More and more accountancy professionals are encouraging their clients to use the cloud-based platform Xero. IAN SMITH outlines exactly what it is the technology can offer.
Xero’s cloud-based accounting software not only allows for multi-user access from anywhere, but it also creates the opportunity for banks to provide direct daily feeds.
Alongside the intuitive reconciliation process, businesses really do have a tool which can now produce up-to-date financial data at the touch of a button. No wonder that Xero is increasingly recommended by so many accountants.
An added advantage to the platform is that it’s led to much greater co-operation between business owners, their employees and professional advisers. Because data is both live and visible, your accountant can add value throughout the year – monitoring how your business is performing, spotting book-keeping errors and providing support when you need it.
What about when you’re on the move? The Xero app allows you to reconcile your banking, create invoices and submit expense claims from a smartphone or tablet, which means that you’re always in touch with your financial information wherever you go.
How does it work in practice?
You can send a quote to a customer and the software allows them to accept, reject or amend it online. It’s then easy to convert this data into a sales invoice which can be paid at the touch of a button. The same is true when it comes to raising purchase orders
What about cash collection? Well, the Xero dashboard allows you to see at a glance which customers’ invoices are outstanding. And there’s no need to hang on to paper copies of purchase invoices, as Xero will store an electronic record for you.
If you choose to give your accountant access, they’ll be able to review your VAT records alongside your invoices and check everything before filing the return via Xero to HMRC.
To understand the full potential of Xero, it’s worth talking to your accountant. They may even be able to suggest add-ons which integrate with the platform. WorkflowMax, for example, allows employees to input and allocate material costs, as well as their hours worked on specific jobs. A great way of managing business performance.