Last week I told you about the Xero epidemic that has been breaking out around the office and how the effects are being passed on to our customers. It would be no exaggeration to say that cloud accounting, with Xero, has revolutionised the way that we work – benefiting both the team and everyone who we provide a service for. The really great thing about the package is that, although we use it all day every day, our customers also have access to it when they need any information. That is why we can only describe it as being infectious.
So, ‘exactly’ how has it helped Paul?
It is all very well spouting on about how great something is in business – you could do that about anything. The real value comes from understanding and experiencing the substance behind all the excitement. So here are a few of the primary ways that Xero has improved our lives and benefited our customers’ businesses.
Visibility: Under the old-fashioned systems we were, just like any ordinary accountant, able to tell customers how much VAT they needed to pay each quarter. But we could only ever tell them just before it was due, and were never able to predict accurately how much before then.
Planning: Likewise, with Corporation Tax, it was only ever six months after year-end that we could calculate how much a customer would need to pay. While they would have been expecting some sort of bill, it was often a nasty surprise, just how much might need to be found in a short space of time. With Xero, on any given day of the year, not only can I tell my customers what their tax bills are running at, they can see the numbers themselves.
Administration: This should perhaps, be ‘lack of’ administration because Xero has significantly reduced the amount of paperwork and number crunching that we, and our customers, were previously faced with each day. It has eradicated duplication (oh, how the amount of duplication in the business used to infuriate me) and made human error close to zero (excuse the pun).
Management: Being in full control of your numbers, with the visibility and planning power that cloud accounting gives you, opens up many more opportunities for any company. For each of my customers, we can now see, on a daily basis, their profits, their turnover, their performance against targets, their tax liabilities, and all manner of other critical business information. This means the owners can make definitive, accurate decisions about bonuses, pay rises, and how much they can pay themselves, well before the end of any financial year.
And a whole lot more: In addition to the massive enhancements to the daily, quarterly and annual tasks that we, as accountants, carry out, there are so many more benefits. Instead of simply being bookkeepers, and box-tickers, the team and I actually get to spend time talking to and understanding our customers better. We have saved and made them money by simply being involved and being available. With over 450 add-ons (other cloud-based software systems) that can integrate with Xero, we have also been able to help them systemize and automate internal processes, such as invoicing, collecting payments, and reconciliation.
I hope they never find a cure!
Leonard Cohen once wrote, “There ain’t no cure for love” and I think that is a good thing. Likewise, Xero is one infection that I hope continues to spread and make many more lives a whole lot easier. Thank you, Xero.