For some small to medium range businesses, sometimes running the company finances on an Excel Spreadsheet that really only you have any grasp of understanding, or dumping all your financial activates onto your accountant can seem like the only viable solution when it comes to accounting.
Well untitled™ wanted to explore what accounting software options are out there to not only simplify accounting activates that are easy to do and understand but are also affordable, straightforward and less time consuming as we continue our search for the perfect web based components to improve the everyday office tasks. Well asking these same questions ourselves earlier this year, we feel confident enough to recommend Xero Accounting to any small to medium range business.
What is Xero Accounting?
Xero is the emerging leader of cloud-based, online accounting software, targeting small and medium businesses. Delivered on a subscription basis per customer, users are greeted with an ultra-user friendly dashboard providing the pulse of your business with one clean, simple interface. Customers are able to view bank balances, bills and expenses allowing you to monitor all your financial activity in one simple, smart and secure move, anytime, anyplace.
Originating from New Zealand in 2006, Xero continues to expand and grow globally with offices established in New Zealand, Australia and now the United Kingdom and in the United States of America. With figures showing over 200,000 businesses using the software across the globe.
With a range of monthly subscription packages available, starting from as little as £12, Xero include no hidden extra costs such as set-up, upgrade or contract fee’s, plus automatic back-ups and unlimited users and customer contact support around the clock means there’s no reason not to try Xero, or even the free trail that they provide!
7 Features that set Xero apart from its competitors…
The key to any software success is the simplicity of the user-interface. Countless times I’ve come across software that has been so hard to navigate that it starts to become tedious.
Once you’re signed into any Xero account, you’re greeted with a simple dashboard where you can immediately see an overview of your bank-balance, interactive graphs and an immediate watch list of all your accounts. A simple click allows you to easily navigate around the website showcasing various up to the minute transaction graphs and expense claims.
2. Multiple Accounts – Multiple Collaboration
Regardless of which monthly package users subscribe to, a unique feature Xero incorporates is allowing you to add unlimited new-user’s to your subscription account completely free of charge! The subscriber can then allocate you a ‘Standard’ or ‘Adviser’ user role, controlling what each user can access! Multiple users are able to access documents, collaborating at the same time meaning any data can be updated immediately
3. Mobile Devices
Evolving the software, Xero introduced the Xero Touch mobile app in late 2011 which is available for both IOS and Android devices. With a secure, 4 Digit pass code incorporated into the mobile app, users can log into their account securely, managing their accounts instantly. Not only can users view accounts, they can create and send invoices, chase outstanding invoices, submit expense claims and snap pictures of receipts plus much more activity instantly.
4. Payroll/Pay Bills
Managing your bills and the control of your spending couldn’t be easier, it’s certainly a huge advantage when using Xero as everything is pretty much straight forward with a simple click of a button. Providing an interactive timeline, businesses can schedule recurring monthly payments, an ideal tool for monthly wage, or by scheduling a batch payment where you can pay off your monthly bills in one easy swoop. You can also schedule detailed reports which will give you an accurate overview of all your monthly wage expenses.
Xero have also recently updated the software which now allows suppliers to send their invoices directly to your account, meaning you are always in control deciding what bill need paying and on which date.
Creating and sending invoices seems like a breeze thanks to Xero’s invoicing function. Not only can subscribers custom design they’re very own templates, but they can be created in any language possible. Simply select and choose your contacts, and Xero will automatically provide a unique ID Number and will also provide an update as to when your customer has opened the invoice.
With online invoicing, you the user can be paid instantly. Xero actually includes various easy payment options including payments made by credit card, PayPal and even Credit Notes for all returns and outstanding debts.
6. Instant Bank Activity
The untitled™ office have certainly found this to be a useful tool. With the Bank Reconciliation tool Xero User’s can import and categorize numerous bank statements instantly, supporting over 160 foreign currencies, including hourly exchange rate updates. It’s effortless to keep your accounts up to date, as having instant access to real-time financial data allows users to see up to the minute bank account, credit card and PayPal transactions.
A very unique feature Xero encourages is integrating further applications to manage further aspects of your business. While not guaranteeing to be compatible with every application, Xero do list a range of specialist applications including invoicing, time and inventory management, including other Xero In-House applications such as WorkFlowMax.
For small businesses, when it comes to bookkeeping and managing your accounts in house, alternative platforms just don’t seem as appealing. The search certainly seems to be over with Xero’s cloud-based software ticking all the right boxes.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of integrating Xero accounting for your business, or would simply like a more in-depth opinion on Xero accounting, why not get in touch and discuss with a member of the untitled™ team.