On Wednesday 29th April, we had the absolute pleasure of being in the company of the Xero team at their “Evolve” roadshow event held at Titanic Belfast. A super event in a super location.
We could talk up the great setting for the event itself, the lovely grub for lunch, the great team Xero brought along…………..but that wouldn’t do justice to the event itself. It was the content and message from the event that stood head and shoulders above everything else, and the key learning points for accountants working with their customers and clients.
And the message is quite simple……………..online accounting and financial systems are now the ONLY way to run your business.
For years now we have all heard the catchy phrases such as “moving to the cloud” and “streamlining” and “automation” and how having your systems online makes these things happen. But to truly see the benefits of going “online” it is important for businesses and their accountants to really understand what this means in some kind of tangible way. So here goes.
Xero have taken their roadshow events all across the UK and Wednesday 29th April was Belfast’s turn. Yes this was a Xero event and yes there were several of their add-on partners there. But the message is clear and simple. Moving your accounting and financial systems online with Xero is the best way to improve your business processes, efficiencies, profitability and cash-flow.
Is this all just talk? Certainly not. Gary Turner, the UK managing director for Xero, kicked things off by highlighting the journey Xero has been on since 2005/06. Xero is now a worldwide company, operating in 180 counties worldwide with 80,000 customers in the UK.
Gary’s key points were:
- Xero has a mission – if something can be or should be automated, then it will be!
- Xero now has a fully functional platform which includes Purchase Ordering, Stock & Inventory Tracking, Sales Quotes and lead conversions, send invoices online, get paid online, automatic bank feeds, payroll & RTI filings, online file storage/sharing, Find & Recode for easy data fixes………the entire package!
- Customers who invoice online, chase debt online and offer payment online get invoices paid 23 days quicker on average – now that’s tangible!
And of course with HMRC planning to scrap annual tax returns by 2020 and replace with a “digital tax account”, the government see the benefits of going online and all businesses will need to be ready. Which is why the ONLINE way is fast becoming the ONLY way.
And what else did Xero have that helps small businesses?
Well, there are all the Add On partners. Our favourite was Receipt Bank which we use with clients to speed up processing their supplier invoices. In one case, a client with over 200 invoices to process each month can save 1 full week of time by using Receipt Bank with Xero. That’s an extra week on holidays or time spent growing the business and gaining customers (and profits………and cash-flow!)
Then there is Payroll. Allow employees access to their own payroll for their own payslips, request time off on Xero Payroll…………all integrated with a fully approved RTI system. Again more time saving opportunities for business owners (and time to earn more profits……………and cash-flow).
Online quotes is a super new feature on Xero. Businesses can now send quotes online, get approval with one click, convert the quote to an invoice with another click, and get a customer to pay online with one more click! So time spent getting the new customer easily converts to………………. more profits……………and better cash-flow!
There is just so much more to talk about now on Xero in terms of features and benefits and just not enough room to get it all down in this blog. Like the new Business Performance Reports which shows businesses how their business is performing against competitors……all with a few clicks……….and how they can work with their Xero Advisor to make changes to the figures……….helping to improve their profits and boost their cash-flow.
There really is only one way to see all this in action. Contact a Xero Advisor and let them show you how it’s done, how it all works………………and how the ONLINE way is fast becoming the ONLY way.
Kieran is CEO, founder and innovator at K Phelan & Company Limited, Northern Ireland’s first and number 1 cloud accounting firm. To find out more about how Kieran and his team can help your business, contact us now