Throughout history, technology has been used to impact businesses in unique and exciting ways. From cell phones to the Internet, technological inventions have changed businesses for the better. With these technologies comes the ability for small businesses to save money in meaningful ways.

Here are 9 ways current technology can be leveraged to help your business save money.

1. Financial Management Software Makes Businesses Run Smoothly

Better financial management is just a few clicks away with the benefits of financial management software. Instead of wasting time and resources on traditional bookkeeping, take advantage of simplified bill payment, expense tracking and similar benefits that make finance management a pleasure rather than a burden or chore.

2. Apps Help Businesses Get Rid of Scanners and Obsolete Physical Equipment

Mobile devices are more than just personal devices. Now, they can be transformed into valuable pieces of business equipment, particularly when paired with sophisticated business apps that enhance business functionality.

Using apps to snap pictures that are used to scan documents is a great way to save money on bloated and bulky scanners and similarly expensive office equipment that increase office space needs and requires resources to supply and maintain.

3. Going Paperless

While some of the focus on going paperless is centered around the environmental benefits, there are practical financial benefits as well. From stocking the office with paper to filing cabinets and the like, a paperless office saves on ongoing office expenses, all while making HR and recordkeeping more reliable. When businesses can use tech to save money and enjoy enhanced efficiency, the move to a paperless office becomes an easy business decision for plenty of business owners.

4. Using Social Media for Free and Effective Marketing

Businesses of the 20th century would be jealous to know small business owners have tools like Facebook and Twitter available for their marketing. Free tools like these help small businesses save big on their marketing budget, so long as they know how to tap into social media in the right way.

5. Embrace VoIP

Voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP, gives businesses a flexible communications solution that combines voice, data and video. Compare this with the inflexibility of a landline phone that can only do calls and fax, while costing more in many cases, and the benefits of implementing VoIP become clear. Avoid paying for long distance calls and other phone charges while receiving valuable features like call forwarding, remote calling for employees, call recording and caller ID at no extra charge.

6. Embrace the Cloud Fully

From financial management software to analytics tools and customer service management, the cloud is a great way to save on a wide range of business functions. Using the cloud in ways that make sense for your particular business will help you save money while enjoying competitive advantages with respect to your small business peers.

7. Use Automation Whenever Possible

Whether you are talking tax time, payroll, invoicing or automating production like you are channeling your inner Henry Ford, use automation to save money as often as you can. Automation is an invaluable way to free up your time and the time of your employees to spend time on more productive business tasks.

8. Think About Free or Low Cost Tools That Do the Job

The best way to save money for your business is to not spend it in the first place when it’s unnecessary. To that end, think about the ways your business spends money when it doesn’t need to do so. If you’re paying for conference calls, for example, why not use free tools like Skype? If you need to analyze your website performance, why not start with Google’s free Google Analytics to see if it does the job at no cost to your business?

Even when free doesn’t quite cut it, you will find that there are plenty of affordable solutions that do the job, so don’t overspend for products and services you don’t need.

9. Reduce the Carbon Footprint of the Office and Save

For businesses with physical office space, modern green technology in light bulbs and electric are a great way to help the environment and save on office expenses. CFL and LED lights have been shown to use 75 percent less energy when compared with traditional incandescent bulbs. With these energy reductions, a single CFL bulb is capable of saving a business up to $80 in electricity bills over a lifetime. Multiply that for every bulb in the office, and your business could be looking at thousands in savings.