The Office of National Statistics now includes smart phones and apps in its typical basket of 650 goods used to calculate inflation, and following our recent round up of business apps, accountancy firms have jumped on the development bandwagon.
The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March provided a reminder of how disruptive natural disasters can be, but Deloitte's crisis management app Bamboo is no cheap cash-in; it was launched more than a week beforehand for BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad and Android, with a Windows Mobile 7 version to follow.
Bamboo is a simple program designed to ensure staff members have access to key information in event of an emergency. The app stores contact and disaster planning information to guide employees on what to do in the event of an incident that deprives them of an internet connection.
Portsmouth-based accountancy firm taylorcocks, meanwhile, has developd a free iPhone app to help business check and plan finance on the move. It includes a number of easy to use calculators, a currency converter and a calendar of important tax and accounting dates (see image above). The latter comes with a back-up service that will send regular notifications to ensure the deadlines are not missed.
London based SJD Accountancy caters for contractors and freelances and launched its contractor calculator iPhone application in 2009, voted one of the top 100 business applications. SJD now also offers a take home calculator and contractor rate checker on its website.
Accounting's app market leaders
A quick peek at the GetApp.com top 20 this month has number one spot with Zoho Business Suite (CRM and collaboration). It also ranks the three UK/global top accounting apps as KashFlow , Arithmo and Xero .
FreeAgent didn't make the top three, but this month released its adaptation of the iPhone app, DoubleAgent for UK users to track mileage expenses. More iPhone apps are on the way, said Free Agent.
With the business continuity theme still in our minds, Dropbox is well worth another mention. If you've ever sent yourself an email with information to work on later or in another place, the Dropbox is a must. The web-based file store will happily synchronise files between home and work computers and all shades of smart phone. Think of it as a generously sized - and invaluable - virtual briefcase.
So which apps appeal most to accountants? Let us know what kinds of apps you are looking for and who supplies them.