It’s the end of financial year (EOFY) – aka tax time! That means, as a business owner, you now have an ideal window to replace and upgrade essential technology like printers, keyboards, monitors and more. And you may be able to claim eligible purchases on your business tax return (always seek advice from your accountant or tax advisor), saving yourself some serious dollars.
Investing in the right tech is so important, as Isabel Yap, co-founder and head of operations at cloud-based business solutions company Dashboard Online, explains. “Upgrading tech aspects in an organisation enables productivity and eases the execution of tasks,” she says. “Working from anywhere has been the new normal for the past two and a half years and these employees, especially, need more reliable resources to do their jobs.”
Let’s walk through the key tech categories in any business that could use an upgrade this EOFY.
Got employees who work remotely, or frequently switch it up between working from anywhere (WFA) and working on site? Laptops can be a great alternative to traditional desktop computers, as they’re portable yet powerful, and offer flexibility when it comes to setting up a workspace. They’re also a great option for hotdesking or providing assets to your WFA employees now that overseas business travel has opened up post-pandemic.
According to experts, most laptops have an average lifespan of between three and five years. “It depends on the amount of work, but we usually upgrade every four to five years,” Isabel shares. Once the warning signs appear – think noisy fans, delays in booting up or shutting down, or trouble with juggling multiple tasks – it might be time for an upgrade.
The good news? There are all sorts of laptops on the market that can offer your business an array of excellent features. Brands like HP, Lenovo and Acer are up for almost any task you can throw at them, while Macbooks are beloved by creatives the world over for their high-quality software and intuitive interface. Chromebooks are also becoming increasingly popular with companies favouring remote working – with their suite of familiar apps and cloud storage, all you need is an internet connection and your team is ready to collaborate on shared documents, spreadsheets and more.
“When making these decisions, consider your budget as well as what activities and tasks are to be managed,” Isabel suggests. “Do your research and remember that equipment has a lifespan. Your business needs and activities may also change in the future.”
If you’re looking to increase productivity within your business, investing in new tablets this end of financial year could be the answer. Unlike laptops, tablet technology is constantly evolving, so you’ll see a big difference if you choose to upgrade. In some instances, older tablets won’t support newer features, apps or updates. You may also notice your old tablet becoming slow and registering lag, where the interface doesn’t respond to your touch as quickly as it should.
With their compact size, lightweight portability and extensive capabilities, tablets are a fantastic option for the WFA employee and hybrid work setups as they are a flexible alternative to bulkier work equipment. And they’re much more than just portable viewing devices, with many brands offering the ability to draw, write, edit and retouch on screen with the help of a trusty stylus pen. Apple iPads, Samsung Galaxy tablets and the Microsoft Surface range all fit the bill, while offering many incredible bonus features.
With today’s environmental concerns, flexible working conditions and technological advances, a printer may no longer be necessary. On the other hand, is a 100% paperless organisation ever truly possible? “I would suggest you sit and evaluate how much use the printer will have and choose one that suits your needs from there,” Isabel advises.
If you’re in the market for a new printer to add to your organisation’s technology arsenal, you’ll find prices and features can vary greatly. Consider an all-in-one model that also scans documents and makes copies, or stick to basic monochrome printers if you plan to print mostly text files. Top printer brands include Canon, Epson, Brother and HP.
Don’t forget: you’ll also need to choose between laser and inkjet printers. Laser models tend to be more economical as their toner cartridges are longer lasting, however inkjet printers are best when printing photos.
The humble computer keyboard and mouse are a staple in any worker’s toolkit, but they’re often overlooked. The truth is the right keyboard can instantly make life easier, so it pays to do some research and seek out which models best suit your employee’s needs.
First up, consider ergonomic keyboards, which allow wrists and fingers to rest in a more comfortable and natural position, and pair these with ergonomic mice. Another option is a gaming setup, with programmable keys on both keyboard and mouse for creating handy shortcuts. Wireless models are fabulous for obvious reasons – they may cost a little more but they eliminate the problem of tangled and cluttered cords.
For those who travel frequently or work on the go, opt for keyboards and mice with a slim design. Leading brands to consider include Logitech, Razer and Microsoft. Allowing your employee to choose from a range of setups that works best for the individual could be an easy and effective solution.
If there’s one thing essential to working from anywhere in 2022, it’s a solid internet connection. Ensure your company technology includes the right router placed somewhere central – walls, furniture and even people can block the signal.
If you’re having connectivity issues, upgrading router technology can often be the answer. Look for top brands in the market, like TP-Link and Netgear. In other instances, it might be wise to invest in signal boosters – these are placed strategically around the area you’re working from to amplify the signal from your router.
“At Dashboard Online, we conduct weekly system checks to make sure every single piece of tech is working,” Isabel explains. “It’s a quick five-minute practice, but it can save a lot of hassle down the track.”
This an especially good idea for WFA staff – you need to ensure remote employees are properly set up to work to the best of their ability, and may want to consider extra IT support.
“When it comes to software, the basic must-haves are CRM (customer relationship management), email marketing and web hosting,” says Isabel. “These three things are essential for brand awareness, campaigns and storing client information and journeys.”
Most companies subscribe to software on a yearly basis, but instead of ‘setting and forgetting’, it may be worthwhile shopping around to find a better deal or see what else is available. “There are always upgrades to software subscriptions available – it’s a developer’s job to continue looking for better ways to execute business activities,” Isabel adds. “My advice? Evaluate what your business activities are first, what fits the budget and what is sustainable.”
* This is general information only and does not constitute taxation or legal advice. Other requirements under the tax law apply. Seek professional tax and/or legal advice to determine whether you are eligible to claim a deduction for any purchases.