Our DIY attitude has taken us so far (and will continue to do so) but where kiwi firms struggle is productivity. Our tendency to tackle the problems ourselves is creatively awesome but when that relates to bottom line it's not always the best practice.

Thus I thought it would be fitting to share some great kiwi companies tackling this problem in different ways.

Now all of these tools are Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, meaning you pay a monthly fee to use the software which is delivered via the internet.

The benefits of this are that it requires less cashflow upfront (often none to trial the software) and you can cancel it whenever you want. On the flipside this keeps providers honest, committed to ongoing development and are proactive in listening to their customers.

The first you have to mention is of course the publicly listed Xero.

Their tagline is the "world's easiest accounting system" and from personal experience they couldn't have hit the nail on the head harder if they tried. I did a monthly trial and was sold on the first month - it saved me at least four hours each month to reconcile my accounts and do gst returns. At $50/month that is a big saving.

Further it automatically downloads transactions from your bank daily, you can view your accounts online at any time and most of all you and your accountant can look at the same screen. The benefits go on - give it a try it will save you time and money.

Second up we have direct hands on project management software to help you efficiently get projects done internally - two players in this market are ProWorkFlow & WorkFlowMax (notice the focus on work flows).

Both have slightly different offerings and benefits depending on the kind of business you have so check them out and see how you can improve the internal workings of your company.

On a more top view we have PlanHQ who believe that business plans shouldn't be documents pulled out every six months or so but live documents which are modified on the fly.

In a mix of project management and business planning their offering is quite unique. A great tool for small businesses in rapidly changing environments.

iPayroll is one that some of you may be aware of, whilst not as edgy and exciting as the others (payproll doesn't change much right?) they get the job done. Rather than filling out all that tedious paperwork and calculating KiwiSaver, preparing payslips let these guys do it for you. Guaranteed to save you money with their miniscule fees. As a registered payroll intermediary they can handle all of your payroll for you in a fast and efficient manner.

Visit all of them, have a look, see how they can improve your business today. I think we'll need to do a follow up and cover some others.

If you have any you'd like to share feel free to do so in the comments.

- Ben Young
Pictured above: PlanHQ's CEO Tim Norton