Xero

What it is and why it matters

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software for small to medium-sized organisations.

Here are some of the features of Xero:

  • Easy-to-use dashboard where you can see balances, sales, and bills
  • Bank account statements can be automatically imported into Xero
  • Attach relevant files to your financial data so they are easy to find
  • Accounts payable
  • Invoicing
  • Expense claims
  • Purchase orders
  • Fixed asset depreciation
  • Accounting and management reporting
  • Payroll and accounting in an all-in-one system
  • Mobile access
  • Xero offers a free API, which over 300 third-party software vendors have used to build add-ons. It also offers payroll features for users in Australia and the United States.
  • Xero uses a single unified ledger, which allows users within an organisation to use the same set of books regardless of their operating system or physical location.

To access Xero in Australia, go to https://www.xero.com/au/.

Xero benefits

Saving time

Xero saves you time because you no longer have to install accounting software on multiple machines. Updates are handled automatically from the cloud. Regular maintenance like loading tax tables is handled automatically by the Xero support staff.

Saving money

Xero offers unlimited users, unlimited support, and unlimited bank feeds, so there are no limits on your growth. Since Xero handles the purchases of all servers and maintenance, there is no huge capital expense required at the start.

Security

Allowing users to access their accounting system via the Internet can be a major security concern. By using a service like Xero, they take care of the security for you so you no longer have to maintain firewalls and other hardware to protect your data.

Work from anywhere

Since Xero takes care of the security, you will be able to work from anywhere, whether it is your office, home, or other location.

Real-time overview

Xero gives you a clear real-time overview of your company’s financials. You will be able to have an up-to-date picture of your organisation anytime you choose.

Automated bank feeds

With the daily automated bank feed, you can automatically import your bank statements directly into Xero. This saves you time from having to do the daily import manually.

“In some respects, Xero works in a pretty smart way and actively takes advantage of the fact that you are working online,” says Daniel James with Business IT. “We particularly like the way that when you enter a customer’s address, Xero uses the White Pages TotalCheck address service to confirm its validity and automatically parse it into separate fields such as street, state and postcode. If you’re a Skype user, Xero provides click-to-call when you need to phone or Skype a contact. This could be very useful if you use Skype a lot.”

Xero challenges

Xero can be a great product for certain types of organisations. However, it does not offer inventory control and management.

It is also critical that data business analysis be done ahead of time for online set up to be done correctly. Not doing so can severely limit your analysis and reporting capabilities in the future.  

Tips for successfully implementing Xero

  • Work with all of your accounting staff to create a list of requirements. You will also need to determine the time frame and budget for the project. This will also include the allowable amount of downtime during implementation. During this phase, establish which team members are responsible for which deliverables.
  • Define your tracking codes and chart of accounts.
  • Make sure that your final trial balance from the old system is accurate and balances.
  • Load your invoices for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable balances into Xero using the invoice import.
  • Work with your financial institutions to get the automated bank feeds working for each one.
  • Choose your record-keeping system. Determine if you are going to keep digital and/or paper copies of each invoice.
  • Create sales invoicing templates for credit notes, statements, and invoices. These will need to be uploaded into Xero.
  • Create a schedule for how often you will reconcile your bank statements. Take the time to get a good understanding of the reconciliation report.
  • Review each one of the reports and decide which ones should go into a favourites list.

R & G Technologies Xero Solutions

Xero has many features a small to medium-sized organsation will need. A single unified ledger allows geographically dispersed organisations to work with the same set of books, which can be very beneficial.

Like most systems, Xero has a few challenges. If you are a company that needs inventory control and management, you might want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, Xero may be an excellent fit for your business and certainly worth a look.

Are you thinking of migrating to Xero?

We have experience helping organisations make the transition and can help you see the benefits of increased efficiency and improved productivity.

Request a no obligation free Xero assessment today.

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