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Pandemic Digitalised Small Businesses more than NBN, Xero Report Reveals Numbers?

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The pandemic has seen huge changes to the way businesses run, with Zoom meetings and remote working becoming the new normal and working parents are loving it (if they have the space for it).

The common factor here, of course, is the move to digital solutions for businesses.  Whilst ICT expenditure has always formed part of a business’ expenses, the pandemic has contributed to an increase in this area of spending.

Businesses are becoming increasingly digital, and it’s actually improving their performance. One of the areas I’ve noticed is the use of website chat has increased and customer service work can be performed by anyone running a micro business from their own home.

Now, three years into the pandemic, we are beginning to see how digitalisation has helped businesses not only survive, but thrive.  Xero’s recent report on small businesses’ technology adoption shows just how the pandemic has actually helped digitalise small businesses.

Spending on technology increases across the board

Spending on technology was already on the rise prior to the pandemic, with Australia seeing an increase of 70% since 2009 on digital services like accounting software and internet access.

Since the pandemic, Australian small businesses have rapidly accelerated their ICT expenditure, with a 13% uplift evident following the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020. 

Aussie businesses' ICT expenditure and digitalisation increase

And this is particularly the case with sole traders – it’s small business with no employees that spend a greater proportion on ICT services.  It’s no wonder, too, since there are so many tools and services that allow business owners to automate or simplify essential tasks like invoicing and receipt capture, and complete them from anywhere (including home!)

Have a look at our Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks cloud accounting training courses that can help you perform these tasks and more.

Aussie sole traders spending more on ICT and embracing digitalisation

In Australia, it was the professional services industry that spent the most on ICT, at 4.9% of their expenses.

EzyLearn is included in the professional services market, and we’ve also been increasing our spending on support services.  Our SMS support is dedicated to providing accessible and simple assistance for our students whenever they might need it. 

Small business ICT expenditure by industry and shift to digitalisation

Aussie businesses love their apps!

Interestingly, the Xero report showed that whilst its sole traders who spend more on ICT, it’s businesses with more employees that use apps more frequently. 

Compared with New Zealand and the UK, Australian business had on average more employees when they began interacting with apps.

app usage comparison across countries

All three countries, however, favoured apps that managed bills and expenses.  It makes sense, too, considering the shift to online work since the pandemic has meant that these essential tasks need to be done remotely and simply.


EzyLearn’s CPD training series includes the Academic Development Program courses that are perfect for people and businesses that use accounting software in their work for clients.   It includes a course on receipt scanning and capture using apps like Hubdoc that are popular with many businesses

Digitalised businesses do better

Not only has the pandemic seen an increase in digitalisation, but it’s also seen an increase in productivity and performance.

In the categories of sales, jobs, and time to be paid, it’s businesses with higher ICT expenditure that perform better.  The graphs below show how Australian businesses are benefitting from digitalisation:

The firms that have a higher usage of apps also saw an increase in productivity, sales, and jobs.  Interestingly, app usage had no impact on time to be paid. 

Digitalisation was a necessary adaptation businesses need to make to continue operating in the pandemic.  It’s helped them not only survive lockdowns and remote working, but also to continue growing and improving. 

Embrace digitalisation with EzyLearn

Xero COMPLETE Training Courses Online Suite - EzyLearn

This Xero report surveyed businesses that have a Xero subscription, and evidently these businesses are benefitting from digitalisation.

Check out our Xero complete course package to learn all about using this software to run and administrate a business. 

If you’re a job seeker who wants to learn all the cloud accounting programs consider one of our discounted Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping using Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks Online.

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