The Ultimate small business
app stack

With the current pace of the digital era, it only makes sense for more and more business operations and/or functions to become automated and cloud-based. There are many apps available out there ready to meet an array of business needs. We’ve taken the time to sift through some of the most popular ones, and have compiled our list of must-have apps for 2021 to enable smoother, more streamlined business workflows. If you’re not already an existing user of one of our selected apps, we urge you to give it a go.

iPhone / iPad Icon Wobble Effect
iPhone / iPad Icon Wobble Effect


As a small business owner you’ve got to be firing in 100 directions at the same time - always watching your back and trying to make the most of new opportunities too. It can get exhausting. Luckily, we’ve seen a tremendous rise in new technologies and tools that aim to make the business of running a business easier, but more often than not you don’t have the time to go digging to find the right one for your needs. Seeing this become more and more difficult, and even experiencing this ourselves, we’ve set out to hear from the industry experts. These leaders all consult and help implement solutions for businesses of all sizes, and have the experience to find the right tools to meet their clients’ modern needs. 

“The question was simple: How do you create the perfect suite of tools for a small business in 2021? What is your ideal small business app stack for 2021?”

What everyone came back with is a collection of modern, easy-to-use tools that work well together and will avoid any data silos or duplication of efforts. We’re excited to present our guide to the Ultimate Small Business App Stack for 2021.

Bernard Bravenboer
Founder, hellohr

Quick data capturing

Dext (formerly Receipt Bank)

Tired of losing receipts? Tired of forgetting purchases and amounts? We think it’s time to invest in a data capturing app. Good thing we know just the right one for you and your business - Dext (formerly Receipt Bank).

Scan receipts, bills, or any other source documents. Dext (formerly Receipt Bank) will automatically capture the data. All that’s left to do is to review and publish the data and finally, integrate it into your Xero accounting software.

“At Outsourced CFO, our team loves efficiency! And few tools help to make the accounting process more efficient than Dext (formerly Receipt Bank). Our clients love the fact that the tool enables them to digitise all source documents on the go, doing away with what used to be boxes and boxes full of invoices and slips.

Our cloud accounting team loves the fact that they do not need to do any manual capturing of bank statements or source documents – ever! This makes us as much faster with accounting tasks so that we can focus our time and energy on adding value to each client we work with.

Lastly, our CFO team loves supporting big audits when all data capturing was done with Dext (formerly Receipt Bank). Each and every underlying document is already digitally captured for audit scrutiny, speeding up this otherwise painful process of auditing transactions significantly. From both a client and team perspective, you simply have to have Dext in your app stack.”

Louw Barnardt CA(SA)
Director, Outsourced CFO

Perfect practice management

Practice Ignition

Enhance the way you communicate and interact with clients. As a practice management app, Practice Ignition allows users to send electronic proposals, contracts, and engagement letters. Access all client information in one place, manage billing and payments, and set recurring billing.

Improve your cash flow with Practice Ignition.

“Practice Ignition is user-friendly client management software that combines proposal, contract and client payment into one document.

With Practice Ignition, Iridium has managed to increase the speed at which new proposals are sent out to new clients, the onboarding of new clients and the billing of clients. The proposals we send out are consistent but tailored per client as it is easy to add/remove services per proposal. There is a library of pre-built proposals and engagement letters to use as a basis for building your firm's custom proposals/engagements. The digital signatures have helped us keep track of and follow up easily on clients who need to sign so when sending out the yearly engagement letters and billing updates to clients, Practice Ignition helped increase the accountability. 

Practice Ignition integrates with Karbon and Xero streamlining billing. It is a simple and efficient tool that has increased our client conversion rate. “

Peter Magner CA(SA)
Director, Iridium Business Solutions

Easy, fast reporting

Syft Analytics

Gaining insights to your business is vital for strategic decision-making. That’s why we recommend Syft Analytics, the perfect reporting and analytics tool for your business and your clients. “Go from data to decisions in seconds.”

Create meaningful reports, view interactive graphs, compile financial statements, and forecast the future. Keep leading the market by benchmarking your performance against industry competitors. Improve your business’ position with Syft analytics and reporting.

“Why rely on onerous and non-value adding manual steps to sift through your data to get proper insights into your business finances? Rather let Syft do that for you. All you need to do is plug & play. Ximply Beautiful!”

Kenneth Coetzer
Digital Accounting Narrator, DoughGetters

Painless payroll


Payroll should account for the easiest and quickest ‘to-do’ item on your checklist. With hellohr you can rely on running those payrolls and getting out those payslips accurately and on time.

Run payroll, manage leave, provide employee self-service options, and post to Xero. Users also have the ability to manage multiple companies and assign ‘manager’ status to certain employees.

“Finally there’s a modern payroll app that’s easy for our staff and clients to use. It’s straight-forward and has a great self-service function.

The app offers everything we need to run payroll for our clients but most importantly, we are able to finalise payroll quickly and accurately. What really tops it all off though, is the hellohr team and their efforts to provide the best experience for us and all their clients. Simply put, we love hellohr! It’s our payroll app of choice.”

Jonathan Botha CA(SA)
Director, JSB Consult

Task management that works for you


Work, task, and project management is becoming increasingly popular within the workspace. Communication, direction, and directives are imperative among your team of employees.

With Asana, plan, track, and manage tasks, and customise workflows to suit your business’ specific needs. Achieve deadlines and goals with Asana.

“Asana has helped me keep track of all the tasks I’ve needed to do. I definitely would not be as organised as I am now without Asana. Every team needs a good project management tool, that’s why I recommend Asana. With the ability to improve communication and collaboration, your team is sure to achieve desired results in the most timely way.”

Irene Olwoch CA(SA)
Founder, Remote Controller

Beautiful accounting

Xero Accounting Software

See the beauty in the numbers with this world-leading accounting software. Cut down the amount of time spent on old and outdated accounting processes.

This cloud-based app allows users to access their business finances any time, anywhere. Whether you need to invoice clients, track purchases and orders, pay bills or reconcile the bank, Xero offers these features, plus many more, all available from one convenient app. Xero is an app loved by many of our accountants. Enhance your accounting experience with Xero.

“At DoughGetters we love using Xero because you don’t need a university degree to be able to use it. It helps us save time by shifting our focus from doing the “heavy lifting” to telling the story behind the numbers. Xero enriches human to human conversations, it humbles the accountant and empowers the client. What a beautiful thing.”

Willem Haarhoff
Digital Accounting Revolutionist, DoughGetters
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