App happy: Mobile apps keep small businesses efficient and on the go

With all the buzz surrounding business use of "cloud computing," you might think the concept of conducting business anywhere -- on the road, in the board room, on a soccer field or in the gym -- was a new one. But small-business owners have been working on the go for decades. The arrival of mobile apps has just made things a little easier for them.

"A decade ago, an entrepreneur might have worked through her son's Little League game with a laptop balanced on her knees and then downloaded her completed work when she got back to the office," says Michael Alter, president and CEO of SurePayroll Inc. "Now, she can complete tasks such as running payroll or cutting paychecks on the spot, wherever she is, using the right mobile app and her smartphone."

If you're a small-business owner looking to make your mobile devices even more useful for business, consider these types of apps that can help:

Payroll/paycheck apps:

SurePayroll users can download a payroll app for either their Apple or Android devices. The app allows small-business owners to pay employees; track earnings, deductions, work hours, vacation, sick and personal time; set a check date; view payroll summary reports; access employee contact information; and run payroll with a single click. Taxes are paid and filed automatically. The Mobile Paycheck app allows employees to securely view current and past paychecks online from their Apple devices.