Xero…what makes it great?
It starts right back from the founder and his vision to make a platform to allow ‘beautiful business’.
The motive is quite simple, it helps you take control of the numbers, so you can focus on what you do best.
It was designed and created by a business owner – for business owners not accountants, which is the main reason it is the top of my list.
The design maximises the user experience and takes away the ‘clunkyness’ that some other packages have.
Let’s go through a few of the key elements that make Xero great:
First up is the automation and connectivity. I will walk you through a typical procedure – sending a quote to the money being reconciled in the bank.
Mr Smith asks you to price some work up and usually you have to get back to the office or home and create something in Microsoft Word. This then gets emailed over to the client. In the meantime, you have no idea if they have looked at it, have any questions or simply decline.
Xero allows you to send the quote instantly from any device with pre-set info such as the validity period, an accept, decline or comments function, traceability to see if it has been viewed and attach your standard T&C’s. All this with notifications and the ability to automatically turn this quote into an invoice when the work has been completed.
The number of business owners I speak to who say they raise their invoices at the end of the month is too high! You are just delaying the payment date. Imagine doing some work on say 1st of the month and waiting until 31st of the month to start typing up all the invoices. 30 days have already passed.
Next you send the email including the invoice with your standard terms of 30 days. Your total waiting time is now at 60 days. You also don’t know if the invoice has been received or viewed at this point.
You wait 30 days and the invoice has still not been paid and you have to chase it up. There is a potential for this to become a bad debt the longer it is left.
Let’s assume they pay on the invoice date by cheque. This could easily add another week by the time you get to the bank (although some now let you scan it through their app) and the time it takes to clear. 67 days! It has taken 67 days for you to get money for a job you did over two months ago.
Xero invoicing takes minutes, sometimes seconds, and you have the ability to include a ‘pay now’ button so customers can pay by Apple Pay or card, which will be in your bank in as little as two days! If a customer doesn’t pay, there is a statistic showing you if the invoice has been viewed and when. Amazing.
However, it’s not just about the money, you have probably got your Saturday back that you previously spent writing or typing and sending all those invoices out.
The next step is the money being deposited in the bank account. The bank information is automatically fed into Xero so you don’t have to wait for the papers or log onto a computer to download the statements.
And when that money comes into the bank Xero matches it with the outstanding invoice. With the press of a button, the bank transaction is explained, the debtors balance is reduced, and everything is up to date. Magic.
Other features Xero has to offer is a payroll function, fixed asset register and stock.
For most small businesses these work perfectly, however if you are a bit bigger then this is where the ‘add on’ elements shine. There are over 700 software providers that link with Xero to create a bespoke package to suit your needs whether it is multi location / multi-currency stock, or specific integrations for industry types such as Medical, Construction, Manufacturing etc.
The same goes for the reporting elements, unlike some other software providers, Xero only has a handful of reports, but all of these are ones that businesses use. Some can turn numbers into charts and graphs and produce detailed forecasts.
Using clever tech such as Receipt Bank allows you to have a fully operational creditors ledger, which means you can see exactly who you owe money too. Perfect if you have a big expenses coming up and you need to plan.
I could go on about all the amazing features but the best thing to do is get in touch with us who can explain just how much of an impact Xero can have on your business.