From Xero to hero – Online accounting apps increase business productivity
I’m very hands-on in my business. It could be a huge impost on my time if I let it, but I’m able to stay connected and keep an eye on everything from operations to finance quite easily because of the many cloud-based software systems I employ.
I’m sure I don’t need to sell you the benefits of accounting software. It’s been a staple of small business since at least the late ‘90s in Australia. But are you using the best accounting package available today; or are you just using the one you started out with?
Don’t get stuck in a rut
I’ve been through a number of accounting packages over time. Most recently I used MYOB for our business payroll and accounting, but after a good 10 years I was beginning to feel like it was a bit clunky.
MYOB just didn’t have the kinds of flexible reporting and integration capabilities we’ve come to expect these days.
So, about three years ago, I switched to Xero.
What makes Xero and other online accounting packages better?
There are just so many reasons that this new generation of cloud-based accounting packages is better than traditional, on-premise software:
- Ease of access: Because Xero is cloud-based you can access it from any computer via a web browser and there is no need to install any software. Additionally, Xero has phone and tablet apps that make accessing your accounts out of the office easy.
- Enhanced security: Xero backs up your data and protects it with multiple layers of security including data encryption, secure data centres and two-step authentication.
- Never worry about a software update again: These are all managed in the cloud by Xero. Xero are also very active at making improvements and adding new functionality to the software.
- Ease of use: Unlike accounting packages of days gone by, Xero is really intuitive and easy to use.
- Time saving integrations: For example:
- bank account statements are automatically imported making the task of reconciling a breeze
- mobile apps for Apple and Android make it easy to enact a paperless process for employees to process leave requests and view their payslips.
- Dashboards and flexible reporting: Making it easy to see how your business finances are going in real-time. You can even import a detailed budget for direct comparison to current performance.
- Active add-on community: Which means that there are tonnes of add-ons to enhance Xero. We have one add-on that automatically imports our sales invoices across from our ticketing system, and another that allows us to import our purchase invoices. This saves hours of manual data entry, allowing us to look after our clients better.
What do you need to consider before you can make the switch?
If you’re thinking of migrating to a new accounting package, such as Xero, you really should consult your accountant.
However, if you’re thinking of moving all or part of your business to the cloud, you also need to consider the technical necessities.
Proactive IT Solutions can make sure you have the required IT infrastructure in place to make the best use of any cloud application you choose to use.