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Do any members use an IPad in practice?

Do any members use an IPad in practice?

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I run a small accountancy practice and have been contemplating whether I should buy an iPad, but can see little justification, as there are not many apps (in my opinion) that would assist me with my day to day business.

Do any AW members use the iPad in their business?

I do not mean just to surf the internet,emails or music etc, but as a "Business" tool.

If you do, please tell me what useful apps do you use to assist you with your practice

The only practical use I thought of was if I am using documents using "Google Docs", where I would be able to create, save and retreive documents when I am not in the office or when I am at clients.

Sorry if this has already been asked before, but I could not find a thread on this subject.


Replies (26)

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By Hansa
10th Apr 2012 20:11

Toys masquerading as business tools

I'll probably be shot down as a luddite or worse but I cannot see how any productive work can be done on a smartphone or iPad or similar other than receiving, reading and firing off quick replies to emails while on the move. Something that can be done on an ordinary "smart phone" 

If I'm away for the day, the ability to receive/answer emails is enough

If I'm away for longer, I take a laptop.

Apart from anything else, Apple products in particular (but also Android products) are security risks ... fine for playing Angry Birds but not for client data! 


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By jjswjjsw
11th Apr 2012 08:10


I've just had 10 days abroad on holiday. 

I used the iPad to read and reply to emails. Through RDP (remote desktop) I could access my own PC to process 3 payrolls that couldn't done in advance, I used TeamViewer to sort out a problem at a Client and Skype to keep in touch rather than extortionate phone bills. 

The alternative would have been to take a small laptop which would have been significantly heavier in my luggage. 

I agree an iPad and a laptop are not the same but my iPad has almost entirely replaced my 11" laptop and when travelling in the UK by car I will continue to take a proper-sized laptop with me. 


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By wilcoskip
11th Apr 2012 10:01

Please convince me

I've gone from disdaining ipads to thinking they are almost a work of genius.  My wife's ipad has made our laptop virtually redundant of an evening for casual surfing and email.

My mobile phone contract has come up for renewal, and for £20 more than an iphone I could get a combinged iphone/ipad package.  I'm sorely tempted, and have been thinking about the possible impact for business usage.

I'm moving more and more things onto the cloud at the moment (gmail, Highrise CRM) so I'm pretty  sure I could make it work, but like the OP I'd like some more concrete examples of people who've found it beneficial. 

jjswjjsw - which remote desktop software did you use on your ipad?



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By jjswjjsw
11th Apr 2012 12:08

Remote Desktop Software

@ Wilcoskip I use iTap Mobile RDP which was recommended by my IT support  - they send all their Engineers out with iPads now rather than laptops. It's not the cheapest app but I've been very pleased with it.

It also has the advantage of letting me use the Apple keyboard when I've logged into my desktop PC (which I can't use on TeamViewer). The keyboard is quicker to type on and allows you to retain the full iPad screen size. I took the keyboard away with me but before that probably hadn't used it for 3 or 4 months as most of the time I'm happy on the iPad keyboard. 

What would really help me know if if Moneysoft could let their software run via an app so the payrolls were even easier to do!

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Replying to Duggimon:
By madhumorjaria
13th Apr 2012 12:00


jjswjjsw wrote:

@ Wilcoskip I use iTap Mobile RDP which was recommended by my IT support  - they send all their Engineers out with iPads now rather than laptops. It's not the cheapest app but I've been very pleased with it.


Would this app work on a BlackBerry PlayBook?


If not, is there a similar app on Android that would run an a BlabkBerry PlayBook?



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Replying to Ronny123:
By jjswjjsw
13th Apr 2012 12:41


madhumorjaria wrote:

Would this app work on a BlackBerry PlayBook?

If not, is there a similar app on Android that would run an a BlabkBerry PlayBook?


This is their website so it looks as if they have a number of platforms supported. 

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Replying to psncodes1:
By madhumorjaria
13th Apr 2012 17:24

iTap would NOT work on BlackBerry PlayBook

jjswjjsw wrote:

madhumorjaria wrote:

Would this app work on a BlackBerry PlayBook?

If not, is there a similar app on Android that would run an a BlabkBerry PlayBook?


This is their website so it looks as if they have a number of platforms supported. 


iTap Customer support confirmed that this app would NOT work with the BlackBerry PlayBook :-(


Anyone aware of any other app similar or Black Berry dedicated app that would work on the PalyBook?

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By Adam Cohen
11th Apr 2012 12:20

Very useful business tool

While I do agree that most business users really only use their iPads as a medium to read their emails, do some surfing, and generally look like their up with the times to their clients, I have to say that our firms iPads are used daily, and not just for the above purposes.

In our firm we current use a number of apps, the most commonly used one at the moment is a little gem called Dropbox.  For those of you that don't know it's an app that has a folder set up on your desktop that you can just drop files into to get them on your iPad, now i know this doesn't sound amazingly impressive, but as a firm we scan all of our paperwork (yes - all our paperwork) and we find it incredibly useful to be able to not only take clients working papers with us on the iPad, but also to be able to get all of their correspondance, permanent files and any other piece of paper we've had in relation to them in the past year.  And in relation to getting a random piece of paperwork that wasn't included - the iMessage facility from iDevice to iDevice makes getting any overlooked document into Dropbox as simple as sending a text.

As mentioned above, there is also the RDP app, which is as simple as giving you access to your work desktop while you aren't in the office, it's easy to set up, works exactly as you hope it would, and therefor gives you the functionality to use windows based software on your iPad that would otherwise be unavailable to you.

Another useful app is DocsToGo - it's the iPad equivilent of Office.  And it has the fuctionality to open all of the office documents as well (at least - it's opened everything I've asked it to) and not only that, you can work on them, and still maintain the original office file - while a lot of other application tend to want to convert the file into their own file types, DocsToGo lets you open, amend and save your documents while on the go, and you can then transfer it back (or work on it directly from Dropbox).

They are just the top 3 apps I'm using at the moment, there are many more, and all of them work as seemlessly as I'd want them too.  Sure, I'm certain I could do all of the above on a laptop, but at the end of the day, what you want to work on is personal preference.  You can carry a super slim laptop around, or even a slightly more robust laptop, or any other tablet, but I personally take my iPad.  There is nothing I've needed to do of late that I haven't been able to do on my iPad.  In fact just last night i was able to log in to our server and update IRIS to the latest build, all from the comfort of my sofa.

We as a firm ummed and ahhed about getting our iPads, we had the same dicussions I'm sure many of your have had about comparing them to laptops, would they be used, etc, etc, but in the end we decided to take the chance and see how they worked out - and I'm happy to say we haven't looked back.

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By FirstTab
11th Apr 2012 12:27

Adam Cohen

Thanks. I was trying to justify to myself the expense of an ipad. You have provided sound reasons. I will wait and read  response others before parting with my cash.

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By Constantly Confused
11th Apr 2012 12:52

The dictation software

Dictation software has had the most use from me, it's handy to plop it on the desk and let it listen and type up what was said.

Ok, so there are a few 'blessed are the cheesemaker's' moments, but they are few.

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By Paul FD
12th Apr 2012 11:00


I work as a part-time FD so my pratice is very small but like many others I've spent a few months thinking about which way to go - my decision was to keep the laptop but upgrade the phone. As a separate decision I started using Google Apps for business so this made me lean towards an android - just bought the Google Nexus for what it's worth. I'm a big believer in the cloud so accessing documents is important and whether through Google Docs or Dropbox.

Some of the responders have found workable apps but people I spoke to said working on a tablet wasn't that easy - lack of keyboard etc.

What I really need access to is communications - emails etc and that's what the phone does. If you've put everythig in the cloud you can generally access it using a friendly client's computer if you have to view something together.

Clearly some people have found them to be useful business tools but I would say if you want to use a tablet (doesn't have to to be Ipad) for all the other things that it can do then get one and if you then find that its business uses are really good then it's a bonus. However this is a useful thread and I would be very interested to know how whether the tablet is really replacing the laptop.

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By RogerNeale
12th Apr 2012 11:16

External keyboard and mouse

For me, they are an excellent idea and much lighter if you are travelling a lot.
However, I would always consider using an external keyboard and mouse as without they are just a little tricky to use efficiently and quickly.

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By mrme89
12th Apr 2012 11:33

You can buy keyboards for the ipad so typing can be made easier. You can also buy keyboards with a mount type contraption so it sits upright whilst you are typing. You can get these from about £30, which isn't too bad for an Apple accessory!

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By Happy Harpo
12th Apr 2012 11:35

Business Use of iPad

Can I suggest an even better business tool is the Blackberry Playbook. 

Mine was only £169.  It interfaces perfectly with my Blackberry phone and all my emails are kept in perfect synch with my Outlook files on my desktop/laptop.  It comes with Documents to Go so I can open/amend/send all Word and Excel documents and the legendary Blackberry security is built in. It self-connects to my Blackberry smartphone but does not hold any files on the Playbook.  So if i left it in the back of a taxi it would disconnect (once it's out of bluetooth range) and all emails and files would disappear from the Playbook unless/until the phone moves back in range. Surfing the internet is actually faster than an ipad;  the display is full 1080hd; and unlike the ipad there is no problem accessing Adobe Flash pages.

I couldn't make a business case for buying a £400/£500 iPad but i certainly can justify a Blackberry Playbook

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By Nigel Hughes
12th Apr 2012 13:53

On the whole it's a matter of how you're comfortable working

I like my toys, but I have been amazed at how useful the iPad has proved to be - I've had mine since September 2010 and it has been in constant use ever since. My business is in training and audit consultancy for accountancy practices and I work on my own.

Most useful app by far for me is PDF Reader pro - Minutes, agendas and supporting papers are available in one, paperless place.

Notes taken in meetings using Pages, are already in digital form so there's no transcription of illegible scrawl

Clearly all this can be achieved by carrying the original documents around with you, and good old fashioned paper, pencil, postit notes and the backs of envelopes and fag packets, but I find it a neater, more convenient solution. It fires up instantly and there's no scrabbling around looking for electrical sockets. You can also really use it on your lap i.e. no need for a table to put it on.

I find the independent online access more useful than I expected - being able to call up websites in meetings without having to log on to the resident wifi is great - and, when my broadband was down for nearly 2 weeks I was still able to email pdf files to clients using the iPad.

People tend to pooh pooh the recreational uses, but to have music, movies and photos with me when I'm away from home is something I find useful, and on long distance flights, the quality of music and movies is way better than what's provided by the airline. Also, should you be tempted to work during the flight, it's generally more convenient than a laptop.

I find it of limited use for spreadsheet work, although it's OK for mapping out number based ideas. I use powerpoint a lot in my work, and the equivalent on the iPad is again, useful as a sketchpad for ideas, but no substitute for the grownup version on my laptop.

I still use a blackberry rather than an iPhone or Android equivalent. This is simply a function of where I am on the upgrade cycle for my phone and I'm anticipating getting an iPhone next time around. This may mean I will make less use of the iPad, but I suspect that the larger screen will still have real practical advantages.

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By sherpafox
12th Apr 2012 14:19

ipad business use

The best apps I've found to date are Cloudon and Dropbox both very effective for PDF's Word & Excel docs.

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By Kryton
12th Apr 2012 14:21

Wrong Question

Hi FirstTab,

if you are contemplating buying one for business but you don't know why then you don't really need it. What you really need to do is buy one and play with it, try some of the apps suggested above - and if you find you can use it for business then hey - result!

In reality - we know you just want one! The business justification is just a ruse!


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By Hosted Accountants Ltd
12th Apr 2012 14:41

Hosted Desktop

Our clients use iPad's to access their whole PC desktop as hosted with us.

This gives them live access to all their compliance programs from anywhere with internet connection. Plus they can run tax comps, view files, do anything pretty much they would do in the "office".

They do this via RDP and the two most popular apps (we have found) are probably iTAP as mentioned above and PocketCloud. There are many, and they vary in price but are all less than £10 or free in some cases.

(Caveat - yes we are a supplier of hosted desktops and virtual servers!)



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By vchan001
13th Apr 2012 02:39

What Apps I'm using

I use the following apps for my iPad at the moment and it helps me a lot to work efficiently.

Flipboard - to get news from the financial sector

Invoce2go - to keep track of the invoices

iThoughtsHD - to gather ideas

Mystuff2 - to record the stuff I bought

iAnnotate - to read pdf files and add notes

HanDBase - to handle simple database program

List! - a simple to-do list program

Evernote - a container for notes


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By jjswjjsw
13th Apr 2012 11:36


The two apps I use most are:

Dropbox - as mentioned this is really helpful

Evernote - vchan has mentioned this. It's great I can enter a note on my PC, laptop, iPhone or iPad and it will sync to all devices. It can be tagged with the client name so it's easy to find conversations pertaining to a specific client and includes the date & time I added the note. If I write notes during a call on a piece of paper I take a picture of the paper and add a title & tag. I tried a lot of notes programmes before settling on this one. 

Otherwise my emails, calendar and tasks all sync with Outlook. 

@Roger - can you use an external mouse with an iPad? I didn't think you could. 

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Replying to Tim Vane:
By RogerNeale
13th Apr 2012 12:21

Mouse & Keyboard

jjswjjsw wrote:

can you use an external mouse with an iPad? I didn't think you could. 

I was thinking of Android rather than iPad because the Apple O/S is too restrictive.

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Replying to JKnight:
By seitler
15th Apr 2012 17:59

Main problem is mouse does not work with an I pad so use of windows software via something like log me in makes control of office computer very awkward and difficult

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By Hansa
13th Apr 2012 12:10

Interesting potential uses but ....

Having read the above responses with interest, there seems to be only one major and one minor advantage of using a tablet (whether Android or Apple's offering) over a Netbook (similar screen size & cheaper) or laptop, and these are

1. Weight.  (1.5lb for an iPad against 2.2lb for a typical Netbook) 

2. Speed of Loading (seconds v a minute) 

Taking 3 scenarios

(a) In a taxi I would personally only check email/appointments so a 'phone is more than enough.

(b) waiting around between meetings or on train etc. - a Netbook or similar gives you full access to everything whereas an iPad (being a different o/s) works through a series of kludges.

(c) catching up at a hotel overnight and/or extended trip.  As (b) and I would contend the laptop is far easier to work on on for extended periods.

I do own a tablet (used at home for amusement) together with a couple of laptops (ranging from a 10" Netbook with 3G, to a 15" business laptop and a 17" office "laptop") .  I cannot for the life of me see which one the tablet could replace.  

Finally,nobody has addressed the security issues inherent in both Android & Apple systems (does anyone actually READ the privacy policies of the Apps).  I suppose ultimately I rate security & privacy above convenience.*


* My Netbook/Notebook are set up with VPN, and an encrypted hard drive.  Both difficult on a tablet.

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By Adam Cohen
13th Apr 2012 12:10

Mouse for iPad

Well the short answer is no.

But I have heard rumours that if the iPad is jailbroken, you can indeed use the Apple Magic Mouse on the iPad.

Unconfirmed I'm afraid as I'm not willing to Jailbreak my iPad - but there is a video on youtube that shows it working.


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By BobEdwardsLandmark
15th Apr 2012 19:16

What about marketing?


Client or prospect comes into office for meeting. While he/she is waiting in reception hand them an iPad. Prelaunch a simple questionnaire that requires basic yes no, taps/clicks. When meeting starts use answers to produce a report that is sent immediately to client by email and copied to your desktop. Use your copy as a conversation check list to cross-sell services to clients or build trust with prospects.

Where do you get the questionnaire from?

I have a few issues with Apple gadgets, particularly barring flash applications. However, my iPad is a much loved tool. I use Evernotes, a lot, keeps me organised. Working with Microsoft files can be done but I prefer to make notes. Much easier the manage emails etc. I leave my laptop at home now...







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By samialee
11th Sep 2012 15:49

iPad at work

I use my iPad as a professional device to read my documents and take notes. I recommend you as business application Good Reader and also Beesy.  This app, Beesy, generates automatically a ToDo list from a smart note taking. . Also, the advantage is you can easily generate professional minutes from your notes and send them by email. Besides, you  can browse your ToDo by actions,projects or people (


Sam Cherak

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