By Pamela Phillips.
If you’ve been following us on social media for a while, you probably learnt very quickly that we are pretty obsessed with Xero implementation.
Xero is a cloud accounting software that supports small businesses with managing their finances effectively and easily, including tasks such as sending invoices.
We love helping our clients become more efficient with their finance processes and to transition into flourishing and profitable business owners. Xero offers many solutions and sometimes this can feel overwhelming if you don’t have the focus and direction you need.
We’re here to help you and your team make the most out of cloud accounting.
Your very own cloud accounting system
We get that you might not be used to everything being digital or everything being hosted on a local server. A cloud-based accounting system can feel quite daunting for some. However, we are here to reassure you that this type of software is not only the future but it’ll save you lots of time and money too. We want you to embrace the parts of owning a company that brings you genuine joy and to have a hassle-free experience when dealing with your company accounting system.
The benefits of a cloud accounting platform are vast. With our ever-changing hybrid world, it's ideal for allowing you to work from anywhere and at any time. It also supports small businesses with efficiently focusing on automation, so that they can leave behind tiresome time-consuming manual processes. Plus, it helps you improve your accounting process overall whilst focusing on the nitty-gritty and improving accuracy and compliance. Ultimately, it gives your small business the ability to accelerate financial processes including payroll, client bills, and staff expenses. We understand that Xero migration might feel scary right now, but don’t worry, we’re here to support you. This is a whole new world of innovation and efficiency that we can’t wait to introduce to you!
So, what are our top 9 tips for making the most out of Xero?
This article could be very long indeed! However, we will do our best to summarise our favourite tips for you...
1. Streamline your invoice process
Xero is jam-packed with many inbuilt processes and features; including many reports and there are almost unlimited ways you can use it to your advantage. One of the most beneficial ways our clients get the most out of Xero implementation is by using it to speed up getting paid.
- You can use the repeating invoice function with recurring client invoices. This is great for sending out invoices automatically each month where the amounts and details don't change.
- We recommend you turn on automated payment reminders - usually, when people don't pay on time it's just because they've forgotten. A gentle email reminder usually does the trick. Plus, remember you can create these messages yourself in line with your brand tone of voice.
Create items you can reuse again and again. For example, do you offer a range of services that all your customers engage with?
You can set these up as ‘items’ in Xero. Simply fill out the description and price for your service (e.g. an hourly rate or a packaged price). Every time you enter an invoice you just need to select your item and then Xero fills in the rest! This old but very useful article from Xero gives you, even more, invoicing tips!
2. Use technology to make your client's lives easier
Here at de Jong Philips, we appreciate that you have a lot to juggle and don’t want to be bogged down with admin like collating finance data or sorting expenses. Your accounting software or system needs to work hard for you and your clients so that you can both focus on what matters to you (and what you enjoy!).
We encourage you to connect Xero to a payment platform, like GoCardless or Stripe, to make it easy for your people to pay you. This means they save time on their side (which they’ll be grateful to you for) and you’re more likely to get paid quicker. Win win!
As a business owner, professionalism and customer service is most likely one of your top priorities. As you transition into becoming a larger company or you start to take on new clients, then having supportive software like this helps bring credibility to what you’re doing too (e.g. professional invoices and reminder emails). Embrace the power that new systems can bring and embrace Xero migration!
3. Learn more about your customers and their spending habits
When you’re a business owner it’s hard not to be caught up in the sales pipeline and to become obsessed with when the next new client is going to sign up along with the internal systems around this. However, this all needs to link back to your bottom line. Have you taken the time to reflect on which service you offer is the most popular or the most profitable?
Do you know if there are any seasonal spending trends? Is there an area of your business that’s doing better than you expected? Do you even have a system in place to track sales?
Xero can help you analyse your sales figures in so many ways. One great way that our client Saltoria Marketing recently benefited from, was simply splitting their sales streams into categories. This simple functionality could be just the assistance you need to work out how you should be expanding your business. Saltoria quickly realised that they should focus on certain parts of their business to be able to bring the most income into their business and personal bank accounts! This process became one that was very easy to manage and it meant they could start understanding the story behind the numbers.
4. Create a data overview that works for the whole team
Create a dashboard that you can easily manage and that works for you and your team so you can get the most useful instant overview during those busy moments.
This can be completely tailored to your business or individual needs so that you can grab insights quickly without having to delve into complex spreadsheets or reports.
5. Use Xero to keep on track of your numbers during busy times
Building on the brilliance of this functionality, we also encourage you to use Xero to keep on top of your regular accounts processes. For example, you can easily keep your bookkeeping up-to-date with Xero. We do this daily for you so your numbers are always up-to-date.
6. Don’t be lost in a sea of spreadsheets ever again!
The reporting functionality on Xero is simply exceptional. There are so many ways you can splice your data and learn from it so that you can start recognising patterns and seizing opportunities. Many business owners don’t come from an accounts background so it’s essential that you make the most of Xero’s reporting functionality.
Ask us which reports you should be checking every month to keep an eye on your forecasting/projections. For example, your profit & loss report, your aged debtors, and your income from contacts reports are all extremely valuable.
7. Enjoy accessing your accounting on the move.
We love that we can access Xero wherever we are and the mobile app is a great way to do things quickly and easily. Gone are the days of having to log into your laptop and wait for everything to load when you remember something quickly in the evening.
The Xero app supports you when you’re on the move, wherever you are, and is really user-friendly.
8. Create a fully trained team with Xero’s learning resources
Xero is a great hub for learning and they offer many different courses, webinars, and videos to support you and your staff however they’d like to learn.
Xero hosts live online events too which are a great way to learn, the latest trends and top tips, not just about Xero but about running a successful business. Find out more on Xero’s website in their learning hub.
9. Finally, use Xero as your umbrella accounting software
Whilst we’re raving about how Xero has all the features, there are even more benefits you can get by plugging it into other equally useful software tools!
As you begin to expand even more they are really nifty and are easy ways to expand your accounting knowledge and solutions. Do reach out to us if you’d like us to give you a short summary of how these types of plugins might work to support your Xero experience.
If you’re still not convinced, then check out our article: Xero v QuickBooks: Which cloud accounting software is best?. And see what you think!
Both systems are great and have credible factors.
If you’d like to discuss Xero implementation or how you might benefit from using cloud accounting then get in touch with us and we’ll happily have an open and honest discussion about the benefits.