater resources. Investing in the same technology that larger companies use but implementing them quicker to see a more-immediate return is a reliable way to control costs and reduce risk as a small business scales.

Technological Challenges of Managing Growth

Thinking about a brick-and-mortar store, physically adding a location may not be the most painful part of growth. The extra work surrounding that location — for example, tracking tax rates and calculations which may be different in different areas — is where growth can become problematic.

Moreover, if a store moves online, eCommerce transactions present their own sets of headaches. Within the United States, taxation varies at a state and sometimes a city level. For small businesses that sell internationally, as many do nowadays, this complexity increases by orders of magnitude.

Growth produces additional layers of financial complexity and risk that small businesses cannot afford to absorb. Automation hedges many of them away and reduces this burden substantially.

The right Sales and Use Tax platform also makes other areas of the business more efficient — it can streamline purchasing or invoice management. It makes buying from small businesses as easy and convenient as possible.

At the transactional level, Sales and Use Tax platforms determine whether tax is due, calculate what it is, and retain these details in a useful, structured format. The back-end capabilities and process improvements that enable other areas of the business to use that data also deliver value. Think of the technology as autopilot: It automates processes so that owners can focus on growth and not manual tasks.

The bottom line is that small businesses can use tax platforms with big capabilities to compete with larger companies by reducing risk and improving process while remaining nimble.

We commend small business owners for their efforts and hard work, and we are here to help them grow their business every step of the way.

To learn more about ONESOURCE solutions for Sales and Use tax, visit our site.